Unleashing Vayne Rebelle: A Gentle Force in Art and Activism

Re-Route Magazine
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Vayne Rebelle's work is truly captivating and impossible to ignore. The first word that comes to mind when experiencing his art is "intense." He has a unique ability to infuse his creations with a raw energy that demands attention and leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.  

Vayne believes that his art is a reflection of himself, his experiences, and his emotions. "When someone loves my work, they love me." For Vayne, the connection between himself and his audience is more than just an appreciation for his art. It is an understanding of who he is and what he stands for. And when someone connects with his work, they are connecting with him on a deeper level. This connection is what makes his art truly meaningful, and it is what drives him to continue creating and sharing his work with the world.

Photo of an attractive black male with dreadlocks. Black background, he is on the bottom half of the photo. Above him says, Tiger Haus Productions in yellow block letters.
Vayne Rebelle

Whether he is writing poetry, creating visual art, modeling, directing, or making music, Vayne Rebelle draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including his own personal experiences, the struggles of the people around him, and the music and art of the 80s and 90s. This blend of influences results in a body of work that is both nostalgic and modern while also remaining entirely unique to Vayne's voice and style.  

In all of his endeavors, Vayne Rebelle is driven by a deep desire to see humanity do better by each other. Despite the edginess of his work, there is always a softness at its core, a yearning for a better world that is palpable in every piece he creates.

Re-Route Mag: Vayne! You're an interesting cat. A multidisciplinary artist that includes art, poetry, modeling, music, activism, and more. Could you please tell us about you?

Vayne Rebelle: I'm a 38-year-old mixed African-American that loves to create and be in the moment. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, known as The Steel City, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I appreciate adventure and connection and am a truth seeker. I value the power of people, which explains my activist background, and I am inspired by revolution and community. I am a romantic who likes to move it, even though my wild party monkey days have come to a yield

Three frame collage of edgy artwork.
Heroes is a story about the many human gestures seen as heroic in society.

How did you come up with your artist's name? It's memorable and very you.

I had a knack for folklore, mainly werewolves. My name came from one main story that stuck with me, and his name was Vayne. He was a poet and painter who was cursed with being a Lycan, who fell in love with a woman who wasn't afraid of his beastly transition. The village was afraid of Vayne, but his lover wasn't, which led to her wanting to be turned into a werewolf to join him in his curse via romance. The story ends with silver bullets from the village hunters ending both of their lives together. The last name Rebelle came from my background of being a leader and edge-driven, always seeking authenticity. It ended up having a glamour-punk taste to it, so it stuck with me.

Do you currently have anyone, whether it be family or friends, with whom you share your life experiences or who keeps you grounded?

My girlfriend keeps me grounded sometimes. She pinches me, reminding me of my potential and talent. We have been through [so many] things together, high and low, and we always find a way to come out on top. My sister keeps me humble due to her family orientation, which seals things up in my life that are the most important to me.

Do you play any instruments?

I play electric bass and guitar, but I also make beats and compositions, which I plan on adding vocals to one day. I want to find a group of guys to jam with one day and make up for my short-lived punk band in '99. But the music will be a little more intense due to my life additions, so that it may be a hybrid of jazz and many other genres.

Are there any other art forms that you enjoy?

I enjoy sculpture, and it's new to my portfolio. I have been teaching myself how to make video content. I want to make art nouveau videos related to my art, so I guess short filmmaking will be a new addition.

Besides creating artwork, do you have any other passions or interests?

I want to travel the world, I feel like it is a therapeutic gesture, and it adds more inspiration. I only get a taste of that inspiration when I visit Ocean City, MD. I also want to start a creative foundation for the creative youth where they can express themselves outside of what society pressures them to do.

Do you try to convey any particular themes or messages through your work?

My messages root from my inner-city experience, information, romance, heartache, and uprising. Deep down, my art is a love story at its core, and it's just told with all the chaos and imagination I steal from my surroundings and mind.

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Can you tell us about your art book and soundtrack projects?

Yes, I have seven projects in my roster that will have art books and soundtracks inspired by my stories. I catch myself being an author by accident, where I speak out loud a poetic-like script centered around me in different worlds. I feel like it's my take on being a director. I plan on having short films based on each story, merchandise, and events, especially projects inspired by the 1980s.

