Tuesday, 31 August 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews - Eine (Issue 5)

Well fuck us sideways with a crate of spray paint but the unthinkable has happened. David Cameron, British Prime Minister and Tory - yes TORY leader shook hands with President Obama on his first official visit to Washington and proudly handed over a painting by street artist Ben Eine. Either we’ve all disappeared down one seriously hallucinogenic rabbit hole, or the political dynamics of street art just took a left turn doing 90 with the handbrake lashed firmly on. It opens up all sorts of questions about changing social perceptions of the medium as well as sowing doubts about the inevitably coruscating commercialism that may eventually be its demise, but for Ben who’s been pumping out stunning art for over 2 decades it is richly deserved and a fat slice of wicked news after a lifetime spent underground and grafting. As he said himself in 10 foot letters - It’s been a strange week , and we caught up with him as it all went mental in the Cameron Obama aftermath...

Could you tell us a little about your background as a graffiti artist...

I started doing graffiti when I was about 13 or 14. When what’s now grown into hip hop came over from America as electro music and break dancing 25 odd years ago, graffiti was a part of that new movement. I was a young kid at that time and I wanted to be a part of it and being a bit of a cheeky git that likes running away from things and being a bit naughty but since I was rubbish at breakdancing, graffiti ticked the boxes for me and so I got heavily into it. 

You eventually moved away from graffiti into what’s much more your current style. What sparked that evolution? 

I was getting really bored of how graffiti hadn’t progressed and hadn’t developed into the amazing promise I felt it had when we started out. We were going to change the world, we were going to paint everything and it was going to be revolutionary. Graffiti over the years didn’t progress and just became really boring and stagnated and graffiti writers have these self imposed rules like you can’t use stencils and everything has got to be done freehand you know it has to be like this or like that…. And people outside of the graffiti community were doing other things like stencils and abstract painting and while the graffiti community hated that, I actually liked it and found it really interesting. The combination of being bored with graffiti and seeing what was happening elsewhere as the street art scene was starting to happen with people like Banksy and Shepard Fairey making posters and stickers pushed me to have a closer look at the potential of this new scene. Add to that the fact that I’d been arrested lots of times and was on the verge of prison, while didn’t want to go to prison for graffiti, I definitely didn’t want to stop painting stuff. So I kind of knocked graffiti on the head and started doing street art. 

At that point were you just using a can but you then got into screen printing and all kinds of different media. All self taught? 

Yeah I haven’t been to college and I didn’t study art at school from the age of 13 so yeah - all self taught. What was it about letters specifically that drew you. When I did graffiti, for me it was about the letter form and how letters change shape when combining them with different letters and graffiti is ultimately about making your name look as cool, as fresh, and as stylish as you possibly can when you write it on a wall or tag up the side of a train. It’s making your name look fucking amazing and all about the style with which you put it out there. I was never into characters or backgrounds and scenes – it was all about the word. So when I stopped graffiti and moved into street art, I started with letters almost without thinking about it, and would play about with my name and the letter form in general. Lots of people that were doing street art had an image or a character that went with their name - Banksy had his rats and Shepard Fairey had his big Obey character, but I wanted to try to do something different and because of my history in graffiti and my kind of nerdish interest in typography and especially in old fonts, it just progressed into what it is now.

Your canvases feature children heavily – can you elaborate on that a bit...

It’s a lot to do with innocence, video cameras,the way that children are overly protected and the way that surveillance is swamping our society. And taking that fact of the overprotection of our children, does it affect them, does it damage them, are we taking away their freedom by trying to protect our freedom with endless layers of security? Those canvases are really playing about with those kind of ideas 

What was the first inkling that Downing Street was going to be approaching you for some work? 

