IKEMEN #4: Brian Ermanski

March 27, 2013 1:53 PM

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang


Name: The Prince of Elizabeth Street, Brian Ermanski.

Profession: Artist – Painter – and now Businessman – a whole new world for someone who once set up a gallery outside on the corner of Elizabeth and Prince Streets in Nolita. I have an online store where those that admire my art but can’t afford my original paintings can now buy clothing and accessories with my designs. My art that was once only available on a street corner for someone to buy is now actually accessible the world over at www.Ermanski.spreadshirt.com


Your Passions:

I love painting and creating art but more so I love the process of coming up with the ideas for new paintings... So many people that I have met have become the inspiration for my paintings. Everyone is so unique and beautiful in their own way. I Love New York! I am passionate about making my mark here as an artist and then the rest of the world!


If I weren’t me, I would be:

If I weren’t me, I would want to be me. I love being me – and who wouldn’t? I am free. I am not owned by anyone. No one tells me what to paint, what to wear – or even whom to love. I decide. I live my life now through choice – no longer consequences. Someone once asked me if I could describe my unique look? I said no and then asked, could you?


Best trait about yourself; physically and mentally:

I have been told I have the body of a Greek god and a great face with the softest hair that I am finally going to let grow again. The first time I heard someone give me a compliment on my looks, I couldn’t believe they were actually talking about me. I think my best trait physically is that I am strong and healthy – my legs are soccer legs and my glutes are that of a gladiator. My best trait mentally is that I stay open to new ideas and new people in my life. I can be happy. I can be sad but I am always positive about my future.


First thing in the morning:

When I awake, I immediately look out the window and smile! I love waking up. I listen to hear sounds. It can be a siren – or even people yelling on the street. It’s all good. It means I am alive. Then I think about what I have to do today – and how much time can I get in to paint. I love showers – but I really love painting. I have always wondered if I could paint in the shower. That would be rad. I am getting close to making it happen... Check this, my first kickstarter was successful! It is called "The Squirt Gun Series". I am going to shoot Super Soakers filled with paint onto canvas!!!


Mealtime ritual:

I love pancakes! If I could have pancakes and syrup with fruit every morning I would... But, I settle on Honey Nut Cheerios and Lactaid Milk. Starbucks coffee with splenda instead of sugar because my dentist said it has less tooth decay properties... I love Italian food! My mom is the best Italian cook! She sends me chocolate chip and Italian cookies once in a while which makes me happy. Otherwise, in the afternoon or night I just grab a bite in Nolita or Tribeca at any one of the delicious restaurants.


Something you would never do or give for money:

There is nothing I wouldn't do for money because I am not afraid of anything. -God of Sex


Have you experienced unrequited love, and what did you do about it?

Anytime anything is one sided it is painful. I have felt pain many times. It sucks but I usually create a lot of art afterward. I have even felt pain when I was told that it was I who was one sided. I asked myself, really? I am the Prince of Elizabeth Street. I am free. Do I not see when someone loves me? Why can’t I open up more and let someone that loves me in? How do I do that, I always ask? I want to be open and I want to always be ready for love. I want to be ready. But then I ask, what should I say? How will I know? I will figure it out.


Dream date:

My dream date is being with someone I can be myself with – and someone that totally gets I have a career. If someone thinks that I am sexy, I always say thank you. If someone is really into my career, that totally excites me and I am intensely turned on.


Favorite designer:

Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford. I once met Lagerfeld and made the ridiculous mistake of telling him I wanted to be a designer. I meant design clothes with my art on them. Lagerfeld must have thought I wanted his job. I do if he is offering it. I also saw Tom Ford at a press dinner in London. The press people said I shouldn’t talk to him. I thought I should have. I really should have gone over and said I love his work but can’t afford his clothes. I do know that he made this intensely super film. I appeared in a documentary film, "The Prince of Elizabeth Street" – but the next film, I want to be directed by Tom Ford. I will wear his clothes, listen to his direction – but I want to paint the art that he uses on the set.


Favorite musician:

I love Kurt Cobain. I have felt his pain and the angst in his lyrics in my own life. I always wished I had a band of my own. I come up with lyrics and stories to sing all day long in my mind. I have the best time when I walk down the street with my boombox blasting all types of music, singing at the top of my lungs lyrics I instantly create. I feel like a rock star balancing and strutting down on the edge of the sidewalk dancing and wearing my top hat. Someone once said "He is like the Fred Astaire of SoHo" I was so delighted.


Favorite restaurant in NYC:

I love Balthazar! They let me blast my boombox outside and tell the cops that it is ok when complaints are called in. Anytime I request a table the wonderful and attentive staff always accommodates me which makes me feel welcomed and appreciated. The food is delicious and I always look forward to spending an evening there with a close friend after I sell a painting for 5K or more. -BE Radical



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