Artist Alex Haldi
I'm Alex Haldi, I'm 25 years old and Ive been making art since around the age of five, maybe earlier. I went to college at Syracuse University and graduated with a degree in Illustration, which by my senior year I realized was probably not the best choice and I did my best to sway my work more in the direction of graphic design. After a brief stint at a greeting card company, I landed what I can only say was a dream job at Island Def Jam as a graphic designer, which quickly evolved into an Art Director position. This entire time I was painting on the side and managed to get enough work together to have a solo show in Vices in 2007, which resulted in some stolen art and a good party for an opening (and a few sales in my defense). While continuing making album art for artists at Def Jam (LL cool J, Freeway, Juelz Santana, Ace Hood, etc.) I started up a business called Say Uncle Group. Say Uncle is a full on production house that handles everything from Graphic Design to Branding to Film Production, and its really taking off. Other then that I started what I've been calling a studio, called Bestest Asbestos that showcases my work as a graphic designer and fine artist, though I think it will slowly begin to sway more toward the latter. What are your inspirations? I think that in 2009 the only people to be inspired by are those that have managed to market themselves in as many fields as they possibly can, without spreading yourself to thin of course. Which results in many late nights and busy weekends. I'm inspired by the Jay-z's and the Shepard Ferry's that are becoming so much more prevalent now. They are more then just artists they are movements and businesses in and of themselves. They are big thinkers which is what I try to be, though I can't say I'm anywhere near what they have accomplished. Most interesting projects you have worked on? Things I have worked on in the past that have been really great have mainly been albums. It was incredible working with LL cool J, say what you will, but the man is a living legend and he truly sculpted the hip hop industry from the beginning. He's also just a great guy. It was an amazing experience sitting down with him from day one hearing his VAST idea for his album packaging and helping him make that a reality. I got to work with an amazing photographer, Joseph Cultice, as well as digital Matte Painters, and even an illustrator to get it done and the results packaging wise I feel are classic and a great book end to his days at Def Jam.
Other then that I got to take it to the other end of the spectrum and mention my work with the up and coming rapper/producer/visionary J.Cole. He just signed a big deal (dont worry J I wont blow your cover), and watching him go from us out in the cold running and gunning his photoshoot for the come up, to eventually shooting videos for him with my pals BBgun (Max Bohychic and Alex Bergman BBGUNFILM.COM), to now getting to chill with him in the studio and watch him make some of the most important music of our era (in my humble opinion) has truly been a blessing. Favorite artists? So many, damn. I'm pretty into the art scene these days though I've done a great job of staying out of it myself. A few of my favorites are Audry Kawasaki, Hydro74, Iso50, Sterling Hundly, Chris Berens, Red Nose Studios, Joeseph Sorren, James Jean... so much amazing art right now I really could go on forever. But as far as old school shit I love Seurat and Goya (mainly his dark period). All the greats really, but those are two that don't get enough love in my eyes.
What does NY have that no other city has? Great bars every night of the week, great food at any hour, and a million people trying to do something more with themselves. If you aren't motivated by the passion and hard work of everyone around you in this city you should move now. Best events you have attended recently?
Plans for 2009? Big Big Plans for 2009. Bunch of videos in production, and some really great projects coming up at IDJ. Also just kicked off a HUGE endeavor that is in the very baby stages of getting started. It is a yet-to-be-titled concept that will be in development for the coming months. The basic premise is simple: a cross-medium project that is based on the true stories we receive from actual war veterans and their loved ones. In collaboration with a number of non-profit Veterans Associations, our goal is to convey these experiences to the masses both visually and musically. We are working with professional artists, photographers, and musicians towards a cohesive product that will be shared with the world, the proceeds of which will go back to the Veterans that made this journey possible. For more info please visit www.storiesofwar.com and please forward on to other like minded people, this project has the potential to spark a lot of minds, inspire some amazing art, and help a lot of people in need.