Art, L.A. and Twinning: The Kaplan Twins Interview
We caught up with Allie & Lexi, AKA The Kaplan Twins - artists, social media influencers and reality TV stars ahead of the launch of their print collection on TWIIN to get the low down on working with your twin and twinning in LA - here's what they had to say...
TWIIN: Let’s start by asking you about what it means to work with your twin.
TKT: “It can be challenging at times but it’s rewarding to be able to create with your best friend!
TWIIN: Was it always going to be the Kaplan Twins?
TKT: When we were in school we were working separately but at a certain point we said to each other “this is dumb, we’re doing the same thing and it’s so much more fun when we work together so why not just make it a full time thing?”
TWIIN: How does being a twin and working with your twin affect the work and the process?
TKT: We’re usually on the same page when it comes to creative ideas. We make a good team! Even if it feel sometimes like we boss each other around.
TWIIN: How would you describe your work to someone coming to it for the first time?
TWIIN: You’ve talked in the past about being inspired by Andy Warhol – can you elaborate on that for us?
TKT: I think Warhol did something in his time which was uniquely different than what artists are doing today - he wasn’t just an artist and known for his art, he was also the face of his art and people knew him as being this eccentric personality. I think what we’re really trying to change is that we want people to not just know our art we want them to know who we are as well.
TWIIN: Who else inspires you and your work?
TKT: Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Takashi Murakami, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons
TWIIN: How important a part does social media play in your work – the collection we are featuring @twiin “Shit! I just spilled kombucha on my yeezys” definitely seems to us to be offering a commentary on social media and how we use / abuse it – does that resonate with you?
TKT: Social media is really important to us. We definitely take aspects - it could be anything from a meme or something someone said on Twitter to an Instagram caption or something that’s really just popular right now - and we use that in our work. We want it (the work) to be super relatable and I think that’s why we take from social media and we comment on it through our work
TWIIN: I’m interested in asking you about the contradictions between the medium and the subject matter – your backgrounds are in fine art, and the medium you choose to work in is oil – what draws you to the subject matter and how do you see the 2 worlds interacting?
TKT: I don’t think this is ever something we even thought about I think we just enjoy the texture and the feel of oil paint but I guess there is a contradiction there because typically oil paints are very traditional form of material and the subject matter that we focus on is very modern so I do see that but I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision
TWIIN: If there was one message you wanted to communicate through the work, what would it be?
TKT: I think with everything going on in the world it’s OK to not take yourself and everything too seriously, to laugh a little joke a little. We need that light and positivity.
TWIIN: our store is all about the connections between Los Angeles and London – so I want to ask you a couple of questions about LA…. You guys are from New York originally – why did you decide to move to LA?
TKT We moved to LA right when we graduated college at NYU. I think the reason for the move is that we both worked in the art world throughout college and we both saw this world in this bubble that was kind of set in its way and we saw a lot more opportunity in LA for disruption and kind of to merge entertainment and the social media form with Art - so we knew LA was the place to be.
TWIIN: Does LA inspire you?
TKT: Andy Warhol said it best “I Love Los Angeles, I Love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic, I want to be plastic”. It’s the hub of entertainment and everything pop culture
TWIIN: What’s the LA art scene like – we have this idea in London that it’s all about street art – is that true?
TKT: There is a big street art scene especially if you walk around - in Fairfax, Melrose & downtown LA there’s a lot of street art, a lot of graffiti, but I think it’s really changing and there are some more galleries that are opening and it is more about fine art and more pop art - I think it’s slowly coming to LA
TWIIN: As LA insiders where would you recommend someone to go to get a slice of authentic LA??
TKT: The thing about LA is it’s so big, so there’s so many different areas you can explore. Each area of LA it’s like its own city; Venice, downtown, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, there’s so much to offer and each area has a different vibe so you kind of just have to try and cram it all in...I think that's authentic LA - just trying to cram it in....