FriendsWithYou is the fine art collaborative of Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, working collectively since 2002 with the sole purpose of spreading the positive message of Magic, Luck, and Friendship™. As artists working in a variety of mediums, including paintings, sculpture, large-scale experiential installations, public playgrounds, published works and live performances, FriendsWithYou’s mission is to affect world culture by cultivating special moments of spiritual awareness and powerful, joyous interaction.
Forging their own brand of post pop visual language a la Murakami, Arturo Herrera and Yayoi Kusama, FWY take a spiritual and serene approach to form and figure. Their reductive and simplified use of geometric abstraction always contains a whimsical touch. Taking Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics to heart and hand, the artists make art of the Post-Internet era. Alongside the body of works of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst, FriendsWithYou is a new breed of artist, actively generating culture beyond the traditional art boundaries and reshaping the current contemporary art scene. Blurring the dividing line between perceived “high and low” art, as explained in Murakami’s Superflat essay, exploits other mediums like design and limited edition products from a fine art perspective.
FriendsWithYou’s most important artistic tactic to foster these interpersonal relationships is the use of play. By reinterpreting religious traditions, symbols and spiritual practices, FWY invert solemn and serious ideas through the act of play to open up a connection to the divine.
Many FriendsWithYou works reference toys because they are meant for play, a tool for unstructured free association and interaction. Their sculptures and paintings, inflatables and objects are meant to trigger the buried, neglected urges and yearnings that a seasoned art viewer may not expect to have activated; playfulness, laughter and inquisitiveness, with an end result of feeling connected. Influenced by the simple happiness found in everyday life, FriendsWithYou’s work is designed to be accessible to all.
Throughout the last ten years, FriendsWithYou has gained international recognition as pioneers in the field of experiential art. FriendsWithYou installations are fully immersive experiences that draw audiences into a magical world where the line between imagination and reality is blurred. What started as hand-sewn toy sculptures has grown into much larger than life projects and Fine Art exhibitions in galleries both nationally and internationally. FriendsWithYou’s work has been exhibited at the High Line, NYC, Art Basel Miami, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Museum, Berlin, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum just to mentions a few and FriendsWithYou artworks are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, the Goldman family collection, Montblanc Collection amongst others. FriendsWithYou actively works to spread the message of connectivity around the world, with a simple mission to become Friends-With-You.