Artist Huntrezz Janos on finding freedom in scaling City Hall.

Artist Huntrezz Janos, photo by @witchfingermart
Huntrezz Janos with painting
Huntrezz Janos Defund LAPD, June 2020. Watch the full video here.

I want to change people’s minds and make them think about the presumptions they may have about people like me.

Huntrezz Janos, Defund LAPD
Still from Huntrezz Janos video AJANI SKATE.

I’m a person with things I want to say, and oftentimes I feel I’m just not seen or heard…I’m used to being silenced.

I’m interested in exploring the relationship between reality and perception. And for me, the reality is that I’m a person with things I want to say, and oftentimes I feel I’m just not seen or heard. What will it take to really express myself through my art? Recently I’ve felt like I’ve been getting more support, which is great. It’s not something I’m really used to, you know — I’m used to being silenced.

Huntrezz Janos, Tired Of Running music video

It fuels my fears just being here in Los Angeles and walking down the street.

Around the time of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, I would see all these cop cars — ten cop cars, back to back to back to back. And when I walk by, the cops are all just staring at me in my femme clothes. I don’t feel especially safe and they’re glaring at me. Clearly, I’m not on their side or whatever, just by the way I look, because I’m Black, because I’m trans, you know. I was feeling on edge. So it was really on my mind — when I was at the protests and they’re firing those rubber bullets at us and stuff — it was just really in my life and on my mind and I had to make a video about it.

It’s not like I want [the police helicopters] to come crashing down and break the community that I live in. I just want them to stop.

Huntrezz Janos, screen capture from Copper Choppers, 2020.
Huntrezz Janos, screen captures from Copper Choppers. Watch the full video here.
Screen capture from QUARANTINE HUNTREZZ (left); Moorish Mandible Filter (right)

I have freedom in the work that I’m denied in this life.

Shelley: I’m by no means an expert, but I feel like I don’t come across too many Black trans digital virtual artists who are doing VR, AR, all of these virtual mediums. Do you find that to be true?

Huntrezz Janos, Shadow Goblin

I want to create an environment where virtual art isn’t this inaccessible thing, but is actually something that everybody can do.

I believe that what I’m doing, even though I have tons of experience, other people can hop on and do it themselves, too, even if they have no experience. A lot of people think, “3D graphics? Oh, that’s something I could never do.” But really, especially for younger kids, you know, they could hop on a computer and start in an afternoon.

Huntress Janos, Filter created for Tate Museum
Huntrezz Janos, Leaves Grow Trees (screen capture from Keane Walk)

I see the positive sides of this isolation.

Shelley: How has the pandemic and self-isolation affected your work?

Huntrezz Janos, screen captures from Virtual Garment pieces

But the social evolution — I thank God for that because it’s bringing attention to something that I’ve been experiencing my whole life.

Shelley: And I really hope everyone just keeps that same energy.

I’ve discovered more self-love during quarantine.

Huntrezz Janos, photo by @witchfingermart

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