Today we’re taking a look inside the studio of Friends With You, a collaborative art project that is the brainchild of Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III. The duo have been collaborating since 2002, producing artworks in a range of media and styles under the mission of bringing “magic, luck, and friendship™” to the masses.
The Friends With You studio looks like an appropriately fun place. Though it is a large, grey warehouse space, the potentially dull grey brickwork is offset by the proliferation of cartoon characters. The duo’s interesting style of appropriation-heavy pop art, with many cartoons and characters appearing just slightly off-kilter or skewed from their original and recognizable appearance, lends this studio space a strange sense of being, perhaps, part of a parallel universe.
Warehouse status aside, there’s an undeniable homey-ness about the space The pair sits on a couch with their shoes off, and the railing next to them seems to imply that there’s a loft-like space hovering above what might be a more industrial studio workshop. This seems like it could make for a nice division of the space -- to have the actual labour be performed in an area just slightly removed from the more comfortable meeting, planning, and discussion area.
Since its inception, Friends With You has become known as a unique art project that draws visual inspiration from the likes of Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama, elevating visual art into a shared experience outside of the traditional gallery space, and blurring the lines between “lowbrow” and “high art”.