When YELLE was first conceptualized in 2010, it was a joint venture between two friends, VV & Lou. In lieu of using our real-world names, we opted for pseudonyms. I had actually adopted VV (two “v”s, not a “w”) as my moniker at the ripe young age of 16 when I was looking for anonymity as I began making my first videos.
At the time, we were living in Athens, Georgia — a mecca for art, music, creativity. We noticed many of the artists tended to work in silos. In an effort to allow the deep sense of community in Athens transcend into the art world, we established YELLE — a platform that would exclusively publish collaborative projects among artists. Unfortunately, timing was not on our side. Before we were able to publish our first issue, Lou was offered an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up.. in Austin, Texas. She remains an inspiration and a dear friend.
Two years later…
I now live in New York and reconnected with an early collaborator of YELLE (v 1.0). One night, a combination of too many Modelos and some scribbles on a sheet of paper tacked to my wall resulted in: the rebirth of YELLE. Although the concept of collaboration remains the bedrock of YELLE, another trend/mission/aspect emerged: the idea of extending the community beyond ‘the art world.’ There is no better place than New York City to really feel how ‘other’ and ‘separate’ the art world is. Although it is massive and powerful and inspiring, it does not often harbor a sense of genuine community. And even more than that, the environments in which art is ‘to be seen’ in New York do not foster a sense of ownership or connection.
I found that the only generally accepted way of interacting with art was to stand in front of a white wall of a museum or gallery and stare at a piece of work … whose creator you may or not know, but whose meaning or intention or context was definitely not explained. Ownership was absolutely out of the question — the works were always priced way out of any normal person’s budget. In a way, it was like visiting a zoo — the art was beautiful but not in its natural habitat, you could only see it from a distance (and you definitely couldn’t take it home with you).
I have this ideal of friends making art that goes on my walls and is loaned or gifted to other friends — that ‘creating’ shouldn’t be limited to those who label themselves as ‘artists’ — that everyone should own and make and look at art in it’s various forms — music and visual and video. With this in mind, the concept of YELLE is fairly simple. We aim to document *our* art world — the world of our friends making things.
Join us !