Together, Elena and Aubrey Smyth form the artistic duo KOZMA and MOTU, aka "Armageddon Beachparty," who you might've caught doing live painting performances at music festivals around town this past summer. We met them at Great Lakes Coffee, which Elena says was the occasion for a toned down version of their typical Bohemian-chic style. "Normally we're a bit more outrageous," Elena says. "This is our business casual."
The two can often be seen adorned with found-object jewelry, which they make and sell at their performances. They're also both fans of the punk-rock leather look. Aubrey says he's owned his biker jacket "since birth, basically," and says he was "raised a punk." The jacket originally belonged to his mother, who passed it onto him. "It was basically the baby blanket I had as a child," he says.
He says he once lost it in Washington D.C. and somehow, it miraculously found its way back to him in Detroit eight years later (it's a long, Brave Little Toaster-esque tale). He also bought Elena her leather jacket for Christmas — "She's been talking about wanting a leather for so long," he says.
Their latest art show, Tropic Colossus, has an opening reception from 6 p.m.-midnight on Friday, Feb. 13 at the Carr Center, 311 E. Grand River Ave, Detroit (18 plus only, no cover). They won't be doing live painting this time (give 'em a break!), but there will be plenty of other entertainment including burlesque, "Trans-dimensional comedy," acrobatics, DJs, and libations. We asked them to break down their style:
Self-made found object jewelry
Vintage 1980's thrifted sweater
Prescription Shuron Optical
Doc Martin Boots