You are on page 1of 74

the art in the streets issue

apr 11 n 123

INTRODUCTION

SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE

Welcome to a special edition of Juxtapoz
In honor of the first major street art and graffiti retrospective, Art In the Streets, opening at MOCA in Los Angeles this April, Juxtapoz Magazine created a companion text to the show as our April 2011 issue. As Art In the Streets opens this weekend, Juxtapoz and Levi’s have teamed up, in the spirit of street art and graffiti, where rewriting the rules is the mantra, to bring you the April Issue here in full as a digital experience. With Levi’s Film Workshop opening at MOCA for the entirety of Art In the Streets, allowing both the general public and museum visitors to create their own films and motion-based productions, we hope this digital version of Juxtapoz’ April Art In the Streets issue will inspire you to create something in the determination and essence of street art.

PRESENTS

April 14th – August 8TH, 2011
152 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles California 90013
FILMS BY ALEX STAPLETON, CAT SOLEN + SWOON, KENNY SCHARF + NATHAN MEIER + MALIA SCHARF, NECKFACE + ISAIAH SERET SECRETS OF THE DOC DOUG PRAY, MICHAEL RAPAPORT,

ALEX STAPLETON, ONDI TIMONER VIDEO SKATE NIGHT CURATED BY PATRICK O'DELL WITH SPIKE JONZE, LANCE MOUNTAIN, TY EVANS AND SURPRISE GUESTS CINEFAMILY FILM SERIES WITH SPECIAL GUESTS WERNER HERZOG, CHARLIE AHEARN, BUSY BEE, FAB 5 FREDDY, PATTI ASTOR, JEFFREY DEITCH, MARIPOL, MARK H. MILLER CLASSES LED BY ECHO PARK FILM CENTER SCREENINGS WITH FILMS BY JOEY GARFIELD, ESPO AND ADAM YAUCH MOTION PAINTING WITH DAVID ELLIS PHONOTROPE-MAKING WITH JIM LE FEVRE
WORKSHOPS.LEVI.COM TWITTER: @LEVISWORKSHOPS | FACEBOOK.COM/LEVIS | VIMEO.COM/LEVIS

2

SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE

JUXTAPOZ

CALENDAR - ART X FILM
FRIDAY

TWITTER: @LEVISWORKSHOPS | FACEBOOK.COM/LEVIS VIMEO.COM/LEVIS

WORKSHOPS.LEVI.COM

04/15
7:30 PM
LEVI’S PRESENTS: WILD STYLE Cinefamily
Joyous, raucous, and explosive, Wild Style is the movie that made Hollywood wake up to hip-hop. After the film, join us for an after-party with director Charlie Ahearn, co-stars Busy Bee, Fab 5 Freddy & Patti Astor, along with other special guests.

SUNDAY

04/17
11:00 AM
ECHO PARK FILM CENTER: SUPER 8 BASICS Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Using the classic home-movie camera, students will explore the history and application of small format filmmaking. This workshop includes basic camera operation and shooting techniques. No previous filmmaking experience necessary.

SUNDAY

04/17
3:00 PM
MEET THE ARTISTS: SWOON + CAT SOLEN Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Filmmaker Cat Solen and AITS exhibiting artist Swoon will share and discuss their collaborative short film First in a series of four conceptual films made via the Workshop and celebrating Art in the Streets.

TUESDAY

04/19
8:00 PM
LEVI’S PRESENTS: DOWNTOWN 81 Cinefamily
Downtown 81 stars legendary artist, poet and musician Jean-Michel Basquiat, as director Edo Bertoglio captures the energy of the early-’80s New York art-world and bohemian subculture. Post-film panel with MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch, artist / Downtown 81 producer Maripol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Fun Gallery co-director Marc H. Miller!

THURSDAY

04/21
8:00 PM
LEVI’S PRESENTS: MUR MURS Cinefamily
Mur Murs is Agnès Varda’s love letter to Los Angeles–ephemeral, idiosyncratic and startling street murals that give freeways, airports, and other communal spaces unexpected vibrancy and life. Plus Stations of the Elevated, a wordless tone poem by German filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer, featuring music by Charles Mingus.

FRIDAY

04/22
8:00 PM
LEVI’S PRESENTS: GLOBAL GRAFFITI SHORTS Cinefamily
A shorts program curated by Cinefamily, incl Helen Stickler’s Andre The Giant Has A Posse, her 1997 look at Shepard Fairey’s infamous guerilla sticker campaign, Matt McCormick’s The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal, and the rare Dreams Don’t Die, 1982 movie about an inner-city graffiti writer.

SATURDAY

04/23
5:30 PM
SCREENING: CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS + WERNER HERZOG IN-PERSON Natural History Museum
Werner Herzog’s brand new documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams gives you exclusive access inside the Chauvet caves of southern France. Putting modern 3-D technology to a profound use, Cave transports you back in time over 30,000 years! See the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.

SATURDAY

04/23

SUNDAY

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

04/24
11:00 AM
ECHO PARK FILM CENTER: 16MM BASICS Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Join us for an introduction to 16mm filmmaking using Bolex reflex and Beaulieu cameras. In this workshop, students will learn basic camera operation and lighting. No previous filmmaking experience necessary.

WEDNESDAY

04/27
8:00 PM
LEVI’S PRESENTS: SKATE VIDEO NIGHT Vista Theatre
Noted photographer and producer Patrick O’Dell (Epicly Later’d) will present a special compilation of seminal skateboard videos from the 1980s to today. The screening will be followed by a conversation with legendary skateboarders and filmmakers, including Spike Jonze, Stacy Peralta, Lance Mountain, Ed Templeton, Greg Hunt, Ty Evans, Rick Howard, Aaron Meza, Tobin Yelland.

A/V SESSIONS: D-FUSE Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
London-based artists D-Fuse kick off our A/V Sessions with their live Sonic Cinema performance Latitude [31°10N/121°28E]. Shot during a 3 month period in China, fragments of conversations, crowds, journeys, lights, deserted space and architectural forms are mixed in a unique live performance tracing a multitude of paths, identities and influences, representing everyday life of contemporary China.

SATURDAY

04/30

SUNDAY

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

05/01
11:00 AM
ECHO PARK FILM CENTER: 16MM LOOP MAKING Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
An activation of Eisenstein’s theory of montage mixed with lessons in how to use a splicer and projector. Scratching, tweaking, dying, repurposing found footage to make film loops. Participants will chop up old films and make a new edit/film loop that is screened at the end of the workshop.

SUNDAY

05/01
3:00 PM
SECRETS OF THE DOC Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Acclaimed documentary filmmakers Doug Pray (Hype!, Scratch, Infamy, Surfwise), Michael Rapaport (Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest), Alexandria Stapleton (Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel), Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live in Public) will reveal the challenges and their tips for shooting unscripted films.

MONDAY

05/02
7:00 PM
LA PREMIERE OF FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT REVISITED DOC Egyptian Theatre
This 30 minute short was one of the most talked about films at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The Beastie Boys have revisited their classic “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” music video, with an all-star cast that puts any big screen blockbuster to shame.

A/V SESSIONS: DAVID CABRERA Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
In an emerging world of video performance artists, few have background and skill as impressive as David Cabrera, AKA mr.cocoon. With the performative approach of a live musician, his adaptable style has been described as psychedelic narrative, often referencing Nam June Paik and late 60’s light shows.

SATURDAY

05/07
SATURDAY

SUNDAY

11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

05/08
11:00 AM
ECHO PARK FILM CENTER: HOME MEDIA MASHUP Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Bring in your old home movies (Super 8mm, 8mm, VHS) and learn to edit and reappropriate the footage to create a story.

SUNDAY

05/08
3:00 PM
MEET THE ARTISTS: KENNY SCHARF + NATHAN MEIER + MALIA SCHARF Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Filmmakers Malia Scharf, Nathan Meier and AITS exhibiting artist Kenny Scharf will share and discuss their collaborative short film, Kenny Scharf: More, Newer, Better, Nower, Funner. Second in a series of four conceptual films made via the Workshop and celebrating Art in the Streets.

MOTION PAINTING WITH DAVID ELLIS Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Over the course of a full day you are invited join artist David Ellis in the making of a motion painting. Participants will help build, light and shoot with time-lapse photography a variety of found objects. When the sun sets we will watch the finished film.

05/14
1:00 PM
PHONOTROPIC FUN WITH JIM LE FEVRE Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Spend a unique and entertaining afternoon with BAFTA and British Animation Award-winning filmmaker/animator Jim LeFevre, the champion of this modern-day incarnation of the Zoetrope, the Phonotrope. You’ll learn tips and tricks to make your own short looping animations.

SATURDAY

05/14

SUNDAY

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

05/15
3:00 PM
MEET THE ARTISTS: NECK FACE + ISAIAH SERET Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Filmmaker Isaiah Seret and AITS exhibiting artist Neck Face will share and discuss their collaborative short film. Devendra Banhart, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Third in a series of four conceptual films made via the Workshop and celebrating Art in the Streets.

A/V SESSIONS: VJ FRANZ K Levi’s® Film Workshop at MOCA
Franz Keller is a true multimedia artist - his projection work is a combination of modern computer geometry with classic media, such as ink brush drawing and puppeteering. He is a graduate of UCLA Design School, and prominent member of the Pomona Arts Colony, and former director of SCA Project Gallery. In the techno clubs, and on YouTube, he’s known as VJ Franz K - a video journalist as well as music / visual performer.

8:00 PM EGYPTIAN THEATRE

SAVE THE DATE 05/24
PREMIERE OF THE OFFICIAL STORY OF ART IN THE STREETS, DIRECTED BY ALEX STAPLETON

SCREENING

EDUCATION

EVENT

LIVE & DIRECT ON FACEBOOK

SCREENING

EDUCATION

EVENT

LIVE & DIRECT ON FACEBOOK

*ALL EVENTS AT LEVI’S FILM WORKSHOP AT MOCA UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

*ALL EVENTS AT LEVI’S FILM WORKSHOP AT MOCA UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

4

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Photo by Gusmano Cesaretti

JUXTAPOZ

JUXTAPOZ 123 LEVI’S FILm wORkShOP 32 CURATOR CONVERSATION 38 LEE QUINONES 44 BILL DANIEL 54 mARGARET kILGALLEN 64 DASh SNOw 72 JAmIE REID 78 FAB 5 FREDDy 88 RAmmELLZEE 96 GUSmANO CESARETTI 104 mARThA COOPER 114
INTRODUCTION 6 PROFILES 16 INSIDER 130 PERSPECTIVE 142

VIDEO

SWOON + CAT SOLEN

filmed at moca in conjunction with the exhibition art in the streets

One in a series of four collaborative films facilitated by the Levi’s Film Workshop
JUXTAPOZ (ISSN #1077-8411) APRIL 2011, Volume 18, Number 4. Published monthly by High Speed Productions, Inc., 1303 Underwood Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124–3308. ©2010 High Speed Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. JUXTAPOZ® is a registered trademark of High Speed Productions, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the author. All rights reserved on entire contents. Advertising inquiries should be directed to: (415) 671 2429; (415) 822 8359 (fax). Subscriptions: US, $29.99 (one year, 12 issues) or $75.00 (12 issues, first class, US only); Canada, $75.00; Foreign, $80.00 per year. Single copy: US, $5.99; Canada, $6.99. Subscription rates given represent standard rate and should not be confused with special subscription offers advertised in the magazine. Periodicals Postage Paid at San Francisco, CA, and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No 0960055. Change of address: Allow six weeks advance notice and send old address label along with your new address. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to JUXTAPOZ, PO Box 884570, San Francisco, CA 94188–4570.

Watch here: vimeo.com/levis/swoon-cat

6

PhOTOS

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by Evan Pricco

kENNy SChArF + NAThAN mEiEr + mALiA SChArF
coming may 8, 2011

UPCOmING

Watch it here: vimeo.com/levis/scharf-meier

INTRODUCTION 123
You are about to read through a lot of history. This issue revels in stories of pinnacle moments of convergence, remarkable communication, specific and diligent documentation that spread street art and graffiti around the world, about outsider artists who paved the way, obsession, anarchy, anti-authority, death, birth, and reflection. You will read about men and women who created a spirit of, as Jeffrey Deitch puts it, “unmediated expression,” a momentum so relentless that even when standing completely outside the normal confines of the traditional exhibition art circuit could no longer be ignored. You will learn about pioneers, some of whom may change your opinion on graffiti and street art. Building this companion issue to the landmark Art in the Streets survey opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles this month garnered new appreciation for the origins of many artist we have covered. Even if you personally never picked up a spray can, put up a wheat paste, or wrote on a wall, the energy and freedom of expression conveyed through graffiti and street art permeated the art world. It was, and may still be, the ultimate “fuck you” mentality. Origins of this attitude can be found in Jamie Reid and his Sex Pistols’ art, in the 1970s street photography of Gusmano Cesaretti, the early street pieces in New York City by Lee, and in the street poems that Jean-Michel Basquiat left behind around downtown. Where it went from there was to the streets of San Francisco with Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen, to Brazil with Os Gêmeos, to Obey Giant, to Revs and Cost, to Saber, and as far as England with Banksy. The names are iconic, and each contributed in passing the baton onto a new generation. So we ask, where does it all go now? Graffiti and street art had always relied on an audience in a distinct public space and locale. Pieces done in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, the Bronx, or Berlin were done so people would see, discuss, digest, understand, and interact. Where discourse and interaction with art existed solely in galleries and museums in the mid-twentieth century, this new distribution point was created in the streets throughout the 1970s, ’80s, and most of the ’90s. Today, the Internet has broken all barriers and rules. Work is now being created for the first point of interaction to occur on your laptop, not a physical space. The audience is infinite (or six billion people infinite). You aren’t just putting a piece up in Valencia, Spain; you are sharing a piece for the world to see via their computers, smartphones, and iPads. When Banksy flooded San Francisco’s streets in 2010, it wasn’t just SF that experienced the work, but forums and blogs around the world that delivered the news with posts and images. It became a global story, far outweighing the local impact. The new distribution point of street art and graffiti is the Internet. And who will utilize new technology and break new ground in this development? We have seen moments of clarity in what the next few decades could look like. To us, BLU and David Ellis’ COMBO may be the start of the revolution: street art and performance made for video and Internet-only. Even Evan Roth’s Graffiti Analysis project speaks of a new medium for graff and street art. It will be these new pioneers, creating new languages within the same spirit birthed by Dondi, Futura, Chaz Bojorquez, Crash, Fab 5 Freddy, and countless others. Shepard Fairey observes, in his contribution to this issue, “Hopefully street and graffiti artists will, like their predecessors, evolve and change as public environments force them to adapt.” The new frontier is waiting, and we’re on the lookout for the next trailblazers. Enjoy issue 123.
FOUNDER / ROBERT WILLIAMS EDITOR / M. REVELLI MANAGING AND wEb EDITOR / EVAN PRICCO ART DIRECTOR / TRENTON TEMPLE CO-FOUNDER / GREG ESCALANTE CONTRIbUTING ART IN THE STREETS EDITOR / ROGER GASTMAN CREATIVE CONSULTANT / SUZANNE WILLIAMS CREATIVE DIRECTOR / HYBRID DESIGN, SF / WWW.HYBRID-DESIGN.COM GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR / KEVIN CONVERTITO PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR / CR STECYK III STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER / RANDY DODSON GURU / NICK LATTNER PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS / BRENT GENTILE / JEANETTE SAWYER / DAN WHITELEY NEw MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY EDITOR / ALEXANDER TARRANT CONTRIbUTING EDITOR / JOEY GARFIELD CONTRIbUTING PHOTO EDITORS / SAM BASSETT / ESTEVAN ORIOL CONTRIbUTING wRITERS / JOSHUA BLANK / HENRY CHALFANT / CRASH / SHEPARD FAIREY

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by John Barton

SACHA JENKINS / SHELLEY LEOPOLD / TRISTAN MANCO / JON NAAR / CHRIS PAPE ELIZABETH PEPIN / JAKE PHELPS / REVOK / AARON ROSE / CAROLINE RYDER / SABER WOOSTER COLLECTIVE
CONTRIbUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS / 13TH WITNESS / JOSHUA BLANK / ANGELA BOATWRIGHT

HENRY CHALFANT / MARTHA COOPER / CHUCK GIBSON / COLIN O’BRIEN / ESTEVAN ORIOL
INTERNS / ROSE ATHENA / CAITLIN FITTING DIRECTOR OF NEw bUSINESS / JEBEN BERG • (415) 671-2414 • JEBEN@HSPRODUCTIONS.COM ADVERTISING DIRECTOR / ERIN DYER • (415) 671-2434 • ERIN@JUXTAPOZ.COM MARKETING DIRECTOR / DAVE SYPNIEWSKI • DAVID@HSPRODUCTIONS.COM ADVERTISING SALES / EBEN STERLING • EBEN@HSPRODUCTIONS.COM AD TRAFFICKING / MIKE BRESLIN MARKETING AND ADVERTISING MANAGER / SALLY VITELLO PRESIDENT / GWYNNED VITELLO VICE PRESIDENT / ERIC SWENSON PUbLISHER / EDWARD H. RIGGINS CFO / JEFF RAFNSON ACCOUNTING MANAGER / KELLY MA CIRCULATION DIRECTOR / DEBBIE DEXTER CIRCULATION CONSULTANT / JOE BERGER GENERAL COUNSEL / JAMES M. BARRETT SUbSCRIPTIONS / MAIL ORDER / JENNY GALVEZ / YOLANDA RODRIGUEZ

(888) 520 9099 • SUBSCRIPTIONS@HSPRODUCTIONS.COM • ORDERS@HSPRODUCTIONS.COM
PRODUCT SALES MANAGER / RICK ROTSAERT • (415) 822 4189 PRODUCT PROCUREMENT / PETER TURNER SHIPPING / DERIK STEVENSON TECHNICAL LIAISON / SANTOS ELY AGUSTIN

JUXTAPOZ IS PUBLISHED BY HIGH SPEED PRODUCTIONS, INC. (415) 822 3083 EMAIL TO: EDITOR@JUXTAPOZ.COM WWW.JUXTAPOZ.COM THE PUBLISHERS WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO HAS FURNISHED INFORMATION AND MATERIALS FOR THIS ISSUE. UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ARTISTS FEATURED IN JUXTAPOZ RETAIN COPYRIGHT TO THEIR WORK. EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO REACH COPYRIGHT OWNERS OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES. THE PUBLISHER WILL BE PLEASED TO CORRECT ANY MISTAKES OR OMISSIONS IN OUR NEXT ISSUE. JUXTAPOZ WELCOMES EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS; HOWEVER, RETURN POSTAGE MUST ACCOMPANY ALL UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS, ART, DRAWINGS, AND PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIALS IF THEY ARE TO BE RETURNED. NO RESPONSIBILITY CAN BE ASSUMED FOR UNSOLICITED MATERIALS. ALL LETTERS WILL BE TREATED AS UNCONDITIONALLY ASSIGNED FOR PUBLICATION AND COPYRIGHT PURPOSES AND SUBJECT TO JUXTAPOZ’ RIGHT TO EDIT AND COMMENT EDITORIALLY.

