Tag Archives: Artist Profiles

Speaking with Baser

I’ve been marveling at your stickers since I first discovered them awhile back here in NYC. What an amazing handstyle! When did you first get into street art? It was around 1986. I was about 12 or 13 and started tagging around my neighborhood. By the time I was 15, I was piecing.

Where were you living at the time? In Pittsburgh.

What got you into getting up? I just wanted to see my name everywhere!

What is your first graffiti-related memory? Running around downtown Pittsburgh with my friend, Sage, introducing the town to street bombing.

Any inspirations at the time?  Many Seen, Zephyr, Dr. Revolt, RTW, Phase 2, T Kid, Duster, Tracy 168. MIN, Iz the Wiz

Did you rep any crews?  No,  I’m on my own.

Have you ever been arrested?  Once. I was careless. I was caught tagging with acid etching ink.

What happened? I ended up having to clean the trains.

 These days stickers are obviously your main medium. What gave you the idea to go with stickers? I started noticing them on boxes everywhere. I liked the way they looked and I felt it was a good way to stay connected to the scene in some way.

What are your preferred surfaces?  I like postal boxes, newspaper boxes and road signs

Any favorite spots?  Just about anywhere in Manhattan.

How do you feel about folks who remove your stickers? I take it as a compliment. I just put up more.

Where do you get your materials? I generally use postals or pick up materials from where I work.

Any favorite sticker artists?  Faust, Sure (RIP), RK9, DSense, Overconsume, KA, MTK, Kosby

Have you ever made any money from your art?  I’ve sold some canvases, but I work at other jobs to support my family – jobs that allow me to devote time to my art.

 Any other interests? I love music – especially the heavy metal and rock from back in the day — Black Sabbath, the Beatles…

What do you see yourself doing in five years? Doing what I enjoy doing and hopefully making money from art.

Good luck! Your stickers are among my favorite!

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland

Speaking with Jesus Saves

I think I’ve seen your tag and stickers in every borough! When did you first start getting up on the streets?  I was about 15 years old when I started getting SPAIN – in bubble letters – up in my neighborhood.  I wasn’t serious at the time! It was just something to do.

Where were you living at the time? I was in Bushwick. I’ve been there most of my life.

When did you first become serious about street art?  In 1995 I was hospitalized. I almost lost my life. When I recovered, I decided to give my life to Christ, and soon I started to use graffiti to get my message out there.

So that’s how you got your tag! You believe that Jesus saved you?  Yes, God gave me a second chance.

How’s that? Before my accident, I did lots of things I shouldn’t have been doing. I sold drugs. I stole from folks. I got locked up for robbery. And then I left that life behind. I use the streets now to get my message across, the message that “Jesus Saves.”

Interesting! I don’t associate street art with religion. There are quite a few of us! And there’s this crew ATC (Addicted to Christ). But I’m probably the only one in NYC repping Jesus.

Do you work alone or with other crews?   Both. I’ve worked on my own and with lots of crews: MSD, RIA, AMK, STF…

What about stickers? When did you first start creating stickers? I’ve always been doing stickers.

What are your favorite spots for stickers?  I try to hit spots where they won’t easily be removed and, of course, where lots of people will see them.  My favorite spots are along the Bowery, Canal and 14th Street.  But I get my stickers up everywhere. They’re now in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Barcelona, Berlin and Frankfort.

Have you ever been arrested? I’ve been stopped for tagging and I’ve been caught with spray cans on me a few times.

What happened? Most times I had to do some kind of community service, but in 2005 I ended up spending two months in Rikers.

Be careful! How does your family react to what you do?  My mom is proud of me. She’s always been religious and she likes my message.

I met you at an exhibit that featured your artwork last year at a downtown gallery. Have you exhibited elsewhere? I’ve had my work in some spaces in Chelsea and in bars and galleries on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn.

Has your art earned you any money? Yes, I design T-shirts, paint canvases and do commissioned assignments.

Have you any kind of day job? I work for a cell phone company.

Any favorite artists?  Many… Among my favorite writers are: JA1, Skeme, Duro – who ruled the trains back in the 80’s – and COPE2. My favorite sticker artists include: BNE – the king of stickers – MQ and Obey.

What do you see yourself doing in five years?  If God permits, I’d like to travel the world – doing what I’m doing now.

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland

Speaking with Inspire

I used to see your writing everywhere in Jerusalem. Now I see it, along with dozens of stickers, all over Tel Aviv, where you are currently based. When did you first start getting up?  I was about 15 or 16, traveling through the Midwest back in the States.  I began to write stories about my journeys on the walls. I signed them Idiot the Wise Hitchhiker.  I used a weather-proof blue marker to get my tag up.

What is your first graffiti memory? I remember painting a café back in St. Louis. I was 12 at the time.

