Monday, 31 May 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews Artist 'Ezra' - ISSUE 4

From the spraying up the tranquil idyll of Lucerne to shaping the world into an explosion of piercing image and ravishing colour, Ezra’s dazzling work is on the rampage. Incredibly clean forms are illuminated by a spectacular assault of colour and an imagery that fuses together a surreal landcape of the nightmareish, the, dreamlike, and the raw power of the street. Collaborating far and wide and taking his talent intercontinental, Ezra took a moment out from the can to have a word with LSD...

You've been painting for fourteen years but what initially brought you to graffiti art as opposed to other art forms?

The fact that my father is an artist ( always kind of made me being interested into art in general. When I was a kid I was drawing almost every day and got familiar with art after seeing my father paint and having exhibitions. Around 1996 I got more and more into the Hip Hop culture. Next to the music I found out about the other elements and soon got in touch with Graffiti. I didn't really know what's behind it and didn't know that much about the scene but I was fascinated by the movement and that so many people my age and a little older were into it. I loved to see how people worked together and pushed each other that defiantly made me fall in love with that kind of art.

Your work is of an exceptional quality did it take you very long to master the graffiti style?

In the beginning it was hard because I didn't know how to use a spraycan that well. The old cans called Sparvar were a little different than the ones nowadays as well. But after painting a couple of years I found out about the tricks and how you paint clean and small stuff and developed more ideas and my style. It was a lot of learning by doing and painting as much as I could.

Graffiti writers and Street Artists are being called anti-establishment and at times anarchists, do you think this accurately describes the artists involved in street work?

In my opinion the graffiti culture definitely has its roots in the anti establishment. I remember that graffiti artists often added words to their pieces and wrote critical things about the society. You still find that nowadays but not as often as in the past. As a street artist it is much easier to reach people because they have to see what you paint either they want to or not. You don't have to tell people to come to a gallery to see what you paint and think- the streets become your gallery and the reaction happens immediately.

Tell us a little about the graffiti / street art scene in your city.

I live in Lucern which is in the middle of Switzerland. Lucern used to have a lot of graffiti artists in the past but never really was the main city in Switzerland when it comes to Graffiti art these are more Basel and Zürich. In the past couple years the scene went back a lot in Lucern which is a pitty. There are still people doing their thing but you don't see graffiti that much anymore. When I was younger people were painting a lot and you could see new pieces and bombings all over the place. People were gathering at jams and a lot of productions happened all the time.

Has graffiti been commercially excepted as an art form in Switzerland?

I would say yes it has. Not completely but I know about the reactions of different people when I paint. Next to young people a lot of older and even really old people like this kind of art. When people catch me painting they always ask me many questions and watch how I work with spraycans. It is something people see but they never really get in touch with the person behind it which makes it interesting to them. Over here Graffiti artists go their way into galleries and lawyers and business people buy graffiti art. Even art collectors start collecting canvasses and artists get invited to big art events. Graffiti appears in the graphics a lot too. I appreciate that development but I hope that the standard always stays high and wont become too adapted only to sell.


New Street Art by Twat, BB, Eelus - London

T.wat, BB, Eelus were unleashed last week... By the early daylight hours a number of walls had already been hit. LSD plan to interview both T.wat and Eelus... Full Photo Session in Next Issue

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Dennis Hopper RIP - The King is Dead

'I should have been dead ten times over. I`ve thought about that a lot. I believe in miracles. It`s an absolute miracle that I`m still around.'

'The alcohol was awful. I was a terrible alcoholic. I mean, people used to ask how much drugs I did. I said, `I only do drugs so I can drink more`. I was doing the coke so I could drink more. I mean, I don`t know any other reason. I`d start drinking in the...'

