Norwalk, CT-based artist 5iveFingaz talks to us about what inspires him, art scavenger hunts and the impactful message he hopes to spread.
Tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
I’ve always loved art. Since I was in kindergarten I loved to paint. I loved drawing my favorite cartoons and comic book heroes. As I got older I started drawing my own characters. I also got into the graffiti scene. I would take the train into NYC with older friends to watch them work and learn the techniques. When I started high school, I focused more on sports. Art was secondary at this point. As I left high school, my art teacher told me I should pursue a career in graphic design, so that’s what I did. As I started my career in marketing/creative I realized I didn’t paint anymore. I also noticed that I started to suffer from anxiety and depression. That is when I decided to start painting for myself again. As I did, my anxiety and depression eased and I found my creative voice once again! I haven’t stopped painting since I found it again five years ago.
From where do you draw inspiration?
I draw inspiration from several places. Mainly, from everyday life and emotions. If I hear or see something during the day I note it down for later. I dig into my feelings for certain pieces and let them come to life on the canvas. I also paint a lot [of] skeletal figures, such as dancers and lovers. To me, it is about the symbolism of life. We are all the same on the inside. I also love to finger paint in a lot of my paintings. My art heroes are Picasso, Frida [Kahlo], [Jean-Michel] Basquiat, [Keith] Haring and [Andy] Warhol. The ’70s to ’80s NYC art to me is some of the best art.
You recently ran a free art scavenger hunt, with clues on your Instagram page. What made you want to do this?
I started doing this five years ago. When I experienced my art reawakening, I looked up and realized I had painting over 350 paintings in two months—from small scribbles to larger pieces. Anything I saw/heard I painted. I treated my canvases as a diary. I needed to make room in my home studio, I wasn’t in the position to have an art exhibit at the time so I decided to release them into the public. I held scavenger hunts whenever I traveled: NYC, California, Chicago, Canada, London, Iceland, Italy. I would hang my art outside take a photo and post it on my social media. My thinking is…If/when someone found it and took it home that piece was meant for them to have it. That is how my hashtag #mygalleryisoutside was born.
What impact do you hope your art has on the local community?
I really love to spread positivity. I hope it can help humanity in a small way. With social media nowadays I love being a global artist but also thinking local! I also hope to spark future artists. If my “Love More Than Ever” Movement touches only one person, then I have done my job while here on earth. The world and real life can be a scary place but I try to make it a lighter place with my art.
5iveFingaz did a live painting at the Greenwich Wine + Food 10th Anniversary Celebrity Chef Gala Honoring Jacques Pépin in October 2022