Photos courtesy of Smear.
Cristian Gheorghiu aka Smear started off as a street artist in Los Angeles. He quickly became one of the most prolific artists on the scene. He successfully made the transition from the streets to galleries and then he got busted by the police, years after he stopped doing street art! The arrest made headlines across the country, but the full story was never revealed – until now. Your opinion on the legality of street art might be mixed, but one thing is sure, when you find out what happened to Smear, you’ll definitely agree that there is a major problem with our justice system. I’d like to thank Smear for his honesty and for opening up to tell his side of the story. Please note new readers, there is some rather harsh language so if that kind of thing offends you, perhaps you won’t want to keep reading. With the fact that you are on this site, you’ll already know that I use harsh language a lot and while the internet is still unregulated, you won’t see censorship here. I am not even fond of putting any type of disclaimer on this site, but you never know who is reading – so please take that under advisement before you continue.
Flashbacks by Smear
According2G: Tell us about your background. How did you get involved in Street Art?
Smear: I’ve been scribbling on things out in the streets since I was 13. I started up and down my block in the East Hollywood section of Los Angeles and pretty much kept at it since then. Eventually it lead me to this thing that has been dubbed “street art.” For the record, I have not comitted an act of graffiti or “street art” since very early in 2007 (you never know who is going to read this interview).
Another Hot LA Summer by Smear
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Photo by G. Art by Army of One.
Give Peace a Chance by Army Of One
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it must be told. Artist Army of One was arrested in New York on April 14, 2011 and was charged with weapon possession and graffiti. Though he is out on bail, he still faces court dates and all the other rigmarole that comes with being arrested. You can see an interview Jef Campion (aka Army of One) did regarding the situation here. I am literally sick to my stomach with this news. I’ve spent some time with Jef and I have a bunch of things to say.
First off, he is one of the nicest people you’ll EVER meet. He has got such a big heart and though he puts up street art, which can be a legal gray area, he does it not to promote his own brand – he does it to draw attention to the plight of children around the world who are faced with disease and illness. For over 26 years, Jef graciously donates a lot of his free time volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House, which benefits children who are stricken with life threatening illnesses. If that doesn’t paint a more accurate portrait of the real person Campion is, try this on for size – he’s also a firefighter!
Campion spent an extensive amount of time at Ground Zero after the tragedies of 9/11 and if anything, he is a hero, not a criminal. He carries around a gravity knife in the event of an emergency, because he’s a firefighter! Jef couldn’t and wouldn’t hurt a fly so I speak on behalf of the street art community and we DEMAND that all charges against Jef Campion be dropped. The only crime that has been committed is that Jef has had to go through this terrible experience.
Army of One and Geoffrey Dicker
Does this look like the face of a criminal? The answer is NO, because it is not the face of a criminal. Campion has vowed that in the face of this arrest, he will carry on in the name of children in need everywhere. From one Geoff to another Jef, I commend you!
Please spread the word to get these ridculous charges against Jef Campion dropped. Join the Army of One!
Give Peace A Chance!
Photo courtesy of 1xRun. Art by Askew.
In case you hadn’t heard, graffiti artist Revok was arrested in Los Angeles and sentenced to 180 days in jail. To help pay for legal fees against these ridiculous charges (remember: writing on walls = bad and screwing the public with shady business transactions on Wall Street = perfectly fine), the art community is banding together. 1xRun is offering a super limited print from artist Askew and all the proceeds will be donated to Revok’s legal defense fund. The print is only $60 and it comes numbered and signed by the artist. Only 150 have been made, so this is a steal! Please help this cause and add to your art collection by visiting 1xRun and purchasing this limted edition print. Please spread the word about these ridiculous charges against Revok by tweeting with the hash tag #freeREVOK. Remember, what good is having a voice if you don’t use it?
Photo by G.
Nathan Williams of Wavves
This quote was spoken 2 days ago, but since I very seldom read the news, this was news to me. Wavves lead singer Nathan Williams (pictured above with white guitar) was arrested in Germany on a marijuana related offense. This is what Nathan Williams had to say about it:
“We got stopped at a roadside check and I had six bags in the car and they only found one– the fucking dogs never work. I bet it’s high from all the fumes. Anyways, they put me in a cell which was a little nerve-wracking. More so because I was an American in a German jail and not because I have long gay hair. I did wrestle for four years in high school, so I could have fucked somebody up. So yeah, then I gave em 200 and walked out… not a terrible deal. And now I’m getting high again.”