I was in my studio on a Friday night cutting out some stencils and I got a phone call from Anya Hindmarch who I had collaborated with towards the end of last year. We had a little chat then she said this is a bit of a weird one, but Samantha Cameron and David are really big fans of your work. I was like whoa that’s a bit of a surprise. She went on – ‘David is looking for a painting to give to the most important man in the world; in America, I can’t say his name. Would you be interested?’ I said wow yeah. So she was like do you mind if I give your number to Downing Street and someone will give you a call. About twenty minutes later someone from Downing Street called and basically said the same thing that Anya had said - that David and Samantha Cameron are fans and that they were looking for a painting to give to - and again wouldn’t say the name - but the most important man in the world- would I be interested. The only thing was that they needed it by Monday and so we had a talk about the work that I do and what wouldn’t be suitable because a lot of the stuff that I do does contain negative words and they were really only interested in the positive stuff. They did worry about what could be read into the words and they obviously thought a lot about it, so I emailed them some images and the back and forth went on all day Saturday and Sunday morning until I remembered that I had a painting called “21st Century City” in a Brighton gallery. So I emailed them an image of that and within 5 minutes, they came back saying - yeah it’s perfect, we love it, they picked it up on Monday and it went on an airplane to Washington.


LSD Magazine Interviews - Indigo (Canada) (Issue 5)

Rippling gently with the stillness of whispered emotion frozen into a moment, Indigo’s soft serenade of stencil and spray over the last two years has graced our universal public spaces with profound echos of an intangible dream. A stunning photo-realism resonates with ethereal other-worldliness -laced with memory and silken sighs of melancholy that open a window onto the self reflection of a floating soul. Hand drawn and hand cut stencils balance sublime harmonies and a supple delicacy with dissonant waves of silent sadness : humanity, loss, loneliness and a tender innocence flow out of her work and flood the streets with inscrutable layers of emotional texture and the gentle mysteries of feeling...

Can you give us a little insight into your background? 

I grew up in a small northern British Columbia village called Burns Lake, and have been living in Vancouver for the past ten years. I’ve always been a multidisciplinary artist. My creative output has over the years gone in and out of different phases where I’ve been more focused on one medium than the rest, but I value each just as much as the other. Most of my life has been spent inside various dance studios, feeling like a dancer who likes to draw and paint. After high school I was accepted into a university visual art program but for various reasons decided instead to do a degree in contemporary dance. Graduated in 2004 and spent the next four years working as a dancer, choreographer and teacher in Canada and the United States. Two years ago I got a bit burned out, decided to take a break and focus on painting for a while. I started stenciling and making art for outdoors in March of 2008 – just little stuff, simple one layer things, nothing super special - but I was finally feeling excited about making art again. I had been doing a lot of site-specific performance work in the year or two leading up to this, and it seemed like a relevant transition to make – and still seems to be a place where there’s a lot of possibility for the two art forms to overlap. Last fall I made the scary but ultimately fulfilling decision to quit my day job and spend all of my time making art - I spent some time traveling around and painting, through New York, France, Germany, London and Amsterdam – I met some amazing people, learned a lot, ran out of money, went home inspired and ready to get to work…since then it’s just been fast forward to forever.

Do you feel that you brought your sense of balancing movement and stillness from dance into your painting? 

I think that movement and stillness are each present in the other, in life and ideally in art as well. What I try to find in my work is a sense of the captured moment – the brief eternity between the fall and the impact, those few seconds of suspension when a jump feels like flight, the evolution of sadness to strength when there are no more tears left to cry and life goes on. Regardless of the subject matter, the images that I am drawn to use as source material seem to always have a sense of motion and fluidity, whether the body is moving or at rest. I am not sure if my dance training has something to do with that – but I do think that it has given me a good awareness of body mechanics, an anatomical and visceral knowledge of the ways that muscles and tendons and bones fit and work together to make our bodies move. A large part of dance training is increasing your awareness of every part of the body separately and in relation to all the others, all at the same time. Whatever has made it into my painting has been ultimately on an intuitive basis. I don’t approach the creation of new work with an analytical mindset, I just go with what I am drawn to; make decisions because they feel right. Luckily my intuition usually points me in the right direction. When I am creating a piece of choreography, a lifetime of training sometimes means that I overthink the process every step of the way. With art, I don’t usually have that problem. Of course I always spend time thinking about what I’m creating and why, but I find it a lot easier to go with my intuition.

Do you think that applies more generally – does analysis accentuate beauty or subvert it?

I think that it really depends on the situation, and the person. I find that if I spend too much time thinking about a particular piece or a project, I sometimes lose sight of that initial creative impulse that can feel so magical at the time. If I spend too much time in my own head, I fail to appreciate the beauty inherent in each moment. Ideally, analysis goes hand in hand with curiosity, experimentation, discovery and innovation…and if so, leads more towards an appreciation and celebration of your subject matter than away from it – whether that is beauty, ugliness or anything in between.


