When you are in Los Angeles and you see really colorful street art or images of smoking hot women, what does it mean? This Means Mar! Mar’s work has surely stopped traffic before (and I speak from experience), but little is known about the artist. Good news! As you read on, you will find out a little bit more about the man behind the babes!
Pompidou Centre Paris
According2G: How did you get started in street art?
Mar: I grew up in LA seeing people like Robbie Conal, Shepard Fairey doing political posters, and I was curious as to why they did it, but still too young to understand. In the good ole days of the Venice boardwalk, when graffiti was king, I’d go to skate with my friends and I would see guys throwing down colors, letters, names that were like another language to me. I just liked the energy around it, I guess. I remember seeing this RISK piece he did in Santa Monica and finally it clicked. I got it. I read ‘Risk’ and for the first time I understood. That word was more than a name; it was the epitome, the reason (to me) why they played that game. Crappy backyard spray painting ensued. Never could do it right. Too disconnected. So like any other graff flunkie, I picked up stencils. Paper bag stencils became my favorite. I had no name or reason for doing it other than I liked seeing funny stuff on the street or sidewalks around town.
A2G: Can you tell us some of your heroes/influences?
Meet Broadway’s newest star – Christopher J. Hanke. In his short career, he’s performed in stage productions of “The Full Monty,” “Rent,” ”Hair” and “Cry-Baby” and he’s currently co-starring in one of the biggest Broadway hits of 2011, “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. The musical revival features Christopher J. Hanke as the menacing bad guy Bud Frump acting along side Tony Winner John Larroquette and Daniel Radcliffe. He’s won rave reviews for his performance and he is poised to become Broadway’s next superstar. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to ask the megastar in the making a few questions and as you read on, if you haven’t already fallen in love with Christopher J. Hanke, you will by the end of this article.
According2G: How do you prepare for performing in front of a live audience each night? Do you have any rituals/totems/good luck charms?
Christopher J. Hanke: I arrive at the theater about an hour before the show starts. By rule, we have to be there no later than a half hour, which is 30 minutes before curtain, but the more time in the theater, in my dressing room prior to a show, the more relaxed I am. A pre-show shower to wipe off my day is a must, as is my pre-show meal, eaten in my dressing room. Something smallish and usually healthy. I warm up and steam my voice. Actually not in that order, steam first, then warm up. I don’t have a good luck charm but I do have a planters rock from my one and only waiter job in NYC that sits at my dressing room table. It reminds me that when things get tough at work, I need to remember I could always be waiting tables.
A2G: What’s the first thing you do when you get off stage?
There’s a good chance if you’ve been to a metropolitan city recently, you’ve seen the work of ASVP on your travels. Their work is up in cities such as London, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Hawaii, Zürich, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, just to name a few cities. Their current exhibit “Down To Earth” is now showing through the month of September at the Black Book Gallery in Colorado and features over 40 works from ASVP. ASVP usually let their art speak for itself, but recently, I was fortunate enough to get the chance to ask ASVP a few questions. Here’s what they had to say…
According2G: How did you get involved with street art?
ASVP: We did a few projects with Faile back around 2000 and it opened our eyes up to the street art scene.
A2G: What does ASVP stand for and what is the mission of your art?
Desire Obtain Cherish "I Can't Wait" acyrlic on printed canvas
One of the things that turns me on about street art is the skill it takes to paint the town red (sometimes literally) while the rest of the world is sleeping. Another thing that I enjoy are the clever jabs at society that street artists take in hopes of bringing social awareness to new levels. It’s very rare to sucessfully pull off these two things, but Los Angeles based street artist Desire Obtain Cherish not only does it but is at the top of the street art movement as a result of his great art. Like any masterful artist, DOC does not just do one thing. He’s also involved in a dubstep project called Obtain. You can hear some of his music and even download some free tracks too! Desire Obtain Cherish’s first solo show is showing at Lab Art in Los Angeles (through September 14, 2011), so do not miss it under any circumstance. Desire Obtain Cherish was kind enough to answer a few questions for all of us and without any further delay, the DOC is in!
DOC at Lab Art
According2G: How did you get involved with street art?
Desire Obtain Cherish: A street artist named BAMP asked me to go out pasting with him one night. I was deep into making music at the time and thought, sure I’ll go paste some stuff to support my dubstep project called OBTAIN. I had been toying with DESIRE OBTAIN CHERISH for sometime. Mainly thinking about the ridiculous nature of our society and how we consume.
Desire Obtain Cherish 'Type 2', edition of 3, syringes filled with acrylic, in plastic tray, framed.
A2G: Where did the name Desire Obtain Cherish come from?
DOC: The 3 words together derived from what I consider to be our natural cycle of self will. Originally it was Desire Obtain Covet. But I felt no one would understand the word ‘Covet,’ so I kept it simple. We Desire. We Obtain. We Cherish. Very often we Destroy. Only to start it all over again. The word Destroy seemed a bit negative, so I left it with Desire Obtain Cherish.
A2G: Tell us about your first time… as a street artist.
I’m giving you fair warning: Penguin Prison is a group you are going to be hearing a lot about in the coming years. The band, whose music can be described as an electro hybrid of Prince and Michael Jackson, is the brainchild of New York’s Chris Glover. In under 2 years, Chris Glover has remixed artists as from Kylie Minogue to Jamiroquai and he’s about to release his debut album in the US on October 18, 2011. The album will be released in the UK & Ireland, most of Europe (aside from France, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg), and Australia on September 5, 2011! There’ll also be an exclusive, limited edition HMV double CD, plus exclusive bonus content with the album download from iTunes and Amazon. Penguin Prison is notorious for giving their fans free remixes, so you should definitely stay connected to them on Facebook or Twitter. Before you read an interview I conducted with lead singer Chris Glover, get to know their music with their latest single, the infectious “Fair Warning.”