'I`ve been a Republican since Reagan. I voted for Bush and his father. I don`t tell a lot of people, because I live in a city where somebody who voted for Bush is really an outcast'

'[on James Dean] Jimmy was the most talented and original actor I ever saw work. He was also a guerrilla artist who attacked all restrictions on his sensibility. Once he pulled a switchblade and threatened to murder his director. I imitated his style in ar... '

'[Quote from 2001]: I`ve been sober now for 18 years. With all the drugs, psychedelics and narcotics I did, I was [really] an alcoholic. Honestly, I only used to do cocaine so I could sober up and drink more. My last five years of drinking was a nightmare....'

'[about his 8 days marriage with Michelle Phillips] The first seven were pretty good'
'[1997]: Like all artists I want to cheat death a little and contribute something to the next generation.'

' In the 50s, when me and Natalie Wood and James Dean and Nick Adams and Tony Perkins (Anthony Perkins) suddenly arrived... God, it was a whole group of us that sort of felt like that earlier group - the John Barrymores, Errol Flynns, Sinatras, Clifts - wer...'

'There are moments that I've had some real brilliance, you know. But I think they are moments. And sometimes, in a career, moments are enough. I never felt I played the great part. I never felt that I directed the great movie. And I can't say that it's anybody's fault but my own.'

'I am just a middle-class farm boy from Dodge City and my grandparents were wheat farmers. I thought painting, acting, directing and photography was all part of being an artist. I have made my money that way. And I have had some fun. It's not been a bad life.'

'I made a picture called Super Mario Bros., and my six-year-old son at the time - he's now 18 - he said, 'Dad, I think you're probably a pretty good actor, but why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.?' and I said, 'Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes,' and he said, 'Dad, I don't need shoes that badly.'

[on James Dean] 'Jimmy was the most talented and original actor I ever saw work. He was also a guerrilla artist who attacked all restrictions on his sensibility. Once he pulled a switchblade and threatened to murder his director. I imitated his style in art and in life. It got me in a lot of trouble. '


Saturday, 29 May 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews Most Quoted Man Alive - Noam Chomsky

We’ve always been fond of our superlatives here at LSD, but suddenly the spectrum of the English language seems hopelessly wanting in our efforts to introduce the great giant of ideas Professor Noam Chomsky. For those who are unfamiliar with the name, Professor Chomsky is one of the pioneers of linguistic science, author of over 50 books, a political thinker unique for his piercing understanding of the dynamics of history and political power systems, one of the top ten quoted figures of all time alongside Shakespeare and the Bible, and the most quoted man alive today...

There is no right way to interview Professor Chomsky; the list of questions, themes and concepts is virtually infinite, and the piece below represents a fragment of a snapshot. It is indeed impossible to express the depth of the gratitude that we feel towards him for granting us the opportunity and the time to speak to him, and all we can really do is profoundly thank him and urge you from the bottom of our hearts to research his work, read his books and engage with his ideas so that we all might penetrate a deeper understanding of the world we live in...

How would you say that control structures and the imperialist model have changed during the last half century in an increasingly globalised world?

The world has certainly changed but the basic principles remain virtually identical though adapted to changing circumstances. In 1950, the United States had a position of power and wealth that was simply without historical parallel. The US literally had half of the world’s wealth and indescribable security. It controlled the Western hemisphere, it controlled both oceans, its industrial rivals were either seriously harmed, or indeed in some cases destroyed and vast swathes of the world were still under colonial rule. Now that was an extraordinary position of power and of course the US used it. Power systems use their power – there’s no great secret in that.

Well that’s changed. By around 1970, the other industrial countries had reconstructed and decolonisation was underway, thus making the United Nations somewhat more representative of world opinion. The United States now had approximately 25% of global wealth as opposed to 50%, so the nature of its efforts to control the world naturally changed, and an excellent example of this shift is the history of the UN. During the early stages of the post war period, the UN was very popular amongst US leaders because it was doing exactly as they wanted, (given the circumstances, there really was no alternative) and the US could use it as a weapon against their enemy, Russia. If you look at American intellectual discussion of the period, there was great love for the UN and great efforts to explain the nature of Russia’s psychological malady in always saying No. Literally! In fact, one anthropologist attributed Russian intransigence at the UN to the fact that they traditionally raised their children in swaddling clothes which made the Russian people inherently negative, and apparently explained why whenever Gromyko got to the UN, he always said ‘No’. As a  graduate student, we used to refer to this particular branch of science as ‘Diaperology’!

