the strand

the inside scoop on amika:
brooklyn lifestyle, all things hair.
debunking product myths +
serving look inspo, one strand at a time.

get to know our neighbor, David Bender

As a Brooklyn-born brand, we tend to draw inspiration from our New York surroundings—from packaging, to photoshoots, and even our office space, we make sure they’re all infused with that signature Brooklyn spirit. Fun fact about our amika HQ? Most of our campaign shoots are done on the second floor, which we also share with artist David Bender, who has been a friend of amika since the early days.

He moved into the space about 15 years ago, which was the same time as amika founders Nir Kadosh, Shay Kadosh, and Vita Raykhman, also moved into this building. Looking to get a sneak peek at his studio and talk about the amika’s beginnings, we were lucky enough to interview him.

What started as a chat about the numerous health benefits of fungi (spoiler alert: there are several), turned into an analysis on the effects of color, a deep outlook on risk-taking, and how Brooklyn inspires David’s art.

Before we jump into our personal Q+A with David Bender, we want to provide a bit more background as to who he is and what he does. As a Brooklyn based artist, he works in “painting, sculpture, and street art. Bender’s work weaves together remnants of experiences, dreams, thoughts, and sensory perceptions to create meditations on chance. His practice is influenced by an interest in the ancient wisdom traditions.” Keep reading for more.

tell us a little about yourself

So, this [interview] is in context to amika. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if we weren’t co-joined almost 15 years ago when we first entered this building, which was [at the time] just a raw space. It was just Nir, Shay, Vita, a couple other people, and me. We kind of grew up together in a way. Obviously, amika has now grown into this huge global entity, and I’m still a one man show in Bushwick, I do think we have some similarities, even though what I do doesn’t need to make sense. Art can be illogical. Were both trying to do our best and trying to do right by the worlds that we live in. My art is about my own kind of transformation as a human being. I keep trying to up my game every day. Im doing a new series called frequency and its about getting to a higher level of vibration as a human. Were all energy, so all my art is about me trying to be a better human being on all levels. And that’s the challenge that I place on myself. Even though that sounds really serious, its very light-hearted. I take those promises seriously, but my art is very expressive and very colorful.”

how do you think being based in Brooklyn has positively impacted your career?

“Bushwick specifically is one of the art capitals in the world. I view it just as important as Berlin or Paris. The creative spirit is like no other place. I’m sure you sense it. This street alone is loaded with musicians, artists, sculptors, dancers, performance artists, and recording studios. That’s the energy. So, you don’t need to reach out far, its just here. All you have to do is just be in this space and you feel it. I was in a studio earlier over on Bogart Street so I’ve been in Brooklyn (for) like 20 years and I love it here.

it’s so funny how you can see a parallel from your art and amika branding. how do you think we affect each other?

I think there probably is some type of correlation just between the color palette we both use. I mean, there’s a screaming orange chair out in the hallway that looks like one of my paintings from this afternoon. I’m very aware of the color palette of amika. I’ve gone onto shoots where they’re building sets and its like walking into my studio—all these bright, fluorescent colorsI love it. Color is very powerful. When it comes to art, I think color has more weight and impact than shape, form, or line does.

we agree. with our brand being so colorful, we hope it allows our community to want to experiment with their hair, and feel bold.

“Color has such an emotional effect on all of us. There’re all sorts of research that talks about how color affects our moods. That whole world of creating spaces that are conducive to calmness and lessening anxiety is a whole field on its own. As far as hair goes, I love colorful hair: I love pink, green, fuchsia and lavender.

since you got to watch amika grow, what’s one thing you think our community should know about our origin story?

“The one thing that I’ve noticed from the very beginning, is that the people at amika have fun doing what they’re doing. And I think that’s reflective in the products. From day one there was nothing but smiles and parties on the rooftops. I think if the company isn’t happy, the consumers buying the products will feel that.

Check out more of David Bender here!

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