Artist Interview

Interview with Melanie Cervantes

Third World Press Collective just had a great talk with sometimes-stencil artist Melanie Cervantes. Melanie and her husband Jesus Barraza crank out amazing political posters for many great causes. Years ago, Jesus told me that he learned how to screen print from old school printers who called the screens "stencils" (and acutally used stencils to occasionally put the image on the screen). I first met Melanie while photographing her stencils at the old Counterpulse space.

"Brown & Proud" by Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza (Stencilada 2009)

Feminist Fistbumps: Artist Melanie Cervantes Discusses Art as Decolonial Activism

Happy Monday! This week we move the arts conversation from the East coast (remember Maribel and Cristy, who are living in Brooklyn?) back to the West coast! Here is our latest interview with California-based artist Melanie Cervantes, who donated a fierce piece to the online art auction that was curated by Chris Davila in December.   

Third Woman Press Collective (TWPC): Melanie, we know you’re really busy, and we thank you for joining us this week. Let’s start off by talking about your group, Dignidad Rebelde. Can you tell us a little more about it?

Melanie Cervantes (MC):  Sure! Dignidad Rebelde is a collaborative space for building community and producing art. We believe that art can be an empowering reflection of community struggles, dreams and visions. Following principles of Xicanisma and Zapatismo, we create work that translates people’s stories into art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.

Peter Kuper Interview (Audio)

Peter Kuper is a long-time stencil artist, co-founder of World War 3 Illustrated (with long-time stenciler Seth Tobocman), and current creator for Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy. When I was compiling my Oaxaca section for Stencil Nation, Peter was kind enough to take a few minutes from his insane schedule and send me some photos. One photo of a rice stencil ended up in the book. Glad to finally get an interview with him posted on this site (thanks to Boing Boing and RiYL, and Brian Heater).

Interview audio here.

Every time I speak to Peter Kuper, the conversation invariably turns to New York — or, as is often the case, begins there. It’s my own fault. I’ve got this insatiable need to ask fellow residents, artists in particular, what keeps them in the city’s orbit. Kuper is a particularly interesting case study, having left the city — and country — in 2006, for a life in Mexico.

invurt.com Interviews DLUX (Now and Then, Melbourne)

Interview – DLUX – James Dodd

http://www.invurt.com/2014/05/14/interview-dlux-james-dodd/
 

It’s 2004, Melbourne, and things for the cities vibrant stencil art community are about to change. For many years the stencil was king – so much so that books were written, international websites spawned and a global movement eagerly watched the streets come alive in nooks and crannies with cut and sprayed works of art. from the political to the humourous,  – in these days, freedom aerosol was still, for the most part, mostly practiced by graffiti artists and what we know as the “street art scene” was dominated by stencils and the artists who created them, plied a swaths across the city.

But 2004 was the year of a major international event in Melbourne, the Commonwealth games, and with it came a massive cleanup across the city – walls washed and sterilised in the name of “making shit look better”, and with the cleanup went many of the cities beloved stencil art. The City of Melbourne, as hard as it may be to believe these days, went to “war” on graffiti and street art, one which, in hindsight, it appears it was less a victor than at the time it had thought it had been.

It was the year that the first incarnation of the Blender studios was shut down, and the year that the Everfresh studios opened – it was a time of transition between the old, and the new. Artist such as Sync, Ha-Ha and, of course, Dlux, three artists who had been right in amongst the stencil art and street art movement, moved off into different directions – continuing to pursue their works and enlivening their, and consequently our, surroundings.

Blek,Thinking of L.A.

Blek Le Rat, 'Father of the Street Stencil,' Thinking of L.A.
By Ed Fuentes | on January 16, 2014
Link: http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/columns/writing-on-the-wall/blek-le...
Archive: https://www.stencilarchive.org/archives/index.php/search?q=blek

Stencil street art is strategic in its placement and monochromatic imagery, allowing graphic arts to become guerilla responses to environmental and social conditions in one swift glance. The urban art form can be found in all major cities, but it thrives in Los Angeles. It didn't have to evolve much from its original source, Blek le rat, the French artist who began stenciling on Parisian walls in the 1970s and 1980s. With the growth of stenciled art in Los Angeles, not to mention around the world, it's important to consider why he's called the "Father of Stencil Graffiti."

Or, at least, to know that he came before Banksy (and a case ccould be made that Banksy directly lifted style and execution of Blek le rat).

Blek Le Rat's first repeated image was rodents roaming walls. "The rat is a rebel, the sole wild animal in the city," he said about his moniker in the L.A. Times in 2008. "They're smart, and they know exactly how to get around. There's another reason I like them: The word 'rat' is an anagram for 'art.'"

