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Art in Motion: Exploring the Artistry of SUPERWAXX

Art in Motion: Exploring the Artistry of SUPERWAXX

Jeanette Lem

SUPERWAXX (she/they), a self-taught American artist, has carved a niche in the art world by seamlessly blending influences from animation, street art, and fine art. From a journey that began with a childhood steeped in cartoons and comics, SUPERWAXX has honed a unique cartoon-esque style of art that both captivates the eye and sparks contemplation on societal narratives.

Image of SUPERWAXX via Instagram: @superwaxx

SUPERWAXX’s artistic evolution traces back to a fascination with the Golden Age of Cartoons. With an innate passion for art, she would scrutinize frames from VHS tapes, using them as references for her drawings. Anime films and the influence of her older brother’s graffiti artistry further shaped her creative identity. From these origins, the name ‘SUPERWAXX’ emerged as her graffiti tag, a moniker that has evolved alongside her artistic journey.

As she grew older, her artistic creations in a cartoon-esque style began delving into the complexities of the human experience. “A lot of my pieces are about contemporary and historical social issues. Things can feel confusing and heartbreaking in the world, and so my art will show moments of optimism that can be pulled even from these stressful times. A common theme in my paintings is the power of connection and community.”

This painting, featured in the We Rise Art Exhibition in Los Angeles, addresses the growing mental health crisis, specifically among African-American children. It employs the spirit of the dragonfly as a symbol of transformation, joy, and hope in the face of this pressing issue. Image via Instagram: @superwaxx

Recently, SUPERWAXX created a mural for Renaissance High School (RHS) as a part of Long Beach Walls, a week-long event showcasing artists who transform the streets of Long Beach with murals and installations. As a part of the project, she invited students from RHS to paint the mural with her. Involving them in the creative process, she witnessed the student’s growth and self-expression, infusing the project with newfound meaning.

For Long Beach Walls, SUPERWAXX painted a mural at Renaissance High School with the help of a few students. Image via longbeachwalls.com

“The piece I did for the high school was a spiritual one. This is actually my first piece exploring the theme of spirituality; I incorporated it here to create something that would make the students feel uplifted. There are a lot of eyes painted on the mural because, to me, eyes are a symbol of awakening. I want this piece to feel to the students like they’re awakening to their potential.”

Students helping paint the mural at Renaissance High School. Image via Instagram: @superwaxx

The mural drew inspiration from Keith Haring, one of SUPERWAXX’s artistic idols. Haring’s legacy as an artist who believed in the universality of art is something that deeply resonates with Superwaxx. By actively involving youth in the creation process of the mural, SUPERWAXX exemplifies her dedication to fostering art accessibility for the next generation.  Through collaborations like the one with Renaissance High School and Long Beach Walls, she pays homage to Haring’s lasting influence while paving the way for young artists to engage with and appreciate art.

Superwaxx working on the mural. Image via Instagram: @superwaxx

“I am an educator, and I am currently working on nontraditional ways to teach youth about art. I want students to experience more than just the classroom; I want to take them on trips to visit different studios to awaken their artistic senses. I want them to talk to different artists who they can relate to and who can broaden their perspectives. I want them to be involved in projects like this mural so they can be empowered to see the impact of their creativity in their own community.”

SUPERWAXX’s artistry has the power to unite communities, inspire youth, and foster awareness of social issues. Her fusion of cartoon-like aesthetics with meaningful narratives exemplifies the influence of artists like Keith Haring, as she continues to carry the torch of accessible and impactful artistry. Through her dedication to nurturing young talents and her commitment to addressing pressing global concerns, SUPERWAXX reminds us that art is not just a medium of expression, but a catalyst for change and connection.

To see more of Superwaxx’s work, visit her website.

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