Street Art Profiles: Ivan Orama
It's no secret that I'm an IG addict, and I came across Ivanorama's art on Instagram a few years ago, at a tumultuous time in my life when I was bouncing around New York and recovering from a turbulent breakup, trying to make ends meet juggling several jobs while still pursing my passion for Runstreet. Ivanorama's fierce spirit and creative, hustling posts helped keep me going while working with no days off and living in a hot slum in the Lower East Side/Chinatown.
I remember seeing Ivan's "New York City Will Eat You If You Let It" poster in LES and feeling like I was indeed being eaten, but also that I was not going to let things go down like that. After moving to NYC in 2012 and working non-stop, I could definitely relate to the sentiment. I posted a postcard of NYC with the word HUSTLE on it on my wall, after going to the Tenement Museum and feeling like I wasn't living much differently than my Irish ancestors that they talked about on the tour. I remember snapping a pic of my Hustle postcard and adding it to my IG and Ivanorama, who has a huge following, commented, and I was floored. So here I am, a few years later, getting to catch up with Ivanorama in the incredible Hello Brooklyn bar, decked out with his work all over the walls paying tribute to my favorite borough. (Check out this dope spot on our upcoming Bushwick Art Run).
Here's what Ivan had to say:
Street Artist Profile: Ivan Orama
Where are you from?
This place called “B-WOOD” in Long Island.
Does where you grew up influence your art?
Yes! I was raised by the hip-hop lifestyle.
How did you get interested in art?
My uncle early on in my Life said I would be an artist because of how I thought about things.
How did you get involved in street art?
My back was against a wall. I had no choice.
What kind of art did you do starting out?
Making quotes into canvas pieces.
How has your work evolved over the years?
Learned to keep it simple and build out ideas.
Are there any specific messages you’d like to convey with your art?
To not be a bitch about things and go for it no matter how crazy it might seem. You only live once and each second counts.
What/who influences your art?
Depends. My brain works in layers. Sometimes I just see things and it gets built in my head as a finished piece within seconds. It is like a little slideshow. Click… click…. Click.. Till I like the combination.
Are there any other artists you admire or like to collaborate with, etc?
Warhol, Basquiat, Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Jerkface, Mr.Brainwash, Misha Tyutyunik, King Saladeen, and ByFlore I admire or would like to collaborate with.
What are some of your favorite works you’ve done?
The Biggie Mural I did at Hello Bklyn Restaurant and at Swizz Beatz Personal Studio in NYC. Those two walls changed my life for the better!
Do you have a favorite location?
Yeah…..the Lower East Side of NYC. I am 100% alive in that area. It’s my speed and my style. Not too many places left like this in NYC.
Where can we find your work?
I want to be in MomA one day. I am at war with the gatekeepers in the art world till that happens. That’s a stamp of approval I need before I leave this little place we call earth.
Do you have work in other cities?
Yeah in homes across the states. From canvas pieces, murals, to furniture. One day I want to be similar to a Restoration Hardware but with bigger ideas for spaces.
Where can people find out more about your art?
Instagram @IvanOrama or just do a simple Google search “Ivan Orama”
Anything else you’d like to add?
I think the art world gate keepers need to step it up and help artists more. They leave us to the wolves and expect us to know what to do when really 99% of us come from broken homes with education not being a priority at all. 99% of my art friends don’t know how to go about getting a contract done or even how to properly go about getting a sale complete. This is a huge problem. Artists help change the world and we need more structure. Note: The galleries don’t count. Most of them are scumbags and scared to work with a real voice. Plus they will be phasing out in the next 10 years because of how big social media is getting.