interview x Kiri-Una Brito
Artist and influencer Kiri-Una Brito Meumann incorporates her love for fashion and art into one distinctive creative profile.
The Brazilian-German creative currently lives in Australia, and I spoke to her about how A$AP Rocky discovered her art through instagram, her latest COMOCAM project, reflective asses and and what it means to be a multi cultural woman in the art and internet world.
Hi Kiri, can you share a little about your background, both cultural and artistic. How does a cross cultural influence, being Brazilian and German, impact your creative practice?
I grew up mostly in Australia, lived in Brazil for a few years when I was young, and have continually gone back every year to visit my Brazilian family.
My German side (Dad) comes through not so much culturally but in terms of design, and sometimes conceptually into my art practice. Having this mixed background has most definitely informed and influenced me. I’m drawn to many German artists, Brazilian artists, architects and designers. Although my work hasn’t yet spoken directly to these cultures inevitably it’s influenced my art making.
How important is creative cross pollination between fashion and art for you? Do you think there is/should be a distinction between the two?
That's a good question, I think that absolutely having this cross pollination between the two is completely necessary.
The creative process if often influenced by other art and artists, including fashion. So there should definitely be a fluidity between the two. Unfortunately I think a lot of the art world frowns upon fashion, and I think this really needs to change.
In your final year of highschool A$AP rocky purchased your artwork to hang in his NYC home, can you tell us about how this impacted your creative confidence, and opportunities?
That was such an amazing thing to happen so early on in my career, it really helped me feel confident in what I was making. I mean of course ideally this confidence should come from within, but having something like this happen definitely helps, especially so early on. After this happened I had a number of interviews with different publications which was great exposure. That was only a small moment in my career, i’m excited to keep building my art practice and have people interested in it because of its own merit.
Can you tell us about the premise of your COMO-CAM project?
The National Trust of Australia got in contact with me to be a part of a group show at one of their estates, looking at their clothing archive for inspiration to create an installation inside some rooms of Como House, a historical home. I didn’t want to do what regular fashion exhibitions do, I find they are usually so boring!!!!
So I came up with the idea of Como-Cam, an interactive installation that didn’t actually feature any clothing, but rather brand logos. The work is looking at the way fashion branding has eclipsed in many ways the actual garment(s) themselves.
Como-Cam exists both in physical space, and digitally. The way it works is you enter the physical green room, and visit www.como-cam.com on your smartphone. Physically you’re just in a green room with a camera, but digitally on the website you see yourself in these branded environments. I worked with Tom Hancocks to create the these logo backgrounds.
Oh, and the #GoldenDerrier piece?
#Golden Derriere is an interactive artwork which invites the audience to take a ‘selfie’ with the work and upload it to social media, using the hashtag, #GoldenDerriere.
This sculpture meditates on a number of pertinent issues surrounding the representation and values of women’s bodies on social media and the internet. The work isn’t saying whats right or wrong, but rather bringing to light and heightening it. Making it interactive and existing in physical space and digital was what I wanted the work to do, to allow people creative freedom to take their butt selfie in whatever way they wanted and to upload it under the hashtag #GoldenDerriere. Thats why I made the hashtag to co-exist with the physical work.
As a multicultural women, on social media, working in the art world and in 2018, are there any "spaces" that you feel vulnerable in, or has the internet broken down barriers for you in that regard?
I think the art world can be a very exclusive and elitist industry, I find that even social media and the internet can’t break that barrier.
There are so many amazing things because of the internet, but there are without a doubt still many barriers, especially when your interests are in both fashion, and art. I don’t feel affected by barriers being a multicultural woman, but maybe I am, and I’m just unaware?
As a creative and influencer, who is interested in art, fashion, beauty and the internet, do you think there is a career path that can encapsulate all these interests? Is that career invented yet? Or, do you see yourself cross managing for the rest of your creative career?
I think if there's anytime that this could exist is now. I think that it couldn’t have existed 50 years ago, but now I definitely think its possible to encapsulate all of these in your career. I would love to be able to do this for the rest of my career, I don’t think my creativity is limited to one field, or interest. It's cross disciplinary!
Perhaps creating some sort of creative company that collaborates, or works in multidisciplinary fields would be ideal, that way it could all fall under one umbrella but would work across so many areas.
And finally, what are you currently working on? Oh, and anything major in store that we can get a preview on?
I’m working on some more artworks at the moment, they’re in the beginning stages right now. but keep your eyes peeled!!
Kiri-Una Brito Meumann, 2018. Interviewed by Tsyon Feleke. All images used with permission