Video Blog 63 drop. This is a short but punctual homage to 3 greats, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth for his Rat Fink as well as being just an incredible artist from his illustration work on paper to his off the wall creations on wheels, the next legend I tried to give my respects to was Kenny "Von Dutch" Howard, who it's sad to say that 99% of the American population would probably say "who's that? The trucker hat guy?" No that was the doings of his foundation in his name, unbeknownst to the world he was an incredible pin striper, sign painter, custom gun maker, knife maker etc etc etc... and lastly, I wanted to show my respect to the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, who played an incredible part in my youth, being white and being a minority in my jr. highschool listening to rap while the jocks listened to Green Day and whatever the hell else, and the metal heads listened to Metallica I was listening to Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J, Slick Rick, Special Ed, Whoodini... So for an all White "rap" group to come out back then, I always wanted to be as cool as these guys where. It was a sad day about 2 yrs back when I heard Adam had cancer, I posted a get well MCA on the blog... to then last week hearing of his passing sucked big time. My heart goes out to all his friends and family. He's gonna really be missed, NYC has lost a great with his passing so I wanted to use a not so common Beastie's track in my next Vid Blog.. I felt like "Time For Livin" was a good choice....
I had my brother RAPES DF/ATT in town for this and we rocked it with DET RIS. If you see my signature in the video, was done for me as a gift by the great Robert Pradke for the theme of this wall. I can't thank him enough for lending his insight and knowledge on a historic lettering style that is way too often mimicked terribly with no shame. Check Pradke's blog, the guy knows his craft and is a stand up guy.
So I get emails here and there and am always asked in interviews 'who are you inspired by?" Today Im going to share a little bit of Simon Bisley, most of you Im sure know of or may have seen this artists work before. For me Simon has always been there, since my early days of development and trying to understand painting when it was a completely unknown language.... I would analyze painters trying to understand why certain decisions where made with color or layout, etc etc... then I came up on Simon's work and I think for the first time I was kinda thrown off, I saw things being done in his work that for me I couldn't understand the decisions... why a color was used here or there, and somehow it still made complete sense visually. I think I was shown examples first hand that as long as you are committed 100% to what you do, it can always be a slam dunk. Even in the face of all adversity( any current school of thought or normalcy). This shit might come off a little too philosophical for your average blog reader but all these things I saw in my early development years are equations that add up to what Im able to do today. Simon to my knowledge in 1991 was a very young painter still, with I believe only 3 or so years under his belt tops! This piece above is from someone who was only painting for 2 or 3 years! That stil blows my mind today... Now, for "Biz" this would be considered a very simplified panitng with a lot of the definition left in the shadow areas which to some art school teachers might say is a cop out, but I think from all the interviews Ive heard from Simon, he never tries to act like he's the best at the stuff he does... People have said "Biz Im terrible at drawing feet! Help me, what should I do? Ive tried and tried and tried and I just can't draw feet." Biz response -"put a boot on'm... If you suck at feet, don't do it, hide them in a shoe." I think when I heard the directness in that response, among a slew of other responses through the years as to his approach I think in 2012 I finally get an understanding to that unknown language of painting he was doing for me in 1991.... 21 years later I can finally look at his work and understand the reasons (still cant execute it) he chooses certain things, he shoots from the hip, doesn't question his choices and just rocks it.... he's also said "I don't put my colors together like the sky is blue, where's my blue tube of paint.. I just grab any color and use it." and "When you paint fast, you just reach for something and the less thought involved usually is the best choice. It's when you over think it when you make the wrong choice." I can relate to this now on many levels in my own work... When you are in the "zone" as some artists refer to it, your decision making is effortless and unplanned, only looking at the final results for your success or failure decision making... I find those who move at a snails pace, over thinking decisions and moving so fucking slow, these people's work be it a painting or someone's graffiti, or whatever puts me to fuckin' sleep.... The worst thing about these people is they will most likely spend the entirety of their lives working in this fashion, without even understanding the benefits of speed and gestural decision making... I take PRIDE in this lifestyle... I've even worked with people in the past in business where in their mind they believe that over thinking every damn decision or micro managing everything is some how the correct formula for doing things.... ZZZZZZZZ... I look back at them now, and think "See, you over thought yourself into bankruptcy... You shoulda' listened to me when I suggested whatever it was at those cross roads, when 99% of the time those things I suggested where an industry standard a year later, my ideas at that juncture where a year ahead of the curve, and we could've have reaped all that reward at being first! if we just acted instead of hesitating". Im getting away from my original post, but I think I've touched on an inspirational painter, to his type of decision making and how its effected my own successes, from the ways I form my own decisions in life, be it a design choice,when to act on something, just being whimsical etc etc.... Im thankful to be able to say Im on the team of shooting from the hip, as apposed to those types who spend wayyy too much time trying to meticulously over think everything to finding the right choice at getting through life's tough decisions...
What am I talking about? Who the hell knows... Let's get back on my original point... Here's a few other awesome pieces by the BIZ' for you to have some visual idea of who Im praising so highly.
This is just a minor selection of the amount of work this guy has accumulated over the last 25 plus years.. I could literally do this allday long, but should wrap it up at some point I guess... One of the most important things I always felt about this guy was that even in his early career of like 3 years on the scene his work was already matured in the fact that the style was already locked in and looked like he'd been doing the damn thing for 20 yrs straight, even when I took notice around 91', in my naive eyes I'd just assumed he was already in the game for 20 yrs, little did I know.... I've spent the last 20 some years trying to hone a genuine identity as an artist, to really get comfortable with my work, getting out all my kinks and all the bullshit... This guy was off to the races at day one! It's just crazy to me.. Im rambling again, but who reads this shit anyways right? I disabled comment responses years ago cuz' of spam, and took down the hit counter in like 2005, as far as Im concerned only a few die hards read my rants on here anyway, and it's turned into my place where I just vent about shit...
In closing I'l leave a few footsteps in the sand if anyone is interested in looking further into Simon Bisley's philosophies and of course his work. The info is out there if you dig for it. Lastly, if there is anyone who reads this and owns any of Simon;s work who is interested in selling or even trading for something of mine, drop me an email, let's work it out. Hit the contact button up top.
Here's another video, I think was cool because he actually also speaks on speed of working... I think my head exploded when I heard it come out of his mouth the things I had been thinking about when I do my lettering( graffiti) for about a decade now... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31oxfFvUr1c&feature=relmfu
So this morning I woke up with a crack in my heart. The word has already spread around the Internet last night but today I felt like I needed to write a little to let out some of the pain I got inside, Aidan Jack Seeger was the son of my good friends Bob and Elisa Seeger, so when I was informed last June that their 6 yr old son Aidan was seeing some doctors to see what was the reason behind him reading really close up in school, which was witnessed by his teacher at the time, to not long after to find there was "something going on in his brain" and we later found out it was something called ALD, ( Adrenoleukodystrophy ). The last time I saw Aidan was 4th of July weekend when I spent time with the Seegers Bbq'ing and hanging out at the beach, knowing that the next day (Monday) they where literally packed up and driving down to North Carolina to immediately get set up in a hospital to undergo a blood core transfusion and a bone marrow transplant. I tried to hang out with Aidan and the family and enjoy the time knowing that Aidan was about to undergo a lot of strenuous things.... At that time I didnt want to think about it but In the back of my head I thought " I hope this isnt the last time I see the lil bugger. I hoped for the best, hoping they would get to it early enough and he would make a full recovery and be back in Brooklyn hanging out again with his pops soon..... Unfortunately this was not the case, last night Bobby and Elisa made probably the hardest decision they will ever have to make in their lives, to take Aidan off the Meds that where keeping him alive, I don't really know specifics, but from what I gathered, all of the experimental drugs and things that he had tried over the last months had done soo much internal damage that it was ruining the lining of his stomach amongst everything else his body was being shocked with on a daily basis from idiot nurses attempting to double dose him ( thankfully for the the mom being on top of things as much as should could, she was able to correct things when she saw the mistakes) and just everything the poor lil guys body had indergone through out this ordeal. Last night at 8:30 Aidan passed away in the arms of his parents.
So I don't know if this is to help others understand what is going on, or if this was just a way for me to gather my thought and process it all better myself, but in leaving these words here I hope people can understand a little bit about the pain the Seegers must be going through, something I can't even imagine. My heart is with you guys and anything I can do I am here to help in any way I can. If anyone is interested in helping in any way, I am hoping to paint a nice portrait and Aidan's name on a wall in Brooklyn, some place that would get a lot of traffic and be permanent , where I could come back and clean if necessary. This I hope to do as soon as I lock a place down. Feel free to email me if anyone knows of anything like this. STAFF@MR-EWOKONE.COM
If anyone wants to read up on the progress of Aidan and more depth of his story please visit AIDANHASAPOSSE.ORG a site we put up to keep a central home base for everyone down with the posse to be able to get news and info.
Here's a couple vids I put together for everyone this past year.
Let's have some fun.....
Decided to hop a plane to P.R. to do a piece this weekend with the homey BLEN 167 KD.
So to counter the recent wave of lack luster pieces I notice all over the web(world) I wanted to talk about this trend of "lazy lettering"... We can all agree times change and if you can't keep up with things, that should be your cue to hang it up and enjoy the show from the side lines. With that idea already in mind I think the opposite should be said that if you're new(or newish) and your Graffiti (core lettering ) is becoming less and less structured( HANDICAP BASIC) or lacking flavor all together, and your whole day is focused on rendering out that photoshop technique and trying to make a letter look like real water or whatever other element you're trying to harness that day, then in my opinion you're too far on one side of the scale. Extreme mechanical painting technique and not enough to claim "style". You will forever in my eyes be a spray paint artist, to claim graffiti you MUST know the building blocks of lettering and it's importance.
