Joe Mardene (known as Joepreme) is a Queens, NY based pop artist and fashion designer that you need to know about. On his downtime from architecture design and drafting, he's in the design studio crafting contemporary pop art and clothing for collectors that seek exclusivity from one-of-a-kind pieces. Within his style of art, one can find imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects.
Jonathan Mckinnon: Art is a big part of your life, explain how you developed your interest and eventual skill at creating your own artwork.
Joepreme: Since a young age I was interested in some sort of art whether it be sketch drawings, architecture or more. It was a hobby at first until more people started seeing my work. A friend, now art collector, asked me to paint him something, but I kept dodging the task until he offered to pay a commission fee. This immediately got my attention, and before I knew it, people were requesting commission pieces from me. In time, I’ve applied different art styles to create my own personal style which has allowed me to better express my creative vision and achieve my client’s vision.
How would you define your art?
Using one word I would describe my art as immoderate. I like to think of myself as a creative extremist with little to no moderation. For example, I created a Gordon Gecko Wall Street art piece using real Monopoly money and an actual cigarette adhered to the canvas combined with different mediums.
What type of materials do you like to work with?
I like cutting up designer brands and using it on canvas. People place such a high prestige on designer brands, so cutting and pasting them onto cartoon characters is always a fun way to see art imitate real-life.
Premé Apparel is clean. What made you decide to start a fashion line, apart from creating art?
My style of art by using clothing and real-life objects in paintings was something not found in fashion which eventually led to Premé Apparel. Not too long ago, I was presented with an opportunity to develop a more expansive pop art ready-to-wear selection of Premé Apparel by sourcing sustainable fabrics with the help of fashion curator Alfonso Powell and non-profit fashion organization FABSCRAP. Pop art in fashion is trending right now as seen with luxury brand Moschino and their capsule collection with pop artist Ben Frost. Timmy Sneaks is another pop artist that I admire that recently released a highly anticipated limited edition line of bags. Besides making pieces for Premé Apparel, I get a lot of custom clothing requests. I’m waiting on a clothing request to create a complete outfit for a client which would be a fun experience.
Describe your process of creating clothing that includes your artwork.
First I pick the color schematics, then layout, go through a lot of revisions, and lastly chose an ideal fabric. The fabric has to be able to take paint well when applying it to different mediums. I’m also in the process of being more detailed in my stitching with different stitch patterns and thread colors.
You have a few reconstructed sports team pieces. Explain your use of team brands within your fashion designs.
I feel that sports’ team clothing are popular at the moment with most fashion designers that do deconstruction and redesign. People make athletic numbers or lettering out of fancy fabrics like snake skin or special printed fabric. I enjoy working with different team jerseys because you can almost deconstruct the entire piece while still keeping a little part of its identity to fuse with your redesigned piece.
What has been your favorite commission piece thus far?
My favorite commission piece is the Gordon Gecko Wall Street artwork I mentioned earlier. The client had given me an idea of what they wanted with free range to show my style of art. To be honest, I just started selling my artwork not even two years ago, and that piece sold for a few thousand-dollars. Clothing wise, I really enjoyed making a vintage style piece from modern day fabric for Nipsey Hussle’s DJ, DJ V.I.P.
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An explorer of men's fashion with inquisitive eyes, born and raised in Lakeview, Long Island. My inspiration comes from nature, city streets and the world wide web.
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