Joseph, you’ve been popping up all over the place lately. At the Dutch Grand Prix you had a giant bronze astronaut in the ring and you have 727,000 followers on Instagram. It seems that you are becoming clearer.
Actually, this is true. I’ve never dealt with networking this much before. From the age of 21 to 31 I worked in the studio with only blinders. I almost didn’t eat out, didn’t celebrate. My friends didn’t understand why I didn’t want to come, but I was so passionate about making art that I kept working until two in the morning. Then come home to nap for a few hours and then head back to the studio. Every day I had some kind of Christmas feeling, like: I can work again. Then my relationship of more than ten years ended. All this time I’ve been living in Bussum, my work here is in Nardin and I thought: I’m going to move to Amsterdam. I just had to spread my wings. It was only then that I found out that we had already achieved quite a bit of brand awareness. I hadn’t noticed it before, but suddenly found myself in the networks and noticed how connected everyone was. Dutch celebrities came my way because they thought my work was cool, and then international celebrities too. It all went completely normal; I didn’t tag anyone or send a direct message to them. Just by working hard and making great things, everyone has crossed my path.
Spread your wings in Amsterdam, is that a metaphor for parties and animals?
“Ah, yeah. I came from a long-term relationship and just worked; I discovered the joy of going out. It was a hard time because I came home late from partying, but I didn’t sleep late. So I didn’t sleep much and started looking bad. In town I could find four At least two evenings a week It was a whole new world to me I discovered that people knew me and wanted to have a conversation and thought the attention was great Everything was very positive During that time I also got to know Martin Garrix He loved my work and came to visit the studio Then he told me That he was on a three-month summer tour. He invited me to Ibiza and let me go to the Ochoa outdoor club to see how he was doing. That’s how the friendship with Garrix began: he thought my art was great and wanted something for his new home and studio and brought a show. Because the DJ They often have a busy schedule to go around, it is better to travel with them, then you can eat, chat and things while traveling and waiting.I have been to Ochoa with him about ten times, to Las Vegas ten times: fly together, have time together, you can call. Their work simply leads several times.He can I’m working on their laptop in the plane, and I really like that.
In the same period I also got acquainted with Jurek, you know, Lil Klein. Later I got a message from Rico Verhoeven, who explained that he had developed a new fitness app. He asked me if I might want to put something about it in my Instagram stories, because he also appreciates my work. I invited him into my studio for a cup of coffee and we clicked right away. He is a good person. Others might see his picture and think he’s a monster, beast, or killer, but he’s just a really nice boy. Besides being family members, we also want to do really good things. We do not think of self-interest, but everything should be win-win. Our shared core values are aligned. The same goes for Martin Garrix. He is very generous, just like me. Anyone who feeds with us will be amazed why we flee so quietly to the toilet: to be in secret the first to pay for everyone else. We do this because we wish each other the best. I have established a special relationship with Rico, helping each other wherever we can.
You and your art are also universally loved by world famous stars, can you highlight one of them?
“Sergio Ramos came my way the same natural way. He was captain of Real Madrid for a long time and now plays for Paris Saint-Germain. He really is an art lover. At some point, I noticed that something was going on on my Instagram, because I suddenly saw reactions appearing across Sergio Ramos fan accounts.Then you know:Something’s going on.What turns out?He had started stalking me and then a whole crowd of people followed him.We reached out and talked to each other and then he bought a piece of me.He recently texted me if I wanted to come and watch match, but that hasn’t happened yet.
How important is networking with celebrities to the advancement of your business?
“It matters anyway. I think the world is a little bit like this, where there’s always interest in celebrities. The public finds celebrities interesting. When you’re in the middle of it, you’re on the other side of the curtain, and you feel differently. Maluma is one of my loyal friends. Really.He’s a singer from Colombia, he works with greats like Madonna and The Weeknd and he’s currently growing to the top of the world with 63 million followers on Instagram.He texted me five years ago that he loves my job and wanted something for his Miami home.He invited my brother Louis and I to a big show in Los Angeles. We went, watched the show, straight into the dressing room with him, and then had dinner; also just a good flick with each other. I cherish that, because everyone wants something from him, even celebrities. He’s kind of a celebrity among celebrities. Seven years ago he flew with EasyJet with a backpack, and now he has his own black learjet. He’s blown up fast, that’s how things go in that Latin world. Nobody blows up faster than a Latin artist.
Would you like to have this status as well? For 100 million followers on Instagram and the whole world knows you and is begging for your favour?
“Well, in a sense, that worldly stature is, of course, something to look forward to. What makes art desirable is that it comes from a famous artist. Everyone wants Picasso or Andy Warhol. It doesn’t have to be a beautiful piece as long as it’s from Warhol.”
Curious about the rest of the interview? You can read it via Blendle or in the latest Revu. In the rest of the article, Joseph Klebansky talks more about his work as an artist, self-promotion in art, creative freedom and working with family.