What changes have you seen in Lebanon since you started Plastik?
Nine years ago the general mentality was that the further you were from the city the better you were as an artist, but now local talent is being embraced. There’s more awareness that talent shouldn’t have a nationality or belonging. I’d like to think that when Plastik happened it opened up a space for the younger generation to think that working in this creative industry is possible.
And are people more accepting of the Plastik aesthetic?
The general audience has gotten more interested in the Plastik aesthetic with time, and that has a lot to do with the rise of social media, which made art more accessible to the masses. People were quite stuck up with aesthetics and concepts and wanted something really safe all the time, but after social media platforms, like Instagram, they realised that it doesn’t really work anymore – they realised that you need something smarter, more cultural, something that tricks the brain, that speaks to the masses but also that artists and people like us can appreciate at the same time.
Has social media opened things up for Lebanon?
I’m the biggest living example. I always victimised myself for being in Beirut, as I felt it was too small for my dreams and that if I lived in a city like NYC or London I’d have bigger opportunities. But then two years ago I got a message on Instagram from Miley Cyrus, who I didn’t know at the time, asking me to do something with Plastik. Only a month later she was on the cover of the magazine and we were celebrating with her in LA. And that happened just because she liked the aesthetic of the magazine on social media – she didn’t care where we were located. This is the biggest proof that it doesn’t really matter where you are anymore; you just have to put out good work and eventually the right people will see it.