In honor of POW! WOW! Long Beach which just kicked off on Monday, we’ve been getting in contact with some of the participating artists and organizers. We recently published interviews with Jasper Wong and Benjie Escobar, and this week we bring you an interview with Allison Torneros who goes by the name HUEMAN.
Over the past ten years, Hueman has edged ever closer to the art world spotlight, as her unique blend of mural and gallery skills are appreciated by a an expanding global audience. Though she just recently moved back to the Bay Area, we still hold her close to our hearts as an honorary Angeleño. Hueman’s work speaks volumes, as the beautiful chaos she creates converges in harmony, causing you to simply stare in wonder at her paintings. Allison has also done work for Nike, Disney, CNN, and Miscrosoft, all while completing walls throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florida, Hawaii and (this week) Long Beach. L.A. Taco’s Desilu recently had the chance to ask Hueman some questions: follow the link for more and remember to check out POW! WOW! Long Beach going down all this week!
Please introduce yourself to the L.A. TACO readers.
I’m Hueman! I grew up in the East Bay in Norcal, lived in LA for the last 10 years and just moved back up north only a few months ago. I’m based in Oakland.
What does “HUEMAN” mean and why do you use this as your artist name?
On the more obvious side, “HUE-man” is a play on the word hue, meaning color. I’ve got a strong sense of color. But more importantly I began calling myself Hueman the moment I started painting on walls. For a while I felt a little lost, but when I started painting big on walls I felt human because I was out in the world and using my whole body to paint and socializing with people on the street, instead of cooped up indoors behind a computer.
How would you describe your work to someone that’s never seen one of your pieces?
My work is a mashup of figurative forms and colorful abstractions. Everything I make has an ethereal quality to it. It’s like the moment when you’re just waking up from a dream, everything is cloudy and you can’t quite recall what happened but you can remember bits and pieces of color and mood.
Do you prefer to show your work on the streets or in galleries?
I like showing at both, but if you’re asking where I prefer painting, I definitely prefer painting on the street.
What has being an artist taught you?
That I might be crazy. :)
If you had to choose the most memorable piece you’ve done which would it be and why?
A piece I made back in 2006 called The City. For some reason it became really popular, and I know of at least 10 people in the world have gotten the same piece tattooed on them (half of them don’t even know who the artist is, but somehow they found the piece in one way or another). It means a lot because the piece was actually dedicated to my brother who passed away in 1999, it’s my most personal work of art so it’s amazing to me that people I don’t know were able to connect with it in their own way.
“Ritual” was an amazing show that we still can’t get over. That opening night you created such an intriguing atmosphere that you had everyone in attendance in awe as they stared at each wall and gazed at the dancers moving around the room. Do you plan to have another event like this?
Yes! I definitely plan on making Ritual an on-going project, and it’s looking like it will happen sometime in 2016.
How does it feel to be apart of the POW! WOW! Event? Can you give our readers an idea of what you have in store for your mural?
It feels awesome. I was part of the Hawaii event earlier this year and I had an amazing time. Both the organizers and artists involved are all great and have a good energy. So when I was asked to be part of Pow Wow Long Beach it was just an automatic yes. They’ve been able to bring together some of the world’s most talented artists and so I’m very honored to be on that roster.. I’ll be collaborating with Madsteez this time around, we have some fluorescent colorful goodness coming your way!
Finish this sentence…. “Los Angeles is the city of……..”
The city of dreams!
Besides painting what are some of your favorite things to do?
I love eating and trying new restaurants. Hiking. Dancing. Working out and running. I love going to spas. After painting outside for days at a time and getting dirty it feels nice to be able to pamper myself.
Being that you’re always around Los Angeles, can you tell us about your favorite place to get tacos and which taco is your favorite?
The carnitas street tacos from Tacos Mexico on Broadway in DTLA.