Tarik Mendes is the man with the golden touch. Across drawings, paintings and sculptures, the Brazilian-born artist seduces viewers into a world of equilibrium, articulating both the alluring and grotesque qualities of daily life. Tarik’s work occasionally mimics African and Egyptian culture spliced with contemporary themes of social reality. Based in New York, Tarik is the co-founder and creative director of TelaModa, a wearable art company and TelaModaPrints, an art inspired stationery company.
He also works as a digital influencer for designers Diesel, Bally, Coach and Givenchy to name a few as well as launching later this year a lifestyle section on his website. He’s also manager of Fashion Expect which has a crazy 1.6 million followers on Facebook.
We had a chat with Tarik to find out more about his art and what it’s like to be at the centre of such immense social media fanfare.
What inspires you to create art?
I’m inspired by everything around. I try to be present at all times, and focused on my surroundings. I walk around NYC with no phone – just a small notepad, and I observe the present. Having conversations with lots of different people inspires me, because I feel I absorb their energies and sense certain emotions I haven’t before. I think inspiration is something that finds you instead of you finding it.
Can you tell us a little about the art project you are currently working on?
Right now I have various projects I’m working on. From TelaModa, TelaModaPrints which I co-founded, my paintings, my website and my work as a digital influencer.
One of the projects I’m passionate about is TelaModaPrints, which is an art inspired stationery I launched last September during NYFW.
What kinds of fashion and art do you blog about?
To differentiate myself as a digital influencer I decided to mix my love of art with my love of fashion. I begin to show my favorite art shows while showcasing and promoting the products I was wearing from the brands I was working with.
What does a digital influencer do?
Our job is to promote products and work with different brands to showcase the products and feature them on our blogs and social media platforms.
Are there any designers or brands you would like to work with?
I have worked with many brand and designers I have great respect. Right now I’m extending my website with a Lifestyle section where it will be about travel, men’s beauty and a shop the look feature. Where my audience can shop the products from the companies I work with.
How has the attention affected your work?
I’m able to work with a large amount of brands and projects that I was able when I first started. I was recently attending NYFW and going backstage and talking with the designers about their inspiration for their collections.
What advice do you have for men looking to expand their identity or work through social media?
I think what’s most important is to find something your passionate about and learn to market yourself. Mixing art with fashion just seemed the right thing to do.
What’s next for Tarik Mendes?
Right now I’m putting a collection of painting for a show at the end of the year as well as working with different galleries to plan exhibitions for my paintings next year. I’m also expanding my website with different features like travel, beauty and much more. As I begin working with more and more brands other businesses began to get interested, like hotels and beauty companies.
That gave me the idea to expand my website so I could work with various brands.