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A Quick Word With Justin Krietemeyer And The Crew Of National Forest

A Quick Word With Justin Krietemeyer And The Crew Of National Forest 1

This week has been a little too annoyingly crisp for us. It’s not unbearable but, you know, it’s not the sunny mid-to-high seventies weather we were enjoying in LA last week and most weeks so, yes, we are bummed about that. Whatever: it’s Winter! At some points it should feel *a little bit* cold. Reflecting on Southern California Winters and Saturday’s upcoming event, we turned to Auroraborealis artist Justin Kritemeyer and the National Forest team to hear their thoughts on LA Winters, “rainbow energy,” LA icons, tacos, and–of course–Saturday. Here’s what they had to say…

Steven Harrington and Justin Krietemeyer's Auroraborealis 16

One of our favorite themes of Auroraborealis is the cosmic “rainbow energy” the artworks have. Where are a few places in town that you guys think radiate most of this cosmic energy? These can be places in or around the city that inspire you guys or just places in general that are cool.

Ha. For sure. The rainbow energy thing is a funny one. We’ll use it to talk about the people or places that are so true to themselves that if you looked at them with special spectral glasses you could see beams of rainbow energy blasting out from every window. It is more or less a reference to Captain EO, when he pops his jacket open and the rainbow graphic on his tee blasts out a beam of energy. It’s pretty silly and vibey but we like the analogy. There are a ton people and places in L.A. that have this personality and energy: Origami Vinyl, Mohawk General Store, Family, Supreme, Ooga Booga, Shepard Fairey, The Quiet LifeIt’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, LAIY, Harvey’s Sarcastic Disco, and more and more. All the folks that are just doin’ it.

Steven Harrington and Justin Krietemeyer's Auroraborealis 23

The work shared in Auroraborealisalso deals with what Winter in Los Angeles or Southern California is. What does winter in Los Angeles mean to you guys? Obviously there is a lot viewers can extract from your images but are there certain rituals or events or happenings that you guys look forward to this time of year?

Yes. The winter is great. Holiday-wise, there are a lot of fun holiday parties with friends, co-workers, and family coming together. Seasonally, we love snowboarding when we can sneak up to the mountains and the surf gets nice in the winter. The installation itself was meant as an introduction and invitation to folks visiting LA for the winter. We love LA. It’s a fun town and it’s important to us that folks feel welcomed.

Steven Harrington and Justin Krietemeyer's Auroraborealis 1

You guys are obviously very Los Angeles and the work on display at The Standard totally feels LA. Since we cannot think of anything more Los Angeles than tacos, where are a few places in town that you guys enjoy getting tacos? This may be the most important question.

It must be because it’s the one we can answer the quickest.
Morning: CaCao Mexicatessan
Afternoon: Best Fish Tacos In Ensenada
Dinner: El Arco Iris
Witching hour: Taco Zone

A Quick Word With Justin Krietemeyer And The Crew Of National Forest 2

What are some other things you guys see as Los Angeles icons? Obviously, palm trees and natural oddities like geodes have an influence. Are there any particular palm trees or giant rocks in LA that you guys are into? That is kind of a strange question, yes.

LA icons and things we’re into in this order: house parties, Elysian Park BBQs, pre-partying on the top of Eagle Rock, late nights on the South Pasadena football field, Dodger games, The Donut Man, Halloween walks, and the sun.

Steven Harrington and Justin Krietemeyer's Auroraborealis 19

With the show closing this weekend, what are some of the biggest takeaways from sharing Auroraborealis? Have you guys heard any responses to the installation from hotel guests or online? Surely there had to be some curmudgeonly traveller from somewhere cold whose heart was charmed by your warm artworks…

The funnest parts of projects like these are the gatherings. The opening party was a fun evening and it’s going to be great to gather again on Saturday with live bands and friends.

Steven Harrington and Justin Krietemeyer's Auroraborealis 24

Saturday is obviously going to be crazy and fun and wild. What are you guys looking forward to most? What do you think partygoers are going to be most stoked for? Any tricks you guys have up your sleeves?

Saturday is going to be a wild one. It’s going to be rad to see our huge drawings as a backdrop for the party. We’re working on a projection that will go from ceiling to floor of the hotel which will set things off. As far as tricks up our sleeves, we’ve made a public commitment to free high-fives and butt pats and we’re sticking to it.

A Quick Word With Justin Krietemeyer And The Crew Of National Forest 3

First things first: “The Donut Man.” Who, what, where, how: what is that?! Sounds like LAIY needs to do some research and take a field trip. Anyway, we’re super excited for Saturday and you’ll certainly be able to say hello to Justin and the NF crew who are going to be hanging all night. Expect lots of high fives. We’re also super pumped to see their projection as, obviously, it’s going to be a great addition to what is already installed. See you all there!

Justin and National Forest photos by Meredith Jenks.

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