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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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Portlands 100 Best Places To Stuff Your Faces Book: Where were you a month ago?

portland 100 best places to stuff your face book Portlands 100 Best Places To Stuff Your Faces Book: Where were you a month ago? Portland’s 100 Best Places To Stuff Your Face Portland food eat book

We think many of you make your way to Portland every so often, and we all know the food is good, but if you don’t live there you need some sort of quick guide. We recommend Pok Pok, we just ate there, fantastic. But this book, Portland’s 100 Best Places To Stuff Your Face, should make your culinary experience that much more easy to organize.

Buy it here.

From The Citrus Report

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Wait, did Arcade Fire win Album of the Year at the Grammys?

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Does anyone else think that was weird? We mean, the deserve it on the basis that in a world of really, really crappy music, the Arcade Fire made a real album of songs that cohesively told a story. It wasn’t even their best, but it was good. Good for them. They should win Album of the Year for The Suburbs. It shows that the music people who vote on this stuff realize that their industry is in taters for rewarding $$ spent and big business albums, and they had to reward one slightly arty album.

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Into this TripTrace thing

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Because we live on computers and apps, etc, we are into this new travel device/tracer, TripTrace. As TechCrunch puts it, “it’s a service that allows you to note places around the world you’ve been to. And places you’d like to go to in the future. All of this is done in two books (dare I call them “Place Books”?): your Atlas (places you’ve been), and your Travel (places you want to go).”

Sounds simple enough. There is a big explanation of how to use this stuff on the links above, so get reading.

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Awesome: Shepard Fairey x Glen E Friedman “Dr. Cornel West” print

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This is pretty cool. Shepard Fairey (Mr Obey Giant) and famed photographer Glen E Friedman, collaborated on this Dr Cornel West print, with all the proceeds going to The City Kids Charity.

If you don’t know, West is philosopher and the professor at Princeton. Heady man. Read some of his stuff. Very good academia.

Here is the lowdown of the print:

18 x 24″ Screen Print.  Edition of 450.  Signed by Shepard Fairey, Glen E. Friedman and Dr. Cornel West.  Limit 1 per person/household.  $80.

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Mike Tyson was on drugs and needed money, so he guested in “The Hangover”

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Iron Mike, in his memorable role in The Hangover, was apparently on drugs and in need of cash, so he did the role. Tyson stated, “”I was doing that to supply my drug habit… I said, ‘Wow, This is going to be really good. We’re going to sell this stuff on 42nd Street on bootleg and make a lot of money.’ This is my best thinking on drugs… It wasn’t that way. It was an international success.”

Thanks for the memories, Mike!

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The best thing written on the Lebracle Decision Special 2010

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First off, we are a website that has fun. Some of the stuff we write and cover has serious moments, some of things we write have to do with Colonel Sanders and what you can eat in Hong Kong. We have been told to get real jobs, whatever that means,  we at times feel like we have fed the machine like all the other sheep, and sometimes we feel like we have done the opposite and actually written some good stuff that tests the mainstream. We don’t always aim to do that either, sometimes we just want to show you Angelina Jolie naked. It comes in waves.

The whole Lebron James thing, the one-hour special, the sickening coverage by ESPN, it all felt awesomely 2010. It was so ego-driven, so individualistic, that it was flawless. Lebron actually said “It’s about everybody having they own spotlight” in regards to joining the Heat’s duo of Wade and Bosh, and if that was not the perfect summation of a MySpace or Facebook or Twitter or blog world of 2010, we don’t know what is. He should trademark that line. We felt a little sick that we wrote about all of this, too, because we are so captured by the pop element of it all. But then we said, fuck it, its the way of the world, it doesn’t hurt to capture those moments from time to time.

Okay, the point of all of this. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, who can be a bit of ego himself, wrote a great piece on “The Decision,” Lebron’s made-for-fake-real-distasteful-drama ESPN special last Thursday night, which we tuned into because the Oakland Riots were too mellow at 6pm PST. The line that stood out to us, which is near perfect writing and analysis of the whole spectacle:

Of course not, it was all bullshit, designed to snare viewers, the grownups among us all know that. But the ESPN anchors looked like they were hanging desperately on every tweet, almost like they really believed this stuff. Poor Stuart Scott, he’s been podded completely, if you chopped that dude’s head off, nothing but little plastic balls containing digitized “Boo-yah” chips would fall out of his skull. It’s the prototype for all future news coverage — one or two dominant news networks pushing sensational fairy-tale versions of reality in a race for ad revenue, competing with a few scattered hacks on the Internet covering the much less important parallel “real story,” i.e. the truth. In order for the networks to push their version most effectively, they have to genuinely believe that what they’re spinning is real. Which is why you see them starting to mistake fake drama for real drama from time to time — they’re beginning to drown in their own bullshit.

Welcome to the nightmare. Or dream, it sort of doesn’t matter anymore.

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