Wait, There’s Artists On Vine?

There’s a new breed of urban artists out there who are hashtagging the walls of the Internet and creating art in the most unassuming ways. I remember when I first stumbled upon Simply Sylvio (the most lovable gorilla you'll find on Vine): It was about a month ago while I was sitting on the toilet answering nature’s call and catching up on my favorite viners – a guilty pleasure of mine – that I came across this new viner who would redefine my experience with the popular social media app. His username is “Simply Sylvio” and, according to his profile, he's “just an ordinary gorilla trying to live a simple life.” Yet what he actually delivers is borderline extra-ordinary. His vines appear to be ridiculous, strange and silly but, more often than not, also beautiful, honest and poetic – the perfect mix for art to blossom.

Every Man Lies, But Give Him A Mask And He'll Tell The Truth 

The first vine I remember seeing from this account is one where Sylvio, a relentlessly hip gorilla (really a person in costume), appears grooving to the catchy tune of his new ringtone – enjoying it so much that he rather not answer the phone but continue grooving.

I am of the opinion that an artist is not defined by what he/she creates but who he/she is – where their expressions and the way they simply are is already poetic; those individuals that live artistically and no canvas is needed to assure us of their uniqueness. You know who I'm talking about. You probably have a few of those unicorns in you life; those in whose presence you find a new set of eyes with which to view the world and often leave you with a wonderful buzz after each encounter. Simply Sylvio, through the snippets we get into his everyday life, is like that. Where you see a watermelon, for instance, he sees something else:

For those who may not be familiar with the app, Vine is like a fast-food joint for comedy. It’s where you go to get quick fixes of humor (six seconds long, to be exact). This is because the majority of its user-generated content are attempts at humor or entertainment (because funny people get more followers and more followers means vine popularity). So you can imagine my surprise when, amid the antics of established celebrity viners like King Bach, Kc James and Curtis Lepore with their millions of followers, I a came across something as unique and simple as this: 

Of course I began to follow Sylvio (along with the 174,000+ people that already do). Besides his vine-work (that I dare not put into a box by calling it Internet performance art), what I found remarkable was the interaction he keeps with his followers who outwardly support and love every six-second move he makes. Despite the ridiculous gorilla costume, there's a serious honesty and sensibility that seeps through his vines and is apparent in his replies to comments. Of course, there's always haters out there, sometimes complaining how dumb a vine is or how they don't "get it." But even haters get special shouts from Sylvio on his channel:

Intrigued by the clash of his over-the-top appearance and his honest personality, I reached out to Sylvio to get closer to the truth behind the mask.

Artparasites: Describe yourself in one lie.

Simply Sylvio: I never lie.

You made it rain on a recent vine and unique music/jingles are almost a constant feature in your work. Plot twist: If it rained music, what would grow?

If it rained music little brass instruments would grow from the dirt. If it snowed music little white synthesizers would grow when the snow melted.

A classic and a must-ask: You are stranded in a deserted island for the rest of your days. Which 5 viners would you want with you and why?

J_e__s___s because she has many knives which would come in handy for hunting and foraging.

Avery Monsen because he is a wizard and he could use his magic to keep dark spirits away.

Stacey Nightmare because she is half-crab and could help catch fish and other ocean treats.

Tony Besides because he would document the whole process of our living on the island.

Red 6, Pete Heacock, Kingdaddy, Bottlerocket, Woodsie, or Josh Darnit because they make me laugh. Also they are dads. The effectiveness of their seed has already been proven. They will help repopulate the island.

You're trying to live a simple life and I assume you also want to die a simple death: If vines were the epitaphs of the future, which – from the ones you've created so far – would you like looping every six seconds on your tombstone forever?

"Sylvio takes a nap" feels appropriate.

Any words of advice to simply live by?

Take long walks. Be openhearted. Stay loose.

Article by Jovanny Varela Ferreyra


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