LSD Magazine Interviews - C215 (Issue 5)

Laced with a both a haunting realism and an otherworldly transcendence of the flesh into the immortal mysteries of identity, the supremely prolific and painfully genuine C215’s work drips with the whirlwind emotions of the human condition. He speaks through the universal language of communication, the human face to the universal elements of our existence and our shared hopes and shattered dreams through savagely emotive, yet silently reflective portraits that define the commonalities of humanity through the fragmentation we all feel so witheringly and all collude in so blindly...This is intangible complexity in all its conflicted clarity and the man himself took a moment for an exchange of ideas with LSD

Can you tell us a little about your background and your early journey...

My life was reasonably stable until the age of 14 when I became a raging drug addict : hash, heroin, coke and moreover LSD. My LSD period was unarguably great for opening up channels of creativity, but led also to a certain self destruction. I traveled with the Nomads alongside Spiral Tribe in the early 90’s until I found myself in jail and was forced to re assess my condition, realising that it was time to get myself clean of drugs and start out on the next phase of my life. I began to study tentatively, before the momentum began to snowball and I eventually found myself with a masters degree in Art History, another in History and 2 bachelors degrees, one in German, and the other in English. I feel at the same time both modern and classic. 

What impact did the illegal rave scene have on your creativity and your perception of the world?

It gave me the opportunity to discover that you can be at the heart of a movement that is bigger than you and step outside pure individualism into communal goals, communal living, and a wider purpose. It woke me up to the fact that you don’t need to go to night clubs or museums to experience art, but that you can feel art, create art and be art by yourself, doing it with your mates in unexpected places each with their own intangible character like abandoned warehouses or caves. Ultimately, art is visual poetry, and poetry is always unexpected. 

 Is there a beauty in the abandoned?

Whatever is abandoned can equally be saved, and that is the essence of romanticism. Abandoned warehouses, asylums and derelict wastelands reflect our own lives, with a strong sense of the ephemeral. We feel small and modest when we weigh our prized individualism against time and the wider universe, and consider how long any of us or anything we do will last within collective memory. Time being stopped in a specific place helps us to understand how short and transient life really is.

What does our attitude to public space say about us as a society?

In today’s Western cities we find ourselves living in an increasingly puritan atmosphere. Under the questionable cover of struggling against crime and terrorism, cities have been cleaned up to the point of obliterating any form of self expression with the glaring exception of branding and corporate advertising. The bottom line is that within in a modern liberal economy, public space exists solely to generate profits for commercial interests through the penetration and shaping of our daily reality - that’s it. It’s up to us to change this scandalous dynamic and speak about the place of human beings in the urban landscape. Raising that voice and letting it ring out and be heard would truly be a new humanism

LSD Magazine Interviews - Milo Tchais (Issue 5)

Brazillian Londoner Milo Tchais’s rhapsodies of swirling form and joyous colour have been setting the streets of London and the wider firmament alight for many a year now. Synthesising radiant elements from the natural world with the gently distorting mirror of imagination, his otherworldly human forms nestle into an orgy of spiraling abstraction and a landscape of explosive inner space. Silky movement glides through the figurative prism and lifts layer after layer of texture into a joyous sea of celebration, reflection, exploration, and transcendental wanderings through the third eye. We spoke to Milo

We know your self taught but how long did it take to master your craft? 

I haven’t mastered it yet... But it has been 13 years of streets and 5 of studio dedication to get to where my style is now. What influenced your decision to paint on the streets in the first place? I was drawn to the pixação writing style, the hardcore tagging scene specific to Sao Paulo, it’s what turned my attention to urban street writing, and a love for letter styling in the first place. In spite of never having been a true “pixador” (one who does pixação), my urge to go out and paint was to do pixação in the very beginning, as there is a very thin membrane but sometimes a big gap between the graffiti and pixação scenes which keeps merging and splitting constantly, depending on the artist and point of view. Pixaçao was what I saw at first as a little kid around the streets during the first generation and with a second just emerging of writers influenced by the hiphop graffiti painting in São Paulo with little visual information around, and the wonders of the virtual world not yet established. More influences and magazines came about, and seeing more pieces and murals, I quickly got hooked and found myself doing panels almost every day around the city, which developed into murals and big productions. 

