I picked Abner Preis as an upcoming talent to watch back in 2007, and his name keeps cropping up throughout Amsterdam events blogged here on Blakkbyrd.
Abner on Blakkbyrd
Now he's off to the States with his Superhero Project.
“Trained as a painter, Abner Preis has been making waves over the past several years. In a three year period, he has been invited as a featured artist to prominent art fairs such as Art Rotterdam, Art Brussels and the Scope Art Fair (Art Basel Miami Beach) as well as to exhibit works in respected cultural institutions and museums like the MU in The Netherlands, the Marta Hereford Museum in Germany and Austria’s Kunsthalle amongst others. The Superhero Project has featured at Brussels Fashion Week, Istanbul Design Week and the Rotterdam International Film Festival, providing a body of work that successfully walks the tightrope between art as activism, fine art, fashion, design and entertainment. Compared to artists as diverse as Joseph Beuys or Charlie Chaplin, Preis builds on the history of art to challenge it, using optimism, joy and imagination as the tools of his tender assault.
“Basically this project is about me going out in the streets dressed up like a Superhero, meeting strangers and asking them; If you had three super powers what would they be? Then I turn them into Superheroes like me.
Interview on Warholean
Warholian had the pleasure of meeting Abner Preis and his Superhero Project at the 2010 Scope fair during Art Basel Week in Miami Florida. At Scope, Abner was asking everyday fair goers to imagine themselves as superheros. His goal: “to surprise, transform and empower people he meets as he travels the world.”
We sat down with Abner to discuss how this project came to be…
1. Tell us the history of “The Superhero Project”, how did you come to start this project?
“I was invited to do a video presentation at a class for severely handicapped people. The teacher invited me to give a talk about my work and discuss ideas about a video project that they had planned to do.
Every child was really handicapped… a class full of Stephen Hawkings, but all were super cool. Their idea for a movie was to make one of the kids a super hero who could fly… a slow motion smile settled on my face… “Fuck it! Why not? Yes, we can all be heroes!”
That’s when I realized my magical equation of “I equals S”.
I = imagination
If you have Imagination, then you can be an Superhero.
(Incidentally, we still visit the Handicapp class every year, it is still a very special project)”
If you would like to donate to “The Superhero Project” through Kickstarter.com, you may do so here:
To stay updated with Superhero Project, “Like” them on Facebook here.