March 1, 2008

DUAL INSPIRATION

The Visual World of Demostina

The arts, both visual and performing, have always motivated New York artist Demostina. Rather than letting the two fields pull her in opposite directions, she’s managed to find a way to combine them by painting to music, oftentimes live music at events in and around New York City. At 15 she wanted to be a DJ, but explains that as she grew, “I eventually decided to work in that environment and let music inspire me what to do.”

How the Dominican-born Demostina gets her inspiration at live shows ranges greatly. “It might be a song, it might be somebody who came by that I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s all about the ambience at the time.” The one thing she never feels, however, is pressure. According to Demostina, this is because, “I don’t know in the first place what I’m gonna end up with, so I always look for the energy of the people.”

In March she felt an especially good vibe with the people of the Optimus Foundation, an education-driven group that puts on monthly shows in NYC. “They have a GED program, and one way they help fund it is through this open forum called ‘Get Open.’ For March they decided it was women’s history month, as we’re in a period where a lot of women in Hip-Hop are not represented well, and women need to be given the advocacy they deserve so they created a whole showcase of female artists, visual and performing.” The night was a huge success. “I really had a blast there. They asked me to showcase work and do a live set, as well, on the stage, so all the pieces I had there were female driven.”

Earlier in the year Demostina was featured at Style Factory’s one-year anniversary show at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan. “Style Factory was an invitation by Dyalekt [of the Mindspray crew],” she explains. According to Dyalekt: “I went to one of her shows in the lower East Side at a club and I wasn’t crazy about most of the other people, but her s