NECk FACE + iSAiAh SErET
coming may 15, 2011

VIDEO

NEwSSTAND COVER By mARGARET kILGALLEN image courtesy of the estate of margaret Kilgallen and ratio 3, san francisco detail of Backside oil on wood 8" x 10" 1998

SUBSCRIBER COVER By LEE QUINONES Send In the Clowns acrylic, charcoal, graphite pencil, spray paint, and printed matter on canvas 50" x 68" 2009

Watch it here: vimeo.com/levis/neckface-seret

10

LEVI’S x mOCA TRUCkER JACkETS

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by John Barton

levi’s x moca trucker Jackets

12

LEVI’S x mOCA TRUCkER JACkETS

JUXTAPOZ

SINCE IT wAS FIRST INTRODUCED IN 1967, ThE LEVI’S® TRUCkER JACkET hAS SERVED AS AN ICONIC CANVAS FOR ARTISTS AROUND ThE wORLD, FROm ThE BOOGIE-DOwN BRONX TO ThE FAVELAS OF BRAZIL. ThESE LEVI’S® TRUCkER JACkETS ARE PART OF A LImITED SERIES CELEBRATING LEVI’S® PARTNERShIP wITh ART IN ThE STREETS.

All proceeds from the sale of this jacket benefit MOCA and its community programs. All jackets limited to 50 pieces Available exclusively at Art In The Streets $250 Each

Chaz Bojorquez started writing 1969 black trucker – release date 4/17 Crash started writing 1975 Zap trucker – release date 4/17 Keith Haring started writing 1979 rigid trucker – release date 8/6 Kenny Scharf started painting 1979 ghost or rigid trucker – release date 4/23 Lady Pink started writing 1979 women’s bohemian trucker – release date 4/17

Andre started painting 1985 rigid trucker – release date 5/14 KR started writing 1989 black trucker – release date 6/4 Shepard Fairey started posting 1989 green tar trucker – release date 7/2 Revok started writing 1989 tanker trucker – release date 6/18 Neck Face started writing 2000 black trucker – release date 7/16

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by John Barton

PhOTOS

Juxtapoz x michael leon Juxtapoz.com
available at

LEvi’S FiLm WOrkShOP
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california

The Levi’s Film Workshop is stocked with a variety of resources including camera and equipment rentals, postproduction editing bays, a green screen, stop motion stations, VJ booth and much more. Everything is free and open to the public.

16

PROFILES

JUXTAPOZ

hENRy ChALFANT

Henry Chalfant contacted me about five years after I had photographed Faith of Graffiti and I was able to put him in touch with Cay 161 and other taggers who had guided me and Norman Mailer to much of the early graffiti I documented. What he and Martha Cooper did so brilliantly in their book, Subway Art, was to show us the next generation of graffiti and to explain its process so meaningfully. A sculptor of distinction, Henry is also a filmmaker and videographer, whose Style Wars is an outstanding classic of New York’s historic role in this exciting expression of street art. Above all, I admire Henry’s integrity as an important artist who is bearing witness to the time and the place we inhabit. We continue to work on a number of levels and I am proud to call him one of my oldest and dearest friends. —Jon Naar
revolt and min

seen and doze

18

PhOTOS

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by Evan Pricco

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california

PhOTOS

A detailed look at CR Stecyk III’s massive walls at Art In the Streets

20

PROFILES

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by John Barton

CRASh

I have never met Crash, and for good reason. In my world someone like Crash is something larger than legend, a predecessor and point of inspiration to the generation that spawned what I am. Without guys like him this global art movement that folks refer to as “Graffiti” or “Street Art” likely would never be. People love to celebrate names like Haring or Basquiat as early pioneers of this movement but it’s the Crash’s, Zephyr’s, Haze’s, Seen’s, Blade’s and Futura’s that turned the key to release the children of the world out onto the street to play. And it’s guys like Crash who crossed the street and turned yet another key, and invited us to a new space. He gave us dignity and earned our respect in a world we learned wanted only to erase us and lock up our spirit. For this and for countless other achievements WE THANK YOU. —Revok

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california

PhOTOS

Levi’s Film Workshop green screen at MOCA

22

PROFILES

JUXTAPOZ

Photos by Evan Pricco

FUTURA

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california
When Juxtapoz approached me to write something about Futura, my mind raced a million miles. I wanted to write about so many of the things that had a huge impact on my career as well as every other young graffiti artist from the early 1980s. Like his letterless whole car, the early LA exhibits at the Bane Gallery, or making a record with the Clash. Then they dropped the bomb… I was only given 150 words for this project! style and name over 30 years ago, far beyond his time, and as any great artist hopes for, his work has not been dated, rather it has become timeless. He has pioneered so much in the graffiti game, not just the obvious fills and linear work that all accomplished aerosol artists have played with at one time or another in their career, but his approach as a whole. His greatest contribution was his push to be original and different. Futura 2000 broke countless boundaries and continues to be leading the pack into the next millennium. He is a true inspiration and legend to contemporary artists worldwide. —Risk
1 Alexis Ross and CR Stecyk III outside of MoCA, procrastinating 2 Shepard Fairey gives a last minute look over 3 LEE between breaks painting his massive mural on the Geffen building 4 RETNA and Estevan Oriol

PhOTOS

1

The Color of Money spraypaint and acrylic on canvas 120" x 108" 2011

So with that in mind I’m going to let his style speak for itself. His name alone is a true testament to his style. He came up with his

2

3

4

24

PROFILES

JUXTAPOZ

REVOk

The challenge is on, but even more challenging is that I have never had the opportunity to meet Revok. Being artists, our eyes are always searching for new concepts, ideas, anything that will feed that insatiable hunger that keeps our spirits in constant movement. In this process, it’s also obvious that we look at what’s happening with our peers and within our artistic community. Every once in awhile you get stopped in your tracks as you experience what you’ve been longing for. Revok has done this to me on too many occasions. His work stands out like the sorest of thumbs, and I wish had that type of effect on others. His work is so unique, so intense, so original, yet it doesn’t rebuff you, but brings you in. To me, that’s what it’s all about. Graff is language personified and he definitely has created his own accent within this language. I love his pieces on billboards because I always have to wait a second and say, “Oh, no, he didn’t!” To hit and run… His walls are tight… His lettering is unmatched, except for a few, and that says a lot. He just doesn’t need to keep painting within the confines of the borders of the canvas. Now I’m getting pissed! He rarely misses, and that’s a scary thought… —Crash1, Da Bronx

26

PhOTOS

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by Evan Pricco

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california

PhOTOS

A detailed look at Henry Chalfant’s wall in Art In the Streets

28

PROFILES

JUXTAPOZ

ROA

“The texture of the wall and the environment completes my idea or inspiration. Normally, I don’t know what I am going to paint until the final moment I stand in front of the wall.” —ROA Across a rooftop a giant bird surveys the city, along a side street a pile of pigs take a nap and inside an abandoned factory a giant bull’s head lies on the ground. This is the world of ROA, an artist originally from Belgium, while his paintings can also be found from New York to Mexico City. For ROA, animals can represent many things; some are culturally metaphorical for sin or for hope, humans consider some as dirt, others as beautiful. “It’s an open theme,” he explains “I’m interested by ordinary animals who live next to us; like rats, pigs and cows. They are all integrated in our western consumption culture, but it feels estranged when you see them painted on the street. To show them out of scale on the streets gives them a surreal ambiguity, and I can’t deny I am also fascinated by the circle of life in a peaceful, morbid manner.” —Tristan Manco

photo by luna park brooklyn 2010

30

PhOTOS

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by Evan Pricco

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california

PhOTOS

Mister Cartoon’s infamous Ice Cream Truck

32

LEVI’S FILm wORkShOP

JUXTAPOZ

levi’s film Workshop

text by evan pricco / photos by John barton

34

LEVI’S FILm wORkShOP

JUXTAPOZ

For Juxtapoz, it started in Spring 2010, by receiving a tutorial on how to use a letterpress machine at the Levi’s® Print Workshop in San Francisco. We didn’t know what to expect, except that we’d be able to learn, use, and craft an entire print invitation down the street from where one of the original San Francisco Levi’s jean factories used to run. We wrote at the time about wandering amongst workstations for classic letterpress, screenprinting designs, and type setting, all set up with employees and artists working together at each machine. Of course the kicker was when we asked how much it would cost to spend an hour printing posters that we wanted to make. The answer was simple: Free. When the second installment of the Workshops opened in NYC with Levi’s® Photo Workshop at the old Deitch Projects space in SoHo, colleagues and friends alike were, unsolicited, telling us about how crazy (they used the word a few times) it was for a major corporation to create a community-based program that seemed so seamless and right-on. You were being asked by a huge company to go and explore your creative talents. And if you had never used a letterpress machine, or worked a 35mm camera, here were the tools for you learn. Create, explore, do it by yourself or with friends, it doesn’t matter—as long as you had a place to go and ignite your imaginative spark. Be inspired and inspire. Make art on your own terms. We may be overusing the key words of creation, but there is a feeling that when given the keys to something that has always felt reserved for art schools and professionals, a person can feel a sense of liberation unknown before. And again, this was all a free experience. This Spring and Summer, as the world of street and graffiti aficionados descend upon downtown Los Angeles for the soon-to-be seminal Art In the Streets at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, the opening of the third Levi’s® Workshop will take place within the same building. With this being LA and Hollywood, the home of cinema, filmmaking, and the “stars,” naturally

this installment is the Levi’s® Film Workshop. Just as street art, graffiti, and skate culture have thrived through documentation with the film medium, the Levi’s® Film Workshop will provide a series of collaborative film and video projects, robust educational programming, and a city-wide screening series throughout the Art In the Streets exhibition, all for the public to use and experience. You don’t even have to see the exhibit. And again, all for free. If you’ve ever wanted to use a green screen, a Super-8 camera, learn about stop-motion animation, edit using Final Cut, or just learn from a professional about making a documentary film, the Levi’s® Film Workshop can be one or all of those things. If you live in the area or are visiting Art In the Streets, the facilities are there for you to use, rent, and learn. If you live in Jackson, Mississippi; Seoul, South Korea; or Cape Town, South Africa, tutorials and livestreaming events will be there to explore and interact with as well. The programming itself is extensive, encompassing everything from workshops with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts 3D, a series of film screenings related to art, skate, music, and food presented in partnership with LA-based curators and theaters, as well as tools and resources available to filmmakers of varying levels of expertise, including-latest generation computer and editing tools, equipment rental, a film library, and a digital collaboration facility. Of course, we can tell you about every single bell and whistle of the Levi’s Workshops; peel every layer off and show you how fantastically unique the Workshop experience is. How the spirit of giving people the ability to be inspired and creative on both a micro, macro, physical, and web level is in true spirit with the global spread and popularity of street art and graffiti. It was about something you can’t and could never buy, about the seeds of speaking to likeminded people, about opening eyes exposed to the normal corporate outreach for too long.

36

LEVI’S FILm wORkShOP

JUXTAPOZ

But we think what is most important about the entire Levi’s Workshop series is how a community of creative-minded individuals can have the access and a platform to be engaged with creation. Even though we can argue that outsiders have the opportunity to interact with the world via the Internet, there have always been barriers of acceptance and accessibility. Levi’s, through the energy and commitment of their employees—knowing that community in the arts and that the exchange of ideas is the true seed of originality—have provided a space for us to succeed and experiment in. In return, everyone who participates with the Workshops gives Levi’s a return in ideas and energy to pursue other community-based initiatives and programs. And nobody is more excited about the Workshops than Levi’s. In talks with various people involved in the Film Workshop, they were energized about the prospect of being involved in all of the tutorials and weekly classes, having people making films after either experiencing Art In the Streets, or just always wanting to have filmed something with a green screen. The general feeling surrounding Levi’s and the Workshops is that this is what they genuinely want to be doing: Making films, learning about photography, working with a letterpress. And the Workshops, in turn, reflect a real sense of purpose and authentication in how they open to their audience and community. In the end, it took a jeans brand—creating a clothing item that everyone can identify with as an absolute everyday necessity—to show the value of participating with your core audience. The notion of giving back to the community that has given Levi’s so much inspiration over the years is what will continue to fuel the Workshops. Just as graffiti gave back time and time again, as new artists redefined the medium and continued to push the art form to new heights and now museum acceptance, Levi’s will continue to give back to the community that has recognized it as a pioneer for 150 years.

ThE GENERAL FEELING SURROUNDING LEVI’S AND ThE wORkShOPS IS ThAT ThIS IS whAT ThEy GENUINELy wANT TO BE DOING: mAkING FILmS, LEARNING ABOUT PhOTOGRAPhy, wORkING wITh A LETTERPRESS.
In the Fall of 2010, we wrote about the Levi’s Workshops and how they were the blueprint for companies to interact with their bases for years to come: “This all made us think ahead to 2020 when, reflecting back on what corporations did right a decade before, Levi’s® will be perceived front and center as a company that thought on both a micro and macro level, and ultimately won. Levi’s® new campaign of community involvement and spending money in fresh, progressive ways shows an entity unafraid to engage and interact with people on a base level.” With thousands of people coming to see the defining exhibition of this generation at MOCA in downtown Los Angeles, and thousands of people leaving feeling inspired to create their own piece of history, the Levi’s® Film Workshop will have its doors open. —Juxtapoz Magazine @ Art In the Streets April 14, 2011

38

JEFFREy DEITCh, ROGER GASTmAN AND AARON ROSE

JUXTAPOZ

Jeffrey deitch, roger gastman, and aaron rose

in conversation With shepard fairey

40

JEFFREy DEITCh, ROGER GASTmAN AND AARON ROSE

JUXTAPOZ

you thinking, I have to meet these people? Deitch: Oh sure, and I met most of the major graffiti artists. Something that was really a remarkable thing, and that our show is going to celebrate and document, is how uptown met downtown. Some of the graffiti artists were downtown, I believe, and lived on the Lower East Side near the FUN Gallery. It’s a remarkable thing that thanks to Fab 5 Freddy, who’s involved with our show, Stefan Eins, who founded Fashion Moda in the South Bronx, and Charlie and John Ahearn, they connected people like me, Crash, Futura, and Zephyr with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and beyond that, Debbie Harry and Malcolm McLaren. These connections are at the foundation of both vanguard and mainstream popular culture that has created our world and it’s fascinating that these connections were made. If it weren’t for a few of these connectors, it all would have been separated and people in the graffiti scene would not have met the people in the downtown scene, and these different directions would not have cross-influenced and fed each other. There was a fluid and harmonious conflux of things and the look of graffiti still looks dramatically influenced by all the stuff that was pioneered in that early era by Zephyr and Dondi, and a lot of the art forms that those guys came up with that are still pretty visible in the culture. Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant’s book, Subway Art, disseminated that aesthetic all over the world. Deitch: Doing a show like this gives you an appreciation for the role of remarkable communication. What would have happened if Henry Chalfant never went out and systematically documented the trends? We wouldn’t have any of this. What if Martha Cooper never took photos of all the artists? There are other photographers, but the roles of Henry and Martha are so crucial in documenting and creating this history and the stories: for instance, Barry McGee taking his graffiti kit down to Brazil in a backpack, and giving a copy of Subway Art to Os Gêmeos. These are individuals hand-giving stories and books to others, spreading the word, person to person, before the Internet. Aaron Rose: There have been two major convergences that I think of as I start exploring this history that we are discussing. There was the late 1970s, early 1980s in NYC, and, then again, in the 1990s. My influences were Los Angeles hardcore and skateboarding, much

more than spray can art. It didn’t have a voice in LA. Cholo graffiti had a voice, but that was far different than wildstyle graffiti. What happened in the 1990s, and there are a bunch of catalysts, was that streetwear clothing and bands like the Beastie Boys, who were punk and hip-hop together, unified the West and East Coast scenes into a nationwide scene of street culture. From that point on, it started spreading globally. And our show is dealing with both of these moments, that convergence of the 1970s and 1980s, and then following in the 1990s.