Your colourful murals have been gracing London walls for years, how long you been painting here? 

Nine years now, and not just walls have been graced in that time... 

Your work has an almost off planet feel to them, tell us a little about the natural worlds you paint? 

Nature has always played a big part in my life, and is a big influence in my work. But I’m also very interested in the mental power of imagination, and how the inner world becomes part of the outer, collective, world. Even though it has a dreamy feel, I believe this mind power, which turns possibilities into something unique that can be shared, is exactly what connects us and everything together. And it is in fact imagery very directly connected to what we perceive as reality, consciousness, and the building blocks of the universe.

What influences your character designs? 

Our Mother and Home, Earth, this whole natural and conscious world, love, and people I’ve met through my life. Cartoon and graffiti designs, oriental illustration, expressionism, impressionism, fauvism, worldwide motifs and patterns. And that’s apart from abstract styles, lines and shapes sparked from spray painting, designing and filling pieces and murals and a lot of sketching.


Sunday, 29 August 2010

Magic Mushrooms hit Local Headlines

Christian Nagel's mushrooms appeared in the Hackney Gazette over the weekend. Christian is being interviewed for LSD Magazine issue 6 so look out for that.

Friday, 27 August 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews - Inkfetish (Issue 5)

How long you been painting and what made you decide to go that route?

I've been painting walls for about 7 years, and drawing my whole life. I ventured into using acrylics for canvas work about 5 years back.

You do lots of legal work, is this a decision you consciously made or did it just pan out that way?

A couple of arrests and the fact that I like to take my time quickly made me realise that painting legally in the streets was the best option...the legal/illegal context isn't that important to me...I just like to paint big.

Your iconic characters can be seen around London, what influences your work most?

At this point of time, lots of different factors. Comics, anime, Japanese culture, and recently vintage cartoon characters from America are all playing their part...

Tell us a little about the comics you've self published…Including your first edition 'No Strings'

I grew up wanting to be a comic book artist but realised later in life that the control freak in me would find it an incredibly difficult industry to work in at any professional level from a financial and creative point of view. I've always been into contemporary versions of fairy tales. In 2005 I self published 'No Strings'- my own version of Pinocchio, a story that was already implanted in the public psyche. It was never one of my favorite childhood movies but I definitely found something in it pretty unsettling. Viewing it again with adult eyes, there's definitely some pretty twisted subtext in there. My comic version acted as a surreal prequel to Disney's version and was really a chance to do something subversive with Disney's iconography,- something I've actually injected into some of my recent pieces. I'd published a few zine type things before that but 'No Strings' was my first comic. I still have all of the hand drawn original artwork that I'd like to exhibit at some point.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews - Twat (issue 5)

With the perfect on the job experience in the hit and run world of the long lens, camped up a tree then making a break for it world of the paparazzi, Twat has brought his ninja skills and trained eye to the public spirited world of street art. Tying up gangsters, multi-nationals, evolution, politics, religion and general piss taking in a stenciled bow of wry subversion, Twat’s work has shone through with a piercing edge since he first hobbled onto the case 3 years ago. Despite his modesty, his stenciling onslaught can be considered some of the most interesting and sociologically lively work on the streets of London town today, brightening up the ever grim days with a cackle and striking at the heart of socio political issues. LSD caught up with him for a chat...

You were a paparazzi photographer for 15 years, tell us a little about the transition from pap to street artist… 

My office was in Old Street so we were always flying around the area. It was about 10 / 12 years ago when I first started taking notice of the art, became a big fan and saw an awful lot come and go over the years. It sort of grew from a hobby more than anything, and I started my own collection by buying prints and original pieces until one day I started doing my own sketches at home, just messing about trying to make stuff up. I had a car accident three and half years ago which put me in hospital for a very long time and during recovery I had a lot of free time on my hands. I used it as a therapy rather than sitting at home moping because I was immobile and couldn’t really do anything. I started doing sketches, making stencils and tried to come up with good solid ideas. I heard about the Can’s Festival in Leake Street and roped my pal into literally carrying me down there after swallowing loads of painkillers. He carried me into the car and drove me down to London. I managed to put a few pieces up that day and at one point, I had the artist Pure Evil holding me up while I was painting. But I needed to do it, I needed to get up and be involved, and from then on, it started taking over my life. It wasn’t the first time I’d been out but it was a defining moment. Walking in there seeing all the stuff that had gone up and a lot of the artists from my personal collection. Faile, Banksy, and D’Face all had fresh works on the walls and I had never really got to see fresh work - yeah, we got tips on new Banksy works but they were never still drying. I’d take a few snaps and flog them to the papers. But this was like pure, instant, I love this…and because I couldn’t move around like I used to, I decided I should change direction in what I was doing with my life.