This dynamic of US control over the UN shifted slowly over the 50’s into what became a pretty sharp break in the 60’s, and the use of the veto serves as one clear index to map this change. Up until 1965, the US had never actually vetoed a Security Council resolution. From 1965 to the present, the United States is far in the lead on veto use, Britain is second, and nobody else is even close, whatever the Western press may suggest about recalcitrant Russians or wantonly stubborn Chinese. Well, that reflects a shift in attitudes towards the UN which in turn reflects a shift in the distribution of world power. The basic principles remain the same, there are just different ways of doing things.

But in light of Joseph Nye’s famous phrase, ‘soft power’, with military and economic dominance diminishing, would not an imperial power such as the United States’ best bid for hegemony in today’s world be corporate and cultural rather than the militarism and traditional imperialism of the last decade? Is that not where power models are heading?

First of all, as far as military power is concerned, the United States spends almost as much on its military as the rest of the world combined. Its military is technologically far more advanced than any of its potential rivals, developing new ultra sophisticated techniques of warfare such as miniaturised drones using nanotechnology and the militarisation of space. All sorts of things are on the drawing boards and in development. The United States has about 800 military bases around the world and a global surveillance system – you have to remember that no other country has anything like this. In fact most of the rest of the world, led by China, has been trying to block the use of space for military purposes, but the US has vetoed that at every step, under Clinton and Bush senior – certainly not just the last 10 years. So in military terms, it’s overwhelming, and if you add intelligence into that, it becomes even more so.

There’s nothing new about trying to use soft power – the phrase happens to be new, but the concept goes way back. That’s what the cultural programs of the CIA were about, what Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress was about. There have always been attempts to use what is now known as soft power – the Congress of Cultural Freedom is another of many examples. There is always a mix between the two tools that calibrates according to circumstance. When you ask ‘what should the United States be doing’, it’s really impossible to answer because it depends on what goal you have in mind. If the goal is to control the world, then it probably should be doing about what it’s doing.


Thursday, 27 May 2010

LSD Magazine mentioned in Hackney Gazette (re: arrested artists)

We recently blogged the news of artists getting arrested in Hackney Wick (see here) and was contacted by the boroughs leading newspaper The Hackney Gazette for any comments on the matter. It should be noted that this paper has actually covered a number of street art related topics over the past twelve months. Its usually Banksy that gets their pulses racing so its nice to see another angle for a change. Fairplay to the lads for covering this important matter. The officials could've at least fired a few warning shots before charging in and arresting creative types. The mentioned hotspot is off road and away from residential properties. The art found here is of a very high standard and the artists sell their works from £1 - £1 million...

LSD Magazine Interviews Graffiti Artist CAN2

Can 2 has been styling the wild across the four corners of the world for over two decades now. With a style that comes fat, furious and bursting with an edgy joy and charisma, his pieces fuse the old, the new and the hip hop tradition into an dazzling explosion of art, life irreverent humour and the street.. Legend to many and inspiration  to many more, he took a moment out from his globetrotting to have a word with LSD....

Can you give us a bit of background on yourself...

