“I wanna have a viable, fair, artistically balanced platform so that basically it doesn’t matter what the judgments out of the high castles of art are because we’ll be independent."~Keef Ward
Jennifer Gardner interviews creator, curator, connector and the founder of Art With Teeth, Keef Ward.
"Art With Teeth" is an evolving platform built to showcase Art and Artists whose work directly and unapologetically exposes, informs or addresses critical issues facing us in these modern times. Keef describes it as a big love fest where "we celebrate and promote activist artists and share them as widely as possible." His vision is to grow into a platform for artists to post and sell their work using crypto currency & gamification in a community-driven way in order to eliminate banks and middle men, providing a more sustainable living for artists.
Links & Resources
"The human species is under attack on multiple points, often led by the human species and so something’s gotta be done." ~Keef Ward on art as "positive propaganda"
Connect with Keef
Connect with Jennifer
Highlights from the Episode
How Keef channeled his "deviant" needs for artistic expression positively in working with youth art programs in the inner city SFO bay area (by court order.)
Keef congratulates Jennifer on her first tagging experience in Germany
His inspiration from New York culture in the '80s
“There’s something about art that you don’t get the defenses that you do if someone approaches you in an argument.”~Keef Ward
How his focus on work has sometimes aversely affected his personal life & relationships
How he has built his presence & following by networking on Facebook and is now launching a podcast - interviewing artists for “as long as they will stay on the phone” with him
Art With Teeth's mission to celebrate & promote activist artists & share them as widely as possible — growing into a platform for artists to post & sell their work using crypto currency & gamification
"I wanna get way more tangible about giving artists a leg up — like an actual ladder, rather than just advice.” ~Keef Ward
His meandering path teaching art in juvenile hall and and the art bus, alternately being a scoundrel or attentive boyfriend in San Francisco and then transition to the NYC scene
Speculation on apple glasses & augmented reality — the joyous potential and the dark side
Keef’s Banksy rat story
The upcoming Art With Teeth show “Tawdry” at The Hive in LA — artists addressing “tawdry” elements of society - August 5th, 2017
How Keef integrates his computer design skills to “keep the lights on” and help support artists via his new & developing platform
His biggest challenges: focus, time management, and being distracted by women
What makes him feel most alive: tactile sensory experiences like cliff diving & surfing and also the high of creation
“I just try to be a nice open conduit and show up to the work station sometimes and just let it go through me... just show up and open the top of your head up…” ~Keef Ward (riffing on an Elizabeth Gilbert bit on creativity)
Biggest transformative event of his life: the death of his father, reconnecting & healing the relationship
How Keef neglected self-care for a while and realized “...you can’t live like that for very long and the work isn’t very inspired. It’s sort of a lose-lose deal.”
What excites him the most about the future: his emergence from the cocoon of observation into becoming more of a player in the larger game
"I’m seeing the ways I can lead people to empower themselves… I see the change coming and I see the positive possibilities, especially through crypto currency and eliminating middle men and eliminating banks and eliminating all of that sh*t that enslaves us." ~Keef Ward, on the future
The democratization of technology — community driven, peer to peer currency
The beauty of creating work within restraints
Keef’s practice of “tithing” - taking 10% of whatever he earns, putting it in a red envelope and giving it out to people who are doing things he loves in the world
“It puts you in a state of mind where you’re walking around all day and these envelopes are burning a little hole in your pocket and you’re looking for cool sh*t… in this state of anticipation of good things… there’s something about keeping everything in flow." ~Keef Ward
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