Recently, Juxtapoz has had three interviews with some of the more interesting emerging street artists I can think of: Gaia, Imminent Disaster, and Dennis McNett. Gaia and Imminent Disaster are both friends of the blog (and of course, Gaia posts here from time to time) so it’s always exciting to see them getting press from the big guys like Juxtapoz. Here are my favorite parts from each interview:
If you could punch one living contemporary artist, who would it be?
There are better people to hate on the planet than other people that make things.
Street artists often profess this war of conscience around the gallery/street issue, but you don’t seem to share those conflicts.
My perspective is I get up, I do work in the street, and I try to make it good and valuable, so that the experiences augment each other. Institutions provide certain opportunities but you have to go through these filters. There are no filters in street art—except for the obvious one, the law. Beyond that, there’s no curator deciding where you put up work, how you put up work…
Institutions provide other opportunities. If there’s this populous notion of ‘I want to show my work to as many people as possible’—you’re going to get that done a lot better institutionally. You may get a lot of passerby on the street, but think about how many people move through The Met each day.
Along the notion of “reclaiming public space,” why is street art is concentrated in “hipster” or gentrifying neighborhoods?
It’s a valid observation, and comes up often in the street art scene. It probably has to do with the fact that street art is a scene with a different audience. There are obscure graffiti spots in abandoned buildings or tunnels that are more about the difficulty of getting to the spot and therefore, will likely only be seen by other writers. Whereas street art tends to prefer to be seen by the scene—people who watch, collect, curate but do not necessarily do street art.
The duration of the mediums also might factor in on this. If wheatpaste was a more permanent mark on a wall, street artists might be more exploratory with their placement and find more obscure spots that would get much less traffic but last much longer. A look to stencil artists might prove this theory wrong, however. Even though it would last forever, I’ve never seen a celebrity head stencil in Queens.
I know I’ve personally been very lax on interviews on Vandalog for a long time, but I’ve got 2-3 coming up soon so keep an eye out for that.