Ray Bradbury, RIP

fahrenheit 451 605x1000 Ray Bradbury, RIP RIP ray bradbury

An excerpt from Bradbury’s finest novel, Fahrenheit 451. The author died yesterday, June 5.

“When did it all start, you ask, this job of ours, how did it come about, where, when? Well, I’d say it really got started around about a thing called the Civil War. Even though our rule-book claims it was founded earlier. The fact is we didn’t get along well until photography came into its own. Then — motion pictures in the early twentieth century. Radio. Television. Things began to have mass.”
Montag sat in bed, not moving.
“And because they had mass, they became simpler,” said Beatty. “Once, books appealed to a few people, here, there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was roomy. But then the world got full of eyes and elbows and mouths. Double, triple, quadruple population. Films and radios, magazines, books levelled down to a sort of paste pudding norm, do you follow me?”
“I think so.”
Beatty peered at the smoke pattern he had put out on the air. “Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.”
“Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumour of a title to you, Mrs. Montag) whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: ‘now at least you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbours.’ Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.”
“Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click? Pic? Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!”
“School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?”
“The zipper displaces the button and a man lacks just that much time to think while dressing at dawn, a philosophical hour, and thus a melancholy hour.”
“Life becomes one big pratfall, Montag; everything bang, boff, and wow!”
“Empty the theatres save for clowns and furnish the rooms with glass walls and pretty colours running up and down the walls like confetti or blood or sherry or sauterne. You like baseball, don’t you, Montag?”
“Baseball’s a fine game.”
Beatty went on, “You like bowling, don’t you, Montag?”
“Bowling, yes.”
“And golf?”
“Golf is a fine game.”
“A fine game.”
“Billiards, pool? Football?”
“Fine games, all of them.”
“More sports for everyone, group spirit, fun, and you don’t have to think, eh? Organize and organize and superorganize super-super sports. More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less. Impatience. Highways full of crowds going somewhere, somewhere, somewhere, nowhere. The gasoline refugee. Towns turn into motels, people in nomadic surges from place to place, following the moon tides, living tonight in the room where you slept this noon and I the night before.”
“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive. And the three-dimensional sex-magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals.”
“Yes, but what about the firemen, then?” asked Montag.
“Ah.” Beatty leaned forward in the faint mist of smoke from his pipe. “What more easily explained and natural? With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be. You always dread the unfamiliar. Surely you remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally ‘bright,’ did most of the reciting and answering while the others sat like so many leaden idols, hating him. And wasn’t it this bright boy you selected for beatings and tortures after hours? Of course it was. We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely, all over the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there was no longer need of firemen for the old purposes. They were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior; official censors, judges, and executors. That’s you, Montag, and that’s me.”
Beatty knocked his pipe into the palm of his pink hand, studied the ashes as if they were a symbol to be diagnosed and searched for meaning.
“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? Haven’t you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them fun? That’s all we live for, isn’t it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these.”
“Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, into the incinerator. Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too. Five minutes after a person is dead he’s on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country. Ten minutes after death a man’s a speck of black dust. Let’s not quibble over individuals with memoriams. Forget them. Burn them all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean.”
“There was a girl next door,” he said, slowly. “She’s gone now, I think, dead. I can’t even remember her face. But she was different. How — how did she happen?”
Beatty smiled. “Here or there, that’s bound to occur. Clarisse McClellan? We’ve a record on her family. We’ve watched them carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can’t rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That’s why we’ve lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we’re almost snatching them from the cradle. We had some false alarms on the McClellans, when they lived in Chicago. Never found a book. Uncle had a mixed record; anti-social. The girl? She was a time bomb. The family had been feeding her subconscious, I’m sure, from what I saw of her school record. She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl’s better off dead.”
“Luckily, queer ones like her don’t happen, often. We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early. You can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy. Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely. I know, I’ve tried it; to hell with it. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your dare-devils, jet cars, motor-cycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing, if the play is hollow, sting me with the theremin, loudly. I’ll think I’m responding to the play, when it’s only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don’t care. I just like solid entertainment.”

