Thousands of people are flying down or running all over Miami for Art Basel 2021 working to catch every fair and event. Many are either working these events or some are just enjoying, but how are they leaving their mark this year?
For two days back to back, Up 2 Something Studios has partnered up with visual artist Jeff Rose King to redefine how we can leave our mark during this hectic week filled with art alongside the release of a limited edition New Era Florida Marlins hat and Miami Art Week Capsule. Jeff Rose King returns to Miami from New York to collaborate with U2S on a campaign titled, “I love you 2 Miami,” which serves to inspire visitors to reflect on their visual expressions and the impact they may leave on others. An interactive installation derived from this collaboration was the Up 2 Something Studio space wrapped in canvas fabric with ready-made materials such as spray cans, Angelus Acrylic leather paint, and paintbrushes available for guests to depict their visual language and share how this experience made them feel.
U2S’s mission is to further enable an incubator for creatives to develop their talent and curate their ideas in ways that reflect the power and importance of joining forces and building bridges throughout the community. With this special event, visitors will be able to not only connect with artists of all mediums, but they will also be able to leave their mark within the space. Overall this event takes place during one of the most art celebrated weeks in Miami and with this event Up 2 Something studios gives you another fresh start and space to develop, create and execute their ideas for the world to see.
We were able to speak with Jeff Rose King about how this collaboration began beginning with his younger brother Jonathan asking some intriguing questions:
Jonathan: Where did you get your style?
Jeff: Oh, that could be a very long story, but I'll say this much. Other artists like Picasso and people like dad have inspired me to go around where I didn't think of going and create something that just naturally happened on its own. Do you know what I'm saying? I couldn't explain how the style was created, but throughout the experiences that I had, it has been created. Throughout my experience, I've grown.
Jonathan: How did you grow as an artist? Popularity-wise?
Jeff: Well just being consistent, working on my craft, making sure that we do events like this weekend, and promoting our brand and message.
Lauryn: I just want to know how Jeff Rose came to the artist that he is today, where did you initially start?
Jeff: So back to family, my dad has been teaching me how to draw since day one. Through my passion for art, I've just stuck to it. Stay consistent. Even when I thought it was hard, even when I thought people might have cared, maybe they didn't understand what I was trying to tell them, but I just stuck to it with passion and heart. I just grew, through the struggles. And for me, it's really about the people, it's about the community. I try to bring that to the light and be the voice for everybody, for the streets, for day-to-day people that might be going through something insecure through their art or their craft. That's my message. As I keep going, I'm going to keep growing in that aspect, being more of a motivator and inspiration for people.
Lauryn: I'm curious to know, how did you and Aldhair meet? How did this idea come about working?
Aldhair: Initially we met through Instagram, but the first time we met IRL was 1 month ago when Jeff welcomed me in he’s home to finalize this project and film the prom.
Jeff: A hundred percent. I think it was because of the hats, right?
Aldhair: True, we worked on a project for 305 day this year as well. There was a time it was COVID quarantine, and we didn't speak, but recently I just hit him up and we reconnected. I see his work ethic and I enjoyed what he was bringing to life. I was like, let's bring that to Miami and figure it out. I have this idea, white canvas studio space and white canvas hats that I made. I'd like to put your art on these hats and collaborate with you in any way possible. He agreed and I flew out to New York Saturday, two weeks later, he came to Miami.
Jeff: I just didn't even think you were for real. And then yeah, what three weeks we had three weeks to get this all together. I mean, being from the same area, you know what I'm saying? Just trying to put on from Miami and the same people we know.
Aldhair: Since meeting Jeff, I’ve realized we have the same work ethic. I don't think everybody moves the same and when you do encounter somebody with the same energy it is only multiplied.
Lauryn: I feel like we kind of touched on this, but do you guys see yourselves doing this more often? Having this event where guests leave their mark in the space, but in the space that you guys create. How has this impacted you guys?
Jeff: For me coming in, I had to prepare and get everything together, focused on the art, but when I came, we had other people pull up. It wasn't even about me anymore. It was about community, people, and everybody just expressing themselves. Being vulnerable and just letting go, not caring what anybody has to say, no judgment but good vibes. I'm trying to do this more often with Up 2 Something Studios. Maybe we could do this concept and change the world one canvas, at a time.
Lauryn: Aldahir, has this event impacted you or changed how you've made differently when it comes to collaborating?
Aldhair: Absolutely. I feel like when two minds think alike it just comes easily. For example, me not knowing Jeff, I was able to communicate with him in a way where I didn't say much. We connected and understood one another. We worked and made it happen. I think this is the beginning of something special in which we could take this to other states and creative communities around the world.
Lauryn: Now to you Jonathan, how do you feel that someone so close to you executes this idea and is in the space and seeing other people interact within this space? How has that made you feel?
Jonathan: It made me feel very welcome and safe. The vibe all around was cool, especially meeting a whole bunch of new people. I could now create spray painting art pieces. I've never done that before. It's something new that you guys introduced to me. It's cool. I'd do it again.
Jonathan: Jeff what was your first public art piece and how old were you when you did it?
Jeff: I would have to say 2020, the work I did in New York. Yeah. When I was in New York doing all the boards. And so that was like my first public work. I was just on Instagram, but that right there turned it up all the way. It changed everything for me because it goes back to what I just said. People come here to let go. That's what I did, 2020. That was my first public appearance. I let go and just did what I felt.
Aldhair: There were a lot of like reports on you during that time. Can you tell me more about that time, 2020? What did you do during that time and how did you get on The New York Times?
Jeff: When COVID hit, I was a homebody. It was either you go outside and make something happen or fall in place as everybody else did. I just said you know what, I'm going to go ahead and express myself. I figured it would help other people at that time in New York. Doing that just evolved into collaborations with people and my artwork on panels with The New York Times. Just spray-painting panels.
Aldhair: How many did you do?
Jeff: We did like 80 altogether and in like six months.
Aldhair: This was around the time where everything was boarded up, that people didn't break into the stores. He would just go and tag the wooden panels and he had an 80 out in New York.
Jeff: That was the birth of I Love, that was when I started doing that. Then here we are now. I posted all of them on Instagram and got to meet other artists. They came tonight and it’s been great.
We were also able to obtain a quote from a guest named Indira, who also left her mark on the space and shared how this experience impacted her:
“I am incredibly grateful to Aldhair and Jeff Rose for this event at Up2Something Studios. I was welcomed and encouraged to collaborate on this massive wall that so many had already contributed to. It’s not every day that you feel this type of support and validation from others to come as you are and create.
Although illustration and painting are some of my biggest passions and my best emotional outlets, I find reasons to abstain from doing them. Whether it’s the fear of creating anything less than perfect, or convincing myself that the clean up time is not worth it.
This event was an open invitation to allow myself to create for myself, for the love of it and to express what’s in the heart. After conversations with both Aldhair and Jeff as well as the experience of leaving a small piece of myself on that wall, I feel renewed in my love for creation. Thank you both and to everyone who made it happen.”