ON ThE NEAR EVE OF ThE LANDmARk ART IN ThE STREETS AT mOCA IN LOS ANGELES ThIS mONTh, ShEPARD FAIREy SAT DOwN wITh ThE EXhIBITION’S ThREE CURATORS, JEFFREy DEITCh, AARON ROSE, AND ROGER GASTmAN. whILE EACh REPRESENTS DIFFERENT BACkGROUNDS AND BRING SPECIFIC EXPERTISE TO ThE CURATORIAL PROCESS, ThE TASk OF CAPTURING ThE SPIRIT OF GRAFFITI AND STREET ART BROUGhT ThEm TOGEThER. —Juxtapoz Magazine

although it has been a challenge to find where the puzzle pieces fit together, but they really do, and I feel grateful to be able to contribute different parts of the culture. Deitch: What all the work we are talking about has in common is direct, unmediated expression. None of these artists had to ask permission to make their art. Whether it’s the first subway graffiti or artists who started their own streetwear lines, I love this difference between graffiti and street art from more mainstream museum art. If you get into a museum or gallery in that world, it is after this long process of going to the right art school, with the right teacher, the right assistant job for a famous artist, the right recommendations, a review in a the right art magazine, and finally the endorsement, and you can then show your work in a little gallery. We are dealing with artists that had nothing to do with these obstacles. They just went for it, and there is something wonderful about this direct expression. I think the audience understands and relates to it.

Shepard Fairey: The really incredibly exciting thing about this show is that an audience might see it and do something they wouldn’t have done; recognize potential they wouldn’t have recognized. I know that for me, for example, I didn’t know anything about the Situationist influence on the Sex Pistols until I read some history, and I didn’t know about a lot of the evolution of graffiti art or punk rock stuff or pop art or Barbara Kruger. I didn’t see that stuff firsthand—I read about it in books. In a nutshell, that is one of the things I feel is most valuable about this show.

art. For a new generation, there didn’t seem to be much place to go. These six galleries were the only outlets for art and that was really limited. If you had this minimalist conceptualist approach, that was perfect for you. It was so exciting to go down to the subway and see a whole world of art that didn’t have anything to do with this constricted gallery system. It was completely free and open. These artists didn’t have to go around with slides to the gallery to get permission to make art, they just did it, and it was thrilling to see. I was so inspired by this open, citywide gallery. All the subways were bombed, every single surface, and it was Jeffrey Deitch: For me, it starts in New York City unbelievably exciting. The thing that came up in the 1970s. There were about five or six really around the same time was the development of punk rock, where you didn’t have to play by important galleries and each were generally the rules, conform to preconceived notions of showing a kind of minimal conceptual work of

what a rock band was supposed to do. It was very open and lot of people who started bands didn’t even know how to play instruments, but it didn’t matter because they could make great music with noise machines or just rhythmic strumming on the guitars, using them the wrong way. These two things were the two artistic innovations that excited me the most, and I was particularly thrilled to participate in this process and see these two directions coming together. For the past 30 years since experiencing this convergence in a place like Fun Gallery or Mudd, I’ve wanted to do a great exhibition about the history of this work and how it came together. When you were in New York from the mid- to late 1970s and seeing this on the subway, were

A lot of my understanding about how things that influenced me and how they connected didn’t happen until later. I intuitively had a fascination with punk rock and skateboarding, but later on, Thrasher Magazine declared Public Enemy the new punk rock, so I bought that record and started to see that evolution of punk and hip-hop coming together. If you were into Black Flag, you were into the Beastie Boys. Streetwear was a big deal too because you had all this visual sampling happening, and then you had to find out the histories of these references The lack of academic influence is exciting in the graphics. because people didn’t try to filter their natural inclination of what was in vogue in an attempt I loved Raymond Pettibon’s work and the to be deemed successful. It was very liberating spirit of punk flyers, and people promoting in that sense. There was no one who is going punk shows with stickers, stencils and flyers. to put a value on the work because it fitting When I got to NYC and saw the graffiti and the into some pre-conceived canon. That is different scale, I began to see similarities in the what has always excited me. You can see the scenes. The spirit of graffiti definitely influenced evolution in street art and graffiti traced back and pushed other forms of street art, even if to particular pioneers just as you can in the stylistically the art was different. fine art movement, but there is a spirit that is very visceral in this work. As cryptic as some Roger Gastman: So you both reference graffiti is, when I saw it, the spirit it embodied streetwear and the Beastie Boys, and I got resonated with me compared to things I see into punk rock in the late 1980s while in grade in a gallery and feel I need to read up about. school, then into straight-edge hardcore I gravitate toward rebellious stuff and I felt in the early 1990s when living in suburban like the simplicity of doing something in an Washington, D.C. Everyone in that scene that unauthorized space speaks to people. Folks I knew wrote graffiti. I had no idea that hip-hop who are attuned to that stuff get upset when had anything to do with graffiti, and I remember they see a corporation try to hijack it; they going to Chicago in the ninth grade, and smell a rat and get upset because the meeting a bunch of old-school writers, and they authenticity of real street art and graffiti is asked me, “Do you break?” I had absolutely so rewarding and immediate. no idea what they were talking about. To me, graffiti was about punk rock and being straight Gastman: To your point, the question that edge, and that was it. Only later on was comes up often is how to bring the outdoor I introduced to Spraycan Art, Subway Art, and work inside? The ultimate celebration of the Wild Style, and started to dig into the history. show is that those artists who are so great in their field are able to capture the feel of the That is what interests me about this show, outdoors and the defiant nature in different the vastness of the history behind it. The three forms indoors, and intrigue viewers by of us all come from very diverse backgrounds, doing so. Jeffrey the luckiest, being able to see and touch the trains. All of these worlds connect so well, There are only so many people out there who

42

JEFFREy DEITCh, ROGER GASTmAN AND AARON ROSE

JUXTAPOZ

crash times square photo by henry chalfant

DOING A ShOw LIkE ThIS GIVES yOU AN APPRECIATION FOR ThE ROLE OF REmARkABLE COmmUNICATION.

can augment the energy and capture the spirit of the street and make it work in a controlled environment. Barry McGee, who does this very well, was a tremendous inspiration for me and I thought his work beautiful and precious yet still spontaneous. He would paint over things that were meticulously rendered as if buffed on the street to show his willingness to capture the energy at the sacrifice of his own work. A lot of the artists involved in this show can make work that will stand on its own, but there’s appreciation in knowing where they’re coming from. Deitch: One of the objectives of this show is to identify the artist that had that original voice. There are so many people who are making an impact doing various forms of wildstyle graffiti. We are trying to find the innovators and people who changed the history. Hopefully, this exhibition is going to reflect the strengths of these innovators.

at is the real world and I don’t see a difference between the two. Deitch: The art market has caught up with street art and graffiti just as it did catch up with other non-conformist art forms such as conceptualism. This happened after the art market ignored street art and graffiti for almost three decades. Gastman: I think graffiti, street art, and skateboarding are all highly undocumented cultures, and even though some of it has been recognized, there is a lot of it that hasn’t been properly chronicled. Everyone can go out and do it. You didn’t have to have fancy art supplies, you don’t have to have a canvas; you can just make it work. All three of these cultures, a big part of their origins, is oral history. All three of us in our own right have done the best we can to tell the stories, the truth and the real history before all these people disappear. Hopefully, this show will make the academics pay attention and make the average museumgoer curious about these cultures and how they blend together.

Unlike a lot of other art movements, it’s more a spirit that defines this. My hope is that someone like Space Invader comes in and utilizes a technique that no one has thought of before. Hopefully, street and graffiti artists, like their predecessors, will evolve and change as public environments force them to adapt. Gastman: As a featured artist in the show what are you most excited to see? I am excited see how a lot of people want to portray their legacy, and I hope that those who have not valued art in public space will find a different level of respect for it. For more information about Art In the Streets, contact MOCA.org.

Rose: We’re in an interesting conundrum as curators because, it is acknowledged that art history really is written by academics. Unfortunately, that’s how it’s been and probably always will be. Re-contextualizing work like this, Although there are a lot of people that as Roger put it, “the real art world,” is what participated in graffiti and street art, the I consider the real art world. What we’re looking pioneers, the innovators really stand out.

44

LEE QUINONES

JUXTAPOZ

intervieW by chris pape / portrait by chuck gibson

lee Quinones

46

LEE QUINONES

JUXTAPOZ

Pass The Dawn Onto You acrylic, pastel pencil, and spray paint on canvas 50" x 60" 2004

LEE QUINONES (LEE) IS CONSIDERED By mANy TO BE ThE GREATEST wRITER TO SPRING FROm ThE NEw yORk CITy SUBwAy ART mOVEmENT. UP UNTIL 1976 ThE BEST wORk ThE mOVEmENT OFFERED wAS A whOLE CAR wITh mONIkER AND CARTOON ChARACTERS PILFERED FROm COmICS. LEE ChANGED ALL OF ThAT AS hE BECAmE A ONE mAN wRECkING CREw, RECRUITING ThE FABULOUS FIVE GROUP OUT OF RETIREmENT AND PAINTING OVER A hUNDRED whOLE CARS.

More importantly he portrayed the subway as an iron kinetic canvas, lasering a hot spotlight on issues as diverse as nuclear Armageddon to the hypocrisy of religion. He continued to investigate these themes on canvas. His first show was in Rome in 1979, and as he was represented by New York City’s Barbara Gladstone Gallery for over five years, LEE continued to paint trains during the height of the downtown art movement. Credited as the first street artist for a mural produced on the handball walls at a school in his Lower East Side neighborhood in 1978, LEE starred in Charlie Ahearn’s seminal hip-hop film “Wild Style,” a fictional account based loosely on his life. For over 35 years, his work has continued

to develop, exploring painting and drawing techniques with spray paint, oil paint, charcoal and found objects. His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Groningen Museum and the Brooklyn Museum. —Chris Pape
Chris Pape : Most graffiti writers set out to burn each other and do battle. You seemed to have a mission statement while making art on the trains. Was this accidental or did you know it from the jump? Lee Quinones : Making art, of course. Sure, I was trying to impress the core writers from my neighborhood in the LES as well as the Bronx, but physically and emotionally while spending many hours in the dark yards I could

not deny a broader peripheral audience waiting on deck. My competitive edge has always blown gaskets at the seams, so after 35 years to think it through, I now believe rivalry is good in that it instigates an exchange between talents that are defaulted by the status quo. I’ve always been curious as to how and why things instigate others. I could make aesthetically pleasing canvases right now, the same way I could’ve elaborated on the style wars throughout the trains in the ’70s and called it a day, but why let the world contextualize me by a period or a style? Back then I wanted to do something very different that had a broader flair, in short, advance the avant-garde that makes for something more consequential. Think of it this way—there were 50,000 young peers who were going

48

LEE QUINONES

The Man From Uncle 48" x 96" 2009

JUXTAPOZ

ThERE wERE 50,000 yOUNG PEERS whO wERE GOING TO LOOk FOR ThIS, AND OUTSIDE OF ThAT CIRCLE ThE 3,000,000 COmmUTERS whO wERE GOING TO BE CONFRONTED By IT TO BE EIThER TANTALIZED OR VANDALIZED.

to look for this, and outside of that circle the 3,000,000 commuters who were going to be confronted by it to be either tantalized or vandalized. I wanted to gain acceptance from the latter because I felt it might outlast what the movement could offer in such a short time. Ironically though, I believed at the time that I would be painting trains for eternity. Can you think of any other writers who were on the same wavelength? The late CAINE 1 from the #7 line comes to mind. He thought of conceptual wholecars and often dug deep into his own psyche in his subject matter. He didn’t follow the beaten path of lifting cartoons from Marvel or the Peanuts characters, instead he chose dark imagery painted within a surreal environment. I believe his masterpiece, “Welcome to Hell,” flanked by a portrait of Alice Cooper and the Grim Reaper was created more or less around the same time my “Doomsday Express” took to the rails. While I was painting Ralph Bakshi’s “Coonskin Pimp” rabbits, he was painting on the edge of darkness. At a time when other writers were mining the funny papers for material to paint, your concepts seemed to come out of nowhere.

For the most part, I was questioning authority and organized religion in real time along with the effects of a tumultuous climate in New York in order to unleash the results on the trains. During the 1960s the blatant racism at hand and the conflict in Vietnam were only the tip of the issues that were magnified in my head because, yes, the revolution was televised on the CBS evening news. That was riveting to say the least. Shortly after, I found my voice in painting, so I applied these very fresh and immediate issues on the trains. A few came off in a sarcastic way like the “Heaven is Life” and “Earth is Hell” double cars. I was just moved to paint about things that were full of sensitive issues, and often seem flawed to me. One of the few criticisms of your train work is the crispness factor. The outlines were a little misty. It has to be known that I traveled an hour and a half from the docks of the Lower East Side to the Bronx or the flat lands of Brooklyn carrying multiple concealed rattle cans, so just think how logistical tactics would play out once you got there with only a short window of 5-8 hours time to paint. I had to learn a rapid

technique in formulating 40-foot whole cars in one night’s work. Now my studio paintings dictate a more improvised and impressionistic approach because too much information says nothing on a non-moving object. Each work is incomplete, enabling the viewers to have an exchange and finish it within their own state of experience. If non-drip and crispness were paramount to some writers back when, then one: they weren’t standing in one location for all those hours, and two: they were kind of missing the Trees in the Forest. CRASH told me that when he painted Connie’s (the side of a bodega) he felt he had made it. When did you get that feeling? Oh, for myself it was the journey throughout the numerous handball court masterpieces of 1978 and 82’. I wanted to challenge myself with those walls. I was thinking that the general public would perceive the walls as my arrival as an artist. The walls were reference points. People tell me they actually made pilgrimages to go see them, whereas graffiti conceptually made trips to the people. That was when I felt I had arrived as someone different than a graffiti writer. In 1979, Claudio Bruni, a prominent art collector, discovered the hand ball wall murals through a mural

50

LEE QUINONES

photo by martha cooper

JUXTAPOZ

The Lion’s Den spray paint on concrete lower east side, manhattan 1982

service article posted in the Village Voice, and loved my work. He then scouted out for Fred Brathwaite and me to create several canvases to show at his gallery in Italy. Making the transition to canvas wasn’t that hard of a bronco to ride for me because I had been doing imagery beside my name all along. The images just naturally elbowed their way onto canvas. After the show in Italy, I made an intense comeback on the number 5s and found that my work was more expressionistic, and maybe I had exhausted that chapter on the trains. It was all very different to me. Just around the time Futura created his incredible “Break Car” masterpiece on the 5s, I painted my “Silent Thunder” car. We were both looking to challenge the norm. What better way to do it then to break away from the very primal heart

of graffiti in its own backyard? Where would you place the handball courts in the lineage of the street art movement? They fall under the category of “fearless leaders” since their inception in 1978 and 1979. It was pretty early for such a quantum leap. Delinquent and misdirected they may have seemed at first, but they revolutionized the way this movement was revealing itself to both its creators and the public. Early street artists that came along like John Fekner, Jenny Holzer and John Ahearn were all influenced along the same lines to utilize public space with works for a society in motion, so these walls had definitely given impetus to further push the boundaries,

and that’s what made me want to do them in the first place. In 1980, after painting anonymously for years, you started to actively socialize, meeting other writers at the Soul Artists workshop. What made you go public? That’s not totally true – I did paint with the Fabulous Five members on many occasions. I was extremely careful about who I trusted in the graffiti trenches. The reason I kept a low profile with graffiti writers of the 1970s was because I didn’t want to get caught. I feared the wrath of friendly fire, as informants seemed to be manufactured overnight, and were running the nest. Mark Edmonds, aka Ali, the founding leader of the Soul Artists,

and Fred Brathwaite drew me out a bit more. They had a good insight into what I had been vocalizing all along in my work. By that time, I had done shows in Rome and Milan, was more comfortable around the art scene, and knew how to be discreet in order to keep pulling my work off on trains. Prior to the Soul Artists, Fred and I exhibited at White Columns, a young gallery on Spring Street some time in 1980. Maybe four people came to the actual opening. We decided to call the show the “Third Wave” to reflect the tsunami of back winds exiting the underground, demanding a flag site above ground. The invitation showed a virgin new subway car, which was the reverse of what you expected to see. The paintings were now

lifted onto canvas and it was time for us to be challenged by critics in a lit environment with the works stationary on walls, not eluding into the dark on moving vessels. You were also involved in the Times Square show and Fashion MODA, both in 1980. The Times Square show was great because I got to meet so many exciting new people. That was the first time I met Keith Haring, Jane Dixon and Kenny Scharf. I had already met Jean-Michel Basquiat a year before with Fred, and we all painted together in a shared space downtown. With the exception of Claudio Bruni in Italy, none of us had any real gallery representation here in the states. The Times Square show also gave me a lot of

exposure to the vibrant downtown scene. Fashion MODA was different in that I had a built in audience of writers. What I remember most about it was that I worked on the painting in a subway tunnel right up until the opening night. I carried it on the subway from the LES to the Bronx, and it reeked of spray paint the entire way. When I arrived with canvas in hand, the show was already in session and stacked to the walls with a rambunctious crowd. My deliberate entrance parted the sea of people, clearing a pathway to the great wall of choice. Many feathers were ruffled that evening. Were you generally becoming more social with other artists or did you treat the gallery scene differently?