From The Citrus Report

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Matthew Palladino “Sweet Relief” @ Eli Ridgway, SF

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Another one of our favorites, Matthew Palladino, just opened a new solo show, Sweet Relief, at Eli Ridgway in San Francisco.

For Sweet Relief, Palladino utilizes sculptural relief to create painted objects that defy easy narrative understanding and categorization. Enamel coated plaster casts are made from commercial chocolate molds of nude figures, fruits, and assorted domestic objects. Both pre-fabricated and meticulously hand-made, Palladino repurposes these molds to produce sculptural reliefs that make visual reference to his paintings but extend literally into three dimensions. His deadpan reproduction of banal objects made twice functionless, removed by two degrees of separation from their original state as “familiar things,” highlights Palladino’s brand of dark humor that is an undercurrent of all his work. Because the molds themselves are made specifically for chocolate making (for making objects to be eaten), the resulting casts also function as a playful critique of the tenuous relationship between the artist as producer and the viewer or collector as consumer. Drawing upon the interplay between high and low-brow cultural production, “Sweet Relief” explores the histories of the ready-made and the hand-made, the naive and the sophisticated, painting and sculpture, and the infinite potential in between.

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From The Citrus Report

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First Friday: Charles Mingus “Live at Antibes”

If you are going to start with Mingus, we suggest that you go straight to Live at Antibes, the brilliant, legendary 1960 recording. The 11-minute masterpiece that is “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting” leads off the session, although we can’t find that version on the web. So just enjoy this. You will.

From The Citrus Report

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Radiohead is throwing a remix web party right now (oh wait its over now)

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Radiohead is having a webcast release party for their  TKOL RMX 1234567 remix compilation, and its going on right now. As Pitchfork reported, “It’s webcast live from Corsica Studios in London, over at the Boiler Room website and Radiohead’s website.”

Thom is DJing, then Jamie xx vs Caribou will be on later as the night cap. UPDATE: Its over. We thought we were getting a delayed performance, but we can’t find it. Just know it happened and you missed it).

From The Citrus Report

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Jessie Small

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Jesse Small creates art work that is a unique combination of bright, fresh, contemporary ideas that hold a rich history in both form and in media.  Some of his work encroaches on realms of design that he has vowed to take back for contemporary art, while some merge craft and utilitarian objects with technology and modern concepts in ways that challenge preconceived notions of these items.  But no matter what the concept behind any particular piece, Jesse’s work is always a masterful display of manufacturing and laborious craftsmanship that goes unrivaled.  —Ronnie Wrest / The Citrus Report

Ronnie Wrest: You recently set up a studio in Los Angeles.  Is it nice to be back in southern California?

Jessie Small: I am constantly responding to messages the world sends me via mundane, daily life.  For example, I created a series of figurines in Jingdezhen, China, inspired by the public-bus-muse.  In France, I got an idea for an infinite porcelain chandelier from a hall of mirrors in the Nice city hall.  Putting myself in foreign environments creates a lot more messages each day than I get now in LA, probably because of the shift in the flavor of the mundane.  Is the function of my studio in LA to collect all these experiences and give myself a base to produce them?  I never looked at working that way before.  I’d rather collaborate with my circumstances than control them.  My work delves into both antiquity and anti-antiquity, into the past and the future.  LA is sort of crushed into a very bright singularity in the Now.  If I get embraced here, it will be through mutual misunderstanding.  There was recently a fire in my studio which trashed a lot of new work, so I am feeling very un-here at the moment.  Fire can be very cleansing too, just as the ancients assure us, possibly meta-regenerative.

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You lived and worked in China for a few years.  Can you talk about this experience and how it impacted your work and your life?