Paparazzi photographers and street artists have much common so we’re sure it must have felt quite natural in some ways…well apart from not actually having a long lens camera! 

Over the years I’ve sneaked up on some of the most protected people in the world and banged (snapped) them. I’ve got past royal protection squads, large security systems, security personnel on film / tv sets. There’s nothing better than putting on camouflage and sitting in a tree for seven hours - then the moment happens, you hit the trigger and got a photo worth x amount of cash. It’s fun and it’s what I’m there to do. I just loved it, so when I couldn’t move around as much I needed to, I had to find something else although if I’m honest, not being able to run isn’t exactly a good thing for a graffiti writer. So now I have to be much more careful with what I doing. Also I have a little’un so I have to be protective of that as well.

Some of your work could be considered political, did you make an active decision to follow this path? 

Some of my work is political but really, just like anyone else, I like to say what I think and sometimes have a little pop against whatever I’m focused on at the time. I’m happy to have an opportunity to put something substantial up on a wall. I’ve been covering protests for many years and I’ve been pretty much everywhere, including Gaza, so I understand how things can be controlled and managed. Unfortunately in this age we seemed to have lost the ability to have a pop back, we have a police system that is really a military police system and its getting harder and harder to say what you want or put your point across. Especially when it comes down to your political stance on things, I’ve always liked the opportunity to put my point across and if I’m not happy, then I will fight back. We should always be able to say what we want though in saying that there are equally some people that maybe shouldn’t be able to say what they want, so it’s a difficult balance, but at the same time, my opinions also change on a daily basis and I think that’s the best way to be. Information changes so you gotta keep up with it.



Tuesday, 24 August 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews - Carl Cox (Issue 5)

We could gurn on and on about the absolute sparkling legend that is Carl Cox, and let’s face it - we will be getting joyously stuck in shortly, but before we go any further, something needs to be said about the man himself. Very few people if any within dance music have scaled quite such heights of international fame and adulation, and for many of us on the underground that presumed superstar status to be an inherently corrupting force, Carl is towering proof that belief, passion and fundamental humanity can take on the heady seductions of such extraordinary prestige and emerge pure, unscathed and ready for the next 20 years...

As a soul boy – how did it feel when Acid House hit you?

That’s a bloody good question that not many people have asked me! I grew up with black music where artists sang from the very depths of their soul. If someone was in love, they passionately wanted you to feel that love – if someone was getting divorced the record would not only mention divorce somewhere, but be infused with all the emotional pain they were feeling as they expressed their experience. So any record you heard from a soul perspective – you really explicitly heard, but when the drum machine and the 303 came along, people were like ‘so where’s the song, where’s the breakdown, where’s the middle 8, where’s the uplifting bit?’ It stepped directly outside the usual frames of musical reference, but for me personally, it was definitely something that was pushing on to the next phase of music. So when I, who was known for playing rare groove, funk, soul and hip hop started playing acid house and techno, people assumed I had completely freaked out and you could see them thinking ‘you know what – whatever you’re doing is never going to happen because soul music will always prevail’. I had a massive divide between the people coming to my parties right there, and between 1986 and 1987, all the rare groove and disco heads that used to come down to my nights stopped coming because of the change up in music, but simultaneously, I had a whole new generation piling down to hear the newest house and acid house. My direction was guided by whatever was driving things forward, and apart from anything, contemporary soul at the time had moved away from the traditional sound into swing beat and that whole MC Hammer, Bell Biv Devoe sort of stuff - it wasn’t me anymore, it wasn’t a sound I was feeling or aspired to. What I instinctively felt I did aspire to and did want to keep pushing was the sound that got me to where I am today. 

