Cognition Kids: Featured Artists- Dec. 2011

© Cognition Kids.

Q. How did you decide to work together and form a group instead of only painting as individuals?

Ben: We were all creating work within the very interesting context of live shows and realizing that we could learn from each other and use each others eyes and ears to find more shows and that together we could become a force.

Jake: Everything sort of happened naturally. It wasn’t even really a decision, rather than something that just happened. One by one, we all found each other. In eachother we find strength, support and inspiration. Together we communicate, create, and learn.


Q. Describe your painting style?

Mandi: Flow and color. Lots of color. I aim for each piece to become almost an experience.

Meaghan: I would say that my work is pretty feminine, and sometimes a bit grotesque. It’s always a little abstracted and I like to use color as a big signifier. I love painting the idea of a commercialized female form, but twist it and disfigure it to try and project beauty and disgust at the same time. I also do a lot of very abstracted work with line and color, they tend to look like soft flowers, or I have also been asked if they are birds or butterflies or even fire. All reflective of natural surroundings, but again twisted in form.

Q. Influences/ Inspiration (friends, family, other artists)

Ben:The members of Multiple Intelligence Single Cognition (MISC), the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), Zhuangzhi, Chris Lyle and Brently MD have been some of my greatest influences.

Jake: Alex and Matt from Twin Cities Dubstep, Subliminal, Soap, Ghani, Crozby, Yossi,

Meaghan: I honestly get most of my inspirations from the Cognition Kids. I adore working closely with all of them and am really grateful for the feedback and inspiration I gain from them. I also find a lot of inspiration in looking through art historical references and modern day works, and of course, music, music, music.

Q. Top 3 Favorite Shows Ever Painted At.

Phong: UGGGGH my memory has been a haze. Most of the shows that I’ve been to have been AMAZING but some that stick out to me include…The first time I painted an EXCISION show in the fall of 2010 at The LOFT…before the Skyway days. Dubnaught 2 Aug. 21. 2010 I sold my first live painting! And recently BIG Gigantic at the Cabooze over 800 people were there SOLD OUT!

Mandi: It’s impossible to choose a favorite. every show has it’s own vibe and pulse that

Q. Do you guys paint anything else besides just canvas work?

Ben:My favorite canvas is the human body. When I paint on flesh it is as if my paint is coming to life. Every painting I make is a conversation between my canvas and me and with a living breathing canvas I am better able to find my own breath and response.

Phong: I am currently exploring illustrative product design and vectored work. Im in pursuit of shifting my visual creativity and outputing into other surfaces such as clothing, shoes, boards, etc…

Q. Better City…. MPLS or St. Paul?

5 to 1, respectively.

Q. Did you guys go to school for art or was it just something you always had a passion for?

Tyler: I have always had a passion but that’s led me to want to go to art school.

Phong: I graduated in the spring of 2011 with a BFA from MCAD, but I started drawing when I was a little kid such as GI JOE, teenage mutant ninja turtle, dinosaur, beast wars, and dragonball z characters. I eventually grew up obviously and got into more narrative based work by the time I was a teenager and then MCAD brain washed me. haha

Q. Do you guys sell your work? If so, where can we find it?

Ben: I sell my work at shows and through my blog:

Jake: Most of my work is sold at the shows I’m painting.

Mandi: Sure do, mostly from shows!

Tyler: YES the best way to look at my work is through my Facebook.

Meaghan: I sell a lot of my work online or at shows, and also to friends, or friends of friends. I also do commission works for posters and flyers for music shows or other Minneapolis events, or just commission works for people who happen to want something a little more specific, with my own style.

Phong: I’ll sell my work at the shows, to friends, friends of family. Etc…

Q. What music (artists, dj’s, etc) do you like most to paint to and why?

Phong: DUBSTEP-electrohouse-Electronic WHOMP WHOMP STOMP! The energy dictates my mark making and I love it but I do like other stuff. Ratatat, rusko, gorillaz, boxcutter, project aspect, the melvins and lustmord, mimosa, sound tribe sector 9. tipper, eoto LIVE the list goes on.

Meaghan: I mostly prefer to paint to more ambient style of music when I’m alone, but at shows I really enjoy jam bands because the energy is so pure. The musicians are bouncing off their instruments at the same time we are bouncing off our canvas’.

Ben: Excision, Dark Jesus, Eoto, Soap, I like you, and billy blacklight because of the energy they bring.

Q. Next or next few upcoming shows you will be at?

Jake: Eoto at the Skyway Theater on New years. And Process Murals every wed for Soap at the Cabooze.

Tyler: Every Wednesday at the Caboose we paint for SOAP! And they are some of they coolest jam bad music to come out of MPLS

Q. What do you guys love most about being artists (as a group or individuals)?

Phong: As a group we are a bunch of crazzy cats who enjoy each others company. I like how the group went from 2-3 to 4 and now to 6 solid members. We do have guest artists that come and paint with us every once in a while too.

Meghan:I love having an opportunity to showcase my ideas, philosophies and emotions on a visual format. It’s the easiest way for me to communicate, to a viewer, but also sometimes to myself. It keeps me grounded and leaves so much room for interpretation.

Q. Any last words?

Tyler: Nope, love you guys thanks for checkin us out and supporting the MPLS local art scene!

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