At Flush the Fashion we love people who follow their passions. It can be someone like no-budget B-Movie director Tom Berdinski or in this case Sydney based Artist Bei Badgirl.
Her artistic mix of Manga, Barbie, Jeff Koons and Junko Mizuno, blurs the lines between innocence, sexuality and indulgence. It’s Pop Art with a hard-on, like the fairies at the bottom of your garden visiting a Bangkok Stripshow.
Fresh from exhibitions in Tokyo and LA, and a photoshoot with photographer David LaChapelle (who simply HAD to take her picture darling!), she is a bright prospect with all signs in her ascendancy.
How long have you been making art?
Ever since I can remember- it’s just one of those things I’ve always focused on doing. I was ‘the art kid’ at all the schools I attended growing up, but obviously, as a 6 year old I hadn’t yet decided to pursue it as a career. ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ seemed a lot more practical at the time.
How did you get your first break?
I’m obsessive about making art – but something about art school really turned me off. I had virtually made no new work by the second year of university and decided that things needed to change – so on a whim one night I sent the handsome and talented Ben Frost (CEO & founder of StupidKrap.com) some of my work. He liked it, and invited me to be part of my first ‘big’ exhibition (Semi Permanent at MTV Gallery) which took place about a month later.
That was at 19. After a few shows I decided to take a break from exhibiting for a year or so to focus on not failing art school, then tried the opposite – possibly the best decision I’ve ever made.
Who are your heroes?
I really respect and adore strong females, the self made, and those who have gone, been and done- they’re dream makers. Nicki Minaj, Takashi Murakami, Sailor Moon…
How did David LaChapelle end up taking your picture?
I get asked this a lot – I think people think he called me up all “hey babez, take a dirty picture???” and I’m all “duh, Dave!!” I mean, that’s how it played out in my dreams but in reality it was more that I found out about some publicity stunt he was doing in town and so walked on down in my lingerie all do or die.
Definitely a highlight of my life and something I checked off my dream to-do list that I NEVER thought I would be able to! He’s such a sugar sweet cutey pie too- I was in heaven.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I’m really fascinated by the concepts of indulgence and excess, sex and desire. I guess that’s why there’s a lot of oral fixation, sparkly things and food going on in my pieces. I also like that so much of what I’m essentially obsessed with isn’t real or tangible- the idea of falling in love with imaginary things.
Do you have any new shows coming up?
I do- it’s been a flurry of exhibiting for me this year, and there’s still more to come! The next is ‘Kittens and Ice Cream’ at JapanLA with all our faves, on the 4th of June – it’s going to be so adorable that you will die! I’m also playing with the idea of having a solo show… but that one’s still on the drawing board.
Who is your fav band?
I’m more of a hip hop/rap kind of girl – anything with a good dirty bass, but recently discovered Best Coast – they’ve remained the soundtrack to my life for the past fortnight and a new favourite. Also really digging Kreayshawn – she speaks my language.
Which is better Sex or Chocolate?
Haha, everybody knows the answer to that – sex involving chocolate, duh!
What is your favourite thing in the world?
You can find (and see) more of Bei Badgirl on her über-cool blog www.beibadgirl.com
Click HERE to see the rest of our Art Month 2011 including interviews with Graffiti Godfather Blek Le Rat and cartoon madman Jason Fischer.