What about stickers? When did you first get into stickers?  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t doing stickers. I got into them about the same time I got into graffiti.

How do you get your materials? I liberate billboards. The substances used here for billboard ads are perfect for creating stickers.

How do you decide where to post your stickers? Have you any favorite surfaces? I look for specific colors or forms that I wish to complement.

Do you work alone? Or are you part of a crew?  I would describe it as an informal, organic collaboration.

Have you ever been arrested? I’m a fast runner.

What about exhibits? You’ve curated some amazing exhibits. This is the second year I was lucky enough to catch your annual Inspiration exhibit. I still remember the wonderful things I had heard from folks who visited your first Inspiration exhibit in Jerusalem four years ago.  Yes, the Inspiration exhibits continue to grow and expand. This year it represented 70 artists from all over the globe. 

Yes, it was quite an impressive group.  I even found stickers from Sti(c)kman!  What is the attitude of your family and friends to what you do?  They all love what I do. We all work together. My wife and two-year-old daughter are actively involved in everything I do.

What percentage of your time is devoted to graffiti? I live it and I eat it.

How do you make money to meet your expenses?  Through online sales and workshops that I conduct.

What about other interests?  I love hip-hop culture. These days I’m into reggae dub.

What do you see yourself doing in five years? More of the same! I’d love to bring more artists – like os gemeos – here to Tel Aviv!

Good luck!

 Interviewed by LoisInWonderland in Tel Aviv

Speaking with Ame72

 I’ve seen your Lego man in Tel Aviv, on the Separation Wall in Bethlehem, in the Southern Israeli town of Sderot, on the walls in London and at the Cans Festival. But this is the first time I’m seeing it in the streets of NYC – and it’s on a sticker!   I was invited to participate in this year’s Meeting of Styles in Paterson, New Jersey. That’s what brought me here, and Lego man could be easily transported – on a sticker!

I see. When did you first get into street art? I was 12 years old at the time, living in South Manchester, England. The film BEAT STREET and the book SUBWAY ART introduced me to graffiti and hip-hop.

Do you remember the first time you saw graffiti in “real life?” It was an orange outline on an old building in Manchester that said “Radio Train.”   That’s what got me started.  I soon began spending my Saturdays with my buddies decorating the local transport system.

Not that many artists move so easily between “old school” graffiti and street art.  But you bridge the two. And you’ve made street art/graffiti your life – for about 25 years now. Why is that?  Why do you continue to “get up” in the streets? Because I can, and because it’s fun. I love what I do, and it’s the perfect lifestyle for me! I love to create art and I love to travel.

Have you ever been arrested?  No.

What are your favorite surfaces?  I like spots where people are likely to stop, like corners where the traffic lights change.

Your work has also made its way into galleries and museums – not only in Tel Aviv, where you now live – and in the UK, but also across the globe in such cities as Copenhagen, Beijing, Vienna and NYC. What’s on the horizon? I’m planning to head out to Moscow, Russia this winter.

Lucky you!

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland

Speaking with Pesado

The a FASE! headquarters here in Santos, SP, Brazil – where you work – is one of the coolest street art/sticker/skateboard spaces I’ve seen anywhere. And you obviously love everything about street art.  When did you first start getting up on the streets?  I started about four years ago when I was about 23. I started with pixo and stickers at about the same time.

What inspired you? Everything around me. Most of my friends had been doing it for awhile. And it’s always been in my heart and veins.

What is your first graffiti memory? I suppose it was tagging in the bathroom.

Have you any preferred surfaces for your stickers – which are everywhere here in Santos? I like phone booths and signs. They seem to get the most attention.

Do you belong to any crews?  The a FASE! collective…I often paint with Colante, Fixxa, and Hugo. We’re all based here in Santos.

You have some great pieces on the walls here in Santos. Have you ever been arrested for spray-painting? The cops caught me three times.

What did they do? Did they just let you go? They gave me three months of community service. They made me remove the art from the streets. Then they printed these photos of my cleaning the walls in the newspaper. It was so embarrassing!

Gee! That’s heartless. Your pieces enhance the town. How has your family responded to your passion for street art? At first my mom was upset. But now she’s supportive. She even came to this sticker expo. I also have a ten-year old son who loves what I do.

Have you any other jobs besides working here at a FASE! I sell candy six hours a day and I work at assorted other jobs to make money.

Any favorite artists? I love Os Gemeos too much! And I love so many old school graffiti writers. Can2 is a particular favorite.

How about other interests?  I love to skateboard and I’m into music.  My favorite music is dub – a mix of reggae and electronics.

What do you see yourself doing in five years from now? I try not to think about the future. But, of course, I’d like to be a successful artist.

Good luck! You’re certainly in the right place!

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland