Observer: Thank You X | Artist
Artist Thank You X

Observer: Thank You X | Artist

Artist Thank You X
Interview by Crystal Hines

What’s your AMMO?
I love being inspired by quotes. “Must be the feeling” is a quote that I use a lot. It’s from a Nero song. Lyrics inspire me a lot. It’s perfect ammo because lyrics can mean so many different things to so many different people. Music has always been my main inspiration.

There seems to be a love/hate going on after the Exit the Gift Shop doc surrounding street artists and their validity in the art world. Would you say that the progression of street artists entering the main stream is natural or provoked and unwanted?
Street art is such a funny term. I just make art, sometimes it ends up on the street and sometimes it ends up in the gallery. I think that with Exit, it opened peephole into a world that was meant as more of an underground thing. “Main Stream” people are just buying into it because they have been told, “street art is what’s cool right now”. On that note I would like to add that I am not complaining about being able to make a living from selling my art.

You feature Andy Warhol in majority of your pieces. What, other than his genius, inspired you to start that series?
Warhol was more than just an artist to me. He broke down walls with his untraditional thinking and business style. I am more impressed with his enterprise than his art. I think every pop artist needs to say THANK YOU to Andy Warhol for changing the game.

Is there a cut off age for becoming a street artist?
Nope. I’m 72 and still going.

Artist Thank You X
What have been your most dangerous moments while tagging the streets?
There have been many close calls with the law. Been chased down a few alleys etc. Never been arrested; knocks on wood.

Will street artists ever be widely accepted by the prestigious side of the art world?
They already are. I think people like Blek le Rat, Banksy, Shepard [Fairey], and all the big names are very well accepted and that gives hope for the rest of us.

You do have a “day job”. Has anyone caught on to your after work passion?
My day job is art. I don’t have a normal job besides that. When I did, nobody knew what I did. They would just question why I was so tired every day.

Artist Thank You X
What music are you jamming to?
Adrian Lux – Teenage Crime

Would you say music directly impacts art? And How?
For me, yes. Music changes what mood you’re in. When you put on headphones it creates a soundtrack to your life. Walking around in a city, or just painting in my studio. Music determines my mood everyday.

Where are some of your pieces showing now?
I have been focusing on outdoor work for right now. I enjoy doing big murals. I have done some big ones in Atlanta, LA, Austin, and San Francisco already this year and planning on doing many more. I am planning an art show right now and more details will be out soon for that.

If there was a spot you’d tag that would be virtually impossible unless by miracle, where would it be?
The moon!

What’s next for you?
Creating more art. I’ve been doing a lot more commissions lately. I am working on a big event for Art Basel in December. Also catching up on some much needed sleep.

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AMMO Magazine is an online platform providing a progressive look at art and music, all with a heightened awareness of society and culture. FOUNDED IN 2007, AMMO Magazine blossomed from a blog to an online magazine with a focus to feature a diverse mix of music, art, and culture fusing the new and the classic; digitally.