Always be in the now
At unu we’re urban at heart and see ourselves as part of the global street culture. That’s why we frequently team up with local artists who inspire and move us. In these unu x artist collaborations we give the artist a blank canvas - an unu electric scooter to test and transform with their own creative vision, fantasy and spirit. This time we’ve teamed up with wild child and neo-pop artist Selwyn Senatori for our unu launch in Amsterdam.
Together with Selwyn Senatori we’re celebrating becoming part of the Dutch scooter culture. To start our journey we’ve visited Selwyn at his studio in Amsterdam to talk about the Dutch way of life, art and the future of mobility. Being half Italian and half Dutch Selwyn is, as he says “the best of both worlds” and part of Amsterdam’s wild cultural spirit. He describes the vibe of the city as a “Gumbo soup”, a dish made of the best ingredients, combined in order to get a very rich and unique flavour.
After starting the day with a quick coffee at his studio we placed a Park Khaki coloured unu electric scooter at Selwyn’s atelier in Amsterdam and waited. It did not take long for him to take the unu for a quick spin around his workspace before he started designing the electric scooter by painting it with acrylic, spray paint and markers, leaving not one single spot untouched. For Selwyn the clash of daily life and the extraordinary is his source of inspiration:
Letting life happen and going with the flow is one of the main themes of his work. He believes in going out instead of sitting on a couch and waiting for something to happen. In Selwyn’s world it’s all about the punch line spiced up with a piece of wisdom. His universe is full of stories and characters like the “Espresso boys” who inhabit his paintings and live their own mischievous life. There is always a light heartedness in the things Selwyn does even if he aims for the bulls eye of truth. In this way Selwyn is the heart and soul of any party, while always being a great observer. With him as a guest people know they can expect some ‘champagne wisdom’ or at least a great sentence written on the wall.
For Selwyn it’s all about being in the now and challenging life creatively in an authentic way. It’s always been like that for him: “I never wanted to become an artist, I never wanted to become anything in my life. I was in the now, always. I didn’t wanna become anything, but I wanted to be everything.” This idea of being in the moment and going with the flow is something that drew us to Selwyn and his art. In a world, where everything is based on certain rules we need people like Selwyn who provoke the bigger players - just like David challenged Goliath, but in a witty way. To be strong enough to question the way things are also means being flexible in changing your own ways while never losing the sense of who you are. His motivation fits our vision of changing the future of urban mobility with our electric scooters. Being in the now might open a new set of experiences if only one dares to dream big.
You have to be in the moment and take it all in to recognize what could be different. We’re here now so we need to make the most of it. There is no purpose in letting life pass you by, you have to go out and do something and you have to happen to people. To engage with his audience by provoking them is therefore one of Selwyn’s main goals. Because provocation, in the best case, implies change: “I like to provoke people. Try to get them out of their comfort zone give them a positive feeling when they leave the room or see a painting.”
Selwyn in this sense is a rebel who does not care about the way the art world wants him to be. He cares about questioning the state of the art by making art. In his way of explaining the world Selwyn found some pretty nice words for the unu electric scooter: “super fast, super quick, super cool!” and after spending a day with him in his studio we would consider this an adequate description for Selwyn as well.
If you want to learn more about the wild way Selwyn works check out how he transformed the unu electric scooter into a moving piece of art in the video below.
At unu we love working with great people who inspire us. Thanks to Selwyn, who took the time to let us into his world, the lovely people from Press Only in Amsterdam who supported us with the project and Josef Beyer and Constantin Rieß for producing this video.