Blek le Rat visited New York during its more rebellious time, and returned to France. Not wanting to imitate that city's artists, he chose the stencil as his new form of unauthorized contemporary urban art. Writing on the Wall touched based with the artist to discuss his works and why he has L.A. on his mind.

Writing on the Wall: You say your life is shaped by the way culture was formed by different centuries. How does your work fall into the idea that culture is destiny?

Blek le rat: I wanted to say everyone culture is part of it's destiny.

The Story of an Artist: Victor Gastelum

The Story Of An Artist: Victor Gastelum

Interview with Victor Gastelum.

“Victor is the fifth Beatle, he is the silent one that no one really ever sees.”

—Joey Burns, Calexico

Words: Craig Carry, Artwork: Victor Gastelum

 

Original Post (with artwork): http://fracturedair.com/2014/01/29/the-story-of-an-artist-victor-gastelum/


“Love the run but not the race
All alone in a silent way
World drifts in and the world’s a stranger”

—‘Quattro (World Drifts In)’, Calexico

In an attempt to write the story of the Long Beach California-based artist Victor Gastelum, it is tempting to simultaneously write the story of Tucson Arizona’s beloved sons Calexico. For, across the band’s vast body of sprawling, timeless work — encompassing a string of studio albums, tour records, a plethora of EP’s, soundtrack scores and a multitude of collaborative works — the artwork of Gastelum’s adorn some of the most precious of Calexico’s records since their inception in 1996, following core-duo Joey Burns and John Convertino’s previous spell as rhythm-section to Howe Gelb’s Giant Sand; another one of Tucson’s most revered bands. Victor Gastelum, a native of Southern California, would provide the artwork for one of the band’s earliest releases, “Spark/The Ride”, a single put out in 1996, prior to the band’s full-length debut “Spoke” (released by Quarterstick Records in the following year). The music (both written by Burns) can be perfectly summed up by the description found inside, set in all-lowercase, on a black-and-white postcard-sized insert:

Q & A: The Eviction Stencils (SF, CA)

By Sarah McClure
From missionlocal.org: http://missionlocal.org/2013/12/q-a-the-suitcase-stencils/
Posted December 7, 2013 6:00 am

Of all Mission’s graffiti, none likely appear with as much ubiquity than the stencils of a wheeled suitcase inscribed with the words, “Tenants Here Forced Out.”

Photo: stencilarchive.org

Always strategically placed, the suitcase stencils materialize on the pavement in front of a building that enacted an Ellis Act eviction — one in which the owner evicts all tenants to then generally sell it.
Mission Local recently sat down with two anti-eviction movement leaders: Erin McElroy of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, and Rebecca Gourevitch of Eviction-Free San Francisco to learn about the suitcase stencils and how grassroots today are fighting displacement in the Bay Area.

Mission Local: What is the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project?

Erin McElroy: It’s a collective of people working together to map the evictions and displacement that San Francisco residents are experiencing and the ways that dispossession are being enacted.

ML: How many people are in the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project?

EM: There are about six of us — all volunteers.

ML: So, I’ve been seeing a lot of these pavement stencils around the city. How many stencils are in the Mission District?

EM: I would imagine there are 15-20 stencils.

Juxtapoz chats with Adam Feibelman

Original found here: http://www.juxtapoz.com/illustration/adam-feibelman-do-with-me-as-you-wi...

Juxtapoz recently sat down with Adam to discuss his daily antics and process for his upcoming show at Guerrero Gallery. Hannah Stouffer in conversation with Adam Feibelman:

Hannah Stouffer: Hey Adam, what are you wearing?

Adam Feibelman: I am currently topless in my hot summer time studio. I do have bottoms on, though, which are jeans.

HS Tell me about your process for your upcoming show 'Do With Me What You Will' at Guerrero Gallery- how long did the series take for you to put together? How do you feel your work has evolved at this point from exhibitions in the past??

AF About a year ago, Andres from Guerrero Gallery approached me with the opportunity, knowing that my work takes a long time to make. I think he wanted to give me some elbow room, time to fully realize an idea, and fill such a large space; so, I have been working on this series for a year. In terms of evolution, the large amount of time let me try new things, ideas for techniques were put into practice. It afforded me the time to really sink into some personally ambitious work, like a view of looking up at redwood trees that took seven months to cut. They are called "The Love Songs."

HS Do you typically show both the paper stencil and the final, layered painting?

AF Yes, a couple of years ago it started to become clear to me that people who were looking at the paintings weren't fully understanding of the process; I felt there needed to be another level of deconstruction. That is when I started cutting apart, collaging, and sewing back together the "tools" (stencils). I felt that it was the best next step for me.

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