Grace Miceli is a buzzing name upon the art industry’s lips, her individual feminist artwork has been noticed by the cool cats at Urban Outfitters and her talent has progressed her to put pen to paper and become a large part of the underground zine movement evident today- plus, isn’t her Tumblr theme, like, the freakiest but best thing ever? I’ve been intrigued by her art forms ever since I saw images featuring a very fetching Gwen Stefani and the one and only Lil B, so, I caught up with Grace to talk crop tops, Tavi AND LOOK GUYS, I EVEN GOT MY OWN DRAWING!
Firstly, who exactly is Grace Miceli and what is she about?
My name is Grace Miceli, I was born in Chicago, IL and grew up in the suburbs. I recently graduated from Smith College with a degree in Studio Art and I also spent a year in London studying at Goldsmiths- I am currently in Vermont but will be moving to NYC in a few months! I am an interdisciplinary artist whose activity is mainly based online. I am interested in the intersection of female adolescence, pop culture and technology.
I can definitely see those references throughout your work, of which a lot seems to be either tongue-in-cheek or embodying an undercurrent of what you stand for. You seem to take a lot of retro and punk aesthetics into your work, was this an obvious choice?
I don’t often make conscious choices of where I get my inspiration from, I think that I am drawn to certain (recent) histories and trends that are in line with my already existing notions and ideas about what interests me. Clearly everyone has been re-imagining the 90s online recently and for me I am drawn to the imagery because growing up in the 90s I was too young to participate in the pop culture trends (take crop tops for example) and so now I am fully embracing the fun of it.
What are your views on designers such as Jeremy Scott’s latest collection being derived mainly from an internet ethos and looking to the net and social sites for large sources of inspiration?
I’ve spoken about this a lot, I really have no negative feelings, it’s cool to witness trends that you helped popularize on the runway. I think that fashion always moves in cycles and is looking to the past for inspiration, but it’s fun when people can update 90s nostalgia so it’s not just complete regurgitation.
You have constructed quite a lot of work in collaboration with Girls Get Busy based in London, how did this come about?
Well I maintained quite a few friendships after leaving London, and heard that Beth (Siveyer) was starting a feminist art & literature zine and I was encouraged to submit. Ever since then I have regularly collaborated with Beth on GGB & its related projects. It’s a shame that I can’t physcially support them at events in London but the Internet has allowed a great working relationship. I am continually impressed with the support GGB gives me and other young female creatives, it’s such an encouraging group.
I agree, Beth is absolutely lovely and an inspiration to many young women out there! How did you find living in the city of London?
I really loved London and I can’t wait to go back someday. I learned a lot about the social aspects of being a young artist, collaborating with friends and peers and it was great to just be in the mindset of making art all the time.
Along with this, you have contributed and constructed many zines yourself, is this an important part of publishing for you?
I am really excited by the ability to share my work with my audience beyond the screen and zines are a great way for me to do that. I am a firm believer in the DIY ethos and I haven’t often had the opportunity for others to publish my work, so I just decided to start doing it myself. Zines have such a rich feminist and political history of disseminating information and I hope I am able to bring my fun, tongue in cheek attitude to them as well.
How was it being picked up by the renowned Rookie magazine? (OMG TAVI!)
Ah! I actually have not directly worked with Rookie- on a few occasions Tavi has posted some of my work on her Style Rookie blog and she has also been a great supporter of my work. We are from the same suburb in Chicago and she is an inspiring and brilliant force- I do read Rookie regularly and would love to be involved though.
Which, in particular, have been your favourite projects that you have had the opportunity to work on?
It’s always super fun to work with Beth & GGB but it was also really great to draw Tavi & Ed from Meadham Kirchhoff for their zine in Garage.
And finally, what is next up in the world of Miss Miceli?
Well I am going to have shirts coming out with a skate/surf label that I am super exicted about and moving to NYC again will be a big thing- I also may start an MFA program in the fall and hopefully lots of new and entertaining work will be made!
Thanks for speaking to us Grace, best of luck with everything!
Words by Leah Connolly
Illustrations / Photography by Grace Miceli