maya hayuk.

New-York based artist Maya Hayuk has the kind of fearless attraction to wild colour that makes me want to give her the key to my condo and ask her to do whatever she wants to the inside. A genre-bending mix of graphic design, graffiti, illustration, paint, murals, outdoor, photography, custom laptops for Sony – Hayuk’s work defies a box. She’s just one of those people that constantly creates.

One thing is clear: Hayuk is fearless. Graphic sexual prints (for proof, check out her screened painting “Fuck Mountain“…) sort of stereotypically show that she doesn’t shy away from the taboo, but I think it’s more the rare mix of so many different styles and media that prove she’s unafraid to try anything… which is probably why she succeeds at everything.

Though her work crosses numerable styles, it’s her brightly-colour graphic work that I like the most. I’m blown away by this corner-wall mural she did at Rental Gallery in NYC last year:

I especially love how the edges reflect against the windows, doubling and refracting the image while also over-laying it across the horizon of the city:

When Absolut, beyond legendary for it’s groundbreaking print campaigns, delved into TV advertising for the first time ever, Hayuk was one of four contemporary artists chosen to bring the bottle to life. Thought it would be easy to call her a “street artist”, I like her response to that label in this interview she gave for art of spirits at cocktail times promoting the Absolut ads:

No one has really been describing my work as “street art” for a while. I did my share of acrawling onto things I wasn’t ‘supposed’ to but most of the work I did out of doors (“on the street”) was commissioned, legal murals. I lived in San Fransisco for 10 years and the tradition of mural painting is something alien to east coasters and just straight lost on most of America.

“Street art” is pretty much a tender euphemism for “graffiti.” I would love to make massive murals on the sides of buildings, walls or bridges. Does that make me a “street artist”? I don’t think so. My work employs many formal similarities to “street art” – bright colors, graphic elements, accessible imagery, not overly conceptual content. I think the term “street art” is a marketing cop-out because history hasn’t come up with a better way to describe the genre and companies are constantly searching out the “next” demographic, which is in continual flux. It’s usually people who aren’t artists themselves who are obsessed with “packaging” and “Genre-typing” styles of art, music and writing.

Check out Hayuk in action in her spot, “Absolut Release”:

Speaking of her mural and outdoor work, here are some of my faves:

This is just the tip of what she’s got going on. The scope and amount of the work on her site is unreal – there are literally hundreds of works and every one is unique. It’s gotta’ be seen to be believed.

Via Lifelounge


  1. Mss. Ety says:

    cool…nice shoot…


  1. […] hayuk @ etsy. 3 09 2008 One of my fave artists, Maya Hayuk, has a great new interview on Etsy, complete with lots of juicy pics of Hayuk-awesomeness. Watch […]

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