52

LEE QUINONES

JUXTAPOZ

Honest George acrylic, pastel pencil, spray paint , and currency on linen 2009

ThE wALLS wERE REFERENCE POINTS, PEOPLE TELL mE ThEy ACTUALLy mADE PILGRImAGES TO GO SEE ThEm, whEREAS GRAFFITI CONCEPTUALLy mADE TRIPS TO ThE PEOPLE.

I was never a shy person, but I’ve always been private about my work. In the art world, I was a hidden extrovert. At that time between 1980 and 1983, so much had changed! The Fun Gallery was gravitating in the right direction because of its attachment at the hip to an urban vernacular that was revolutionizing how art was being offered and channeled through the gallery system. Barbara Gladstone Gallery was very instrumental in introducing the official new arrival of my work at the gates of 57th St. Sidney Janis Gallery followed suit with my work and others thereafter. As a train painter, it was in my best interest to be non-social, a covert nerd. As opportunities arose to be known as a legitimate artist, I became more open, but remained very cautious. I steered away from cameras, not like it is in vogue today. I just walked the other way. I was still very active below ground on MTA stock, and had to take second looks first time. The Village Voice started reporting on you around then; what impact did that have? A fantastic impact. In 1979, when the Voice covered my handball courts, it was exciting. Now people beyond the neighborhood would see it nationwide, because of the Voice’s distribution. But really it was shortly after that, when Glenn O’Brien put it over the top in “High Times” with a six-page, full color article.

We were slated to make the front cover, but were bumped off at the last second by Mick Jagger, which was better for us because his handsome grill made the copies fly off the racks. Glenn was totally plugged into the whole emerging downtown scene like the Mudd Club, Max’s Kansas, C.B.G.B’s. Everybody respected him, and we met a lot of people through Glenn.

Rammellzee, Futura, David Hammons, Barry Mcgee, Barbara Kruger, Revs, Lady Pink, Banksy, and Richard Hambleton. They’re important carriers. What’s the biggest source of material for your studio canvases, themes you invariably come back to.

Well, just as history tends to rhyme with itself, What do you think of the idea that writers from I guess some sentiments call for revisiting and the subway era probably wouldn’t have made it reinterpretation so that culture can inevitably into MOCA if not for the emergence of street art? create the art it deserves. Readymade items that were pretty much exploited into art by the Both siblings needed a convergence to reach Dadaists just after the turn of the last century, great institutions. They both have rushed the have now been reformed as the “readymade” velvet ropes in their respective times, but imagery from popular culture by the graffitists we are at a merge zone like never before. during this turn. Remnants of the Cold War’s So it may seem as a bit of an estrangement at open wounds with the cheap generic band-aid first, before the crest of the real wave is to be it has applied, and the human condition itself seen in the horizon. This is where we are now, is the building block for where my work finds where the surf is receding to make right of way. spiritual reason, and sometimes treason. My theory is, both serve as a platform and a call of urgency at a time where the world is a deer in the headlights. So both in concert For more information about Lee Quinones, contact Leequinones.com. will tend to have episodes of opposition and cooperation in creation of a broader conversation. It is indeed an interesting time. I can count a few on one hand from the old school and new that have prevailed with great imagery and great commentary. Hit me with some names.

54

BILL DANIEL

JUXTAPOZ

text by shelley leopold / portrait by estevan oriol

bill daniel

56

BILL DANIEL

JUXTAPOZ

all photography by bill daniel

IRONICALLy ENOUGh, ATTEmPTING TO INTERVIEw FILmmAkER BILL DANIEL SEEmS A BIT LIkE hOPPING TRAINS. AS wE SIT DOwN ON ThE EVE OF hIS mOST RECENT ART TOUR, ThAT wILL INCLUDE hIS Who Is Bozo TexIno? FILm DEBUT AT momA (DURING ThE SERIES, All The Wrong ArT: JuxTApoz MAgAzIne on FIlM), SOmE mUSIC (SONIC ORPhANS), AND mORE ThAN A FEw PhOTOS, hE’S TENSE AND EXCITED, RIDING ThROUGh A myRIAD OF FAR-OUT LIFE EXPERIENCE IN PERIPETATIC ANECDOTES.

The recording device makes him nervous, even though it is small and sleek and doesn’t call attention to itself. He turns it off at will, and then on again. Off. On. Off. On. Maybe it’s the ominous red light, or that fact that it’s digital. The otherwise brave, self-described “tramp,” Bill Daniel is analog: Old School, 16 millimeter, 52. And he just moved to Los Angeles. Before the landmark wanderlust documentary Who Is Bozo Texino? ever existed, Daniel’s gateway subculture and introduction to photography was loud and insolent. “Punk rock often exists on the account of one determined individual,” Bill muses. “Maybe there’s a group, but it generally comes down to one person.” The way Daniel describes it, Garry Winogrand, legendary street photographer and one-time

recalcitrant University of Texas professor, might unofficially be that guy. Winogrand, famous for realist American imagery and making his UT students cry, won the Guggenheim Fellowship award three times (Daniel has won it once so far, in 2008). When Daniel started school, Winogrand had just left, but his mark on the university’s art department and its students was indelible. “He influenced me as one of my favorite photographers,” Bill reveals. “Everything in the frame matters, black borders, wide angle, and his casual documentary style.” Even as a business major taking photography as an elective, Daniel recognized the power of the music and visuals that accompanied the burgeoning Texas punk scene. “It was The Huns. Three out of four of them in the band

were students of Winogrand’s. There was a famous front-page photo of the singer getting arrested for playing their song, ‘Eat Death Scum,’ and then kissing a cop. I saw that and I knew there was something happening here.” Bill went on to shoot iconic black-and-white images of almost every hardcore band that came through town with an aggressive, blinding flash. The images that result are grainy, with murky charcoal shadows and blown-out fields of luminescent white that shout what the fuck at your eyeballs, no matter what the composition. “I turned the flash really bright and shot at F8. I shot every band, so they’d kind of have to deal with it,” Daniel explains. “Once I’m onstage with Bad Brains, and HR starts doing this Tasmanian devil spinning thing coming towards me, and in one rotation his hand sweeps out and smacks

58

BILL DANIEL

JUXTAPOZ

ThIS INVOLVED hAVING A STRONG STOmACh FOR ThE OCCASIONAL BOwL OF JUNGLE STEw.

the Nikon and it goes flying into the slam pit in this truly beautiful arc. Luckily, I had the cord screwed in so I could just reel it back up, and it worked great, except for some beer or sweat on the lens. There’s a blot on some of the images—that’s how you know my story’s true.” Daniel’s transition from punk club historian to moniker documentarian appears natural. It didn’t require any new equipment and both subcultures operate on the same principle he does: live free or die. “It has to do with the power of an image that you see, but don’t know how it got there. You don’t know who put it there, you know nothing about it, it just grabs your entire being,” Bill explains passionately. “That’s what happened to me in 1983—I was with my Super 8 camera outside an artist warehouse near the Santa Fe yard. A train rolls by and I’m right next to it, and I start seeing the graffiti. And one of the first ones I saw was Bozo Texino. How did that music go from Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Yeah, that was it.” A small act of defiance, done with a guitar, aerosol paint, or a rail company-owned paint stick is as old as the ages, however, there used to be much less of it. “Of course, I’d been to New York and I’d seen Keith Haring and Futura 2000, but these monikers were a form I’d never seen before, especially in Texas.

So I started photographing them obsessively. It’s something graffiti people know about, documenting it is super-addictive. I kept a camera by my bed so I could hear the trains come out slow from the yard. I could be out the door in my pajamas by the time the engines came through.” Thus began Bill Daniels’ 20 years of method filmmaking, an amazing rail riding journey through a uniquely American culture that required not only talent, but also survival skills. Sometimes this involved having a strong stomach for the occasional bowl of Jungle stew, (“what you got, goes in the pot”) and always having a good flashlight and something to sell. However great the idea to make a film about train monikers was, even your modern day graffiti artist is a tough customer to find. Without the help of the Internet, Daniel relied on snail mail, personal connections, and tenacity to track down the four artists featured in Bozo Texino. “I found BuZ (Blur) through a ’zine connection because years ago I’d done a ’zine called Detour and somebody wrote me asking to send them the latest issue. By then I was only doing Box Car Pictures, so I sent that to him instead. Immediately, he wrote me back—this is through the mail,

over a week, not email, and he says, ‘Oh, you must know BuZ (Blur), you have a collection of his drawings in your thing.’ The entire time I had been making Bozo Texino, I’d never met even one of these writers. There was no Googling, you had to be outside to get access to these guys,” Daniel exclaims excitedly as he explains his unconventional research methods. “I went around to all the homeless people and asked, “Have you ever heard of Herby?” you know, “Have you ever heard of Bozo Texino?’ I’d pick up hitchhikers and ask them. It was not paying off.” Consequently, in making contact with this random mail-art fan, Bill got the break he needed and things started finally to fall into place. Daniel wrote to Blur and planned his next train trip around the interview. “I had him do a drawing for the film and the first thing BuZ wrote was “TETHERED” ’cause I had a microphone on him and the second thing he wrote was “EXPECTING TRAMPS” ’cause he thought we’d be tramps.” “A hobo is not a bum. A hobo contributes, tramps don’t do shit.” —who Is bozo Texino? As the universe continued to smile upon him momentarily, Daniel found Herby around the same time through a series of hard-won

60

BILL DANIEL

JUXTAPOZ

newspaper articles. A meeting was arranged on the back of the same BuZ (Blur) excursion. But as one might know, filmmaking is hard, and filmmaking with train writers is harder. “By the time I interviewed Herby, I was really burnt out from the trip and only had two rolls of film. With four minutes left he starts to tell me about Bozo Texino. ‘Oh, he died a long time ago. These ones you see now aren’t the real Bozo Texino.’ It went right over my head. He was, of course, talking about Grandpa. It wasn’t until later, when a rail worker, an amateur historian who had collected a bunch of magazines from the 1930s sent me some Xeroxes that it all came together. I still have the dent in my forehead from that day.” With this new information, and already a very

thin narrative to build on, the story of Who is Bozo Texino? suffered a conceptual blow that might have been impossible to overcome. However, with all the press Daniel’s project began to receive, once again, the post office gods pulled a favor for him. “One day, I get a letter from this guy in South Texas: ‘Dear Bill, I saw the thing in the paper and my friend said if I didn’t write to you, he would. Yes, that is my drawing.’” This simple missive was from a man Daniel affectionately refers to as Grandpa, the man responsible for writing the “Bozo Texino” tag for at least the last 37 years. Daniel finally had a realistic end for his film, and a face to put with the tag. “I’d been looking for him for almost 10 years and I finally get a letter from the guy! His phone number is on there, so I immediately pick up the phone and I’m like, ‘Hey, I just got

this letter,’ and I hear (in an exaggerated Texas drawl), ‘Yeh, Bill, well I reckon...’ This was not a hoax.” Ultimately it begs the question, when you’ve devoted the better part of a decade searching for someone, an artist that you’ve subsequently based your life’s work upon, what do you say to him? How do you not come off as a nutcase, or worse yet, a speechless fool? Turns out the elderly rail worker had a few things in common with Bill Daniel, notions that many other graffiti fans share. “He didn’t think I was weird, or gay, or a stalker because he loved that image so much that it made perfect sense that someone else would like it,” Daniel explains. “Grandpa understood, ‘Oh yeah, it got you too.’”

Shuffled within the beautiful black-and-white landscapes, the road worn snippets of wisdom, and the gritty faces of the men in Bozo Texino, fans of the Mission School movement may notice a couple of current day callouts that take their place among Herby and Grandpa without much acclaim. “MATOKIE SLAUGHTER” was one of Margaret Kilgallen’s favorite nicknames, one she used specifically for train tags. In the first moments of the film, we see her tag flash by in an instant, with another by Twist, her husband, Barry McGee. Daniel befriended the couple four years into the making of the film as all shared a love for train folklore and found inspiration in hobo culture for their own contemporary work. Representing one of the only female shots in the movie, viewers are diverted by a delicate

image of Margaret from 1999, riding an empty gondola at sunset through the San Fernando Valley. “We were coming back from a tramp gathering in Dunsmuir, California, picking up some experiences to use in an installation we did, Trespass Sign, at Headlands Center for the Arts. We did collaborations where I would project a 16 millimeter film loop on a metal wall and Margaret would paint some of her shadow people. It was amazing, and ephemeral.” In 2003, with all this extraordinary footage in the can, Bill was then able to count on his connections in the San Francisco art community to help him fund the finish of the film by holding an unprecedented art auction named “Pretty Gritty.” Thomas Campbell, Barry McGee, Alicia McCarthy, and a host of

other top-notch talent donated work to be sold for a whole new audience to be introduced to Daniel and his project. Or so it was supposed to go. “All my friends were so generous. I would’ve raised so much more money if it hadn’t been, March 21, 2003, the night the bombs fell on Baghdad,” laments Daniel. “San Francisco was rioting. You could barely get across town for all the protests and that was opening night of my fundraiser. I had all this beautiful blue chip art and there were helicopters everywhere and the streets were closed. The art buyers stayed home.” Despite having to jump a few extra monetary, time, and stamina hurdles, at last Daniel called finish to Who is Bozo Texino? in 2005. His younger brother, Lee Daniel, an accomplished

62

BILL DANIEL

JUXTAPOZ

ONE OF ThE FIRST ONES I SAw wAS BOZO TEXINO. hOw DID ThAT mUSIC GO FROm Close enCounTers oF The ThIrd KInd? yEAh, ThAT wAS IT.

cinematographer in his own right, supplied the last lingering shot of the film, where Grandpa is walking down the long line of train cars, the paint marker echoing against the hollow metal. Bill, however, in keeping with the subculture it represented, didn’t see a traditional path for the success of his movie and avoided the festival circuit. He has personally booked hundreds of screenings. “It was important to me that the kids saw it first and that the guardians of culture hear about it from the kids.” Daniel adds, “You couldn’t find two people more different than Grandpa and maybe some 14-year-old, super-aggro kid in the northeast, but they operate on the same impulse: the person who puts up the most graffiti and actually documents it. Grandpa said, “I got a joy putting it on there, and I hope people got joy looking at it.” And that’s how we finished the movie. Expression of joy. That’s what art is all about.” Tape recorder off. Bill averts the damned red light for the moment, and I rely on my short-term memory for the duration. We have both retained all our limbs. Daniel is noticeably more relaxed, but he’s still on the spot. Off the record we talk about his participation in the MOCA Art in the Streets show, where he will be contributing an installation celebrating hobo culture.

Yet, for the most part, between stops in his new hometown of LA to print images in his darkroom, he’ll continue touring the United States in his 1965 van replete with wind sails attached to the top—good for mobile art shows and film screenings—lending his audiences glimpses into forgotten corners of society. With all this traveling, does Daniel resist leaving his mark in other ways? “I sometimes chalk up X-Tex, a moniker that Road Hog gave me in 1990, on account of me being from Texas,” Daniel admits. “I always wanted to emphasize the past tense on the Texas bit, since I was happy to have escaped there.” So, Bill Daniel, in the end, who is the real Bozo Texino and what does it matter? Without hesitation, Daniel concedes, “I think Bozo Texino belongs to history and anyone who feels they should write it.”
For more information about Bill Daniel and Who Is Bozo Texino?, contact Billdaniel.net.