What is art to Vayne?

Art is a love language that fills in blanks for the loss of words explaining ourselves. What words can't say becomes external on the surface. I also see it as a see-through social mirror where we may be reflected by each other without recognition at times.

You and your work are one. What do you hope people walk away with when they experience you/your work?

To walk away with a solid idea or story of themselves, stories can hold morality as well as joy and information. I want people to remember that we are human and to have a clear narrative of what is true to them while experiencing my imagination. With this accidental formula, we can endure our inner child that is pleading to be saved and entertained, which I feel is the core of peace of mind, especially as a creator.

Four frame collage of edgy artwork.
Monster Ave tells the story of inner city activities and faces that were more intense and imaginative growing up.

What motivated you to take your passion for the arts to a professional level?

I feel it is best for my voice. To me, a voice should be heard on a level everyone can see and hear outside their comfort. A professional level pays off, especially if it can change the world and how people see life. I also plan to network professionally and make powerful, decisive moves in the art world that can become a landmark for up-and-coming artists.

Where has your work been shown?

My work has been shown at Casa Del Arte Palma Gallery in Spain and Jonathan Schultz Gallery in Miami. I was featured in Pepper Magazine and, just recently, an art contest with Boynes Art Award, which was primarily online. Most of my work has been showcased at online exhibitions because of my schedule, but I plan to do solo exhibitions soon.

What artists have you drawn inspiration from?

My father, RIP. He had the old-school feel of putting in the work to create messages in his work. My father worked with his bare hands, from building in-home waterfalls to hand-made knight statues. I am still blown away that I experienced that, and I would love to continue his creative legacy. Street artists are an inspiration too. Mainly graffiti, with Basquiat being the sponsor of that style.

The face of my art changed in temperature once I took my style back home—the streets. I blend my style with my childhood experience and inspirations, with a dark twist of moral information. My child-like approach is also inspired by Keith Haring, who actually had a connection with bringing the youth together to create and express.

Other than pop art from Warhol, I find myself studying artists from around the world and different time periods. The stories I witnessed are far bolder than the artists themselves; what we all have in common are romance and music.

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring in New York, 1987. (George Hirose)

Can you tell us about the way you experience Synesthesia?

Sounds have shapes. I like bass in my music, so anything that vibrates is seen as lines. Most of my playlist has been ambient, house music, jazz, and industrial rock lately. (Suppose) If the wind had colors, that is what I see with that listening. The movements become my hand movements at times, and texture comes from me wanting to touch the sound mentally. I find my brush dancing with me as I paint as well sometimes (I love to boogie).

What guidance would you offer for those who are just starting out to help them succeed as artists?

I would say to keep painting, sculpting, etc.; just put your passion to work, and study art. Keep a network that pushes you to your goals or growth and stay in sync with your passion. And lastly, enjoy art and let the art collector take your artwork seriously and to heart. Because when you depart from every work you create, it now belongs to the collector's heart.

What is coming up for you?

I'm developing techniques that enhance my work and style and putting together (art) work for a solo online exhibition. I aim to help people keep an eye on my work even while I sleep. I also recently signed up to earn a certificate in Art Therapy to use for myself and to help others in challenging conditions. To have it under my belt is a more personal way of expressing art, appreciating it, and applying it to assist in healing.

Before we go, what do you want readers to walk away with from this interview?

My work is raw, so expect me to keep it straight razor with you. My projects in the works, on the other hand, will take you places going from the city to the moon...literally.

It was no surprise to learn that you are a Gemini. You are a published poet without a shortage of cool, thought-provoking quotes. Do you have one you can leave us with today?

"Wisdom can take a break when I create, telling stories that dye youth into its bones, carrying myth that tastes like familiar wine perhaps, held with tunes that dance like caterpillars, or like a childhood pet that wanders around the ankles for the next adventure, the moon has a saxophone remembrances of unbothered dances, whenever I create wisdom takes chances.

That was rad. Thank you, Vayne!
No, no, no...Thank You!

How can someone contact you to buy your art?
Instagram: @artbyvayne
Saatchiart.com/vaynerebelle
Enquiries: tigerhaus84@hotmail.com