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Interview with Illumine Artist David Muehlenkamp

Illumine 2024
1. Interview with Illumine Artist David Muehlenkamp
2. Interview with Illumine Artist Stefanie Wardrep

We’re so pleased to be hosting David Muehlenkamp as one of our featured artists at Illumine 2024! Check out David’s interview below to learn more about his artistic process, background, and installation.

View David’s Infinity Shadows installation at Illumine 2024! Get your tickets here.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background as an artist.

My life work lives somewhere at the intersection of art, music, and activism. Over the past 10 years I have lived in Nigeria as a tour DJ for some of Africa’s biggest stars, worked on a presidential campaign, and resided as West Elm’s featured Artist of the Month. Born in Brooklyn and based in Atlanta, I’m a painter, sculptor, and music producer who pulls inspiration from connecting cultures and uplifting the voices of those who need it most.

What or who has been an influence on your work and career?

Living and making art in Nigeria made the world make sense for me when I moved to Lagos in 2015 after touring there with my band. Lagos is the culture capital of the world, some say – and it’s because of the people, the stories, and the deep sense of culture disconnected from consumerism, which is so important as we chart new paths toward sustainability.

Can you talk a little bit about what inspired your proposed installation for this year?

I enjoy making interactive art that allows the audience to be an active participant in the experience. I love Oakland Cemetery and I wanted to make a piece that would both fit in with the historic grounds while also giving a bit of the future. Infinity Shadows in Oakland is a tunnel with infinity mirrors, a play on this year’s theme of shadows. My previous work building infinity mirrors for past art installations came in handy as the perfect medium for this year’s Illumine.

What can viewers expect when visiting, observing, and interacting with your piece?

Infinity Shadows In Oakland is a tunnel lined with infinity mirrors, casting endless shadows of the participant as they walk through the tunnel in the cemetery. The participant can take a moment and see themselves in the infinity mirrors, where only they exist with their shadow in perpetuity. It is an exercise in self-discovery, void of the ego and distractions of the real world. I want to communicate to the participants that even whilst surrounded by a beautiful city and beautiful souls, only their shadow will be with them on this journey. They can take a deep breath as they enjoy a moment surrounded by themselves. (Plus it’s a great selfie opportunity!)


Learn more about David:

Instagram: @wav.os



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