64

mARGARET kILGALLEN

JUXTAPOZ

Half-Past (installation detail) institute of contemporary art, boston 1999

text by elizabeth pepin, Juxtapoz may/June 1999 all images courtesy of the estate of margaret kilgallen and ratio 3, san francisco

margaret kilgallen

66

mARGARET kILGALLEN

JUXTAPOZ

Three Sheets to the Wind (installation detail) the drawing center new york 1997

IT wAS ONLy OUR TwENTIETh ISSUE, mAy/JUNE 1999, BUT UNDENIABLy mARGARET kILLGALLEN wAS SOmEONE SPECIAL. wITh ThE POTENTIAL TO DEFINE A GENERATION OF CONTEmPORARy ART, hER UNTImELy DEATh IN 2001 AT AGE 33 LEFT AN UNFILLABLE VOID. BUT hER SPIRIT AND BODy OF wORk ENDURES. FROm ThE JUXTAPOZ ARChIVES, REDISCOVER ThE CONSUmmATE EmBODImENT OF NOT ONLy PUBLIC ART, BUT ALL OF ART. —Juxtapoz Magazine

In an era obsessed with an ever-intangible concept of perfection, Margaret Kilgallen is an anomaly: an artist who delights in the wobble of a line, the accidental misstroke of a paintbrush, the crooked stitch of a needle and thread. Her giant murals—colorful collages containing travel logs, history lessons, and musical compositions—are refreshingly different in an art world increasingly sanitized by technology. The art of the hand, the homemade, calls to Kilgallen. She admires people who are able to create something beautiful and unique from what few resources may be available. Applying this philosophy to her own life, Kilgallen gives rebirth to items cast off by others. Old wood converts to canvas. Ripped wetsuits transform into surf caps. Discarded house paint becomes

a staple for creating murals. Much of Kilgallen’s art is based in reality— real people, real situations, real places— inspired by things she sees, hears, and experiences. One recent mural featured several foot tall old-fashioned letters reading “Slaughter,” referring to one of Kilgallen’s many musical heroes, an old-time banjo player and singer named Matokie Slaughter. Kilgallen is so taken with Slaughter’s music that the artist has begun to teach herself the instrument. “I am really moved by music, from punk to old-time stuff,” Kilgallen says. “I take a lot away from the stories in the songs and the people who play the music. There is this AfricanAmerican woman who lives in the South named

Algia-Mae. I saw a video of her playing her guitar, singing, and buck dancing. She has raised seven kids by herself and supports all of them solely by her music. It’s amazing.” Kilgallen was born in Washington, DC, in 1968, and received her BA in printmaking at Colorado College. She continued her westward migration after graduation, landing in San Francisco in 1989 because of the city’s history of letterpress printing. Settling into San Francisco, Kilgallen landed a series of letterpress internships. While working one day, she happened across some beautiful handmade books by local artist Dan Flanagan. Taken with the care in which the volumes had been made, Kilgallen tracked down Flanagan,

68

mARGARET kILGALLEN

Three Great Walls (installation detail) yerba buena center for the arts san francisco 1997

JUXTAPOZ

detail of unknown installation san francisco arts commission gallery san francisco 1996

phoning him to discuss the possibility of working for him to learn book binding, but he wasn’t interested. However, a week later, Flanagan called back and said there was an opening at the San Francisco Public Library as a book repairer, where he was also employed. He told Kilgallen if she got the job he’d teach her everything he knew about repairing and making books. Kilgallen got the job in 1991 and works there to this day. Kilgallen doesn’t consider the repair of tattered and abused books an art, but rather a craft. “My job is a difficult thing, but it inspires me and my art because I get to see so many interesting books. A lot of amazing things come right to my desk. Just the other day I found a book about the Ainu people of Northern Japan.

The women tattoo their mouths in a way that resembles the way I paint the mouths on a lot of my women. The similarity was uncanny.” The day-to-day interaction with people gives Kilgallen ample experience from which to draw upon. “Things I draw come from a combination of people I see,” she explains. “I once saw a photo of a female surf pioneer named Marge Calhoun that inspired me to do a painting of her, but the way I depicted her stance on the board and the position she has her arms in is actually taken from an old man I saw surfing in Malibu.” In fact, much of the artist’s free time is spent in the chilly ocean waters of Northern California riding waves with her friends. She grew up

swimming, spending most of her summers at the local pool, and she jumped at the chance to learn to surf in her 20s. Kilgallen admires women surf pioneers who overcame sexism and societal pressures in order to pursue their pastime. Not surprisingly, many of these early women found their way into the artist’s work. Linda Benson, legend of the 1960s and world champion, who was also the surf double in many of the Gidget movies, is the subject of a piece by the artist titled “Backside,” an homage to Benson’s famous backside surfing style. The distinctive hand-sewn surf caps Kilgallen makes to shield her from the cold is another outgrowth of surfing. “I wanted a hat but didn’t like what was for sale in surf shops, so I took an old neoprene vest and made one,”

she says. “I tried to hand-sew it while I was on a road trip to Baja, but it turned out really badly. So I got a machine and restitched it. I occasionally put them in my shows or give them to friends. It’s great to combine the two things I really love—art and the ocean. I’m drawn to the ocean because it moves.” Movement and travel play continuously in Kilgallen’s work. Her love of trains and fascination with those who ride the rails is worked into panels and installations. The railyard is a world unto itself, one with its own secret language, known as “Train Markings.” These names and images are drawn or scratched on the sides of boxcars by drifters to communicate information, or simply to let others know they were there. Among Kilgallen’s

favorite markings include a man in a 10-gallon hat—the trademark imprint of an artist with the handle, “Bozo Texino,” and a glass of bubbly, left by a source known only as The Rambler. “A lot of the train markings are so simple,” Kilgallen says. Train imagery has not only inspired Kilgallen’s paintings, but also serves as the subject of a series of photographs she snapped and hand-bound into a book. Taking a break from doing shows, Kilgallen is spending the summer doing mural projects in conjunction with several Bay Area nonprofit groups. One is with the Headlands Institute/ Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, which pairs the artist with five children from Marin City, a poor community stemming from World War II shipbuilding in the otherwise

affluent Marin County, north of San Francisco. Another project is set in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, a notorious neighborhood that has also become home to hundreds of newly arrived immigrant families, many of which face a constant struggle to better their community. Kilgallen is working with five-toseven local adults to paint a mural in an alley sponsored by the SF Art Commission and the 509 Cultural Center. “I like going to local organizations and choosing people interested in making art in the community,” she says. “It’s really good for me because all I’ve been doing lately are shows, and after a while you wonder where your community is. And it’s important to inspire kids with art. I feel I have something to offer them.”

70

mARGARET kILGALLEN

Backside oil on wood 8" x 10" 1998

JUXTAPOZ

IT’S GREAT TO COmBINE ThE TwO ThINGS I REALLy LOVE —ART AND ThE OCEAN. I’m DRAwN TO ThE OCEAN BECAUSE IT mOVES.

Murals are what Kilgallen is known for, whether they be large-scale paintings on the sides of buildings or small, multifaceted gallery installations. The artist welcomes the change to get out of her studio and interact with people as she paints. Usually, Kilgallen will fly to the gallery or museum, her paint carefully tucked away in bags, and then set up shop, taking as much time as the gallery will give her. “The longest I’ve ever had was two and a half weeks at the Drawing Room in New York City,” she says. “I finished right before the opening. That night, I caught a plane at five am back to San Francisco and had five days at the Center for the Arts in San Francisco to paint the largest mural I’ve ever done. The letters were 25 feet tall, which I created with a 12-inch roller with an extension. I had a cherry picker and I’d put paint on the roller, press the ‘descend’ button, and paint the mural that way. I like that my murals in the galleries and museums get painted over at the end of the show. It is a freedom to go and do something and then have it disappear. I sometimes even paint it over myself. It doesn’t bother me.” It is perhaps this philosophy of freedom that allows Kilgallen to be at peace with her work, the faces and textures that inspire her work, and all the tools that combine to erect mural

after mural. It’s also a freedom which has allowed her to remain confident, even in the face of “accidents.” “Sometimes I make mistakes,” confesses Kilgallen, “but, it’s only paint. A lot of times, mistakes can be interesting additions. You shouldn’t see them as mistakes. My hand is imperfect. I like to go over and over the line until it becomes perfect in its own imperfection. I feel like it’s a self-reliance. I really enjoy that process. The obsession with imperfect perfection has changed my work.”

72

DASh SNOw

JUXTAPOZ

dash snoW
text and photography by Joshua blank

74

DASh SNOw

JUXTAPOZ

all photos by Joshua blank

USUALLy whEN DISCUSSING ARTISTS IN ThE CONTEXT OF ART hISTORy, ONE IS INCLINED TO CATEGORIZE ThEIR GENRE INTO A mOVEmENT. ThIS wILL BE ThE CASE wITh ThE ArT In The sTreeTs ShOw AT mOCA ThIS mONTh, DASh SNOw GROUPED INTO ThE STREET ART mOVEmENT. ThE NEXT STEP IS TO COmPARE AND UNDERSTAND ThE ARTIST’S wORk ThROUGh ThE PRETEXT OF ThE ART mOVEmENT AND EVERyThING IN ThE SUBJECT’S CAREER ThAT TOOk PLACE BEFORE ThE CLASSIFICATION.

In the case of Dash Snow, it would be hard to clearly classify his place in art history. His past as an art maker is complicated. While he was born into a family of art collecting fame, Dash spent much time immersed in the diverse culture of people who made up the New York City graffiti scene, beginning in his youth and lasting throughout his life. He spent his last 11 to 13 years living in the Lower East Side, a place that became an influence to Dash as well. Later he transformed into a nightlife celebrity, and at this point, some began to refer to him as the second coming of Andy Warhol. The rest of his career is a well-documented history of personal accounts from people who barely knew him and several exhibitions of his art. His photography concerned a reality meant to shock, and his installations were seemingly similar in their intent to encompass that feeling. Dash’s obsession with finding and collecting presents his acquisitions in a new context. A lot of this can be found in the three published monographs of his work. I had the opportunity to spend an unusually foggy morning with him in 2005 when we navigated from Williamsburg, Brooklyn to Jackson Heights in Queens along a seldomtraveled stretch of tracks, once known as the Old Atlantic Railway. This place where Dash and I spent much of our teenage years practicing our skills at graffiti and exploring the vast, desolate landscape was known and

understood by few as we did. This day was like a reunion at a place we had once held dearly. Dash picked me up from my Bushwick apartment at five in the morning. We walked to what was a major terminal of transportation many years ago, the origin of the Old Atlantic Railway, and now the current site of a major disposal station for Waste Management. While walking toward the entrance, we were stopped by security when sighting our cameras. After they made sure we were not terrorists, we continued into the foggy, debris-filled track area. Moving along, passing overturned cars, we saw piles of porn mixed with used condoms, building materials, a child’s notes from grade school—all these pieces of people’s memories, furtively dumped, evidence of events that they wanted to forget. These objects were there for us to find. As Dash moved along the tracks, he carried a plastic bag from a liquor store, employing it to hold the objects that we collected. We made it to the mid-point of our trip, the Woodhaven Freight Yard. Passing through this yard was the most hectic part of our journey across the railway because it lay adjacent to the parking lot for a K-Mart and a large Conrail station. We moved between the trains so as not to be seen by the authorities who where just on the other side. We raced up the tracks to a bridge heading Bronx-bound through Queens,

and through a railway tunnel, a half-mile in length, to a large concrete enclosure that the tracks passed through. The 100-year-old walls on either side of us stood at least 100-feet tall. Vegetation grew up their sides toward the sky. The remnants of those who had lived there were scattered across the ground, as were the bodies of creatures that had died there. Dash picked apart one carcass; a life that was probably taken by a passing train, and who knows how long it had taken to become a pile of bones, almost unidentifiable. Dash used many found objects for his art, but also just liked to collect interesting debris. I am unsure what he did with it, possibly made into a work of art or hung it on a wall in his apartment. Maybe what’s interesting about the object was how it was unearthed. Maybe the process of finding things, and the story told in what you create with it, is the work of art. As we continued on through the last leg of our journey, passing people’s backyards that opened into the track area, we crossed a bridge that still exposing some of our work from years before. After stoping to take pictures, we climbed back up to the street and parted ways. I had only seen Dash a few brief times in passing after this day, but I’m happy to have this final memory of him, in a place spent in our youth. —Joshua Blank

76

DASh SNOw

JUXTAPOZ

78

JAmIE REID

JUXTAPOZ

intervieW by caroline ryder / portrait by colin o’brien

Jamie reid

80

JAmIE REID

JUXTAPOZ

God Save the Queen newsprint collage on paper 297 mm x 420 mm 1977

ARTIST, PUNk DRUID, AND NATURE-LOVER JAmIE REID LIkES TO PLANT ThINGS, SwEET PEAS, CARROTS, ShALLOTS— AND DISSENT. IN 1975, hE wAS ASkED By hIS FRIEND ThE LATE mALCOLm mcLAREN TO CONCEIVE ThE ENTIRE VISUAL LANGUAGE BEhIND ThE SEX PISTOLS, RESULTING IN SOmE OF ThE mOST CONTROVERSIAL AND ENDURING POP CULTURE ImAGERy OF ThE TwENTIETh CENTURy. LIkE hIS SmILING QUEEN OF ENGLAND wITh A SAFETy PIN ThROUGh hER NOSE, whICh GREw SyNONymOUS wITh ThE PUNk ROCk mOVEmENT, AND ThE GARISh FLUORESCENTS AND CUTOUT BLOCk LETTERS FROm ThE COVER OF never MInd The BolloCKs, APPROPRIATED By ART STUDENTS, AD mEN AND T-ShIRT BOOTLEGGERS ThE wORLD OVER.

Much of the Pistols imagery was based on the output from his Suburban Press, the underground publishing outfit that Reid ran between 1970 and 1974. Ordinary people would see these images wheat pasted on walls, stickers, in shops, and splashed across the covers of newspapers, and they couldn’t help but react. Sometimes they’d be scared, sometimes they’d be amused, and sometimes they’d start wondering what was really going on.

Jamie Reid: From an early age, I was dragged off on demonstrations. Both my parents were involved in Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The first one I remember going on was one of the CND Aldermaston marches in the 1950s. I thought it was great! I never realized adults could have that much fun. That’s the thing, I’ve always wanted my political work to have Born in 1947, Liverpool-based Reid has always a sense of fun. I think it makes the message been inspired by two things: the anarchostronger. So much of politics is devoid of any Dadaist ideas of the Situationist movement, sense of humor at all. Likewise with so much and the magickal utopianism of his Great Uncle, Dozens of Jamie Reid’s early pamphlets, stickers of Christian and Islamic religion. I did a show in George Watson MacGregor Reid, a turn-ofand posters will be featured in the upcoming 1990 in Tokyo, and remember talking to some the-century socialist reformer and Chief Druid Art In the Streets exhibition, opening at the MOCA young monks at a Shinto temple. We were of the British Isles. This explains why his Los Angeles, April 2011. —Caroline Ryder talking about the Bible, and one of the monks

work has evolved from socio-political protest art to the predominantly Gaian, shamanistic work he creates today. So what’s up with all the magick? It’s just another side of the evolutionary coin, as far as Reid’s concerned. “If there’s one thing I’ve always been aware of, it’s that if you need political change, you also need spiritual change,” he says. Either way—whether he’s creating abstract paintings inspired by Druidic ritual, or angry collages that say “Fuck Forever,” Jamie Reid’s art urges us to look around, examine what’s really there, and open our eyes as wide as we dare.

Caroline Ryder: What kind of household did you grow up in, Jamie?

82

JAmIE REID

Culture Rape (left) digital print on paper 44 cm x 49 cm 1992

Suburban Press Sticker Collage (right) gouache, bromide and gummed paper mounted on board and signed 423 mm x 487 mm 1975

JUXTAPOZ

Skull in Living Room (Don’t worry Cecilia) (opposite bottom) type and collage on newsprint 300 mm x 252 mm 1972

said, “The Bible? No good jokes in the Bible!”

I don’t really know what it means. It’s involved with energy lines. Basically it’s the antithesis You met Malcolm McLaren in the 1960s, at art of modern planning. The situationist idea is school in Croydon. McLaren would eventually based on just wandering around and walking bring you on board to work with the Sex Pistols. to discover things about the environment. Not Do you remember the first time you met him, going to do a job, or going to school or working, and how the conversation went down? or having that kind of structure. Not really. I have very blurred memories of that time. Of course, we really got along well and we became both very involved with the student politics of the time. We immersed ourselves in a student occupation at Croydon College. And we were aware of political uprisings in other countries, the Vietnam anti-war movement and particularly what was going on in Paris. There was something powerful in the ether in those times. How did Malcolm come to involve you with the Pistols?