Well, it helped me digest and purge western culture somewhat.  Last month I visited the Royal College of Art in London and they killed me with that research-then-modify tactic.  It reminded me of when I was coming out of Grad School, on the verge of China. I was just another product of western art school curricula. Referring to art historical figures living or dead in order to put ones own work into context never felt right to me… isnt the world at large where art is happening?  Could art just be a thing first, then become art later?

Audience is everything to me, the final stage of meaning, and when I operated within Chinese society, I and audience were free from assumption and understanding.  This new found freedom from cultural start-points (which usually become endpoints in a nanosecond) was poisonous because it stemmed from ignorance, though it only slayed the dull and dying theories I had dragged in from the west. I lived for 6 months in Jingdezhen, and then 6 months in Shenzhen.  I made many trips by bus and train to the toy-manufacturing capital of the known universe, Shantou, on a goose chase for god’s toy maker, who I joined and worked with.

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Living in China, I found my people, who made things and sold them, like me. I designed an egg-shaped mobile phone, cut a chinese army jeep into lace using an ancient plasma cutter, shared quarters with semi wild dogs, and gleefully used 300 year old public toilets.  I walked through and in many cases spent days, weeks, or months working in dozens of workshops and factories. The strangest thing was coming back.  My sense of value was completely obliterated, mainly because I had seen the squalid conditions from which our merchandise is born.  I am a terrible consumer now.  The Chinese thrifty DIY techniques are what I do instead (within reason of course, after all, I’m a Diva.)

In the past few years you have been working with metals and plastics.  What brought about your interest in these mediums?

Steel probably comes closest to the unreal, fabulous notion of drawing-in-space.  n 1998 I found a stash of old metal army helmets at a family run scrapyard in KC.  These were the genesis of what would become a library of sculptures, using a torch and then a plasma cutter to treat steel like paper.  To find the lace in the steel.  The helmets became unique, beautiful, and useless.  I saw the flow of vandalism and decoration going both ways, like a tide, depending on what direction I ran the film.

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I continue to work with steel, sometimes in a state of overwhelmed rapture.  It is the nectar of Mars, my home planet and muse to which I always return.  Being made of water, it is transcendental to hold a fire torch and, with the slow motion balet happening in my fingers, hand, and arms, feeling big chunks of iron fall clanking to the Earth, liberating an image or a mess.  I can taste the electricity and the rust, my body is stained and scarred, but I am ever so grateful to be at the feet of Mars.

It’s funny you ask about plastics, because I am now running, screaming.  Audience is everything (to me) and when they speak I listen.  I know well some great theories about working in the void, putting oneself in a fiction that doesn’t script or completely disguises the Audience (like a teaching gig, for example.)  We go into exile to concoct new concepts out of dust and tattered ends… and that isolation is sacred.  Everything returns to my Audience, and I am deeply curious about their response to the gifts I create for them, for that is their rich gift to me.  Their response is the mirror, the mirror is the gateway to truth and the secrets.  If a mirror is made of plastic, you can twist and bend it until it is not a reflection anymore, but a distortion.  A real glass mirror will break when a single lie is thrown at it.  So, yeah, folks hated it.  All the stuff I made of plastic, cant sell any of it.  Plastic does not fit the deeply nostalgic vein of my work, nor does it fit the pantheon of antiquitous fine art materials.  Plastic is to retro to smack of the future.  Who am I to argue with this, having failed every test of a pure heart?  Though I implore endlessly at times with the material gods to break loose of their chains, to be not killed by culture but free from it, they have no power over their captor.  It is not I who will free them, I’ve not the power, and so I say, be gone with you plastic, be gone from this place!!

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Some of the sculptures you create are constantly reoccurring in new ways.  One of my favorites is the porcelain pac-man ghost.  Is there a particular concept that has kept your interest in this object?

