An Interview with Allison “HUEMAN” Torneros : goddess of street art

Street muralist, Allison Torneros better known, as “HUEMAN” has become one of those artists that you just hear about in LA, especially after being named as one of LA Weekly’s “Most Fascinating Angelinos.” in 2014. This alone catapulted Hueman from a talented beauty into one of LA’s most intriguing artists in the graffiti writing / street art community. Now she has a new solo exhibit entitled “Between the Lines” running till July 20th at Project Gallery in Hollywood. “Between the Lines,” showcases more than 12 new pieces on canvas and wood that mixes the spiritual, surreal and delicacies of color, abstract and dimension.

Street artists or urban muralists have now become household names. An art form once considered to be vandalism is now celebrated on an international platform with dedicated publications, sites, instagram, and collectors solely discussing the art form. Documentaries like Exit Through the Gift Shop, have lifted a number of Graf Writers up to Tom Cruise celebrity status (minus the Scientology & the rumors), resulting in street art becoming an acceptable and dare I say it, “mainstream” form of visual art. For a while now the world or street muralists seemed to have been mostly dominated by men; with names like Banksy, Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant), David Choe, Space Invader, Retna, Risk and Saber recently being the center of an article which ranked them as richest street artists, have been getting solo exhibitions for quite some time. Google just launched their Google Street Art Project, an entire site dedicated to global street art. Women Street Artists are feeling the love too; Hueman, Few N Far and Angelina Christina/ Starfighter are all commissioned by corporations to do international campaigns, collaborate with fellow Graf writers while still rocking their own style, exhibits and large scale walls.

Right now all eyes are on Hueman as she is steadily creating with her head turning dynamic free flow artwork. Considered to be a hybrid lowbrow artist with fine-art painterly skills, Hueman brings femininity to a movement. She draws on the human condition to create impressive mash-ups of the beautiful and grotesque, the abstract and figurative and the ordered and chaotic.

“When people look at art, sometimes they look for things that may or may not be there. With [Between the Lines] I want to talk about human behavior and the tendency to place meaning and significance in what we see. I want to examine the not-so obvious: subtexts, innuendos, and the things that go unsaid. I want viewers to literally read between the lines.”

This statement became the catalyst for our interview.

I am constantly on a search to find a happy medium: between the beautiful and the grotesque, the abstract and the figurative, and that golden moment between sleep and awake. This strikes me. As it seems that you are constantly searching for the balance in what you create. Has this become a conscious choice?

Not necessarily. It's more like an itch I need to scratch. Just like when there's a frame on the wall hanging sort of off center, and you feel the urge to correct it. I work until the balance in my artwork feels right. It's like science: adding, subtracting, and messing around with different formulas until you get something that pops.

Does it come natural to you?

It's a lot easier for me now, as I've experimented for years. But like any artist I have times where I get stuck.

How reflective are you during your process in comparison to after you’ve completed?

The thing about my process is that it's made so I do the least amount of thinking possible. I work pretty intuitively, and when I back up every few minutes to take a look at my progress the main question I ask, does this feel right?? When it finally feels right I know I'm done.

The age old question, which must be getting tired if not annoying by now, but I’ll ask it anyway. Other than female street artists becoming more and more in demand and recognizable figures, what other significant changes have you witnessed since arriving on the art scene with the growth and acceptance of female muralists?

The visibility of more female street artists on the scene is helping to inspire a new generation. Women are becoming more frequent. In the future it will get to a point where we're not referred to as 'female street artists' but simply as artists, identifying us by our sex at that point will just be completely irrelevant.

Your solo exhibit “Between The Lines” is at Project Gallery in Hollywood on display till July 20th. How do you go about choosing where you show your work?

I take into account the gallery's visibility, their audience, and the space. The gallery is located on a high-traffic area in Hollywood. It's also a small space, and thus Between The Lines is the most intimate series of works that I've done. While creating the pieces I kept in mind what everything would look like hanging together in the space.

In this collection there is certain spirituality within each piece. The combination of a delicate color palette in sync with figurative images against the abstract prisms their also contains an element of sci-fi (Barbarella meets 2001: A Space Odyssey) and visionary art. What are and have been some of your influences throughout pop culture that you've noticed subconsciously coming through your work?

I'm sure the new show Cosmos by Neil DeGrasse Tyson had something to do with my color palette, which has gotten pretty outer-spacey since the year started. Also, I was a huge Sailor Moon fan growing up, and they've been releasing all the old episodes on Hulu to gear up for a brand new series... As a kid I used to draw my own comics, and I was obsessed with the way hair was portrayed in anime.

You were recently voted one of the most fascinating Angelinos in 2014 by LA Weekly. How do you take those types of acclimates?

It's a huge honor to be recognized by a publication like LA Weekly, and it did a lot to expose my artwork to new people. I can think of so many people that are probably way more fascinating than I am, so I take things like this as motivation and a sign to keep pushing harder and keep doing better.

What advice can you offer to young girls interested in pursuing art as a career, specifically street art?

For young girls that are interested in doing this as a career, or if you're interested in doing anything in life in general--like Nike says, just DO it. A lot of people get scared to make moves because they're so concerned with doing things right, but you'll never get anywhere if you don't take risks and jump. Make mistakes; mess up, but just do it. Figure it out later and learn. Then do it again. And keep doing it.
“Between the Lines” will run until July 20, 2014 @ Project Gallery 1553 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028

Visit to learn more about her and follow her on various social media sites.

Also check out Complex Magazine documenting the making of her gigantic mural at Ian Ross Gallery: timelapse.

ABOUT PROJECT GALLERY Beautifully designed PROJECT Gallery is a cultural destination located in the center of Hollywood. PROJECT features actively rotating exhibitions with emerging and established artists and boasts a unique and creative event space with a modern edge. In a very short time PROJECT has held exhibitions for contemporary artists such as Zio Zigler, Ian Ross, Jeremiah Kille, and street artist/muralist CANTSTOPGOODBOY. Diversified programming has included a group pop up with LA art venture CARTWHEEL, Disarming Time with musician Serj Tankian, and the highly regarded photography exhibits: Innocents photos by Moby, 50 Years of The Rolling Stones, Indian Larry by Timothy White and ROCK/FIGHT, all of which garnered national attention. The gallery has received extensive widespread media attention from the LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, LA Weekly, KCET Artbound, FAST COMPANY, BL!SSS mag, Complex, Los Angeles Confidential, Refinery 29 and many others.