IT wAS ALL ABOUT JUST hAVING A GO, AND PUTTING IDEAS INTO PRACTICAL PRACTICE. PLUS IT wAS ENJOyABLE. SO ENJOyABLE

It was a weird one. I was living with some friends in the Isle of Lewis (in the Outer Hebrides, small islands north of Scotland) that had a croft (a small farm). It was completely different to life in London and I ended up there for over a year. Then Malcolm got in touch, saying he had formed this band in London, and would I be interested in working on it? I heard you and Malcolm traveled to Paris together So I moved back and worked with the Pistols. for the 1968 student riots, but missed them. It was my way of being able to put across ideas that I cared about. A lot of the stuff we We didn’t make it to Paris. That is a myth. did ended up being banned—which was great of course, because it ended up on the front Either way, you and McLaren were both heavily page of newspapers everywhere. And I liked it influenced by the situationist movement that because it wasn’t elitist, our stuff could get was flourishing there. Tell me how situationist through to working class kids; it wasn’t in a gallery, philosophy would influence your work as an artist. it was being fly-postered all over the country. One of the things with my early graphics was to demystify situationist messages—so much situationist text was long-winded and hard to get your head around. I felt like you could say the same things, but with much more punch, if you said them visually and with a sense of humor. So I started the Suburban Press and we would make stickers, pamphlets and posters that reflected situationist ideas, like our “This Week Only this Store Welcomes Shoplifters” stickers that we put up in shops, and “Closing Down Sales, Due To Lack of Raw Material,” which we stuck up in department stores. It was all about just having a go, and putting ideas into practical practice. Plus it was enjoyable. So enjoyable. What’s your take on psychogeography, another big part of situationist philosophy? What do you understand to be your role or influence in the world of contemporary street art and graffiti? I’ve been part of it and it has been a part of me. But anyone can take what I’ve done and interpret it in their own way. In your Suburban Press/Sex Pistols era, did you see yourself as a street artist? No. I was much more concerned with magazines, posters, and leaflets rather than “street art.” Although, yes, the stickers actually were put up all over the place. Ones that were to do with transport went up on buses and railway stations. Ones that were to do with consumerism were in shops. To that extent, I was a street artist but I didn’t see it that way

at the time. Magazines, album covers, stickers, posters— what was the most powerful way of relaying a message, in your opinion? Posters on the streets were always great. Very powerful. Particularly with the Pistols stuff, and also with the work I did with Boy George. He had a single called “No Clause 28” (which banned “promotion of homosexuality” in schools), which I did a poster for, and to see that stuck up all over the country was good. I thought that was okay. Particularly if the record company as paying for it. It said “No Clause 28” and showed a picture of Boy George’s face looking like Noddy (a gnomelike character in children’s storybooks). Do you think that postering is more effective than dissemination of images and messages on the Internet? Used together they are a really good way to get things done. You can create an image and put it up on your website and people can download it as their own image and do what they want with it. The Internet is great but in general I prefer things that are tactile. I think they are more powerful. Many of the graphics you used for the Pistols artwork you had designed years earlier in your work with the Suburban Press.

84

JAmIE REID

JUXTAPOZ

Nowhere Buses (suburban press) lithographic print 352 mm x 275 mm 1975

Yes, like the Nowhere Buses. They originally came from LA, actually. An activist group in LA had sent us a timetable that looked like the bus company’s timetable, except the buses weren’t going anywhere. And I reused it. The shoplifting stickers I had made; they inspired the look of the Never Mind the Bollocks album cover, lots of fluorescent retail colors designed for a quick sale. Reusing that stuff just epitomized the spirit of the time, for me. When you came up with the God Save the Queen graphic, did you have any inkling how iconic it would become? No. I had no idea. You’re too busy getting on with things. Once one thing’s done, you’re onto the next thing.

Comparisons between you and Banksy have been made aplenty. What do you think about that? Banksy comes from a different time and different age. Before he was well known we actually did an exhibition together at the Arches in Glasgow. I believe the posters for it are worth a fortune on eBay. How much has the gallery system been part of your world?

It hasn’t, really. In the early days, there’s no way we could have done what we did in the confines of a museum or art gallery, anyway. It’s never Have you been to Art Basel? really been part of my world, until recently, I suppose. The Tate Modern got around to No, I haven’t been to Basel. A lot of the work buying some stuff, as did the V&A (Victoria and I have done in the last few years was done with

Albert Museum). But you know, it all just boils down to people knowing what “art” is, and thinking for themselves. We have had so much damage done by the Brit Art movement—the whole thing was spawned by Saatchi and Saatchi (advertising agency), who were the people involved in getting Margaret Thatcher into power. Brit Art, to me, is like nouveau cuisine—a lot of money for fucking nothing. I think better art is done in times of recession than in times of prosperity, anyway. In this country, far more seems to get done than when people have fuck all.

the Aquarian Gallery, with this guy Steve Lowe. It is now called 113. He has put on some great exhibitions with Billy Childish and others—but none of the shows we have done there have gotten attention from the mainstream art circuit. In this country, the critics are all friends with the artists. Critics won’t go to new galleries, and the whole thing is so corrupt and so negative. I’m not depressed about it at all—I just choose to do things my own way. The Eight-fold Year is your latest project, in which you upload a new painting, photograph, and piece of writing to Eightfoldyear.org each day for a year. It’s totally different to your work with the Pistols and Suburban Press, and has a much more Gaian, shamanistic type of message.

My work has always been on two fronts: the much more spiritual, esoteric work, and the political work, even though people see the two as being diverse. The Eight-fold Year is based on seasons, and the critical times of the seasons, like the equinoxes and solstices. If you have a garden or allotment, you’re already working to that pattern. This project links in with my background, because my family were political activists who were also involved with a druid order for three generations, starting with my Great Uncle George Watson MacGregor Reid. Yes, I’ve heard about your Great Uncle. He started out as a union activist working with dock workers in Boston and New York, and once ran for Parliament as one of the first Labour Party candidates. Then he met

Madame Blavatsky (founder of Theosophy), returned to England and befriended members of the Golden Dawn (a ninteenth century magical order whose members included Aleister Crowley and WB Yeats), and became a swami-type figure. Then he was made the chief druid of the British Isles and led druidic ceremonial rites at Stonehenge. You’ve often cited him as a huge inspiration. Everything in my life has dovetailed from him. He died before I was born, but I grew up with a knowledge of the tradition of druidism and how, in his case, it was linked with the birth of socialism. If there’s one thing I’ve always been aware of it’s that if you need political change, you also need spiritual change. Look at the history of the Labour party and socialist

86

JAmIE REID

Fuck Forever color print collage board-mounted paper 204 mm x 304 mm 1979

JUXTAPOZ

IN ThE EARLy DAyS, ThERE’S NO wAy wE COULD hAVE DONE whAT wE DID IN ThE CONFINES OF A mUSEUm OR ART GALLERy.
tradition—it stems back to spiritual visionaries and philosophers like William Blake and Tom Paine. Sadly, today politics is mainly about commerce. I often collaborate with a Russian laser artist called Alexei Blinov. He told me he had a couple of friends who were top-end hackers, who became disillusioned. They had decided that the microchip was an alien invention Your Great Uncle was active during the turn of designed to get us so utterly dependent on the twentieth century, a time of huge political computers that once they were taken away, and spiritual evolution. the whole planet would be thrown into complete chaos. So yeah, personally, I am Yes, there was an incredible sense of new age quite wary of computers. Mostly I use them and enlightment—and then the First World for communication and some graphics. War happened. It was like a massive fucking But I have a suspicion surrounding them. ritualistic suicide. People look back on the incas If computer systems broke down, all means and the druids and say, “they must be terrible, of public transport would fail, communications they practiced ritualistic suicide.” But modern would fail. We aren’t prepared for those kinds society happily kills people in the millions for of scenarios. power, greed, and control. Poor soldiers. It breaks my heart. Our reliance on computers, modern farming, fossil fuels, etc., its much less scary if you What do you think about Wikileaks, and know at least how to grow your own food and cyber terrorist groups like Anonymous, who generate your own energy. are protesting corporate and government corruption in a whole new way? I couldn’t agree more. I evenly split my time between painting and gardening nowadays. Physical protest is more restricted and I do that every day. I have a garden and an oppressed than it used to be. So yes, in this allotment, and there’s nothing like growing your day and age, and with the options available, own stuff. You don’t need massive amounts of cyber attacking is an effective way people space. You can do it. can fight back. With most Western politics there’s the veneer you see, and then there’s What kind of politically driven art do you the corruption and secrecy behind it all. It’s create today? interesting, the way that terrorism is being used to inhibit any means of protest, and keep The Tory government has just announced that people under control. they are going to sell off British forest and woodlands to private companies, and I wanted What are your thoughts on computers? Obviously to do a graphic about it. The Tory party logo is there were no laptops and no Internet when you a tree, so I have used their logo being cut down began working as an artist and activist. with a sword saying “Tory Cuts.” Something like

that. They are cutting libraries and children’s benefits too. They’re cutting everything. What does the future hold for Jamie Reid? Who knows. Survival. Birth of new paintings. Planting things. How’s your allotment? We have just planted broad beans, onions, shallots, and sweet peas. It’s such a great concept, the idea of allotments. They are so democratic! After World War II, there wasn’t enough food so people were granted their own little bits of land to grow vegetables on. The whole concept was born out of crisis. So many good things are. For more information about Jamie Reid, contact Jamiereid.org and Isisgallery.org.

88

FAB 5 FREDDy

JUXTAPOZ

intervieW michelle Joan papillion / portrait by 13thWitness

fab 5 freddy

90

FAB 5 FREDDy

JUXTAPOZ

Haymaker 6” x 6" 2010

FAB 5 FREDDy hAS BEEN AT ThE BEGINNING OF IT ALL. ThE BROOkLyN-BRED ARTIST IS LEGENDARy, A PIONEER PAVING ThE wAy FOR mANy, hImSELF INCLUDED, whO hAVE TAkEN ThEIR ART FROm ThE STREETS TO ThE GALLERIES, mUSEUmS, AND ThE hEIGhTS OF POP CULTURE. FEw ARTISTS hAVE UNIFORmLy FUSED TOGEThER A mULTIFACETED CAREER IN VISUAL ART, FILm, AND TELEVISION ALL BORN OUT OF ONE CULTURE.

was called Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. We became good friends when he invited me to work the cameras and be a regular guest on a Michelle Joan Papillion: A lot of people heard public access cable TV show he was launching the name Fab 5 Freddy for the first time called, Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party. He was like mentioned in Blondie’s ’80s hit, “Rapture.” a mentor/big brother to Jean-Michel Basquiat How did you hook up with Blondie? and myself. Through him I met Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, as well as many other FAB 5 Freddy: That all came out of me exploring musicians, filmmakers, artists, and other cool the New York downtown new wave and punk creative types on the scene then. Chris and scene in the late ’70s. Early on, I had ideas Debbie were also the first Americans to collect about being an artist and helping spark a pop my work. And the shout-out they gave me on cultural revolt. I was looking for an audience “Rapture” was indeed, fly. that would understand the things I was trying to do. I met Glenn O’Brien, who wrote a column on So you felt like the downtown New York I sat down with Fab, who’s also a curatorial music and culture called “Glenn O’Brien’s Beat” scene was similar to the uptown hip-hop and advisor for MOCA’s, Art In The Streets historical for Interview Magazine and he was also one of graffiti scenes? survey, and discussed the beginnings of his the original editors for that publication when it Since the early ’80s Fab 5 Freddy was at the epicenter of New York’s downtown scene calling shots and building cultural bridges. He helped draft the blueprint and pave the roads traveled by countless from urban backgrounds who found a way to get their work seen and heard. Fab is a cultural ambassador with diplomatic presence respected worldwide for his creative contributions. He is often cited for showing people their first glimpse of hip-hop culture through the seminal film, Wild Style, that he co-produced and starred in along with Lee Quinones, and his tenure as the original host of the groundbreaking, YO! MTV Raps. career, his new works—and yes—Jeffrey Deitch and artist Blu. —Michelle Joan Papillion

92

FAB 5 FREDDy

from ace gallery 1987

JUXTAPOZ

under brooklyn bridge photo by charlie ahearn 1980

At that time the whole idea of rap music, break dancing, graffiti painting and DJing were raw, street, and not at all linked as one but I felt in essence, they were. To me, they comprised a series of explosions going off in different parts of The City set off by a rainbow of rebellious urban teens. I sensed that punks and new wave types would feel the synergy. I introduced them, and they did.

would be underground, arty, and radical, but we What was the first thing you directed and how were surprised to learn his friends and clients did that come about? were the elite of Italian society and business. Making Wild Style with Charlie was like my So this was before Wild Style came out? film school. Classic, hard core, independent, guerilla filmmaking. Investors laughed at us. Yes. Wild Style came out in 1982–83. In the They were like, “Rap music, graffiti, are you beginning when I began making art, many guys serious?” Ha-ha—we showed them! I was people I was meeting and becoming friends showing my work at Holly Solmon’s gallery on with downtown were all interested in different 57th Street in NYC, and had a big show at the Tell me about the first time you showed in mediums like film, photography, video, and Ace Gallery in LA by 1987, but I was getting a gallery? music. Most everyone worked in at least two restless. Rap music videos hadn’t kicked mediums and we all supported each other’s in strong yet by the late ’80s, but I thought It was in Rome in 1979. Lee Quinones and endeavors. Jean-Michel and I talked about directing would be a great way to get my work I had a two-person show at Galleria Le Medusa. film, music, and art constantly, as I’d do with in front of much larger audiences, then parlay An Italian art dealer, Claudio Bruni, had read Keith Haring. While Charlie Ahearn and I were that exposure back to my art. MTV was still about Lee and I in the Village Voice. He’d been putting the film together, Glenn O’Brien and practicing television apartheid with few, very noticing graffiti develop on NYC trains and was Edo Bertoglio were making Downtown 81, few, exceptions besides Michael Jackson’s curious, so from that article he looked us up, Henry Chalfant and Tony Silver were making videos. I wanted to go wider, go pop as in loved the work, bought a couple of paintings, Style Wars, and Patti Astor started the FUN popular, and reach more people via film when commissioned us to do more, then offered us a Gallery, all at the same time. It was such a I was asked to direct My Philosophy, the show at his gallery. Lee and I thought the crowd frenzied period of creative expression where first music video for KRS ONE. I thought, that would come out to see our work in Rome we felt anything was possible, and it was. Warhol made films, as did the surrealists like

Luis Buñuel, and this is such a new, immediate way to get the work in front of lots of folks. After that video that I directed in May of ’88, to my surprise I was asked to host MTV’s first rap music program, YO! MTV Raps, in the fall of that year. I did that into the mid-’90s, the golden era of hip-hop music. The 151 Wooster Wild Style Wall was a big event in the NY art world a few years ago. Elaborate on that event, and did you remember tagging in that building? A developer was renovating this old Soho loft building at 151 Wooster Street and he uncovered a wall splashed with a bunch of graffiti tags and drawings. He’d heard rumors that Jean-Michel Basquiat and others had left their marks somewhere in the building, so when workers uncovered this wall, he contacted the Guggenheim Museum and their experts consulted with others, and next thing I hear about it in an article in the New York Times

real estate section on this amazing discovery. The experts in the article confirmed that there were various prominent artists that had tagged and spray painted on the walls in this building, including myself. The backstory is that in 1979, fresh out of Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, I’d met an art critic named Edit Deak who liked my work, invited me to a dinner party, and before leaving asked me to tag a wall in her loft. I drew an airplane dropping a bomb and put up a few tags. In subsequent years, others who visited her loft would also tag the wall after seeing I’d left my mark. The wall was later Sheetrocked over and sealed up for many years. The developer decided to higher conservators to remove the work from the brick wall, and do an exhibition in the space. He arranged early works by Keith Haring from collectors Kenny Scharf, Basquiat, and myself, and the event he gave was mobbed with art fans from then and now. While there I got flashbacks, déjà vu, and an explosion went off in my brain that it was now the time to ramp up and make some new work.

