Interview | Technodrome1 x First Lady x Drink Up

By Natalie Pestun 

Technodrome1 is in collaboration with the First Lady and the Water Initiative for a bigger cause.

Michelle Obama has been partaking in Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) since 2013 to encourage everyone to drink more water. This time around the First Lady wanted to grab the attention of urban youth to the importance of water through the Water Initiative and art. The show is called “Taking Back the Streets” and its touring around the country. The first opening was at The New Museum in New York where Michelle Obama was in attendance. Artist, Technodrome1 has joined the tour and was invited to the White House for its second stop on the road.

What do you think about the Water Initiative?

It's a great way to try and get the youth enlightened on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which is necessary in today’s culture with all the unhealthy things aimed directly at kids. This allows us to steer them towards making more conscious healthy choices in terms of what they drink.

Can you talk about some highlights of  the show and your experience?

This was a great opportunity to meet some really dope artists I never thought I’d be in the same room with, people like Haze , Christophe Roberts, Smurfo ,Tony Concept, Lady Aiko.  Shepard Farey and Kenny Sharf also featured work in the Taking Back the Street exhibit in New York and  DC, but were not in attendance. 

Michelle Obama is in collaboration with Wataah!, with her " Drink Up" movement , so all the artist created customized labels for the bottles, as well as art pieces that had to include the Drink UP drop icon and the Wataah! boy Icon.

Tell us about the Michelle Obama piece that was selected?

The Michelle Obama piece was actually a side project that I was fortunate enough to be able to print on a very nice canvas and deliver directly to the White House , thanks to the CEO of Wataah!, Rose Cameron @rosecameronceo.

The actual work I did for the exhibit was 9 3f t x 3ft canvas , 8 dromed out interpretations of the Wataah boy icon and 1 dromed out version of the Drink up Drop. Its the first time I’ve ever made anything like that for an exhibit.

What was your experience like at the White House?

It was very humbling and unreal. I couldn’t believe I was able to go inside and all because of something to do with the art I created. It made me feel like anything is possible, all you gotta do is stay alive.

How do you think your art will deliver the message of the water initiative?

I think my art personally will have a great effect on grabbing young peoples’ attention especially if the product is on a shelf in a store. Thats one of the reasons I was really excited about being involved in this project. Really a great way to get my aesthetic out into the world and help people feel better.