With a huge following in both the arts and graphics worlds and having recently had their first solo show in London, we thought it was about time we have a quick chat with American based, bunny-fish loving artist couple Kozyndan.
Read on and enjoy the latest instalment in the ongoing VNA artist profile series…
Who are you:
K:We are Kozy and Dan Kitchens. Married 8 years, together 11 years and counting. Making art and illustration together for 9 years and counting. Best friends. Dive buddies. I cook, he washes dishes.
D: We make work together and separately in various media, but all under the name kozyndan.
D: Long Beach, California, USA
K: Ichikawaidaimon, Yamanashi, Japan
Describe your style:
K: Obsessively detailed, and a mix of cartoonish elements in realistic environments.
D: The label or movement we are often associated with is Pop-Surrealism. I don’t think much about our work in the context of a larger world, but I think the name sounds super important and professional.
Day or night:
D: Mios Kon reef, off of Kri Island, West papua, Indonesia, about 12 meters under water.
K: Yeah! Or maybe my backyard.
Where can we find out more:
As a duo you are well known for your amazing detailed panorama pieces. How long does it take to produce one of these and how do you agree on the content/narrative that is used?
K: They usually take about 6 weeks to complete.
D: I think we agree on their content they same way would make any decision as husband and wife. Its all about what we are feeling at the moment as a couple. We are husband and wife but we are also best friends and have a ton in common and are always sharing and discussing things. A lot of times we have similar points of views on the big issues, which makes being married easy and it also makes it easier to make art together. Its pretty rare that we don’t agree on what to point of view to expound upon in a piece of art we want to produce, It would just be a matter of compromising, like deciding what to eat for dinner. One of us will just give in to the other and let the piece take the direction the other wanted it to go. This is exceptional though, so we don’t have a ton of creative differences.
At your recent show in London you showed new paintings that were beautiful sea creature inspired patterns. Is this a new direction for your work? Where did the inspiration for this work come from?
K: Yes we are obsessed with the ocean. We started scuba diving together about 3 years ago and we fell in love with the hobby. So its impossible to keep the ocean and marine life out of our work. We paint what interests us, and thus its what we are painting a lot now.
D: Hopefully our fans will come along for the ride.
You have worked with some big name brands in the past such as Puma. Are there any more collaborations in the pipe line?
D: Anything is possible, but no big name brands that we are working with at the moment. We are into make those sorts of products for people though. Everyday objects with an artist’s particular flare. Its nice to be able to give our fans a different way to have our work in their homes. We have a tea cup and saucer coming out with thisisalimitededition.com and it looks great! We also have a vinyl bookend that is really looking good. It is the Uprisings piece of ours (Hokusai’s great wave with the bunnies) beautifully sculpted three dimensionally. That should be released at the time of the big Comic Con International in late July. There are more things in the works with both companies and no doubt if the right project comes along we would agree to it. Its really exciting to see our work as something other than just a poster or print, since that is how we deal with the images on a daily basis.
What can we expect next from Koyndan?
D: Your guess is as good as ours! Our probably is certainly not one of having ideas..
K: Yeah its our attention span that is our enemy!
D: Exactly. What we WANT to make changes so fast that we barely start fleshing out work for an idea before we are bored with it. Sadly our style is rather inappropriate for our attention span. If we made really quick sketchy works that could be executed in hours, i would better be able to answer that question. Sadly its not the case though. I hope we are going to tackle a private commission we have been putting off, and then we have a couple shows we will start working on, but i have no idea what the content will be at this point. We have to decide among the mountain of ideas we have.
K: At least for sure there will be more fish, and more panoramics, and more detailed drawings.