What's going on today is a lot of cliche' smoke and mirror bullshit. The "don't look here, look over there in amazement" and forget the important stuff wow factor. I see through all the bullshit immediately like the guy in Matrix movie -"Blond, Brunette, Redhead"
Over the years Ive been known to voice an opinion here or there on things I felt where important enough to break a silence on. Sometimes my points are well received, other times manipulated by jocks, and more often than not completely misunderstood altogether. Which leads me to spoon feeding what I type publicly. Wack huh? This will always be the risk you take when attempting to address any audience of mixed intelligence, some know exactly what your points are, some will act like they get it( don't at all) and some want to just disagree out of jealousy or a false sense of entitlement on any given topic not even spoken on until I brought it to light. Sadly these reactions aren't just to me, these negative responses have in the past and still now silenced legends of the game from speaking on certain subjects because when they've taken the time to try to drop science, it goes over peoples heads or gets misinterpreted. I can see how that can be discouraging, when you've spent your life doing something you love to have a newby come along and do a "piece" that's so unbearably wack with each separate letter showcasing ever color of a brand's paint pallet or every letter having its own special effects application over it. We are actually in times where you can see something a guy spent 4 days doing, and there is NO LETTERS in it what so ever! This is what times have actually come to, where this kind of lazy lettering is applauded, bumped, bitten, fake screen name promoted and retwitted... Even to the point where people I used to look up to or held in amazing respects are now finding sanctuary amongst herds of these lazy spray paint artists, and the wackness has transformed their own work into half assed end results. Clearly this yes man syndrome has got people feeling ok about executing life like rendered bullshit. Lettering is no longer the focus to practice at, now any artist willing to spend a $100 on imported paint can have an almost overnight sense of accomplishment and recognition from a sea of other like minded short comers. 125 colors on one piece, fire effects, water effects, obnoxious overpowering and distracting back lit glow of every spectrum, the use of stenciling shapes etc etc etc... any tool or effect is being tried out to distract the viewer from the lack of lettering underneath, is what seems to be the main goal today, depending on what school of thought you come from. All these "new" things where refreshing when it popped up on the scene but the luster of it all has turned into just bad taste and execution and in my opinion no longer has any value in the progression of Graffiti. The bullshit has peaked and is now in a downward spiral leaving the biters starving for the next flavor of the month writer to jock and copy.....
So with my points being made, we're ( mostly) all adults and far be it for me to even attempt to tell another adult how to conduct themselves or even tell them how their supposed to write on a wall with a can of spray paint.... but I felt it was time to speak up on a topic that I felt is being ignored more openly these days. I think the biggest injustice happening is people who are super talented putting out garbage, when they should be refocusing, reinventing and living up to their own potential legacy, and most importantly breaking through walls, boundaries and surprising themselves with every piece they do. the object was never about lowering your bar to the rest of the standard, I've always tried to raise the bar, sparing no ones feelings.
Stop being fuckin' lazy, stop biting off others and stop all the bullshit special effects, unless your core letter structure allows it in a balanced manner.
Bring the fuckin' heat! That doesn't mean go do a piece that's all fire, 'cuz Totem already burned you with that... and he's the kind of balance I'm referring to, 50% LETTERS 50% technique, 100% BALANCE.
You're only as good as your last piece. Get your shit together.
So, I've always been intrigued by the mind of an artist, the person who creates work that I might find myself liking.. This brings up someone Ive been fortunate to call a friend, did a few shows together in the past, and it's an honor to think probably every time I ever walked into a room and saw him he would light up like a Christmas tree with a smile and pull me over to the side,whip out a flask or just say some funny shit under his voice, like "look at these squares" ( rolling his eyes at some group of whoever, clearly out of their element) haha, just classic Doze antics for me.. Maybe I just had good timing and he was able to chop it up with a buddy to avoid having to make useless small talk to someone else he didnt know or whatever in these odds places.. Either way, more years passed and now homey has left NY, which regretfully had me thinking, "man, I never even grabbed a sketch or anything from him, or gave him anything of mine as a going away gift or whatever". Then just recently I find out my boy Ian is traveling out to his place to help him prepare for an upcoming show. So I went looking for images of his work for inspiration last night and was reminded of how unique Doze is and reaffirming why I always held him in such high regards as a true artist and how his work is a pure self portrait of who he is. Which is refreshing in an age where everyone today is an artist , yet 90% of these artists work don't actually reflect who they are, they're too busy chasing trends to be worried about something so minor as actually creating something that represents who they are as an individual, as a unique mind, which in these cases just confirms to me how alike all these copycat artists are trying to do their version of someone else... Enough talk, here's some images of Doze's work that grabbed me for one reason or another.
Get on board, this is a great cause. Do something with your life ya bum. go to KONY2012.com to sign the petition also.