Spreading the love
Your story: Born in 1986 and raised in West Phoenix. Raised by mom and stepdad; I consider my stepdad equal to my real dad. My biological father was in and out of being locked up my entire life and is currently in prison for another three years. In the first grade, I worked on my first mural with muralist Martin Moreno. During my high school years, I picked up graffiti and breaking. I graduated in 2004, the first of my immediate family to graduate from high school, so that was a big thing. After high school, I struggled with community college for a semester and then moved to Orlando for about a year. I came back to Phoenix and teamed up some homies from the ‘hood and started a crew called For The Love. It was a group of breakers, graff writers and DJs to pretty much spread the love, and the love of hip-hop in the streets. Had my first solo art show, Steady Rockin’, in 2008 at La Melgosa in the Grand Avenue Arts District. Been showing ever since. No one in my family was ever an artist so this whole world is very new.
Career highlights: The People’s Biennial, SMoCA, 2010; group show at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 2010; Big Brains Award, New Times, 2011 (awarded to individuals for their creativity and investment to their community); director of Rise Project 2010 and founder of Rise Project Gallery 2011; The People’s Biennial, SMoCA, 2011.
Education: Public Allies, 2009-2011 – a nonprofit leadership development internship at ASU; West Valley Arts, 2003-2004 – high school artist apprenticeship in public art.
Describe your work: My art is a reflection of my mind, of everything I feel and see. I use my art to communicate as if I’m having a visual conversation with the viewer. My art comes from a pure desire of channeled expression. My style comes from graffiti, a raw art form I learned from the culture; I apply that to my work. I also take from my upbringing and my environment around me. I guess I could say it’s graffiti pop surrealism, ha. You can ask a critic about that.
Favorite work of art: Anything that is genuine, relevant, original and makes me think outside my normal paradigm. It doesn’t matter the medium; if it’s a painting with oil, acrylic, sculpture, poem, performance – anything. As long as it hits the heart and mind.
Next: Group show at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, October 2011