FriendsWithYou is a multidisciplinary art collaborative established in 2002 by Miami-based artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III. The artists specialize in spreading their positive message of Magic, Luck, and Friendship™ through various creative platforms.
Forging their own brand of pop-ped and cartooning 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 special injection of amusement. Taking Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics to heart and hand, these artists make art that activates the social interaction of people as exploded and refracted by the internet and elaborate new modes of interpersonal relationships.
FriendsWithYou’s most important artistic tactic to foster these relationships is the use of play. By reinterpreting religious traditions, symbols and spiritual practices, FWY invert these solemn and serious ideas through play to open up a connection to the divine.
Many FriendsWithYou works look like 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. FriendsWithYou brings this message to life through large-scale experiential installations, public playgrounds, consumer products, published works, live performances, as well as animation and multimedia projects. 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. Starting out sewing art toys by hand, the duo has grown into much larger than life projects, yet their toy-like art style remains.
FriendsWithYou installations are fully immersive experiences that draw audiences into a magical world where the line between imagination and reality is blurred. From Art Basel in Miami, to the inauguration of a major park in NYC via an FWY installation, to a permanent playground commissioned project for Turnberry for the Arts, FriendsWithYou has been invited to participate in some of the most respected international art happenings and projects. Their fine art has been exhibited and/or included in the permanent collections
of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), Haus der Kulturen der Welt Museum in Berlin, Art Gallery of Western Australia, and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, among others. In the future, FriendsWithYou plans to continue to spread its happy message around the world and become Friends-With-You!