It happens more often than not: People in the same fields or that work together fall in love. Many artists meet their soul mates at gallery openings or through mutual friends and decide to spend their lives together. Rising stars, in their own right, their lives are already on display and getting involved with someone that shares their passion and lifestyle can be a blessing and a curse. When it's good, it's great. Like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, before them, I present Rez Ones and Boogie (a.k.a. T.C. Weaver and Risa Tochigi)!
How did you guys meet?
Rez Ones: We met via a mutual friend (my homie, Rob) who I used to tutor in graphic design back in the day. Sometimes when he came through, Boogie's sister would be with him. They would always tell me that I should meet her sister and how dope of an artist she is. But she was never with them. It became a running joke that Boogie was the Mr. Snuffleupagus -- Big Bird's friend from Sesame Street that only he and the kids could see. (laughs) Fast forward, about three years later he shows up to one of our dance practices at Vassar (the organization I co-founded at Vassar College called Hip Hop 101 used to have dance practices every Monday and Wednesday night) with Boogie and told me she wanted to learn how to break (bboy/breakdance). She started coming to the practices on a regular basis and not long into her attending the sessions she mentioned that she wanted to get into graphic design. So she came to the crib after practice one day, and I began to tutor her in graphic design as well. One thing led to another and here we are, like, eight years later.
Boogie: Heheheh.... I still get red in the face and butterflies in my tummy thinking of the day I met TC at Vassar in the Villard room rocking. When I was 16, I imagined meeting a dude who was a b-boy, full of life, creative with dreads and booties (laughs). Totally happened!
What is the end goal of the Ill Visuals you collaborate on?
Rez Ones: Ill Visuals is actually my thing. BoogieRez Productions/Planet BRZ is the both of us. Being that we're attached at the hip, it'll ALWAYS apply across the board, but I'm the driving force behind that particular aspect of things. The end goal would be to be able to create a space where people are spending less time focusing on what makes them different, and more time embracing the things that make us the same. To be able to bring like streams of energy/complimentary streams of energy together and use art as the glue that binds us together creatively and eventually to be able to make a living doing the things we love to do.
Tell me about the Ghostface Killah comic cover. How did that come about?
Rez Ones: Every year since 2010, Boogie has been doing a portrait of the main act that we bring up for our flagship event for Hip Hop 101, the Throwback Jam. Since 2010 she's done J. Cole, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Raekwon, Talib Kweli and Ghostface. She does the portraits then get's the artists to sign them. This particular design came about as a result of Boogie always looking for those connecting elements to populate the background of the image with. It's a process that's evolved exponentially with each piece. Most of the time it's finding creative ways to use the artist's lyrics the background of the piece some way. But for this one she opted to utilize one of the universal connectors of hip hop which are sci-fi, anime, martial arts and comic books. Almost EVERYONE who's into hip hop likes one or more of those things. Next time you watch any kind of documentary on the culture, check what's in the background if they're at the person's house or whatever. You'll see one or more of those elements on display. Ghostface has more than a few aliases, one of which fall into the comic book category: Tony Stark, who's Iron Man. I'm a big comic head myself so she pulled her inspiration from there. She found a vintage Iron Man cover online and decided to duplicate the feel of that for the canvas. It involved the layering of different elements, stenciling of Iron Man text and HIP HOP 101 logo, gridding and integrating graphic elements with free-form brush strokes. Previous canvasses didn't involve the same level of technical input as the Ghostface project.
Who else is doing what you guys are doing? Do you see yourselves as the vanguard of a new art movement?
Rez Ones: Not really sure who's doing what, but as I stated earlier, people are more the same than they are different...so I'm sure there's like streams of energy somewhere out there riding the same wave we are. In regards to my photography, there's PLENTY of people utilizing the same technique (levitation photography) I mean, I learned it from a tutorial Miss Aniela (easily one of my BIGGEST influences) had online. There's also Kyle Thompson, Mandy Rosen, Kylie Woon, Natsumi Hayashi. These are all people who I draw inspiration from on the levitation side of things and little Shao for the action (kinda) what separates me from the proverbial pack is the space my images exist in. I mentioned earlier that we're more that same, than we are different, and I feel my photography sits in those parallel spaces. It is the embodiment of curiosity and imagination, two inherent qualities that all individuals have. From there I sprinkle generous amounts of sci-fi, martial arts, anime, comic books and fairy tales; while Boogie's work speaks to your soul on a very ethereal, whimsically surreal level. Vibrant colors, organic lines and an eternal feeling of youth are her hallmarks. Boogie is like super creative and she's good at damn near EVERYTHING. I kinda feel like the inside of her head is like the landscape of wacky land: melted clocks, floating eyeballs and doors and stairs that lead to nowhere (laughs).
Boogie: In regards to being vanguards of a new movement... Well, I guess that remains to be seen (laughs).
Boogie and Rez Ones
Title: Trouble in Gotham
Title: Bait Boogie