Last night we attended the opening of Aqua Miami Art Fair where I had the chance to catch up with one of our favorite art activists, New York-based Greg Haberny. Peep his latest installation titled The Broken Holiday of Abstract Rebellion in ROOM 202 and enjoy this exclusive interview! Photos by Faith-Ann Young.
LF: For the past few years I’ve seen you at Fountain in the same corner spot. This year you’re taking over Aqua, so that means you’re moving to the beach and a completely different vibe of a fair. Why this change?
GH: There were a lot of factors that configured into my decision. I took into consideration my schedule for the fall of 2011. I knew I had a huge installation in Cologne Germany in October plus several other artistic commitments. My build outs at Fountain have traditionally been huge undertakings and I knew I would not have the time or the artwork to live up to the ridiculous expectations I place on myself. So I figured perhaps something a bit cozier and intimate might be a better fit this year. I’m also all about trying new things. I’ve had success with some of the other fairs on the international level and things are really starting to move in the right direction. Therefore why not try a new angle in Miami and expose myself to a new client base. I’m all about growing and experiencing new things. But don’t get me wrong, I love Fountain and the creative forces behind it. It’s raw, fresh, and real. The vibe is purely magical.
LF: Tell me about your main theme this year.
GH: Our crumbling society: How everything is either broke or breaking.
LF: Your artwork is always thought provoking, often shocking. What’s your mission as an artist?
GH: To be like an F-5 tornado and leave no stone unturned. To keep digging and applying thought provoking theories and to continue to use unconventional materials to relay my message.
LF: Tell me about the rejection letters on your portfolio. You working on any prank right now?
GH: Well, they are not really pranks they are conceptual pieces that say things we all subconsciously feel but are afraid to say. I’m always working on material but generally I feel I’m just one big prank myself.
LF: What inspires you these days?
GH: Opinions. It seems that people are becoming more vocal and less publically reserved and I really find that inspirational. I’m a man of action myself!
LF: How’s New York been treating you?
GH: New York is awesome! I love the city. It’s my home and always will be. I see stuff that people wouldn’t believe. I mean I generally look like a degenerate I’m covered in paint and a mess, so people have no reservations around me it’s quite funny actually.
LF: Your installations are always completely changing the face of the space you are working with, floor to ceiling. I can’t help but wonder, how does your apartment look?
GH: That’s funny! Actually art does not always imitate life. My place is quite simple. There is a lot of art but none of mine. However, my art studio is a different story…I love vintage toys, comic books, art books, nudie mags, weapons… just about anything odd, perverted, or dangerous; and yes, it is pretty much floor to ceiling.
LF: What makes you laugh?
GH: My sense of humor is incredibly immature and quite juvenile.
LF: What freaks you out?
GH: Tranquility… Order… Mayonnaise.
LF: When are you happiest?
GH: Well… I love to work and work over sixty hours a week… But happiest… is definitely being with my girlfriend and my dog walking around the city… looking for trouble (laughs).