After artist Amy Small broke her ribs she didn’t let the time off her feet slow her down, instead the Detroit based artist took the time to learn to sew. Her debut RUN of flags Red Flags features 19 individually handmade flags that are completely unique and ready to hang. Read on to get some of the inspiration behind Small’s debut RUN and be sure to grab one of these pieces while you still can…
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this series, anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this body of work?
Amy Small: There is a lot of gallows humor here. Take it as you will. I don’t make perfect objects and I don’t want to.
1x: Was this body of work part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Small: For the text based flags I took suggestions from friends and found inspiration from whatever horrible thing happened in the news that day. It’s crazy right now – shit is fucked. The rest are just what I like to draw.
1x: When were these pieces created and what materials were used?
Small: All of these pieces were made in June and July of 2016, except The Truth Is Out There, which I made last winter. They were all made using fabric, thread, sticks, paint, and nails.
1x: Tell us how the idea and execution came about for this body of work?
Small: I recently drove Route 66 with my best friend and was really digging all the old signs. I had never sewn with text much before but when I got back to Detroit I made the NO FUCKS flag and it felt good so I kept on going.
1x: How long did each of these pieces take?
Small: Once I have a design drawn up I make the smaller pieces in a day or two. The larger pieces can take a few days.
1x: What is unique about this series compared with your other work?
Small: The use of text. I also only recently started to play around with bleach and dye on fabrics.
1x: Why should people buy this one of these pieces?
Small: Because you might get hit by a bus tomorrow.
1x: Describe this series in one gut reaction word.
1x: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Small: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t make art. Probably a drawing of the New York City skyline. I remember drawing the twin towers and the bridges a lot.
1x: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Small: My grandfather was an oil painter and I used to love going to his studio. I’ve always read a lot of comic books and as a teenager I was really into Dutch and Flemish renaissance painting. I’m lucky to hang out with a lot of great artists who inspire me all the time. My friend Keith Pavia in Brooklyn is constantly killing me with his work and I still like comic books only now I call them graphic novels.
1x: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what?
Small: I like Black Sabbath and podcasts.
1x: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artist?
Small: I have some plans this fall to collaborate with my friend Aminah Slor on a piece. She wants to sew a moon lady with a black hole for a face. Everything Aminah makes is awesome and I’m looking forward to dorking out with her. For the latter, it would be Alphonse Mucha. It would be an honor to draw some seasonal dead women together. His work is both fine art and advertising at their best.
1x: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last?
Small: I used to buy thrift store paintings and paint over them. No. The last was a hand sequined mermaid banner that came from Haiti.
1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Small: I’m helping out the Seafoam Palace with set design for a theatrical event and film release about phantom islands in the hollow earth here in Detroit this Friday. Check out seafoampalace.org for more information. I also just finished a collection of denim jackets which you can see on my etsy store “Sew Good”.