Initially the Ghosts were an effort to confront various demonic porcelain figurines in Jingdezhen, China that needed checking.  Traditionally in China, ghosts are considered troublemakers, so there are several common shields against them.  One is that each home should have a porcelain figurine to scare ghosts away. So I created a cute porcelain ghost figurine as a contemporary alternative.    Few people were insulted by my slight to traditional superstition, most people understood the work as conversation between an ancient culture and a young, pop oriented culture.  For me, the insight was not that my work was insulting or humorous, but both, independently communicative globally.

I had broken through the East-West culture barrier with something as generic and mundane as a Pac-Man ghost.  No way I am putting that down.  They are extremely versatile.  When I show them in China, the audience focuses on the western aspects (pop, trend, technology,) and when I show them in the West, the audience focuses on the eastern aspects (porcelain, tradition, craft.)  Very few things can mirror-play like this, so I am still learning from it.  I just finished a series of Terra-Cotta ghosts that are sporting ribbon clusters and sheets for my show in NYC coming up.

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Who are 2 or 3 artists or authors that have inspired you recently?

Lanark by Alasdair Grey.  This is a dark diptych about a young artist, unable to finish anything.

Neuromancer by William Gibson.

“You think that’s air your breathing now?”  -Morpheus.

Dina No. Dina is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon.  She created my favorite sculpture in the world, which is a mechanical typewriter with the letter blocks replaced by various teeth.  Using carbon copy paper, one can compose sentences of little teeth marks, or ASCII art.

You have some graffiti in your past.  Was this one of your early art influences?

I think of myself as having attended, thus far, three schools of aesthetic training.  Fine art BFA and MFA, but as an essential prequel, a graffiti habit. The rules and regulations that are present in graffiti law are volumous.  I learned much more about colors and composition from graffiti than art school.  One time some cops were hassling me and a friend at the Venice Breakwater over some cans of paint, and we got into a debate with them. They couldn’t see that we were not territorial, that we wanted to be everywhere.  Everywhere is not a street-corner.  All-city was the phrase.

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Manifestations of Graffiti in modern civilization may be human’s last great gift to the universe, so its fitting that bureaucrats would classify it as an offense.  I got hauled in as a skinny, greasy 17 year old by a cop named Randolf.  Amazing LAPD Officer Randolf.  Came down off a fire escape after bombing some billboards in downtown LA.  4 am.  Guy cuffs me, throws me in the car, and lectures me all the way to the station about Picasso, Matise, Renoir, all the French greats.  Hard to believe right?  It’s true.  He said if I was a few months older I would be going strait to Juvenile hall.  He kept telling me that I had talent, and that I should apply it in a “legal” way.  So, I should say that Graffiti propelled me to art school, from getting arrested by LAPD Officer Randolf, but also by addicting me to the power of visual art, and I am grateful for that.  Most contemporary art doesn’t hold a candle to the extremism and theories that really good Graffiti gushes into the world, everyday, for absolutely free.

Can you touch on how some of your current work still holds on to some of the early graffiti ideals?

Graffiti artists are examining the world quite differently than most pedestrians.  We’re looking for perfect surfaces to write and paint on.  The city is the canvass, but upon closer inspection there are millions of surfaces.  A few of the surfaces are excellent for Graffiti, and become classics.  When Santa Monica put in new bus stops, we would tag the 18″ metal poles that held up the benches.  Great little spots that never got buffed.  We were analyzing and getting excited by much more mundane environmental information than most locals would in their entire lifetime, looking for “spots.”  This method of scanning existent reality is why I am working with forms I find in the world rather than invent new forms. It’s about showing people something that is obvious, using a different light, that they never noticed before.   My favorite artwork is that which jumps out of the mundane, like a trap or a trick.

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Much of your work overlaps into realms of design and utilitarian products.  Do you enjoy pushing these boundaries of what “art” is defined as?