Shortly after that, you debuted new work at a show at Art Basel Miami in 2008. At the end of 2010 you exhibited a body of this new work at the new Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Tell us about them. The new works are these mixed-media on canvas pieces. I select photographs and digitally alter them, placing my subject in a black void. Then I have the images blown up and printed on canvas. From there I place colored Swarovski crystals on the canvas, one by one, pointillism style. Where did this idea come from, using the crystals? The specific idea of working with the crystals came from seeing a lot of it around lately, particularly on clothing. I was attracted to the materials and found that Swarovski makes the best crystals, like getting that certain brand of paint. It’s a tedious process, but it’s invigorating making these new pieces. It’s an amazing

94

FAB 5 FREDDy

JUXTAPOZ

new work 2010

experience watching the viewer move in front of the work as the light dances and fires back these thousands of tiny explosions, making you a part of the process. The new work has a lot to do with light and movement. Can you elaborate on the new work you’ll be showing at MOCA? My new pieces will use crystals and other mixed-media, while referencing my past in graffiti using a process similar to the works I’ve recently created. In the ’80s, we were reluctant to refer to ourselves as “graffiti artist,” but the media descended and called us that. Out of our respect and reverence for the process and practice, we were conscious that we weren’t technically doing “graffiti,” as the true meaning of that term is akin to making an illegal mark or scrawl on a wall. But I’m aware that meanings of words expand based on popular usage over time. I like to use the term New York style graffiti because that explains the style of spray painting and tagging developed in New York in the ’70s and ’80s most associated with graffiti as an art. Some use the term aerosol artist to reference that they are using spray paint, but not necessarily creating graffiti in that NY-based style. My new work references NY-style graffiti painting but in a cut up, sampled, remixed, and reformed manner. Obviously, there are many digitally-based ideas now common that were originally developed and perfected around the process of creating hip-hop and modern dance music. Conceptually that is inspiring my current creative output. It’s like a narrative I’ve shot, edited, and stored on my mental hard drive, and these new paintings are scenes from the film. How necessary do you think it is to have a museum survey like this about the history of graffiti into street art? I think it’s very important that this Art In the Streets show is happening at MOCA. It’s a really heroic decision on Jeffery Deitch’s part to provide an opportunity for a historical survey of one of, if not the most resounding, radical, and relevant movement in art history; graffiti

and street art. Showing folks how it developed into this wild explosion on the streets of metropolitan areas like NYC and Philly, and in 30-plus years spread and sprouted itself into many different chambers of visual expression on a worldwide level. From the streets, to galleries, and now in a big way, museums. What are your thoughts on the mural Italian street artist Blu painted on the side of MOCA that was taken down within a day of going up? Jeffrey Dietch has been showing and dealing with cutting-edge contemporary art for 30 years and was one of the earliest champions of myself and others from the graffiti scene moving into the NY art world. He also showcased, at his former NY space, many of the leading street artists, including Blu. True to form, I believe Jeffrey trusted Blu’s creative judgment and didn’t ask to approve a sketch for the MOCA mural, but left him to do his thing. Blu is from Italy and very talented, but I doubt he was aware of the complexities of the community, the war memorial very near the MOCA Geffen building, and a Department of Veterans affairs building also very close by. Personally, I’m anti-war but pro US troops, and this is an all-volunteer military. How would those screaming censorship feel if the mural had remained, and the certain furor to follow resulted in the cancelling of the entire exhibition? When a filmmaker cuts out a scene they feel doesn’t work, or distracts from the whole, do we call that censorship? Jeffrey’s title at MOCA is director, and like a film, this exhibit has a narrative, a strong one. What’s on the outside of a museum is public and we don’t have a choice, whether or not we see it. But what’s on the inside, we make that choice. I also think it would have been helpful to the discussion early on had Blu spoken up more on his creative relationship with Jeffrey, and provided more specifics regarding the circumstances of the mural, so those rushing to judgment would have a more balanced view and understanding. I’ve been talking to Lee and Futura about this, and Futura served in the US Navy, so we all have strong feelings on this issue that I’m sure will be discussed in some

RAP mUSIC, BREAk DANCING, GRAFFITI PAINTING AND DJING COmPRISED A SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS GOING OFF IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF ThE CITy SET OFF By A RAINBOw OF REBELLIOUS URBAN TEENS.

forum when the show opens. Is there anything else you would like to share about your history as an artist that maybe hasn’t been shared before? As a kid I was restless, wild, and curious. I would take my own holidays from school, hop on the train from Brooklyn and explore, mainly museums. My favorites were the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue, which would let you in for a nickel, though not their suggested admission. I’d look at everything from Egyptian art to tribal to renaissance paintings and Caravaggios, and their great collection of classic modern art. Everything from Pollock to Kline, Rothko, de Kooning to Rauschenberg, to Johns. There I developed a love for art, artists, and making art and I realized to do it big was gonna have to be like Malcolm X said, “by any means necessary.” That became my foundation, and the journey began.
For more information about FAB 5 Freddy, contact Fab5freddy.com.

96

RAmmELLZEE

rammellzee Lords’ Minus, 1999 photo angela boatwright courtesy of the estate of rammellzee and the suzanne geiss company

JUXTAPOZ

rammellzee Vocal Well’s God,1999 photo angela boatwright courtesy of the estate of rammellzee and the suzanne geiss company

rammellzee

98

RAmmELLZEE

rammellzee , 1991 collage on canvas with resin 41.5 x 41.5 inches, 105.4 x 105.4 cm photo adam reich copyright the estate of rammellzee courtesy the suzanne geiss company, new york

JUXTAPOZ

rammellzee Votive, c. 1983 spray paint on photograph in epoxy resin 37 x 39.5 inches, 93.98 x 100.33 cm photo adam reich copyright the estate of rammellzee courtesy the suzanne geiss company, new york

100

RAmmELLZEE

rammellzee (top) Letter Racer “ R”,1988 found objects assemblage photo adam reich copyright the estate of rammellzee courtesy the suzanne geiss company, new york

rammellzee (mid) , 1988 found objects assemblage photo adam reich copyright the estate of rammellzee courtesy the suzanne geiss company, new york

JUXTAPOZ

rammellzee (opposite page bottom) Letter Racer “ Z”, 1988 found objects assemblage photo adam reich copyright the estate of rammellzee courtesy the suzanne geiss company, new york

rammellzee lords minus description, c. 1995 collage on paper 11 x 8.5 inches, 27.94 x 21.59 cm copyright the estate of rammellzee courtesy the suzanne geiss company, new york

102

RAmmELLZEE

rammellzee (below) Memory, c. 1986 paper, spray paint and photograph on wood 36 inches diameter, 91.44 cm diameter photo adam reich copyright the estate of rammellzee courtesy the suzanne geiss company, new york

rammellzee (opposite page) Trixter Bolt from A Assassin, 1985 spray paint, film paper and rocks in epoxy resin on canvas 41 x 30 inches , 104.14 x 76.2 cm photo adam reich copyright the estate of rammellzee courtesy the suzanne geiss company, new york

JUXTAPOZ

104

GUSmANO CESARETTI

JUXTAPOZ

gusmano cesaretti

intervieW by aaron rose / portrait by estevan oriol

106

GUSmANO CESARETTI

JUXTAPOZ

Gallero east los angeles 1971

SOmETImES, JUST whEN yOU ThINk yOU’VE SEEN EVERyThING, whEN yOU FEEL ThAT ThERE ARE NO mORE hIDDEN GEmS, ThE UNIVERSE ShAkES EVERyThING UP AND SURPRISES yOU. ThIS wAS ThE CASE FOR mE whEN I wAS INTRODUCED TO ThE PhOTOGRAPhIC wORkS OF GUSmANO CESARETTI. CESARETTI IS AN ITALIAN ImmIGRANT whO CAmE TO ThE UNITED STATES IN ThE 1960s. ThE wORk hE DID IN ThE EARLy 1970s DOCUmENTING ThE EAST LA LOwRIDER AND GRAFFITI SCENES ARE SOmE OF ThE mOST INTImATE AND POIGNANT ImAGES I’VE EVER SEEN OF ThAT TImE.

Street Writers, his book from the period, is a rare publication that I highly suggest hunting down. He is one of the best street photographers I’ve ever met in my life, and as these photographs attest, an important part of the legacy of graffiti and street culture. —Aaron Rose Aaron Rose: How did you end up in America? Gusmano Cesaretti: I had relatives here. My uncle lived in Chicago… another uncle lived in Los Angeles. At that time, to me, America was like a dream! I remember spending nights when I was a kid listening to Radio Monte Carlo, which was a station where they played American music. They played all the latest

rock and roll, the new jazz, everything! When the station went off the air at four in the morning, then I would go to sleep. So the American culture that I got from the music and watching the movies had a big effect on me. I would go to the movies all the time. I admired all these great actors and the locations and even the studio stuff. It was a world of fantasy. Films had a way of. Projecting!

On the Road. When that book came out I said, “Wow!” Then I found out about Allen Ginsberg. This was 1961, 1962, 1963. I was in a transition where I didn’t know what I was gonna do with my life, so I said to myself, “I need to go to America.” I talked to my dad, he got me a ticket on the boat from Genova. Eleven days later I arrived in NY. The moment I stepped out of the boat and I had my feet in NYC, Kennedy was killed. No way. Wow. The same day?

Yes! Exactly. Projecting the American dream. So everybody in the world is watching American movies and they see how they live in LA and NY. You know, the big houses and the big cars. Those dreams are in films. So I really truly loved everything about America. I read Jack Keroac’s

Yes. I’m watching a country going through an incredible devastation. People were crying on the street. They were lined up in front of TV stores watching the news. All day long it was just “Kennedy was killed, Kennedy was killed.”

108

GUSmANO CESARETTI

David, Sonia, and Blackie highland park, los angeles 1973

Chaz’ Skull highland park, los angeles 1974

JUXTAPOZ

ThE BIG CARS. ThOSE DREAmS ARE IN FILmS. SO I REALLy TRULy LOVED EVERyThING ABOUT AmERICA

I was like, “Wow! This is amazing!” So the moment I put my foot in America, the President got killed. So that’s how I came to America. How did you get from NYC to LA? I lived in Chicago for a while and then in 1970 I moved to LA. To me, LA was the real dreamworld because I loved the films. I loved James Dean and Marlon Brando. Even though some of the movies were shot in NY, or in Texas, LA was still the center. Plus, everyday was sunny so it really pumped me up. I relate to the sun. When I’m in the sun I feel like a hundred-million dollars. When it rains I feel depressed, I feel that things are not going right. The sun just brings everything together.

German descendent. He taught me everything about photography. He taught me about the chemistry of developing film, how to make a print, how to make your own developers for specific purposes. I worked there for three years and it was the most incredible training. It’s like a dream job.

Yes! A dream job. I would spend hours in the darkroom everyday. It was an incredible experience. While I was working there it gave me time to discover the city. I had a little Volkswagen and I would go everywhere, but I really found that I was drawn to the culture of the Eastside. It was the most interesting to me because it was raw and accessible. You know, in Beverly Hills I would never see Were you taking photographs at that point? people walking on the street. To me it felt like a wasteland. But I would go to East LA and I started taking photographs seriously in 1968. there were people in the street! I would see In 1970 I got a job at the Huntington Library in writing on the walls and paintings. I saw people Pasadena. One day I thought that I would try to walking, and eating, and chasing each other, get a job there. The guy asked me, “What kind and singing, and arguing, and experiencing of work do you do?” I said, “I’m a photographer, emotional moments. So I thought to myself, but I’d like to work in the garden.” He said, these are the real people here! “Well, we have a photo department here.” They needed someone to help, and there was How did you discover grafitti and the guys that a job opening so I got the job. My boss was were doing it down there? Frank Reinhardt. He was a photographer and

I would see grafitti on the wall, but I didn’t know what it meant. I was used to the Italian grafitti that was more political. The stuff in East LA looked very exotic to me. I liked the style of the writing. It was almost like a different language. In some moments it even reminded me of Chinese lettering. It was amazing. Those guys were Mexicans, but it was different from Spanish. I wanted to know more about this. I realized that I had access to a subculture there that wasn’t available to everybody. That excited me and made me want to get more involved with these guys. I wanted to know all the meanings of things. I would wake up in the morning and go to East LA. I would spend all day there walking around, talking to people. I would take pictures of the kids, their school, the murals of the virgin on the walls. Little by little, I began to understand the whole culture. What year was it when you started hanging out in East LA? I actually first visited East LA in 1969 and I took a few snapshots here and there. But then I was like, “I need to know this!” I started walking the streets in 1970. I would park the car and walk through every neighborhood. I would just walk and walk and talk to people. Old people, young people, kids, mothers, you know. Also,

110

GUSmANO CESARETTI

JUXTAPOZ

The Godfather east lost angeles 1977

neighborhood and the walls I always respected it. The walls speak to you. You can go to any This was 1971 to 1974. city in the world and if you start looking at the walls you’re going to find out a lot about But these guys weren’t affiliated with gangs, right? the place. There is information there. To me, when I did the graffiti pictures I thought it was No! Chaz was maybe at the edge. He lived in important from the graphics point of view. I was the gang neighborhood. But the thing is, if you interested in the lettering, the different styles are an artist, you’re not going to get involved and symbols associated with different gangs. with anything because your art ultimately is I never thought that these photos would what’s going to save you. The gangs respected become an historical document. him, everybody knew who he was. He did graffiti, but it was graffiti with an edge. He How did the Street Writers book come about? wasn’t just marking territory. Also, he never did graffiti outside of his own area. He knew the I had photographed all this material and when everybody respected me because I wasn’t law of the land. He did it right. I don’t think his I started putting all the pictures together American. My English was very bad. I was just graffiti was ever crossed out. They left it alone. I started thinking that it would make a great learning English and they knew immediately. book. I met a guy named Tony Cohen, who They would ask me if I was Latino. When I So you guys became friends? was starting a publishing company called told them I was from Italy they were always Acrobat Books. Tony is a writer. He’s quite excited. Also, I had a lot of respect for them. Oh yeah, we would party together. We used to successful now. So I met with him and showed Before I took a photo I would always ask first. go dancing at night and then do graffiti. You him what I had been photographing. He I would say, “Can I take your picture?” or “Can know both psychologically and physically we immediately understood it and offered me a I see your house?” Then I would come back would get dressed up for the night. You’d have book. When I was going around with Chaz the following week and I would bring them a your cans, smoke a couple of joints and you I had a tape recorder with me and I would print. Some of those families down there still were ready to go. Then you’re in the mood. tape our conversations all the time. I couldn’t have prints of mine in their houses! It’s pretty You drive around. You find the right spot, the remember everything so I would tape what he amazing. I also photographed the Clique Car right corner. It was always very strategic. It was said as we went around. He had an enormous Club and those guys have prints that I can’t funny because we would paint with a guy called amount of information. So we transcribed all even remember. You know prints of their kids, Kingfish, and he would wear a white suit with the tapes and that became the text for the of weddings. a Hawaiian shirt and a white hat. So this is the book. The book was done in a very traditional middle of the night and we’re doing graffiti by documentary style. It was very naïve in many How did you meet Chaz Bojorquez and begin the freeway! This guy is 300 pounds wearing a ways. Street Writers was very, very simple. following that group that was looking at white suit and he’s got sunglasses on! But we Mexican-American graffiti in a different way? never got caught. Never. At that time I don’t Was there an exhibition when the book think the cops were on us the way they would was released? I met Chaz through a little scene of artists be now. I knew in Pasadena. I told him that I had been We had a party at Tony Cohen’s house in photographing East LA and I showed him Well, graffiti hadn’t spread the way it has now. Hollywood. I invited all my lowrider friends to some stuff. He suggested that we go around that party. They all came, saw the book and sometime together. So I started going out with Exactly. told me I could photograph them anytime Chaz while he worked. Sometimes we would I wanted. That’s when I really got involved with just go to the river and look at the graffiti and he When you were shooting that stuff did you think the lowriders. would tell me all about it. I would photograph that it was an important historical document? Or him doing his pieces. At the same time I was was it just like you hanging out with your friends? What camera were you using? also photographing this scene of artists around him. All these guys were using graffiti as an I never really thought about the importance. Nikon. But most of the stuff was shot with a artistic expression. But because I was documenting the Nikkormat because my Nikon broke down.

IF yOU ARE AN ARTIST, yOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET INVOLVED wITh ANyThING BECAUSE yOUR ART ULTImATELy IS whAT’S GOING TO SAVE yOU.

What year was this?

112

GUSmANO CESARETTI

JUXTAPOZ

Klique Car Club east los angeles 1973

I REALIZED ThAT I hAD ACCESS TO A SUBCULTURE ThERE ThAT wASN’T AVAILABLE TO EVERyBODy. ThAT EXCITED mE.

There was a great photo shop in Pasadena called Lemac Camera. The guy who owned the shop was a wonderful human being. He liked my work so he would loan me cameras and lenses. Some weekends I would have a real nice wide angle lens, sometimes a flash. You know the shots I have of the lowriders on the street with the flares? I would shoot with a low shutter speed and then I would flash it so there would be a little movement to it. Your style of printing is also very unique. The prints have a real signature to them that is rare with most photographers. Was that on purpose? Yes. I had this little formula in my head. The training that I had at the Huntington Library was incredible because I learned to really understand the chemistry of film. When I would take a photograph, I was already visualizing in my head the way the final print would look. The photographs I was taking were of subjects that I thought were on the edge. I started applying this philosophy to my photography.

For instance, I would use Tri-X film and I would push it to 1600 asa, sometimes even more. Then I would develop the film and put the chemicals in the tank, but instead of gentle agitation like one would usually do with this film, I would instead put the tank on the floor and I would kick it with my foot. It would roll all the way to the end of the studio. Then I would walk over there, turn around and kick it back in the other direction. I would do that for just the right amount of time that I needed to develop the film. Consequently it was agitated in a very brutal way. The film and the images became very grainy and full of contrast. But I had developed this technique and I knew what I was doing. Sometimes I would take a cigarette lighter to the stainless steel tank and warm it up. Between the warming it up and the agitation it became just like an explosion of grain. It was an amazing and beautiful thing. When you look back at those pictures now from 40 years ago, how does it make you feel?

