Upendo spoke with rolling out about the inspiration for his piece.
What was the inspiration behind your ‘hood art?
This was a high concept piece. The type of artist I am, my job is to evoke emotion, and this piece is inspired by the LA sunset. For me, I bounced around to other cities, I lived in other cities and took the LA sunset for granted. I lived there so I saw it all the time, and I looked at it as just a normal sunset. After moving away for a number of years and then coming back, I was like, “Wow, this is some crazy s—.” It’s only for a moment, so I wanted to capture that moment and have this piece capture that energy and bring it to the people that haven’t experienced the LA sunset, or they took it for granted. That was the inspiration for this piece, to be in the moment and appreciate those other pieces.
How would you describe your style?
Biomorphic surrealism, which means being an abstract artist without working with existing shapes. Dealing with organic shapes is the basis of it, it’s not geometric shapes that you can recognize. There are some circles, but that’s about it.
What makes you stand out from other artists?
I don’t know about how I stand out, but just being a human makes things different. Everybody’s an individual so that makes us different, but the common thread that we should all have is love and appreciation for everybody.
If there was one word to describe your work, what would it be?
I would say funky.