A few months back I was approached to do a canvas for Slash. Being a huge fan I was stoked to do the project. Here’s few shots…. After working with my old partner in crime recently, Nathan Ota ( aka Cooz WC) , I decided to call him in to ad some of his technical genius! I think it came out cool. Hers a few shots of the progress….
Nathan Ota, AKA Cooz, was actually the other half of the original “aerosolic” type team in my writing career. He rocked the characters and I rocked the letters. We met at University high school very early in my writing career. I remember seeing these calendars in the halls, every month. They said happy Halloween or whatever holiday was that month and the had the month spelled out. Although they were done in brush paint, I could tell they had some graffiti influence. It turned out Nathan Ota did these calendars. We were in different art classes but soon enough our paths were crossing. He had Mrs. Nicholson and I had Mr. Citron. They were they two art teachers who shared an office in between their adjoining art classrooms. Nate and I both got away with murder at Uni Hi. Our art teachers bailed us out of trouble time and time again. Mr. Citron had my back and Mrs. Nicholson his. As I would go chill in Mr Citrons office convincing him to give me an off campus pass, or an excuse for missing a prior class the day before, or even later that day so I could go surf. He would chill and smoke cigarettes and talk about art and critique other students art work. Then one day in the office that very few students probably ever saw the inside of, Nathan and I crossed paths. I think the teachers had us do a calendar or something together, I don’t really remember. I do remember however talking graff…. Later I asked Nathan to join WCA. and I brought him to pan pacific, to meet the crew. It was really crazy, Because Rival ( RIP) whom was also named Nathan knew Nathan from Junior High school. Everyone clicked and he was down. Because Cooz and I were the only WC members at Uni Hi at the time, we rolled together a lot. We went painting every chance we got and we did these little productions. I would rock the letters and he would rock the characters. His characters were way advanced at the time. Mostly because everything was so natural. He could just bust anything anywhere. he was also proficient with the airbrush so he used a few traditional airbrush techniques that were really cool back then. My favorite thing was his Girls, I was a horny High school kid so I always wanted a chick on my pieces. He was probably just as horny because he specialized in these girl characters. Nathan and I both won national scholastic art awards and received scholarships. we went to different schools and drifted apart. I got way more serious Abbot my Graff and Nate got way more serious about illustration. Nate took a more traditional route, but in true Cooz fashion stayed at the top of his game. He went on to be a fine art professor at Otis Parsons Art institute. He later told me he had heard some of his students at Otis Parsons talk about me and had been loosely following me, but had not told any of them he was an old writer. One day he had come across some students doing some sort of Graffiti project at school and couldn’t resist the itch to catch a throw up. After that, he dropped some science on his students about old school graffiti. He got my Web site info from them and hit me up. After catching up I told him I was painting a wall downtown and invited him to stop by. It was great seeing Nathan, a few days later he came by my studio to check out some of my work and show me what he has been working on as well. After playing with some new paints and showing him all the new techniques, caps, and colors etc. He dug in his bag of tricks and showed me a few things he had learned as well. After about 10 minutes we decided to do a few collaborations. We have been working probably 2 or three weeks straight on a few pieces for an upcoming show at the Hurley gallery as well as a few personal projects. It has really been very refreshing! we have both opened our eyes to some exciting new techniques, style and perspectives. The piece pictured is a 8×40 ft. Canvas. It was really cool because it represented a lot of what was, and is going on at the same time. Nathan Uses a lot of boxes that symbolize the walls of the gallery in his work. As you can see we didn’t want any boxes in this piece because there are no boundaries for us on this piece, we are re writing our creative process and have no boundaries. He also uses eggs that symbolize wisdom and Knowledge. As you can see in this piece the eggs are eery and rooted as if almost stagnant. They are place in and around the letters, that have a traditional graff structure, but are also deconstructed representing exploration. I have also been working with a lot of architectural type line work. You can see the background circles and lines. The circles are bubbles at the rawest form, just the outline, These outlines are shown in some instances on top of the piece as well. all these things are simple rudimentary approaches to the traditional aesthetics of graffiti. Instead of being placed in the back ground and filled in they are in the fore front showing the importance of the iconic element. Now with saying all that you can see that the Birds who usually represent students are wearing the caps that the Traditional eggs of Knowledge usually wear in Nathan’s work. See in this piece the students are the professors, they are us. Risk and Cooz looking at where we came from what we learned and what needs to be explored more…. That’s the simple version, but you get it. You never know where its at until you know where it came from, mixed in with a little “Minds Seeking Knowledge”……….
RISK & COOZ, 25 years later…..
I had the pleasure of hanging out with the Quaddroople OG photo messia, HENRY CHALFANT today at MOCA. I’ve met Henry a few times over the years and its always a pleasure talking to him. He has played such a huge part in my career. For a lot of old school writers. Subway art was the bible. It taught you everything. I remember looking at Subway art and saying wow those dudes have been writing so long! ( and it was only like 5 years!) and now 28 years later I’m still writing! Time flys! GOODTIMES!
One of my brotha’s asked me to participate in a benefit to raise money for his daughters treatment. I was very humbled and happy to participate. We are doing a really cool collection. These ten pieces below are the back grounds I painted for some more of my brothers to catch tags on. The line up is sick and its and awesome chance for someone to grab some original pieces at as great price for a great benefit. People participating in the event on the panels are…REVOK, RIME, ABEL, NORM, ZES, ALOY, SHEPARD FAIREY, SABER, MQUE, and ME…I may buy the whole collection myself!
The event is this Sat. Oct. 10 2pm to 8pm at the DOWNTOWN ART CENTER GALLERY located at 828 S. Main St. Los Angeles Ca. 90014