There is a group of contemporary sculptors, my seniors, working within the vein of design and public spaces.  It has been a much needed “craft-check” for the fine art bracket.  Andrea Zittel and Jorge Pardo are some of the bigger fish here.  For me, this movement has been very inspiring, but I consider it excessively cerebral.  We can call it a movement, or an ism, because it has a broad reaching cultural agenda that includes questioning and fomenting class struggle.  Society desperately needs this right now.  In contrast, my use of utilitarian forms is much weaker and less thought out.  I’m unable to imagine a “sculpture” or what we might loath to call a “cool shape” or a “super shape.”  The first thing people reflect back at my work is their pre-existing label for “it,” which turns out to be incorrect, because representation collapses into art.  We label something as art when we think it is art, mainly because none of the pre-existing labels will stick.  Believe me, if we could call it a “door” or a “cup” we would.  And when we call something a door, we do so because we KNOW it is a door.  As such, the art bracket widens as we claim to know less for certain.  Eventually, you reach an infinite library, beautiful and useless.

In truth and real terms I want to say, without  making an intentional slight to designers and architects by trade, that much of the design-flavored fine art happening today has to do with taking control over our territory:  Pushing back against the influx of designers and architects who have seized significant control over the artist’s traditional succor: Public Art Commissions.  Beyond that, their more minor charlatan inroads to the art collectors pocket is equally destructive for us.  As designers and architects take a chunk of the Contemporary Art sector, everyone better be damn sure that artists are going to take back the night, partially or totally… some will never stop until every designer and architect is dead.  I’d like to re-categorize the movement from an “-ism” to a “revolt.”
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You just got home from a show in Limoges, France.  How was that trip and what do you have planed for the rest of this year?

Limoges is the home of the Bernardaud Factories, where amazing porcelain craft has carried on for over 200 years.  It’s deep and inspiring there, I loved it.  The group show was a hit, and the artists who had made the trek got along famously.  Now I think we are all working on proposals to get back into those factories and make some work!  The opening of the exhibit was by a long shot the most fancy party-for-art I have ever attended, generously celebrated, and it was like the whole city was there.  I love being and working in France, they have such a lively curiosity about anything contemporary.  If it doesn’t push borders, they don’t care about it.  I’m like that too, we get along well.

I’ll be working at a residency in Vallauris, France in November-December.  I’ve recently started working with a gallery in Paris, and I’d prefer to make my show for them in France.  Now that I have divested myself of machines and a studio, I’m lighter than I have been in a while.  It’s nice to have gone through a few cycles of studio-residency-studio-school-etc.  Studio always keeps popping in, wanting to ground me and water me.  As part of my counter-insurgency against the influx of Design and Architecture, I will need to acquire their skills.  So, more school might be coming up soon.  I have a few interviews for Public Art projects on the horizon, winning a project could dictate the next location.  Right now, the next stop is NYC at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, September 8th, 6pm.  September 8th, 6:01pm is a mystery to me.

More about Jesse Small at http://www.jessesmall.com/

From The Citrus Report

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There are a lot of people that claim to do things just for the love, but it is usually these people that are the farthest from it.  The people that are honestly walking that line, aren’t talking about why they are doing anything and don’t need to.  It is apparent in their daily life how vital their need to paint and create really is.  Starting his career in the upswing of the 1990’s San Francisco graff scene, Geso quickly made a name for himself and perfected styles that have become some of the most respected and bitten over the years.  To stay ahead of the curve he has innovated and evolved in ways that have kept his graffiti fresh and inventive.
For these reasons it did not surprise me that I was as excited about the canvases he has been painting lately as I am with his graff.  The balance and use of color in his paintings are mature and well executed.  His work feels like a modern continuation of Rothko or Still or many other great historic abstract works.  But what else could we expect from someone that has always pushed the boundaries and has been such an innovator over the years. —Ronnie Wrest / The Citrus Report

What everyone really wants to know… is what you eat for breakfast?

Coca Cola Classic.

You came up painting in the good old days before instant fame and gratification of the internet. How long have you been painting and what all has changed during your career?

