From De La Vega, A Digital Dream

Artist James De La VegaBernardo After closing his museum store on St. Marks Place in September, the artist James De La Vega says that he is moving toward a “digital experience” for his work and that he is no longer selling his art. Below: Some of Mr. De La Vega’s work.
Artist James De La Vega
Artist James De La Vega
Artist James De La Vega

When last we heard from James De La Vega, he had just closed his museum store on St. Marks Place and was answering questions about why someone was threatening the proprietor who replaced him.

Now, four months removed from the East Village, the iconic street artist told The Local earlier today that he is moving into a new “digital experience,” and that he is no longer selling art.

“America’s moving in a bad direction, in a deeper sense than economics. Right now, we have to focus on building trustful relationships with people,” said Mr. De La Vega. “There’s no interest in selling anything. I’m not doing that now. We are committed to a more powerful message, one that was given to me.” Mr. De La Vega said he’s instead been giving away his art – which is frequently adorned with his slogan “Become Your Dream” – as gifts.

As for plans for another New York store, he said, “We have too many enemies out there. There is no store. For all of 2011, De La Vega will totally be a digital experience. De La Vega will explain his work in a language that you will understand.”

His message, he said, still resonates with his followers. “The De La Vega message is a bigger thing. People are identifying with this concept as a form of fighting,” he said. “It reminds people that they can be powerful and they go out there and create. They don’t have to live within the uniform that life imposes on them.”

He and his team are in “a total planning process. Right now, I’m building a powerful team to continue into our next phase. There’s a story going on.”