I had a relationship with every single person that I photographed. I wonder about some of the people. Did he ever make it? or I wonder what happened to his wife? You know what I mean? I still keep in touch with a few people from that time. When I look at the photographs I think about the good times that I had hanging out with those guys. We had a great time! The dancing and the graffiti and the beautiful girls— it was amazing! I never thought that someday they would be in a museum. I was just taking pictures, that’s what I do! Like the same way a mechanic fixes cars. They used to call me Picture Man. They would say, “Here comes the Picture Man!” It was beautiful. For more information about Gusmano Cesaretti, contact Gusmanocesaretti.com.

114

mARThA COOPER

JUXTAPOZ

Broken Promises/Falsas Promesas stencils by john fekner charlotte street, south bronx 1980

martha cooper

all photography by martha cooper

116

mARThA COOPER

village voice, 1982 text by richard goldstein photos by martha cooper

JUXTAPOZ

TV Party (fab 5 freddy) (reference to nyc public access show by glenn o’brien) 1982

david Wojnarowicz lower east side, manhattan 1982

Jean-michel basquiat lower east side, manhattan 1982

Jean-michel basquiat lower east side, manhattan 1982

118

mARThA COOPER

JUXTAPOZ

kenny scharf, iz the Wiz, richard hambleton lower east side, manhattan 1982

120

mARThA COOPER

keith haring east harlem date of painting unknown

JUXTAPOZ

richard hambleton downtown manhattan 1982

keith haring and laz Avenue dJ avenue d and houston street lower east side, manhattan 1982

122

mARThA COOPER

JUXTAPOZ

124

PROFILES

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by Evan Pricco

LADy PINk

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california
Do you think that the lines between "graffiti" and "street art" have been blurred?
1 Shepard Fairey piece a few blocks from MoCA 2 A Space Invader piece just mysteriously showed up on the Geffen building 3 JR’s mural for “Wrinkles of the City” a few blocks from MoCA

PhOTOS

1

Sacha Jenkins SHR: Your eye has always been amused by figures, both human and other worldly. What do you find inspiring about fleshy forms?

I think graffiti has morphed into "street art" in the way that rock n' roll morphed into different sounds—like metal, punk, pop, Lady Pink: I've always drawn females— and rap. The form is growing up, inspiring all sometimes as sexual beings, sometimes as victims. Guys are hard to draw for some reason. kinds of people to do vandalism. Better yet, inspiring young folks to take control of their But truthfully, I've never thought about why environments. Your average Joe or Joan now I do what I do and how I do what I do. As a has no idea what the difference is between graff writer, lettering was cool, but I never graff and street art. It’s as if there isn’t a line wanted to be confined to it. So my homeboys separating us anymore. We're all “street artists” made me do the characters on the trains. And my husband, Smith, has a serious romance now. “Street” makes us sound so dangerous! with letters, so my characters made our productions a ménage à trois of sorts.

2

3

photo of art by martha cooper

126

PROFILES

JUXTAPOZ

Photos by Evan Pricco

JON NAAR

When I arrived in New York in 1973, graffiti was in full bloom on the lines, and Jon Naar had already caught the tags and pieces by Stitch, Piper, Stay High 149 and Phase II on film and published them in The Faith of Graffiti. These were the legendary ancestors of the artists I would document years later when I began to shoot masters like Dondi, Crash, and Lee who stood on the shoulders of those titans who challenged the industrial power of 600 miles of steel and machinery running like a blood

vessel through the city. Jon’s photos capture the exuberant tangle of those early paintings that brightened the dilapidated city and turned deferred-maintenance wrecks into brilliant canvases. It was a time when the culture of writing was new and everybody was experimenting with style. I was inspired by the art and by Jon’s photos, and happy that someone was showing the world this entirely new art form. —Henry Chalfant

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california
1 Street style 2 A segment of Barry McGee’s contribution to the 2011 version of Street Market 3 Mister Cartoon’s mural inside the Geffen 4 Levi’s Film Workshop begins to take shape 5 Greek artist Stelios’ mural in the Geffen

PhOTOS

1

2

3

4

5

graffiti writers 1973

128

PhOTOS

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by Evan Pricco

PhOTOS

levi’s film worKshop april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california

LEvi’S GrEEN SCrEEN SET

130

INSIDER

JUXTAPOZ

INSIDER PATTI ASTOR
interview by saber portrait by estevan oriol

patti astor created the World famous fun gallery (1981-1985) the first art gallery in the east village. she starred as virginia, the intrepid “doWntoWn” reporter Who ventures “uptoWn” in charlie ahearn’s classic hip-hop film, WiLD STYLe.
Patti Astor: I grew up in Cincinnati, which is a pretty culturally aware city. In 1967, the Summer of Love, I was 17 and told my Dad I didn’t want to go to college, “can’t I just drop acid and listen to Jimi Hendrix?” and he blew up, “You were brought up to be an intellectual, you’re going to be an intellectual and dammit you’re going to college!” So I chose Barnard College to get to New York. I arrived in the Fall of ’68 and right at that time the anti-war movement was in full swing, so I ended up dropping out of school and spending two years in NYC SDS, which is where I get my kick ass attitude. How did the energy, political time frame and things that were happening on the street help form the era of graffiti and hip hop. I always had an outsider mentality, and I don’t think I was ever going to go back and go to law school. I was a hippie. I don’t think anyone who went through the whole Vietnam era, whether you were in the service or stopping the war, your life was never going to be the same. You were never going to go back into the system because you had totally lost faith in it. So you met all these characters, guys like Futura, Lee, and Dondi. What was Dondi like? Dondi White was always the keeper of the flame for the children of the grave. It was a real honor to meet and work with Dondi. I think one of the reasons I got in so well with these guys and eventually earned their trust was because I kept my mouth shut. I was a toy, I’d be running along behind them, and what is just so perfect is that usually in the movies when there is a white person going into a black culture they solve everything, tell everybody what to do and have all the answers. In Wild Style everyone’s always telling me to shut up and get lost. I think that was great and I was smart, I could go anywhere and learn. When did you start the FUN Gallery and what was your first show?

I started it in 1981. The FUN Gallery was an artist’s gallery. The first show was kind of an accident, my partner Bill Stelling who I knew from the Mudd Club said he had this little space fixed up into a gallery. At this point everyone like Keith Haring and Diego Cortez had been doing these one night shows and art was the new thing after the whole Hip-Hop culture came down to the East Village. So I said okay and Steven Kramer just happened to jump on it and he did 20 drawings. We were so broke we just shrink-wrapped them like record albums and we sold all of them in one day, and at the time the art world was very stiff and so closed. Here is Haring and Basquiat coming from the whole Warhol angle, how integral was the graffiti writers essence and mixing with Haring and Basquiat? How much of an influence were they given by the train writers, because the train writers were innovative and the other being simpler. How much of an influence was graffiti art? I think that it was a tremendous amount and it went both ways. The success of the FUN Gallery was that we were never a graffiti gallery, although people like to categorize us as a “Graffiti gallery”. We gave one man shows to people whom Bill and I thought were doing interesting things. That first year, besides Steven, we had non-graffiti artists Arch Connelly, Jane Dickson, Kiely Jenkins, and Kenny Scharf, who gave the gallery it’s FUN name. Each person had a totally separate technique. It was a real trade off because all of a sudden there was this complete freedom. I mean Keith became famous from his chalk drawings on the subway. Once the FUN Gallery opened everybody would hang out there every day. It was almost like a new horizon? The writers were people the system had given up on, the hip-hopop culture came out of being told they were nothing. But they were something so they created their own dance, music and art form. I found it valuable that the little kids from around the neighborhood would come in because this is where they heard they could see their heroes, and I got to tell them that everybody has something to offer. Everyone has a talent, don’t listen to anyone else and you can find that inside yourself. You can see how hard these artists, musicians and dancers work to make this happen and you can find that inside yourself.

Who were some of the other graffiti artists that you picked up? There was Futura and Fab, but Fred Brathwaite was a multi-talented kind of dude. His stuff was revolutionary. Most of the shows were for fun and we didn’t sell very much. We didn’t give a shit about the money! That is what drove people crazy about me, but I would just tell them how it was. You’ll appreciate this story, in ’83 I flew out to LA with FUN artists Futura, Dondi, Ero, Lee and Zephyr and we were working with Doug Christmas. We were painting his ACE Gallery building on Melrose and he comes up to me and starts yelling at the artists and says, “you tell your boys…” and I cut him off right there and told him we were going to take a walk down the block. All the artists stopped painting. I said “these were not his boys, these are artists who deserve your respect and if you don’t respect them, we are all going to get back on the plane and you can kiss your gallery show goodbye.” We walked back and the crew started painting again. It was thrilling that the artists would sit down and have a serious talk to tell me how they wanted their art presented. They all had a very clear vision of what they wanted. A-ONE was one of my favorites, who was tragically young when he died. It was terrible. But one of my favorite parts about the FUN Gallery was that you’d have the little kids from the neighborhood, Rock Steady Crew, the Beastie Boys when they were 14, the Clash, rich collectors in their mink coats, punk rockers, artists, and we also had a gay crowd because my partner Bill was gay. The AIDS thing was tragic it was like the black plague and hundreds of people were taken. It was quite a struggle at times, for four years we never had a heater, Bill got punched in the face a few times and I faced down the neighborhood Mafia and saw a couple of knives from the wrong end. From all your experiences, all the people you met and everything you’ve been through, is there one thing you have taken from it all, what’s your message to the world? I feel the purpose of art is to create something beautiful that people can see and inspire them, and also to make the world better. I don’t have any money but I don’t care ’cause I was not in it for monetary rewards but I have many people who have told me that I changed their lives.

132

PROFILES

mARk GONZALES

To me the definition of art is one’s symbiotic relationship with the world around them. Mark achieved fame early on in his life through skateboarding, so, as a revolutionary, really his art’s an extension of his life. It’s mimicry, what he sees and how he interprets it, and then how he pushes it out onto the world around him. That’s being in tune with your surroundings, and that’s the art that Mark Gonzales exemplifies. Whether he’s jumping a picnic table full speed ahead on a skateboard or kicking a sign 'cause he’s mad about something or just playing in traffic with his bike going 150 miles an hour—believe me, that’s art. To be in control, to see things in a different fashion, to get so much emotion out of a Schmoo or his little thumb head drawing, it’s infantile, you can see its most simplistic form. He’s not trying to jock you with his strokes or his skyrising tagging ability—it’s fucking weirdness. It’s interpretive. Mark’s paid some fuckin’ heinous dues in his life. He was running the streets of LA when he was 13 years old unaccounted for by anybody, from Southgate to Hollywood to digging in dumpsters on Venice Beach—that dude was everywhere and nobody cared. He wasn’t no latchkey kid. He was just on the run, “whatever I can get into, whatever I can see, whatever I can ingest.” He pays attention to stay in the game. Some of his art is too overblown, like German Schmoos, like, whatever corny as fuck—I laugh—so I like the pieces I have that are just random shit that’s funny to me. Even his texts are fuckin’ funny. He’s a writer, artist, movie guy, actor, jerk of all trades—he does it all—and he’s funnier than shit. So that’s what I think about when it comes to the art: Mark’s a whole package. A rapid transmission of talent, you know, he’s just so arty. He’s just thinking, he’s always percolating, he’s never sitting still. Mark’s art isn’t this kind stuff that’s like “I’m going to translate it to what you want.” I think in some regard his art is his being, it’s his whole creation, it’s one unit. Mark Gonzales is way ahead of the curve. —Jake Phelps

JuxtApoz HAndMAde
A. J. Fosik Ann Wood AnA serrAnAo BrendAn Monroe photo by Joe brook 2010 CAroline HWAng CHristl HAnsMAn CHristopHer Bettig ClAre Crespo Cody Husdson Connie Wong dieM CHAu gregory euClide JenniFer MuskopF Jenny ryAn JiM Houser MegAn WHitMArsH niCole gAstonguAy orly CogAn peter CAllesen sAelee oH sArA esCAMillA sArAH neuBurger soutHer sAlAzAr stepHAnie Anderson

JuxtApoz.CoM

134

PROFILES

JUXTAPOZ

INVADER

If you were to ask us to name the artist we feel most embodies street art sensibility, there’s no question that we’d put French artist Invader at the very top of our list. It was Invader’s tile mosaics that became our entry point for discovering that street art coul be so much more that just stencils, stickers, and wheat paste posters. For more than a decade, Invader has been getting up with a vengeance, not only hitting countless cities around the world—but hitting them hard. For us, the best thing about coming across a Space Invader tile is that you know the man put it there himself. Like Banksy, Invader’s choice for anonymity only adds to his intrigue and mystique. —Wooster Collective for Juxtapoz, March 2008

for advertising information contact erin dyer at 415.671.2434 or erin@juxtapoz.com

classifieds

hilary pecis Kingdom 48" x 36" 2010

COmING mAy 2011 ERIC yANhkER, hILARy PECIS, ImAGINARy FOUNDATION, DAVID ELLIS, AND EkTA
AND RECEIVE AN EXCLUSIVE COVER NOT AVAILABLE ON NEwSSTANDS $29.99 US
$29.99 for one year (12 issues), us only. $75.00 canada, $80.00 foreign (us funds only). $75.00 for one year (12 issues) in a first-class envelope, us only. call toll-free, 1.888.520.9099 with visa or mastercard, 8:30–4:30 pm, monday-friday, or send payment with address and phone number to: juxtapoZ, po box 884570, san francisco, ca 94188–4570. allow 10–12 weeKs for delivery in us, 12–14 weeKs for foreign.

SUBSCRIBE TODAy

12 ISSUES FOR ONLy $19.99 US GET 65% OFF ThE COVER PRICE. SAVE A TREE • READ ONLINE INSTANTLy OR DOwNLOAD AND READ OFFLINE JUST CLICk ThE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION LINk AT JUXTAPOZ.COm

DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

138

PhOTOS

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by Evan Pricco

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california

PhOTOS

A detailed look at Ed Templeton’s wall in Art In the Streets

JUXTAPOZ PrODUCTS
BOOkS
NEW
Juxtapoz erotica book
featuring: david choe, fernanda cohen, john solis, justine lai, asaji muroi, rockin’ jellybean, and hu ming published by gingko press 208 pages, hardcover, 8" x 10" $29.95

ShOP.JUXTAPOZ.COm FOr OUr COmPLETE COLLECTiON 1 888 520 9099 TO OrDEr By PhONE, mONDAy—FriDAy; 8:30–4:30 PST

BOOkS

Call toll-free 1.888.520.9099 (US only) - outside the US call 415.822.3083 ext. 2 We accept VISA and MasterCard over the phone and online at www.juxtapoz.com To order by mail with check or money order please call to verify tax and shipping amount. We do not accept cash. Orders must be placed by card holder only.

Juxtapoz tattoo book
published by gingko press 192 pages, hardcover, 8" x 10" 250 works of art $29.95

Juxtapoz car culture book
160 pages, paperback, 8" x 10" 250 illustration $29.95

Juxtapoz illustration book
featuring: mode 2, grotesk, Kozyndan, mike giant, james jean, evan hecox, alex pardee, jeremy fish and morning breath published by gingko press 192 pages, hardcover, 8" x 10" 150 photographs

NEW
Juxtapoz handmade book
featuring: a. j. fosik, ana serranao, brendan monroe, caroline hwang, christopher bettig, cody husdson, gregory euclide, jennifer muskopf, jim houser, megan whitmarsh, nicole gastonguay, orly cogan, saelee oh, sarah neuburger, and souther salazar published by gingko press 208 pages, hardcover, 8" x 10" 200 color illustrations $29.95

$29.95

Juxtapoz photo book
published by gingko press 216 pages, hardcover, 8" x 10" 200 photographs $29.95

Juxtapoz dark arts book
published by gingko press 224 pages, hardcover, 8" x 10" 300 works of art $29.95

Juxtapoz car culture book
published by gingko press 216 pages, hardcover, 8" x 10" 150 color images $29.95

Juxtapoz poster art book
published by gingko press 192 pages, hardcover, 8" x 10" 250 color images $29.95

142

PERSPECTIVE

JUXTAPOZ

PERSPECTIVE Photo by Bill Daniel

144

PhOTOS

JUXTAPOZ

Photo by Evan Pricco

ArT iN ThE STrEETS
april 17, 2011—august 8, 2011 moca, los angeles, california

PhOTOS

Perhaps the most detailed exhibit within Art In the Streets, Barry McGee, Todd “Reas” James, and Steve “Espo” Powers’ recreate Street Market, an update of their seminal 2000 show at NYC’s Deitch Projects