What is art?
Walter May: Art is an unreal representation of things that are real. We create art to help others understand. It's a method of communicating emotions, feelings and opinions, in a way that can still be interpretive. There is no right or wrong answer.
Tyler Ramsey: Art is freedom. If an individual chooses to devote their life to art, they are choosing to live a life of ultimate freedom. They are choosing to live a life of unfiltered expression. Art is freedom.
Walter May and Tyler Ramsey, have taken their diverse, creative talents and united them for a project that explores how different perceptions of art can merge into something wonderful. Some say that art stems from repression, or the darkest crevice of the mind, but the two Los Angeles based artists are here to demonstrate that art can be a celebration of life and love. Friendship Is Magic, the newly released collaboration between the duo, is a boundless force of creativity that centers not only around a unique bond, but a general appreciation for all that surrounds us. In what they call "a celebration of collaboration", Friendship Is Magic explores their individual and combined virtuosity and aptitude for technology.
Walter May has made (and continues to make) his mark in advertising, directing and photography. His eye is made to be behind the camera, and that can be seen in every aspect of his portfolio. As someone you could consider a pop culture "guru", May has developed personal and working relationships with icons such as Katy Perry, Eminem and LeBron James, and has directed videos and ads for brands such as Toyota and Starbucks. With a more personal and loving goal in mind, a few years back May directed and developed a music video for his then girlfriend, now wife, after she moved across the country. The song, "I Hope This Gets To You" by The Daylights is accompanied by a mesmerizing video, every lyric performed by a set of glimmering hands. In an attempt to reach the love of his life, and as a way to prove the new technology [of that time] would make their long distance relationship quite manageable, May released the video on YouTube. A virtual message in a bottle. His video went viral, with over 2 million views, and in less than a week, the video played on his wife's screen.
"The goal was to make sure she knew our love could transcend any distance. I was also embracing this blend of art with technology and social media platforms that I knew could bring everything together. As a teenager, I worked in a clothing store that constantly played music videos. I knew I wanted to make them and create these short stories. At the root of my commercial work and directing is a major appreciation for fine art and creativity."
Although May and Ramsey met through mutual friends, Ramsey chooses to believe it is their "adventures in courtship" that has brought them together as the perfect artistic pair. Ramsey, whose signature style of aggressive, calculated abstract painting has landed him partnerships with Toms Shoes and Lamar billboards, has honed in on his adventurous spirit and in 2006, began his artistic career. As a previous casting director and producer of major reality TV shows such as Fear Factor, Joe Millionaire and Survivor, Ramsey lived an affluent life in the entertainment industry. It was during Survivor that Ramsey met his future wife, a contestant on the show. Long story short, forming a relationship was against the rules, which in turn lead to running away and landing himself in an African prison. It may seem comical, but it's this determination and spirit for adventure that has inspired Ramsey to create the massive, bold artwork that he does today. His craft is an ode to taking chances and making an impact.
Friendship Is Magic vibrantly captures the energetic expertise of both the artists and how a well-suited partnership can push boundaries in every direction. Techniques in this arena are not excluded. Pieces of work are often initially inspired by technique alone, allowing the duo to experiment with the resources they have while utilizing all the cutting-edge technology they can get their hands on. Some materials and methods include massive prints in between layers of Ramsey's paint, large sheets of engraved Lucite, screen prints in diamond dust and messages conveyed in neon lights.
"It's exciting and magical to work with someone and be able to lean on their expertise. Our collaboration allows us to get the best of both worlds and create something you couldn't do alone," May comments.
"We constantly have different ideas. We know we have different skills. Our project is built on a bit of competition and seeing how far we can push each other. Everytime we come up with an "a-ha" moment, we know that at the heart of it is a way for us to do bigger and better things," Ramsey explains. "I love chocolate, it's amazing. And peanut butter is incredible. I would eat peanut butter on anything, even ham. But together, man together, they are the absolute best. Our collaboration is Reese's. We can do our own thing and be great, but when our brains and talents collide, we reach our height."
With titles like Work & Happy, Dancing and Robot Battle, the pieces are meant to inspire, excite and make you think without delay. One of their most recent projects? Ramsey painted Mrs.May's wedding dress (post ceremony). The two have an extensive list of electrifying pieces and techniques they are working towards. We can expect big things from LA's new team in Friendship Is Magic.
To check out more of their work, visit the site: http://www.ramseymayart.com/
All photos courtesy of Walter May and Tyler Ramsey