My Name is CAN2 and I live in Germany. At the tender age of 7 I had a driving need to artistically improve the desk at my school as well as my school books with my own comic style illustrations, but I did my first piece in 1983. Before I got into Graffiti I was into B-Boying. I saw some Music Videos on
TV where kids were spinning on their heads and backs so I started dancing too. Graffiti was mostly shown in the backgrounds of the videos. One night a day before christmas in 1983 me and two friends went out and I did my first Graffiti saying “Windmill”. I got the cans from the garage of my father and it was silver with anthracite outlines. The other two guys were just on the lookout. That was the only outdoor action so far but as soon as ZEBSTER showed me his first sketch I started sketching too. We had like a little battle going on, who’s gonna do the dopest sketch and who got the best colors and the
best fine liner for the white highlights ect... and in 1986 I got my first airbrush so that gave the sketches another quality. Also in 1986 I got the opportunity through my art teacher to do a big wall at my school. Since that time I only wanted to paint on walls.

What does graffiti culture mean to you?

I’ve been doing Graff for more than the half of my Life and I’m still going strong, this fact should answer the question. Graff is my Life. What happened to you in the late 80’s and how did you bounce back In the late 80’s/early 90’s I almost stopped because there was nobody I could really paint with. I concentrated a lot on B-Boying again. It all changed when I moved 1992 to Hamburg for my Illustration Studies with my Old School Partner JASE aka Sonny. And I met so many new writers plus there were quite a few hall of fames so I had my “comeback”.

How has the scene developed in Germany over the time you’ve been painting?

It has developed a lot. A lot of good talents pop up in every city and it is hard nowadays to follow the complete scene. Generally you can say it’s getting better, but sometimes it got strange turnarounds style-wise. That’s when kids follow a strange or wrong trend. The Graff community in Germany has grown a lot and there’s so much going on everywhere. It makes it very hard for an individualist to
stick out of the crowd. You have to do a lot on a high level continuously for years to get recognized.

Full LSD Magazine Interview in Issue 4

LSD Magazine Interviews artists Best Ever

LSD: You originally started out as graffiti writers, tell us a little about the journey from writing on walls to creating photorealistic wall impressions.

B: in around 2005 I'd kind of had a break from painting letters for a year or so when me and a couple of others began getting involved in commissions and so forth. I've always drawn and painted using other mediums pretty well so it was a pretty easy transition for me

E.for me just writing my name wasn't enough.

You were a member of the 54 Crew, writer Busk tells us you guys used to paint trains whilst completely naked. Would you mind sharing a funny story about painting in your birthday suit?

B: ha ha, there's so many funny stories… One of the standouts had to be one time when we were working on a community project subsidised by the local police force… one of the members of the crew fancied himself as a bit of a Lothario (anyone who knew us at this point will know who i mean), and managed to blag us round to a young WPC's house for drinks after a day on the job. The cheeky bastard then managed to blag a shower there, and swiped a pair of her knickers in the process, which he promptly donned whilst  painting his panel later that night… that was what it was like all the time, you'd be painting your piece in nothing but a pair of socks and look up and down the train and see all your mates doing the same funny shit and just crease up thinking 'what would the trackies think if it came on top now?'

FULL INTERVIEW IN LSD Magazine Issue 5...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Codefc Paints South East Asia

Friend of LSD Magazine 'Codefc' has recently been painting walls in S.E Asia.  We interviewed the artist in a previous issue of the magazine but will be featuring a series of shots taken in the Southern Hemisphere.

Codefc MySpace
Codefc YouTube

Homeland Security Street Art

We were sent these shots from the states but no-one said who the artist is and where they were taken... If you plan on sending us photos of street art please be sure to name the location, artist, city, country... Thanks in Advance...

Doom - Germany

Video game fan and street artist Doom has been hitting the streets of Berlin with his signature Paste-Ups...



Friday, 21 May 2010

Street Art Drama - Global

Life is a theater, a stage, a playground and creativity zone for small and big kids.  We run we shout we paint we draw we paste we tag we bomb we love we fall we raise up. Live life in color today don't wait for tomorrow...

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Leo Scalpel New Book - Nature Art Today - Skateboard

Leo Scalpel has released a new book containing skateboard designs from 190 artists. Its called 
NATURE ART TODAY,  listed here are a few of the images contained.

Leo Scalpel