A couple weeks ago we were sipping a soy latte at a local coffee shop while flipping through the pages of the latest free print publication to hit the streets of the Coachella Valley, the CV Weekly.  Within the pages we found all sorts of articles ranging from health, to art, to politics, to local news.  What caught our eye and interest was the articles being written by the upcoming artist and good friend, Kylie Knight.  Kylie’s articles are the under the section, “Art Scene”, featuring write-ups on local artists that are always compelling.  Beautifully written and knowledgeable, Kylie won us over as a talented writer as well as a visual artist.

There was one article in particular that hit home and straight to the heart; her recent interview with the Date Farmers.  If you have been following the CVAS for years now, you should already know our love and affiliation with the dynamic duo from Indio, CA.  What we particularly loved about her article was the intro that Kylie wrote.  Word for word, she took the words and feelings from what seemed to be right out of our gut.

We didn’t want to keep the story and the inspiration only to ourselves so we thought we’d share the interview on The Coachella Valley Art Scene for all of our readers from out of town and our of the country to enjoy as well.

In addition to the story that Kylie wrote (featured below), we’d also like to add the video documentary that KCET is currently working on with the Date Farmers.  The documentary is spotlighting the Date Farmers and highlighting their mural in Indio.

These guys inspire us, and we hope they inspire you as well.

Check it out:

the date farmers indio mural

Read the KCET artist profile on the Date Farmers here.

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Tarantula - Date Farmers

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INTERVIEW: Date Farmers

all words by  Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly

cv weekly

The Date Farmers are an artistic duo who tell the story of being human in a society boiling over in media, violence, and unceasing advertisement. They illustrate an ever-present and growing confusion between different ideas in culture, values, and family.  As we progress as a society built upon instant gratification, the internet, materialism, and new technologies, the lines often become tangled and blurred, and the result is misconstrued conceptions of comfort and love.

By blending seemingly unrelated items or figures into their work (numerous paintings depict characters such as Hello Kitty and Jesus Christ pasted side by side onto a canvas) we realize that both figures are a product of obsessive marketing, greed, and power. Yet we have grown up together with these seemingly harmless figures and we find comfort and strength and happiness in their commonplace role in our culture.

Through their work, The Date Farmers tell numerous stories of individual human beings, often haunting, and eerily charming, they give an identity to the man forgotten. Each story sheds light on man’s struggle for acceptance, love, and success while relentlessly attacking pop culture influences which often leak into and taint the mind of the man already fighting towards triumph, the man already busy and confused by spirituality, religion, career, and education. Each narrative is distinct, but their works conceptualize fears and ideas that every human being can relate to.

The artists collage found journal entries from unknown authors, depicting thoughts and fears that we would only feel comfortable expressing through a personal narrative, never meant to be read by anyone, only providing proof of our struggles in order for individual growth. The Date Farmers eloquently harmonize the sound of human suffering and happiness. Nothing separates us but the boundaries we have created and the walls we have built to divide ourselves.

Armando Lerma of the Date Farmers kindly agreed to answer a few questions for us.

date farmers

Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly: Why do you feel the need to create art?

Armando Lerma: I have always loved art, my love for art has grown throughout the years and has developed into a lifestyle, and art is meditative and allows me to participate. Art lets me know I’m alive.

Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly: Is there anything you would change in terms of the way the art world currently functions?

Armando Lerma: The art world is out of my hands, all I can do is focus on my art and everything else will fall into place (whatever that means).

Black Water - date farmers

Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly: What are some of the earliest images you can remember drawing as a child?

Armando Lerma: I remember drawing images from the encyclopedia, Picasso particularly.

Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly: Much of your work collages found objects such as garbage and memorabilia, what intrigues you about this process?

Armando Lerma: I enjoy being creative, I like turning things that people throw away into art.

Date Farmers at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, photo by Sarah Scheideman

Date Farmers at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, photo by Sarah Scheideman

Date Farmers at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, photo by Sarah Scheideman

Date Farmers at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, photo by Sarah Scheideman

Date Farmers at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, photo by Sarah Scheideman

Date Farmers at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, photo by Sarah Scheideman

Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly: What type of artwork were you both working on individually before The Date Farmers became a creative union? Has it varied much?

Armando Lerma: I think we both spent a lot of time learning how to draw and paint before we met each other; we did a lot of bad art that we were able to learn from.

Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly: As you continue to progress as an artist do you find inspiration easier to find or more difficult?

Armando Lerma: Inspiration comes easy- it’s the perspiration part that is more difficult, but even that comes easy when you have a strong desire and my desire is strong.

Refrescos - Date Farmers

Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly: Through years of constant shows and traveling The Date Farmers still manage to find a home here in the Coachella Valley. What is it about this desert that consistently lures you?

Armando Lerma: The desert is home, my family is here, it is familiar, I can focus here, and it’s beautiful.

Kylie Knight for the CV Weekly: What can we expect next from The Date Farmers?

Armando Lerma: I’m not too sure, but I know it will have something to do with art.

For more information about the Date Farmers, please visit

thedatefarmers.com

date farmers mural in indio, ca

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