Building Bloc
...the story behind

How did the idea of BLOC28 come about?
The idea for BLOC28 started about 3 years ago. We thought it would be interesting to work with artists experienced in non-traditional media like murals, graffiti, and street art. It started as just a few graphics, but it was soon developed into its own program. We knew there were artists out there that were inspired by Disney characters as kids, so we wanted to see how Mickey could be reinterpreted.

Whats makes BLOC28 appealing?
First and foremost, the art. BLOC28 is an art-based program with traditional works on canvas and board as the inspiration rather than a shoe design or some other object on to which an artist's work is photoshopped or "skinned." The idea was always to have new pieces of actual art that would enter into the canon of artists that have worked with Disney, like Dali. The appreciation of the epic scale that only art can rise to is what makes BLOC28 a unique program.

Second, to see how contemporary artists work together with an art company like Disney.

To see their interpretations of the most iconic cartoon character of all time mixing with the standard interpretations of Mickey over the years may have more impact on the overall contemporary arts culture than we can foresee at this time. That unknown quality with these collaborations makes the program more exciting than what has become the norm.

What can you say about the artists?
All of the artists have their own unique style. And they all have a following; having been able to take their street art to a broader audience. We saw something in their talent that reflected what we wanted to do -- tell a great story in a non-traditional way.

Can you talk about initial public reaction toward BLOC28?
Everyone who's seen it has responded well to it. Even people who haven't seen the art yet are excited at the idea of a Disney collaboration with some of today's top artists. I think it has gotten such positive reaction because we pulled artists from within the community, which keeps the project rooted.

How do you see BLOC28 fitting into Disney history?
If you think about Walt . . . he was all about trying different things. In every film he wanted it not only to be amazing storytelling but visually interesting. This is an extension of that, building on this great character Mickey and putting a different twist and interpretation on it. You'll see that each of the artists is telling great stories with their pieces in very different styles.

Are there future plans for BLOC28?
The plan is to do series two, which we plan to launch beginning of next year. We want to get a broader perspective and have a variety of artist. We're selecting artists from different regions around the world. We'll have artists from Japan, London, South America and also different parts of the US.

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