Do you equally feel that during that period as dance music began to unify all kind of genres beginning with house, soul, disco, funk and hip hop and then taking on Jamaican flavours, it helped unify wider communities in the UK...

For sure. If you look at the Ragga Twins who had a fusion between Jamaican patois toasting and calypso beats / rave sound, you suddenly had this amazing combination that hit urban black kids and white society in equal measure. That original crossover that the Ragga Twins harnessed was a defining moment in the next cultural movement in music, and for me, being black, I understood it while at the same time, it pushed all the buttons of the clubbing experience. That’s why the evolution of dance music at this time was so interesting to so many people, as they watched the music and the movement develop in sync. Well what happened next was drum n bass, jump up, UK garage and all that finally morphed into dubstep. But without what we were fighting for in the beginning, to get the new musical movement heard and energised, we wouldn’t have any of this today. It was a music that you really had to look for, that really represented your identity and the movement around you, and that is where real power in music as a cultural force lies. Someone like The Streets was just poetic in the way that he put a raw voice and lyrical honesty onto urban beats and people understood and felt that. Meanwhile , the sound of the 4/4 kick drum was still the key rhythm that made people want to move. It’s very primal and very easy to dance, wriggle and shake to the 4 beat, but in between, you have jazz and you have funk elements, soul elements, techno elements, ragga overtones – and everything within the circle of that 4/4 kick drum. So much is possible within that structure and it has this incredible ability to lock in references and ingredients from almost any musical genre while being universal and having this inherent power to make you move.


Graffitimundo present 'Buenos Aires Calling'

Graffitimundo is very proud to present 'Buenos Aires Calling' - the first collective show of Buenos Aires street art to hit London.

Taking place at Pure Evil gallery, the exhibition will feature leading artists from Argentina and give an insight into the Buenos Aires movement - one of the most exciting urban art scenes in the world.

The exhibition starts on Thursday, 26th August at 6pm and will last until Sunday 12th September.
There will be food and drink from our friends at Gaucho (delicious empanadas - think argentine cornish pasties), Argento wine (superb red and white wines), and Corona (frosty beers)

We hope to see you there.


Friday, 20 August 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews - Rero (Issue 5)

Consciously sidestepping an image based aesthetic to combat the visual saturation of our generation, French artist Rero uses his minimalist Verdana texts to challenge accepted notions of private property and the lines of ownership we draw around places, people, items and ideas alike. Barring his own words in a reflection both on censorship, self censorship, and questioning his own premise, his paste ups have an abandoned industrial feel to them that mirrors many of the derelict homes his posters find. We hit him up to find out a little more.


We've seen your posters around Hackney Wick, one of them refers to copyright, is copyright an issue for you as an artist?

The notion of Private property and copyright is one the basis of my work., In our society, and more specially in public space, this notion organize our  perception of the city and our comportments between us. I have the feeling that to interact with our environment, it was necessary for me to think about this notion.

You clearly have an eye for textures, how important is texture to what you do?

I really like the contrast and in the same time the integration between the texture of the wall and my simple typo-artwork. I always try to paste-up or stencil my texts in order to integrate them in architecture of the place and by this way to make sense. Without the texture and context of the wall, my artwork has no point to exist.

 We noticed on your website its states that you have a graffiti background, it also notes that you don't express the same values, would you mind elaborating on that?

Yes , I discovered painting in the late 90s with the 100 RANKUNE TEAM (SRE). Several pieces, let’s say “typical graffiti”, under the name of AURER, and few stories with the police who make me change techniques and adapt myself. Restrictions usually motivate me to change the shape of my expression and techniques. I really like playing with letters  as the graffiti artists and by the time, I tried to develop my work, more in a  general approach using universal code as verdant typography in order to affect more people and not only our acolytes who visit abandoned places. The common point between my artwork and graffiti that both of them are created with letters and are instal outside: but, the message is not the same. Graffiti environment is a Small world with too many codes and restrictions that I used to create also by myself in the past. Now, by using simple typography I feel more free to express new messages , more in communion with my spirit.


