You are now entering the Nasty Gallery, our round-up of art shows, galleries, and the artists that make them happen. Meet Brittney Scott, a personality online as well as off, who is currently thriving at the intersection of fine art and fine raving.
Art is really complicated. The most liberal of scholars have tried to broadly define it as any expression of human creativity, while their more rigid peers attempt to categorize and rank said expressions as “more art,” “less art,” “better art,” and so forth. But, here’s a crazy thought: What if we didn’t care?
Known for decorating the Twitterverse with her Microsoft Paint-esque (it’s an iPhone app, but it’s the same thing) drawings, cyberspace-based artist Brittney Scott’s work has graduated beyond fiber optics and manifested itself as street art, viral stickers, canvas paintings, and beyond. She’s drawn Twitter avi’s for literally everyone, from A-Trak to Skrillex, from Kreayshawn to Rihanna. In 2015, she disappeared to Paris with rapper Chippy Nonstop and simplified her signature even further to what has come to be known as the “rectangle avi.” We sat down with Brittney moments before “L7”, her 2nd Los Angeles art show and first installation utilizing a neon medium, which turned into the fanciest rave ever.
What was it like preparing for your second big LA show vs. your first one?
I had this idea for my first show where I wanted it to be the typical, bougie art vibe. Everything clean and white, which is kind of my aesthetic anyway. But it ended up being like, hectic and chaotic.
For this, I’ve been talking to the gallery owner for 2 years. She’s been following me on Twitter and she hit me up like, “Hey, I have this space and I’d love to do a show with you,” back when I was making the faces. I saw how beautiful the space was and I wanted to make something equally as beautiful to live inside.
You’ve been bouncing around, doing shows in LA, Canada, Paris, and you just spent a year in Europe. What made you want to ditch Los Angeles for that long?
I had this crazy breakdown at last Coachella and realized that I needed to get out of LA. So I decided, I’m just gonna move to Paris. And then my friend Chippy got deported and was like, “I don’t have anything to do either. Let’s go.” We threw hella parties and DJ’d a lot, a few in London, two in Berlin, Spain, three or four in Paris. We basically went on tour. I didn’t really make any art, but it was inspiring.
The rectangle avi has experienced about as much success as your original Twitter avi. What inspired you to minimize your Microsoft Paint style even further?
I lost my iPhone in Barcelona, which had the app I’d been using, so I had to get this trashy smartphone in Paris that had the most beta paint app, but it produced the squares. People were still asking me for portraits and I was like, you know what, I’m kind of tired of drawing people, I wonder if I can just draw squares. It’s the same concept, really, you’re getting a piece of art that you can use to represent yourself.
Now that you’ve got neon under your belt, what’s your next medium?
I’m probably not gonna be a neon artist, but I want to continue featuring it in future shows. It looks pretty and I wanna make pretty, cool looking things. Sculpture stuff, maybe, or performance pieces. With this, I wanted to build a community, let people know that I care about them, and use that as a foundation for people to care about each other and the world they live in. I want to send a PLUR message.
You’re very sweet. The art community has a reputation for being… less sweet. Do you think that’s deserved?
It’s an old mindset. With any industry, you always have these old people who want to control it and keep it the way it is. People like tradition, they like to keep things the same all the time, so when you have something that challenges that notion, they all freak out. It’s annoying, but I don’t mind being obnoxious and fucking around with it.
So are you Brittney Scott, the artist who doesn’t care?
Absolutely not. I don’t want people to think I don’t care, I care so much. I just want everyone else to stop worrying about dumb shit. Care about the world, care about each other, care about being good.
You care about people.
Of course. I haven’t really defined what I’m doing. It’s obviously very digital and internet-based, but there’s no singular way to go with art, I just kinda want to do everything.
Do you feel like you have to be a multi-media artist to be an artist?
That’s also like, internet mind. You just wanna be everywhere and do everything and create content.
L7 will be exhibited at “@leiminspace” until February 11th, 2016.
Photos by Angel Espinoza.