My name is Forrest Bacigalupi. I make my home here in New Orleans amidst the tropical heat and Caribbean color of an antiquated and soulful town. After graduating from Tulane University, I decided to launch Arts Kinetic. I was inspired by the frenetic energy and the undeniably erratic pulse of this wholly unique city; and after focusing most of my attention to the study of French Literature and Philosophy, I was hungry for a new means of self-expression.
There is an all-pervasive bohemian quality in New Orleans that is reflected in the prolific musical traditions, the world-renowned cuisine, the wonderful architecture—crumbling and opulent in the same breath. These sentiments are represented in my collection of jewelry. With an eye on the past, but a gaze firmly fixed on the future, I try to be true to the unique incongruities of style that so harmoniously make up the New Orleans experience. That's what my line of jewelry is all about, it is a broad mix of vintage and contemporary design elements, unexpected materials, and an array of production techniques. Ultimately, the outcome is an eclectic collection of designs that are at the same time provocative, elegant, current, but timeless.
Here's to having fun and celebrating beauty!
Forrest Bacigalupi is a New Orleans artist living and working in the East Carrollton neighborhood.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words Eclectic, Structural, Unexpected
Describe yourself in one word
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
New Orleans simply supports and values creative self expressionself-expression more than any other American city. My studio is housed in a General Store from the 1830’s that I renovated and brought back to life after Katrina. My jewelry line largely is marked by the same approach, - vintage and historical influence brought into a wholly contemporary context.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
My creative process is materially driven. I find and produce bits and pieces that move me, place them around my studio, looking at them daily, and cultivate an evolving design approach that is organic and instinctual. In this way, streams of consciousness design dovetails with intentional outcome.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Casting familiar objects in new light. Transposition inspires me, - the idea of commoditization or transforming organic objects into more industrial ones, and conversely taking industrial or technological pieces and presenting them in more organic ways.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
Jean Tinguely, PT Barnum, and Roald Dahl.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
James Booker is my man! - blending classical, jazz, funk, and R&B seamlessly, and presentsing it a way that is totally easy, virtuosic, relatable, sublime, unique, and accessible… all at the same time. He was a weird and enigmatic performer whose art is one-of-a-kind.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
At any one of a mess of different events, festivals, and markets selling the work I’ve just created. Here’s to good food, funky music, and creative visual arts, - the holy “life-improving” trinity!
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
The witching hour, every day, all year long!
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
When I was a kid of about 11, I introduced at least 20 Tibetan monks to the amazing and revolutionary Nintendo Entertainment System while my mother was hosting a dinner for them at my house. We played Mario, Kid Icarus, and Mega Man until Mom shut it down. The mandalas the monks subsequently created, were all influenced by the wonders of 8-bit technology. Too cool!
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
Highwater Gallery, New Orleans
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans
Magpie, New Orleans
Sans Souci Gallery, Lafayette
The Leonardo, Salt Lake City
Palmer Park, New Orleans
Frenchman Street Art Market, New Orleans
Wednesday at the Square, New Orleans
Harvest the Music, New Orleans
Voodoofest, New Orleans
Festival International, Lafayette
Festival Acadiens, Lafayette
Red River Revel, Shreveport