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When I came up you had to make graff a job.  You had to hit major streets with multiple tags and fillins.  I remember tagging on every paper machine on market like 3 tags on each side with mops.  I would go out with tons of mops and paint and not come back until it was all gone.  We use to do like 20 tags on each block and I was a kid coming up with older better writers.  They took me under their wing and taught me the basics and i rolled with it.  You honestly had to go out every night for months at a time and hit good spots that people would talk about and then your name and street cred would spread.  I think I have been painting like 19 years or more and I have seen my share of changes, mostly when the graff mags hit and now the internet wave.  The time and effort is no longer needed to most people when you can build a web site of your name and do 10 peices in all different styles with fancy paint and you get famous.  You can blog your whole career and never do shit.  I know people with big names that have done this shit.  I think its time the people who have been around for years going to jail for graff and pouring tons of their soul into something so pointless should get some fucking credit.  We risk everything just to get that tag up.  When we know it might get buffed the next day.  We wasted our lives to put letters that mean nothing on a train or some surface….

I can’t believe it’s for nothing… You have to enjoy the act of it or seeing that train roll by 2 or 3 or 10 years later?

Its crazy you work all these years to build a name and when you get the fame and everything you wanted it all comes with other bad stuff like people making fake stories up about you and trying to smut your name up so they can get attention.  I guess its cool to see old freights going by.  It brings back memories of a better time.  When they go by you remember the night and what happen and who you were with.  Each one has a secret story behind them that only you know.  People don’t understand what it takes to do the things we do.  I really don’t care about graff and trains like I said its more of what I went through to do it than the finished product.  I hate all of my old stuff so most times I close my eyes when old ones go by….

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What brought about the abstraction in your graffiti a few years back?

I had lots of people nibbling on the previous styles and I feel like my stuff just morphed into what ever it is now.  I didn’t pick a day and say i will change my stuff on that date.  I also felt bored and not challenged.  My style of pieces formed from trying to do a style to cover up nasty graff on toyed out trains… in the dark. That explains the white I like to use and the stretched out letters, I wanted to cover space.

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You started sharing your canvases on flickr a few months back. You obviously did not just start painting them; did something push you to put them out there?

I have been painting art for years i started doing that style when I was 13 in art class and I have sold a bunch to people that didnt know about graff , but liked my art.  I showed a few to some friends and they said that people were probably ready to see them now.  They were saying they would be more acceptable now that everyone likes abstract stuff.  I posted a few unwillingly and 5 sold the first day.  After that I have been posting a few a month and selling them.

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While your canvas work is abstract it is really different from your graffiti in many ways. Do the two have an influence on one another?

I think they are two different passions of mine that stem from two different worlds.  I don’t want to sell graff like I don’t want to draw some graff peice on a canvas and call it art cause its not.  I will do a tag on them sometimes because people want a tag and to sell a painting I sometimes do that.  I want my art to be art, not some stupid graffiti.  I can explain it… I have like 5 different personalities.  One is a graff writer, a fisherman, a criminal, and a family man.  I cant figure it out… oh and a furniture hustler…

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Which one is painting all your canvases?

Its the art fag oh I forgot to mention him.

I see similarities to many different styles of abstraction in your canvases. Have you had influence from Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting?

I don’t look at art man.  I just paint what comes out.  I have no influences in my art work.  I don’t type abstract painting into google and paint the same shit i see.  I just fucking paint.  I am not a college graduate, I cant spell that great, I didn’t go to art school or get a art kit from academy of the arts, ha, it’s just in my blood to be creative no matter what I do.  I’m not very knowledgeable on artists and I’m not some art snob.  I don’t care about it i just do it.  Just like graff, I just do what i see in my mind and i try and take whats floating around at the time and put it on canvas.  I also collect and sell expensive furniture from the mid 20th century.  That may have some effect on my brain when im painting.  I think if your around good stuff you will probably do something cool.  Like hanging with rich people you probably will get rich.  Im influenced by lots of architecture and buildings and interior design… but I’m not gay.

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How did you get into the furniture thing?