LSD Magazine Interviews - Isaac Cordal (Issue 5)

Blink and you’ll miss it. Turning the urban landscape in on itself with installations that are almost to subtle to be noticed while passing by in an individualistic frenzy, Isaac Cordal uses the grey functionality of cement to question the lack of colour and vibrancy in so much of our lives through his tiny figures. Dealing equally with the virtual eradication of the natural world within the urban matrix, he homes in on the anonymity of city life, the numb lack of feeling and the blindness to the realities of others as bureaucracy and blandness penetrate a once organic fabric of life. As his everymen spread out across the world in silent, downtrodden contemplation, we spoke to Isacc...

Formally trained or self taught? 

I studied Fine Arts in Pontevedra, a small town in northwestern Spain. How long you been an active artist? I have been working on my own projects since 1999.

Where and when did the Cement Eclipse campaign begin? 

I started making sculptures out of cement when I was at School of Art in 2002, but it was not until 2006 when I started to use them on the streets. The first place I left a Cement eclipses sculpture was in the city of Vigo

What’s the concept behind these small street pieces? 

Cement Eclipses is a critic/definition of our behavior as a social mass. This project intends to catch the attention on our devalued relation with the nature through a critical look to the collateral effects of our evolution. These scenes zoom in the routine tasks of the contemporary human being. They present fragments in which the nature, still present, maintains encouraging symptoms of survival. The precariousness of these anonymous statuettes, at the height of the sole of the passers, represents the nomadic remainders of an imperfect construction of our society. These small sculptures contemplate the demolition and reconstruction of everything around us. They catch the attention of the absurdity of our existence.


LSD Magazine Interviews - Free Humanity (issue 5)

Los Angles based artist Free Humanity has been carving a new sense of public consciousness and political awareness on the streets of Tinseltown. Pirating iconic imagery and jolting it into the modern
paradigm he uses both the classic and the pop to frame his striking statements about the pain and hypocrisy that society wreaks on individuals.

How long you been actively placing art on the streets and what first motivated you to take direct action?

I've been inspired by art in the streets since I was 8 and starting taking the bus to skate spots, but this year is when the opportunity to blast the Free Humanity idea came into works. My motivation comes from walking through the streets of L.A the past year and a half along with all my readings on Buddhists teachings. Also the interconnecting socio-economic- politic climate that I have grown up in and still see to this day.

Why did you choose the paste up poster format?

I like a lot of mediums but for the streets Stencils and Paste ups offer the biggest message in a artistic way without having to spend hours at one spot hand painting or using spray cans on a wall. Because all is impermanent.

Who were your mentors when you first started?

The streets, My sk8 Board. Siddhartha Gautama, Thich Nhat Hahn.

Tell us a little about the thought process behind your Chebama pieces?

This Piece is my commentary on the The 30,000 Troop escalation in Iraq as Obama was receiving the Noble Peace Prize a very Sad Irony in my eyes War Begets War. There is a Black Power Fist holding a U.S Missile on the Beret symbolizing the struggle of class and power and the grasp the opulent has on the Global War Machine there is also the 4 Pedal Lotus Flower crossed with the Obama Campaign Logo. The 4 Pedal lotus flower is based on the Buddhist teachings of the 4 noble truths.


LSD Magazine Interviews - Bruno Leyval (Issue 5)

LSD Magazine spoke to French artist Bruno Leyval about the things that inspire his heartfelt work...

Much of your work defines the human story and shows you have an affinity with mankind, did you consciously choose to record such emotion or did it just happen that way?

On my website I wrote 'My work is often centred on social struggles, fight of minorities, racism and on men and women who fight for their rights and those of their people. I still have the naivety to believe that the Art can change the world and I claim the side utopian of my work !' It's my way and my favorite medium is the black and the white because allows to go to the main, without flourish nor ornament. 

When your first starting painting on the streets of France did you envision painting walls around the world ?

I do not consider myself a street artist, for me the street is just one more medium to express myself, just as paper or canvas. So to answer your question, when I travel, I do not feel the need to leave my mark. I prefer to take pictures, fill me with the location, culture and people's lives and then transcribe my feelings in the quiet of my studio.

You've been painting in London on various occasions, do you think that London is an important city to place your works ?

