Artist Chris Riggs—famed for his street art and positive approach to controversial subjects—partnered with manicurist Jin Soon Choi on a collection of four nail varnishes centered around positive themes like love and peace. Here, we spoke to the duo about their history, inspiration, and hopes for the future.
How did you two decide to work together? JIN SOON CHOI: I wanted to counter all of the negative rhetoric in the world these days by collaborating with an artist known for working in a positive milieu. CHRIS RIGGS: Jin wanted to do a street-themed line with positive words, like peace and love. I really loved her story about how she came to America and worked her way to the top. We need more immigrants like Jin in America—this is what makes our country so great. People like Jin come here and believe in the American dream and make it happen. Her nail polish is made in the USA, which is one of my favorite things about it.
Chris, how did you get into street art? CR: When I was very young, maybe 7 or 8 years old, I would see all the street art on the walls around NYC. I loved the colors and bubble letters. When I got older, I would find abandoned buildings and paint murals on the walls inside. This art form was all around us in the '80s, and it was started by us, the kids of NYC. We started it because we had nothing else. Now it is the biggest art form in the world, and is in every country around the world, as well as in galleries and museums.
Jin, why does street art appeal to you? JSC: I’m a life-long devotee of street art. I’ve been living in NYC for most of my adult life, and anywhere I go, I photograph it regularly.
How did you settle on the four shades—love, peace, hope, and grace—for the collection? JSC: I chose shades that represent spring, and are also graffiti-worthy colors. I loved the colors and the artwork so much that I decided to create JINsoon Nail Décor, nail appliques made from my line of polish featuring art from Chris Riggs.
Chris, you relocated from NYC to Miami in 2011. What do you love to do around the city? CR: My favorite thing to do in Miami is to spray paint outside in the beautiful weather. I enjoy going to the beach or pool and swimming. I also love rollerblading and hiking because I love to be close to Mother Earth and doing things outside. Miami is paradise!
The full collection is available for purchase at jinsoon.com.