Thursday, September 06, 2007
On your blog you say that in 1984 you got into street art to express
yourself outside of norms,tell us about that.
most kids are offered the usual sports for extra curricular activities
but they just didnt hold my attention enough. when i was introduced to
graffiti it was a whole new world, a whole new way of finding a sense
What were your first images?
my first work was the typical "trying to copy" different lettering
styles out of the subway art book or anywhere i saw graffiti.
Do you have a formal art training?
not really. i attempted to build a portfolio for art school when i
was 19 and enrolled in part time classes but dropped out because there
was much more art happening on the street.
You are putting across a message about "every day America/n's..the less
i feel a kinship with these people because its how i grew up. i
wouldnt feel right making work that i have no connection with.
How do feel about your images of these people being bought by relatively
well off art collectors? And hung in homes that wouldn't readily admit the individuals depicted?
i would hope that there is some personal connection between the buyer
of the work and the person being depicted and that that is why they
bought it in the first place. hopefully one day the work will be
strong enough to inspire compassion in those who are in a place of
financial stability to help the people who are not.
Does it matter where art is seen? And by whom?
in my opinion the best place to display art is on the street. that way
its not censored by one persons prejudice and can be seen by all.
Where would graffiti if you could paint anywhere/anything?
never really thought about it. im happy with a good spot that the work
can interact with.
It seems that your work is almost exclusively about the American
experience,rather than global,tell us about that.
unfortunately the american experience is all i really know. just the
term "american experience" could mean many things to different people.
it goes back to trying to be honest with my work and not speaking on
situations i dont have first hand experience with.
There is a distinctly old fashioned feel to your images,what is that about?
that could be due to spending alot of time with my grandparents when i
was younger. their mannerisms and how they came across in their
deelings in life. a kind of grinding the gears without much oil.
Are there artists who you admire/love? Who/why?
the artists that i love are the ones i spend the most time with , my
friends. they are the ones who inspire me the most.
Are there artists who you revile? Who/why? i dont spend much time thinking about it.
Are there artists that have influenced your work? (German expressionists
and winter series?) kathe kollwitz and a list of others. the winter in america series was inspired by the music of gil scot heron. i get alot of my ideas from different musicians. woody guthrie, the roots, mos def, sonny terry, brownie mcghee, tom waits, the pogues, lucero, two gallants, crass.
You say that one of your main interests is reading,what are you reading
i am always reading charles bukowski.right now i am halfway through
"the people look like flowers at last". im also reading crass "love
songs" and kerouacs "sketchbooks."
Have you/your art been influenced strongly by any books?
kathe kollwitz diaries. there she talks about the struggle of being a mother and artist.
What/who keeps you motivated/engaged and painting?
alot of my work is therapy for me. dealing with the inner and outer
struggles and social issues.
i've got some generous support from swoon, josh macphee, and billy
mode, over the years and that has always helped.
How much do you use different mediums and why?
i usually stick with the aerosol paint and sometimes mix collage in.
its just where i feel comfortable.
what are your challenges as an artist?
finding time to make art. then once its made coming to terms with the
fact that it doesnt really make one hell of a difference in the grand
scheme of things.
How do you see yourself? As a street artist,an urban artist,a gallery
i never really thought about it. i am just a person who paints about
his life and what goes on around him. theres probably a term for it
Are these blurring now..in general/for you? n/a
Who would exhibit in your dream group show? my freinds and i.
If not inc' above,who are your fav' compemporary artists? i like jose parlas work.
Is there a piece of your work that you are particularly proud/fond of?
Show it to us please!
i did a piece of an old railroad tramp standing in front of a feight
train. it was the first time i really caught the expression on his
face and the detail in his clothes. i gave the piece to bill daniels (
who is bozo texino? the movie) so i dont have it to show you.
What question would you most like to have been asked but haven't been? Tell
us and answer it!
i think you hit them all. thank you once again for your interest.