About 10 years ago I was driving in Oregon and I saw a cool chair along the side of the road I stopped and grabbed it because I liked the shape.  Then I did some research on it later and found someone famous designed it and I sold it for like a thousand dollars.  After that I started doing it non stop and going hard.  I cant reveal all my secrets to get this stuff but I have like 10 tricks up my sleeve and all of them work sometimes.

Who are a couple artists that influence you?

All Artists & Creators… Milo Baughman, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Hans Wegner, Gio Ponti, Tommi Parzinger, Edward Wormley, Andre Arbus, George Nakashima, Jacques Adnet, Jean-Michel Frank, Maison Jansen, Venini, Mies Van Der Rohe,, George Nelson, Karl Springer, Paul Evans, Eames (Ray and Charles), James Mont, Vladimir Kagan, Paul Frankl, Harry Bertoia, Harvey Probber, Jean Royère, Poul Kjaerholm, Jules Leleu, Tony Duquette, Paul Laszlo, William Haines, Jacques Emile, Ruhlmann, Felix Agostini, Walter Lamb, Edgar Brandt, Carlo Mollino, Gino Sarfatti, Gabriella Crespi, Gilbert Poillerat, Pierre Chareau, Poul Henningsen, Samuel Marx, Maria Pergay, Michel Boyer, Marc Duplantier, Paul Dupre-Lafon, Raymond Subes, Jacques Quinet, Florence Knoll, Eero Saarinen, Ico Parisi, Charlotte Perriand, Tétard Freres, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Robert Crowder, Antoine Schapira, William Conklin, Le Clerc, William B. Durgin, Warren Platner,  Torbjorn Afdal, James Prestini, Massimo Vignelli, Jacques Martin-Ferrieres, Louis O. Pearson, Eero Saarinen, and Jorge Zalszupin

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You have been painting graffiti for almost 20 years. What do you think has allowed you to have this kind of longevity?

I guess just being consistant and not being afraid to try new stuff when you see people making a trend of something.  I can always switch up to something new or something crazy to try and have an impact again and again.  I stay true to myself and do this for me and for fun.  I don’t care about people and what they think and I’m a fucking nut.  I should have stopped years ago or never started painting at all.  Its just honestly out of stupidity.  Anyone with brains would never paint graff for this long for no return..fuck it though… its to late now.

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Will we get to see any of your canvases in a gallery anytime soon?

When I was only 16 I think I had like 3 art shows under my belt already. After that I went on a wild ride and now I’m back doing art hard now, so I hope some galleries will holler at me and understand who I am and what im trying to do and what I have done already.  I’m selling my art, so I know a professional can do a way better job… I just wont hang out with idiots and kiss ass to get an art show.  I’m not going to beg, but I think I deserve it and all my friends are famous off of this.  I’m the only one that never sold out.  Theres some really bad art in galleries because they kiss peoples asses and use everyone to get art shows just to be a artist.  I know who I am so I don’t care what happens… I leave it in your hands.

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So are these paintings going to be something you will be focusing most of your energy on right now?

I’m painting a ton lately but have been painting art sence I was 13 years old, so I’m not new to the art game and I have been around art and artists my entire life.  My mom designs fabrics and is an interior designer.  My grandma is a oil painter, my cousin Tyler does lithos and teaches art.  I grew up with people like Barry Mcgee, Josh Lazcano, Rem, Margret rip, Sam Flores, Sope rip, Felon, Jase, Dave Schubert, Grey pvc, etc…  I had art shows when i was like 16 but I was to young to capitalize on art.  I didn’t know shit and I thought art was gay and I was selling out.  I still think I’m selling out but I guess theres a time for everything.  I may have waited to long and I have missed the curve I think, but maybe it will be my time now.  I sit here waiting for a bone to be thrown at me but it dosnt happen so I have to paint alot and take it into my own hands and do stuff for my self but use my connections and friends I have made over they years…..”time will tell”…


From The Citrus Report

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