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April 12, 2007

{     Interview : Arbito     }    

If I were to walk into the mind of Arbito, what might I find? I think it would be full of rainbows, breasts, cotton candy (hopefully), bright colors, good design, perhaps some grass of the smoking kind and some psychedelic tunes drifting along in the background. I would surely laugh, definitely feel stimulated and most likely have some flashbacks of the 60's. Wait, I wasn't around in the 60's... but every time I see Arbito's work I sure wish I had been.

A Seattle-based artist, Arbito is putting new work up at Seattle's Schmancy this Friday the 13th and it's a show you do not want to miss. His skill level is beyond comprehension, his style never ceases to hypnotize, and you never know what kind of work you'll be seeing - painting, sculpture, plush - whatever the dude is into lately.

Gearing up for the show, Arbito was trying to find even a minute to ingest food and water, but still managed to squeeze in a some time with Schmancy's own Kristen Rask in order to answer a few questions for Hopefully it will give you a sense of his amazing work and encourage you to go check out more in person!

Kristen Rask: You seem to be very influenced by 60’s art. What artist would you say is your greatest influence?

Arbito: Yeah 60’s and some 70’s. I think we're still feeling the ripples and waves from the impact of all the great design and creativity from that time. I guess if had to choose a particular artist that I'm into right now, I'd have to go with the early French comics of Guy Peellaert. I’m also diggin’ Vaughn Bode’s old works at the moment. My love for vintage vans from the mid 70’s, and my stack of old van magazines is a neverending source of inspiration.

You seem to work in a variety of mediums, which makes your work so interesting. Do you have a favorite?

I work in different mediums depending on my interests at the time. Sometimes I feel like painting, and other times making sculpture out of wood or fabric. Basically, it depends on the appropriate material best suited to the idea I'm working on. I also think about how people might use the piece or where they might put it in their living spaces, and that at times dictates the material used. If I had to pick one, I've always enjoyed painting on cut pieces of wood.

If you weren’t managing a full time job along with your art life, what would you be doing?

Oh that's easy, I would be creating art full time. Hands down, who wouldn’t?
Someday I will suck it up and make the big cut. Live the poor life and create loads of work… ahh good times.

Your wife, Snaggs, is also an artist. Any plans to work together more in the future?

Definitely, in fact we're always coming up with cool projects together, we just haven't scheduled a show to do it. We'd love to have a show with just the two of us someday where we can make the projects actually happen.

I just got back from SF where I saw the Vivienne Westwood exhibit at the de Young Museum. I was very inspired by her work and her collaborations with artists such as Keith Harring. Your work would be awesome for clothing and other products - any way you might work in that realm?

I’m a culture junkie, and advertising is a big influence on my art. It’s natural for me to want to have my art made into products. It’s fun to figure new methods of manufacturing my art, whether it be silkscreen, printing, sewing, etc.

Your work definitely has a political element to it. Is that a conscience decision on your part? What are your greatest influences?

I'm not much of a political person. If some people consider my art work political, then that’s exciting to me. It would be interesting to hear how they find it political. I'm just trying to be humorous, and poke fun at American culture; the parts of American culture I don't like, and even parts I do like.

Not only are you and your wife super talented but your cousins, Spencer and Oliver Hibert are amazing artists. You guys did the Made You Look show here in Seattle and have been in other group shows. Any more for the future?

Yeah the Hibert clan! Funny you should ask, we'll be having a family show in June at the Grass Hut in Portland. We're really excited to be having our first proper showing together! We are in the process of gathering the Hibert’s together permanently in the same town so we can work together more.

I don’t know how you feel about selling work in Seattle but I think selling art here is ridiculously hard. I still ponder why this is. Any thoughts?

Your guess is as good as mine. Have you noticed how healthy the art scene is in Portland? I’m envious.

How has your work evolved through the years? In another 5 years where do you see Arbito?

That’s tough…. My art changes with my interests. Right now I’m painting these hippie Americana, slightly republican figures. They have confused slogans like ‘Peace Off’. Are they for war or against war? Maybe next year I will be painting Grecian robotic heads with lasers shooting from their eyes. Who knows… what ever I do hopefully people will see the humor in it.

Anything else you would like to say about Arbito or exciting news you would like to share with us?

Lot’s more groovy new stuff on the way! Oh.. and apologies for my website. Yeah I know it sucks!

Interview conducted by Kristen Rask of Schmancy Toys in Seattle, one-third of the FancySchmancyPants trilogy of Washingtonian awesomeness.

Don't forget, this Friday, April 13th, Arbito will be at Schmancy in Seattle from
6pm - 9pm to sell you some cool-ass art.

     » Get at Arbito on MySpace: Arbito on MySpace
     » See tons of his work on Flickr: Arbito on Flickr
     » Here's his sucky site:


I Have seen grown men cry tears of joy when standing in front of an original Arbito artwork! ARBITO ROCKS!

Posted by: Doctor Buttersworth at April 12, 2007 12:20 PM

teh owned!

Posted by: plexipixie at April 12, 2007 6:21 PM

How DOES he do it?!!

Posted by: Morla at April 12, 2007 7:57 PM

love your style.. have some same prp art stylise drawings ..
I sell some illustrations for tshirt in france..
not that style..
I'd like to have my own chain of tshirt and like to cooperate with other graphists in foreign country : USA & europe ..
if you are interested.. write me ..nether know..
bye & best wishes for you..

Posted by: isabelle at February 22, 2008 2:11 PM
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