BELTON MOLOTOW PREMIUM DEEP BLACK; RUST-OLEUM 7790 FLAT WHITE; BEAT THORO CREATIVE TOOL B122 NERO PUNTO VIOLA VIOLET BLACK; RUST-OLEUM 7776 FLAT BLACK; BELTON MOLOTOW PREMIUM PEACH; RUST-OLEUM SPECIALTY FLUORESCENT 1954830 FLUORESCENT ORANGE; BEAT THORO CREATIVE TOOL B124 FLUO FUCHSIA; RUST-OLEUM 7770 ALMOND; BELTON MOLOTOW PREMIUM TRANSPARENT TELEMAGENTA; RUST-OLEUM SPECIALTY FLUORESCENT 1932830 FLUORESCENT GREEN; RUST-OLEUM SPECIALTY FLUORESCENT 1942830 FLUORESCENT YELLOW; BELTON MOLOTOW COVERSALL3 BLACK TOP SPEEDFLOW BLACK; RUST-OLEUM SPECIALTY FLUORESCENT 1959830 FLUORESCENT PINK; KIMTECH SCIENCE KIMWIPES; MSA 3210 RESPIRATOR; ULINE S-7963 NITRILE GLOVES; NUMARK IDEC PLAYER; BEHRINGER EP2500 2 X 1200–WATT POWER AMPLIFIER; DIGIMAX FS 96K ADAT PRESONUS PREAMP; MONSTER POWER PRO 2500 POWERCENTER; GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL SAFETY STORAGE CABINET BS44; ULINE EASY 50 SAFETY LADDER; RUST-OLEUM COMFORT GRIP; DAYTON MODEL 2ATV4 INDUSTRIAL AIR CIRCULATOR; YOUNG BUCK, WELCOME TO THE TRAPHOUSE; DJ WHOO KID, ELEPHANT MAN, SHADYVILLE, CARIBBEAN SWEEP DEM!; LIL WAYNE, THE DROUGHT IS OVER PART 4; LIL BOOSIE, LIVE FROM DIXON CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTE 2; THE GUNRUNNERZ (EXCLUSIVES), HEAT FOR SALE PT. 35; AKON, AFRICAN WESTSIDE (THE OFFICIAL MIXTAPE); DAVID BANNER, SPARE CLIPS; CORY GUNZ, HEIR TO THE THRONE: GANGSTA GRILLZ; MATTERHORN DJ NOVASTAR, SUPERNOVA THE MIXTAPE; BUSY SIGNAL, BOUNTY KILLA, VYBZ KARTEL, GAZA SLIM, AIDONIA, POPCAAN, JAH VINCI, MAVADO, CHINO, LADEN, MAY & JUNE DANCEHALL MIX 2010; GUCCI MANE, TRAP BACK; LIL B, I’M GAY; GUCCI MANE & V-NASTY, BAYTL; RIHANNA, SCREW THAT TALK (SCREWED & CHOPPED EDITION); DRAG-ON, THE CRAZIES 3; FUTURE, STREETZ CALLING.
PAINTING ABSTRACT/CASE STUDY
I first studied painting at the Pennsylvania School of Art & Design, in Lancaster, in the early 1990s. The school, located in the heart of Amish country, was very conservative, steeped in a tradition of plein air, landscape, and wildlife painting. I learned to mix oil paints. I painted bowls of fruit and the nude figure. Abstraction was something that we looked at in books, but pictorial painting was by far the mainstream curriculum. Years later, I moved to Los Angeles. By then I had stopped painting. It had too many bad associations for me. I thought of it as an outmoded genre with too much historical baggage. My studio was in Hazard Park, where the Avenues and MS13 gangs were fighting over drugs and territory. Their disputes were visually apparent through massive amounts of tagging. The city responded by sending out their anti-graffiti teams during the night. Power paint sprayers were used to cover up the day’s graffiti in a muted wash of either beige or gray. The city did this under the cover of darkness, while the gangs seemed to prefer the vulnerability of the day. One wall in particular seemed to be the primary site for these territorial disputes. By early morning, there would already be four to five rival tags, and you could see which taggers were involved. By mid-afternoon, even though there might have been twenty to thirty tags, the markings were still decipherable. By nightfall, the individual traces were impossible to break down. The tagging had become abstract. All territorial clashes, aggressive cryptograms, and death threats were nullified into a mass of spray-painted gestures that had become nothing more than atmosphere, their violent disputes transposed into an immense, outdoor, nonrepresentational mural. The city teams would then continue the cycle with a clean slate that evening, and it would start all over the next morning. I started painting again when I saw this.