Of course, London was a very important step for my work ! I loved painting at Cargo and Hackney Wick in 2009



Thursday, 19 August 2010

Graffiti Writers Warning 2 Big Brother's 'Sam' in Hackney Gazette

A number of recent street art graffiti enthusiasts that have subscribed to the gazette for decades have been keeping LSD up to date on related articles that feature in the local rag. Every time an art piece features in the gazette we get texts and pristine copies of the newspaper for our archives. So first we should say thank you to those wonderful 'oldish' ladies for closely scrutinising their favorite newspapers in search of the latest painted piece. Meanwhile back on the ranch, LSD recently reported that Team Eastside warned big brothers 'fake graffiti writer'  Sam to stay out of Hackney otherwise he'll get painted head to toe (SEE HERE). The story was picked up by the Hackney Gazette and for a change we got loads of texts from our eager 'old' ladies announcing that 'LSD is in the 'ackney' As most of you know we don't do car crash TV unless it mentions street art graffiti of course...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Street Artist Stik gets Tagged by 'Propety Specialists'

In this issue's (5) interview with street artist Stik we mentioned he comes from a political family background when in fact what Stik actually meant by family is the people, artists, and crews currently in his life...

He recently took the time out to paint a piece on a spot in Broadway Market, a spot which no-one has bothered to paint on or advertise in. Then some of Satan's clever little helpers spotted an advertising opportunity albeit at the behest of a local street artist. This is what Stik said

'This was a permitted piece about gentrification on Hackney Broadway on a hoarding that has been blank for years. Follow the disdainful eye-line and you see the disused shell of the east end cafe lying empty after the famed forced eviction around 5 years ago. Covered up illegally by estate agents sign within hours. To be continued...' 

Its funny how the little things can sometimes bring everyone together with but one objective. Street artists are now speaking of collecting and using the companies boards in street art installations. Though many of them are watching for the next MOVE! 

Judging from the poor decision to allow the boards to go public when they clearly have difficulty with spelling the word 'PROPETY' we just might be hearing more from this story...

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

LSD Magazine - issue 5 - Coming of Age

As the summertime rush kicks deeper into action and the sun drenched vibes flow hard, LSD is back to celebrate its’ first birthday in a blistering meteor shower of form, colour, image, sublime emotion, bassline thunder and the vivid kaleidoscope of the third eye. Hurling the visions and the understanding trapped in the shadows into the penetrating sunshine of imagination, this mammoth issue takes a wild and totally uninsured ride through some of the finest art, ideas, music, activism and spectacular lunacy channelling through society’s undercurrents and crystallises into well over 500 pages of sparkling goodness.......LET’S AV YA.....


Monday, 9 August 2010

Graffiti Writers Warning 2 Big Brother's 'Sam'

LSD Magazine has been anonymously contacted by a crew calling themselves Team Eastside on the subject of Big Brothers purported graffiti artist Sam. We cant say we're fans of the show but the crew has issued warnings against Sam doing graffiti in Hackney, Shoreditch and Brick Lane.

We're not entirely sure whats got the lads so upset but they claim that Sam is trying to get street credit by pretending to be a graffiti artist and doing a bad job of it. They even criticised Sam's large chest tattoo which features red roses and a scroll claiming 'no writer would have bog standard red roses painted on their chest like that'. No threats of violence but they have promised to ruin any work he tries to place in London's thriving street art graffiti capitals. 

Sam was unavailable for comment due to still being in the Big Brother house…

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Legend that is Graffiti Writer 'Drax WD' Confesses All

One of the oldest and globally recognised graffiti writers on the block confesses everything...

Father.. I sat up one night and made a Photo-shopped compilation of a bunch of my throw up's and then for no obviously acceptable reason I then knowingly displayed them on the internet. Possibly destroying the credibility of a once proud graffiti writing heritage. I knew it was wrong but I was weak and I couldnt help myself.

Father.. I have allowed myself to be seduced by a cult that calls itself Team Robbo. I know this group is a covenant of wrong-doers and I know I have "strayed from the path of righteousness".

Father! In my defence: I have thus far resisted the urge to sell canvases, do stencil work, make screenprints for re-sale, wear a trilby hat or tight jeans, use crass terms like "counter-culture" and/or "Street art" and talk about myself in the 3rd person. So please go easy on me when you decree my penance. Forgive me Father for I have sinned!
Drax WD

See more from the Legend that is Drax here...