Next time I have a creative block I am going to pray to the spirit of artist Shingy Pop. Shingy Pop isn’t his real name, so I can do that. Writing eulogies and praying to the living is disrespectful. Which makes me think—was Shingo Brown always Shingo Pop? That’s a question I regret not asking.
A question I regret asking is “Hard liquor or hard candy.” It’s dumb, but I left it out in the spirit of a subject who is unafraid to put himself out there.
Focus. Shingy. I’m assigning him a mantra: More, More, More.
And another mantra: Ready, set, go.
This wasn’t supposed to be an interview. I messaged him about his upcoming show and he got right back to me. Before I had time to formulate questions, he set up a phone call. It was hypnotizing. He almost convinced me to leave my home and join him for coffee. Right now.
Take an inch. Give a mile.
I ask him for his sun sign. He gives me sun, moon AND rising.
Which isn’t to say he’s too much. His sentences are well crafted and concise.
More, more, more!
Shingo Brown was born in California. His father worked in automotive, and his work brought the family to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Then Germany and Switzerland for a “good chunk” of his childhood. And back to Ann Arbor. Always back to Ann Arbor.
He discovered art drawing castles and romantic European landscapes.
College was in Atlanta—where he studied graphic design at the Art Institute and dropped out for an internship with ABV Gallery. Too many rules. He didn’t want a career “designing pamphlets.” The gallery brought him to Art Basel Miami Beach. It was “an eye opener.”
Back to Ann Arbor where he set out to be an artist and build a community like the one he had in Atlanta, in the only place that felt like home.
Shingo/Shingy came to Detroit less than a year ago with a one year plan: “paint a mural, do public art, and do a solo show.”
On the last month of his one year anniversary, with the first two goals accomplished, his first solo show, Soft, opens at Greenroom Gallery.
Question I forgot to ask? One, five, ten year plan? I don’t even want to know. Love you, Shingy Pop. You’re the kind of inspiration we need.
CV Henriette: Your first solo show, Soft. Tell us about it.
CVh: March marks your one year anniversary in Detroit. How are you celebrating?
SP: March 1st Will be the grand opening of the new location for Hard Gallery. I’m sure I’ll be dancing at Marble Bar for the H2D party. Possibly a coney at Lafayette !
CVh: What do you love most about the city?
SP: The people here are amazing. They are supportive and ready to work it.
CVh: Favorite spots?
SP: Astro Coffee, Belle Isle, Palmer Park, Lafayette Coney Island, Noble Fish, Mexicantown.
CVh: Favorite people worth a s/o?
SP: So many! Shout out to Astro coffee and literally all of the creative customers that I see on the regular there. Niki Artinian, Liz Davis, Jon + Ash, Maryam, Peter Shin, yoshi, Jacky , Dai , Greenroom Gallery, Playdetroit, Smplfd, PGS, Cairo Coffee, CV, 96 Broncos, Cobra Corps, Abv Gallery, and my parents—to name a few.
CVh: What’s taken some getting used to?
SP: Coordinating and managing my time.
CVh: You’re an artist. What’s your favorite medium? Your first medium?
CVh: First artist that comes to mind. Why?
SP: Brandon Sadler (@risingredlotus). He’s my favorite artist. He’s so damn dedicated and disciplined in his practice. You can see it in his finished pieces. He’s everything I am lacking. There are more artists that come to mind, but he is def the first.
CVh: Second artist that comes to mind. Why?
SP: Liz Davis. She’s my mentor. Liz is an oil painter, and her art practice is her mediation ritual. I’ve had the honor to be in her studio while she’s painting, and it’s a beautiful experience. She is the perfect example of how art can release your stress and set you free in the creative moment.
CVh: Detroit art scene. Describe it.
SP: Detroit scene is supportive of most things creative and will not put up with bullshit. Anything here can go, but we have to put the work in. Food pop-ups are taking off, there’s an incredible platform for current and up and coming musicians + djs. The visual art scene is strong. Even though I appreciate the Detroit style of things, I feel like we can all take a step forward and elevate the standards and be an international city. That’s what I’m hoping for. The talent is here.
CVh: Sun sign?
SP: Aries sun, Sag rising, Leo moon.
CVh: Sunset or sunrise?
CVh: Play any instruments?
SP: Not really.
CVh: What’s playing in your studio?
SP: Frank Ocean, Cigarettes After Sex, Toro y Moi, Kid Cudi, trap, ghettotech…
Where is your studio?
SP: Main floor of my crib.
CVh: What are you looking at?
SP: My present and future lol.
CVh: Hard liquor or hard candy?
SP: Neither really.
CVh: Share something about Hard Gallery?
SP: Hard Gallery is a space where only big shit happens. I want to encourage the artists I work with to experiment and challenge themselves. I want to stress growth and build confidence within the artists. I have interests in visual, applied, culinary and performance art, and I’m excited to showcase each of those categories.
CVh: Tell me something I don’t know.
SP: I was born and raised a Jehovah’s Witness.
CVh: What’s next?
SP: I’m moving to Corktown at the end of the month. Shit’s gonna be poppin’ off at Hard Gallery in March. Moving forward!
CVh: What’d I forget to ask?