Even though fashion kids mostly know him from modeling for Vetements, Hood by Air and Yeezy show(s), Gaby is a priori an artist. There is a lot of thought behind his artworks and why some things look the way they do. In his work, Gaby explores the human condition. More specifically, an interplay between technology and the human race. Gaby started off with paintings and has now upgraded to filmmaking.
For his latest project he said: “ “Upgrade me”, my latest film explores the male ego’s relationship to modern technology – in particular, personal gadgets - in a city business environment such as the City of London or Canary Wharf.”
We sat down with Gaby and talked everything art.
How old were when you first got into art? I saw a video of you from 2012 on Vodafone Group, where you won a competition for Tate and Vodafone collaboration and judging from what I saw, you were already fully active and productive and a full-on artist back then…
Yes, I started out really young and joined a lot of gallery youth groups in London such as the Tate collective. I met a lot of people that way who were all really young and as enthusiastic as me which was awesome. Winning the Vodafone competition and designing a mobile phone at 17 / 18 was really a big deal for me at that age as I was still at college. It gave me a lot of confidence and made me understand how huge business works.
What got you into art in the first place?
Buying some paints from Lidl supermarket and then copying stuff.
Could you live without art?
I guess I could but it would be a crap life.
What kind of reaction do you hope to get from people when they look at your work?
However they want to feel as long as they are not bored out of their brains.
What is your art about?
I am heavily interested in technology and the sheer ridiculousness of modern life. I am concerned with trying to predict a different future for the human race by exploring alternative life forms that mimic human behaviour in society. My practice examines how the body’s anatomy might adapt as we shift into a new era of life. In my video work I analyse socio-political situations in London through gross exaggeration, showing how meaningless and obscure modern technology has become - popularly perceived as alternately humanity’s saviour or nemesis.
What is your favorite part of the day?
I don’t have one.
What kind of music do you listen to while working?
French radio or Kisstory on Kiss FM to energize me.
Are you confident doing what you do?
Yes, but I question everything I do.
What motivates you?
A lot of anger.
What do you think is more important – the idea or the execution?
When it comes to my practice, both.
Do you think childness is important to be creative?
What kind of person were you growing up?
A weird French chav who was nervous because he didn’t fit in London.
Can art and commerce coexist?
Yes, they already do.
What are some of your favorite artists?
Laure Prouvost, Elizabeth Price, Petr Pavlensky, Chris Ofili and many more….
Did you ever meet someone you consider your hero (art wise)?
If you would be a color - which one would you be and why?
Red – I love everything about it.
What are you working on next?
A new film called “Upgrade me”.
And lastly, can you talk us through some of your work…
“Upgrade me”, my latest film explores the male ego’s relationship to modern technology – in particular personal gadgets - in a city business environment such as the City of London or Canary Wharf. The film explores how the character feels empowered by personal gadgets in everyday life, with a special focus on his work and home life. The love and empowerment he feels for modern technology lead him to surrender to technology; he then merges with it and leaves the human race. He merges with his smartphone in the hope it will make him perform better in life. As the film goes on it explores how this works out for him exploring his performance skills as well as his malfunctions in everyday life.