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A&E Q&A - Living Walls: Cake

New York City

Cake, an artist hailing from New York, has been decorating walls around New York City since graduating from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Her female characters loom large on public spaces and seamlessly interact with their environments. Her background in painting has made her a major player in the street art movement.

How did you get involved?
Monica sent me an invite to send some work down and I was pretty excited. Living Walls is always an awesome event, and it's not often that you can secure that many legal spots at once for artists. When I saw it was an all-female event, I was especially excited.

So you're excited that this year's lineup is all female?
It's everything. It's unbelievably important because the male-to-female ratio in this scene — and most other art scenes — is so incredibly uneven.

Why do you think public art is important?
Because it's the space we all share. It's the place where we connect with each other once we leave our homes. I feel like the world is a scary and heartbreaking place more than it is safe and good, and I believe people making art is humanity at its best. I also believe people walk around in public completely disconnected from their surroundings, we listen to our music and we are always doing something on our phones. We walk down the street without looking at each other and we aren't even connected to ourselves. But if you are walking and suddenly see a huge mural, it's possible that it can help you get back into your body, back to the present moment, and then you are interacting with the present. That's pretty important.

Tell us about your artistic process. What inspires you, and how do you then incorporate that into art?
I've always got something that inspires me, something I want to flesh out more, and it's usually me working out my reaction to life and to others and how I see myself in all of this. My particular interest in all of this is the way we separate from everything that is good to be in a civilization that teaches us to check out as much as possible, so much in fact that it isn't odd to us at all, but perfectly normal. But it's not good. We are essentially zombies in that sense.

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!!!Next: Miso

Miso, who is originally from Ukraine, now makes her home in Melbourne, Australia. Her muted color schemes blend naturally into mundane city walls, making the presentation of her wheat pastes very dynamic, almost appearing as though they belonged there all along...???
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