Many Mainichi talks design philosophy and feeling blue at OTH
Words by Sean Hennegan
Photos courtesy of Many Mainichi
Gustavo's new “Sweet Nothings” collection out now at OTH - 4357 and online.
Nothing lasts forever in this life, and that’s what makes it beautiful.
According to the design philosophy of Montreal artist Many Mainichi, every feeling we experience is “ephemeral”. Acting on those feelings is how best to embrace them.
Forget what everybody else thinks, just do what you want to do.
Many Mainichi, also known as Gustavo Lopez, is a Montreal-based multimedia artist and designer, hailing from Asunción, Paraguay. Known to many for his clothing brand, “Sweet Nothings”, he’s also no stranger to photography, graphic design and interior design. He and his two partners have recently opened a store, LOPEZ, centered around his creations.
But despite his many facets and accomplishments as an artist, he never saw a future in art.
I was always into clothing. Logos, visuals, whatever. But I never thought I could have a career based on that. I’m an immigrant; we don’t have fine arts, it doesn’t exist. We can’t do that, we have to work, find a job, go to school. ‘Fine arts’ isn’t really a job where I’m from.
Art was deeper than making a living for Many. It was a passion, a love, and a way of conveying emotion. His early projects revolved around what he was experiencing and offered an abstract portrayal of the challenges he was facing.
Everything you see is who I am.
To Many, art is nothing without honesty and transparency. As soon as we started to talk, he opened up about how his life experiences spurred him on to create. That said, getting in the mind of the artist isn’t all pleasantries. While designing the last Sweet Nothings collection, Many was plagued with feelings of depression.
It was very personal, seriously. You would wear my stuff and you could know how I felt when I designed it.
Many’s passion for art runs so deep that it became a motivator for him. Art was the tool he used to pull himself up, shifting his focus from his depression to his aspirations.
I tried to evolve from that, because I think it’s too one dimensional.
He stayed true to his word - the new collection is undeniably a departure from the last. If the last collection was a representation of what Many Mainichi was feeling, the new one is a snapshot of what he is, as well as who shaped him.
I started to be more free as an artist, and incorporate more of my personal touches, and mixing already-made [art] with me. You see that Dali inspired me, Gaugin inspired me.
It’s a complete overhaul of the blue, melancholy air that coloured the first collection. It’s an updated personality portrait, and an homage to his inspirations. And most importantly, it’s unapologetically whatever he wants it to be.
My mindset was fuck everything […] It wasn’t like, a fuck you to everybody. It was just a fuck what they think.
The collection is adventurous, uncompromising, and speaks from itself. It has a distinct personality that fills the space it’s given, and that’s why it was such a good fit for OTH-4357. Once upon a time, Many was an employee at Off The Hook - and he never left the family. Many’s art took over the new store for the collection’s launch party this Friday, with TallandSkinny mixing.
Hiroshi Fujiwara always says, Don’t be a designer, be a disturber. Which is what I want to be, and what I am […] You can use design as a tool to talk about other stuff. Maybe that’s what I want to do. I want to make noise, not just quotes.