Highlighting the creative superstars that make up the class of Young Guns 18
2020 has been one rollercoaster of a year, but fortunately, the spirit of creativity can't be dampened. Want proof? Check out the winners of Young Guns 18!
Beginning with our largest and most diverse jury in history, acclaimed creatives from across the globe spent three months reviewing hundreds of submissions from insanely talented young professionals seeking validation for all of their hard work. After narrowing down the field to 83 top-notch finalists, the jury engaged in virtual discussion and debate, deciding who will win one of the most career-impacting honors in our industry.
In the end, we are honored to present the 31 incredible winners of Young Guns 18, a diverse collection of artists, filmmakers, animators, designers, illustrators, and others, all of them representing some of the very best that their fields have to offer.
We invite you to learn about all 31 Young Guns 18 winners in this series of interviews.
rubberband. (Jason Sondock & Simon Davis)
New York, New York
New York, New York
When did Young Guns first pop up on your radar?
Our good friend Tal Midyan won the award a few years back and of course we had been aware of the One Club since we became interested in commercial filmmaking. We've had friends and folks we look up to win in the past and it has always been a goal of ours to have our body of work recognized by Young Guns.
Congrats on winning Young Guns on your second attempt! What did you do this time that was different than last year?
In the past year we've attempted to simplify our intentions. Something that we feel is more important now more than ever, is the physicality of our work. That emotion and meaning is derived, at least in part, from the actual labor of it. The idea is king, but over intellectualization ruins some of the magic. Our sights are set on making work that has impact and soul, but without the sacrifice of the poetry or impulse of fine art, like painting or sculpting.
Young Guns is as much an exercise in self-curation as it is in sheer creative talent. After all, you are only allowed to submit six projects. How did you go about deciding which pieces to submit and which to leave out?
We had an argument which turned into a cage match and then the one who was left alive picked.
What went through your mind when you discovered that you won, knowing how difficult it is to make it into Young Guns?
It was a great morning. I think we ate honey nut cheerios.
If you had to pick one of the six projects that you entered as your favorite, which one would it be and why?
Lophiile was one of our favorite projects. Meeting and connecting with all of those folks and hearing about their experiences with romantic love, in its exhaustive variety (which is something that we are somewhat obsessed with as artists), was magic. Also we got to be on set again with our good friends Tal Midyan and Bryan Wolff.
If you had to describe your creative style, the part of your work that’s most distinctively “you”, what would it be?
Style is, or should be, unconscious. The question, what is your style, presupposes that one is aiming to have a style. For us at least it's not something we think about in those terms.
Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career, people who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?
Influences: Bill Evans, Tadao Ando, Rick Owens, Anne Imhof, Bjork, Gordon Matta Clark, Dom Kennedy. Mentors/Contemporaries: Ian Pons Jewell, Pantera, Chayse Irvin, Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Philipp Ramhofer, Jakob Preischl.
Now that you’re in the Young Guns family, are there any past winners you look up to and admire?
Faust (YG12), Daniels (YG14), Kerby Jean-Raymond (YG14), Hassan Rahim (YG14), Ezra Miller (YG14), Maceo Frost (YG15), Noemie Le Coz (YG15), Nadia Lee Cohen (YG16), Jonas Linstrom (YG16), Tal Midyan (YG16), Marco Prestini (YG16).
It goes without saying that 2020 has been a pretty crazy year, with a global pandemic and social upheaval shaping so many facets of our lives. Aside from the positive news of winning Young Guns, how has this year been for you?
Edifying. Value has been clarified.
Name a creative/professional dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!
Be good fathers. Be good humans. Find a romantic partner. Have a family. Direct a feature. Expand our practice into the fine art space.
Any last words about winning Young Guns 18 that you'd like to share?
"lightly..." - Aldous Huxley
WORDS FROM THE JURY
"rubberband.'s work is simply exciting to watch. Their command of the medium and their ability to assimilate and update visual tropes is impressive, to say the least. Each piece is both meticulously crafted and delightfully unexpected. They move with remarkable ease across style and tone — from retro-future music video to ethereal documentary — all while maintaining an unmistakable voice and point of view."
Young Guns 4 Winner
"rubberband.'s taste and vision are unique and fresh; their work is extremely well done, from idea to execution. They have been killing the game and I'm sure will continue to do so! I'm honored to welcome them to the Young Guns family! I'm a huge fan."
Young Guns 17 Winner
"rubberband. is a beautiful, tidy mess of contradictions. They’re tender, but tinged with rawness; they’re intimate at times, and detached at others; they stir up nostalgia, while catapulting us onward; they navigate between delirium and intense focus. And they’re fearless. Completely unafraid to experiment and push their craft, they manage an impressive range of technique and aesthetics across their different projects. But don’t mistake this for blind searching - no matter how much their range is stretched, their projects all hold together as a singular body of work. Beneath the dexterous play of colour and composition is a tone these artists are in total control of; a thick, roiling, undercurrent, at times barely perceptible, at times bubbling up to overwhelm you; a distinct quality consistent across their work. 'rubberband' indeed."
Young Guns 16 Winner
Make sure to check out all the Young Guns 18 Winners in the archive!