DAFIND: Jason Limon

A Taste of Limon : Found Artist Defind

Jason Limon’s artwork has been dubbed pop surrealism, categorized as fantasy, and called abstract. The artist himself, however, remains hesitant to apply a label to his work. Indeed he should be. Limon’s work; at times whimsical, at times haunting, defies base description and refuses to be pigeon-holed. I don’t want to call my art anything specific. It is whatever it is to the people who view it. All of those categories fit, but I’d rather not apply any kind of label on my work. It just is. The 38-year-old San Antonio native found early success as a graphic designer. Having sought out a formal education for such, and displaying an obvious talent, Limon soon realized that the formality and structure didn’t fulfill his creative needs. Limon would see visions, dreams that seemed to suggest a narrative to Limon, and it became clear that this story needed to be told through his painting. The paintings I do are a story, and the vision usually comes to me right before I go to sleep at night. It’ll pop into my head, really clear, and I have to get up and sketch it out before I lose it. I generally have a hard time remembering things; I usually forget things [in detail] pretty quickly. But these visions I see stay with me, at least until I’m able to get the concept down on paper. Then I’ll come back later and paint it. Limon’s work evolved from his earlier paintings in 2008 to his current Blood/Nectar series, moving from a more subdued tone to more vivid, vibrant, and contrasting color harmonies. It’s this juxtaposition that lends an intriguing duality, simultaneously cheerful while dreadfully ominous. Most of his work features a curious creature, often mistaken to be an owl, in which is appropriately representative of the artist’s watchful and observant nature (on Limon’s personal website, he describes himself as an observer of our world, silently scanning its elements and the beings who move among them) while also raising the question: is this creature keeping a watchful eye, or is he hiding from something? And if he is hiding, what is he hiding from?

The creature is definitely me, and it’s interesting that you would notice that it is watching over all that is going on around him, but is also hiding from it. The story behind the work, and each piece, to me, is just another part of the story, somewhere in the middle; but it’s about plants, and the growing war between plants, and our environment, and industrialization, and whatever is going on in the world that impedes nature. I never intended to be green by any means; it’s just a storyline that popped into my head, and as I started painting these scenes, I would have more ideas for more scenes. It was like I couldn’t keep up with them. Given the narrative quality to Limon’s work, and the abstract presentation of those ideas, one might surmise that the artist is concerned with how his story might be received. Transcending other artwork that might carry a message or idea contained inside of itself as a stand alone piece, Limon’s work, when considered as a collection, tells an episodic narrative, while still maintaining its ability to be enjoyed and received individually. Yet, to hear the artist tell it, his ability to get his story out and exorcise it from his mind supercedes any concern of public consumption. I can’t and I don’t really think about how people are going to receive it or think about it. If they get it’ and can follow the narrative, that’s awesome, but if they don’t necessarily see what’s going on and just think it’s something cool to look at, that’s okay too. It’s way more important for me to get this story out. Sometimes, with some of the pieces and the pictures on my Flikr page, I’ll leave comments to help explain what’s going on in the painting if I feel like the concept in a given piece might be a little too broad for most people to understand. But generally, if someone just looks at it and thinks it’s interesting to look at, and that’s all they see, that’s fine. Maybe someday I’ll get around to putting the story down in print form so it’s easier for people to understand. Right now though, I’m just driven to get as much of these images out as I possibly can. With as prolific as Limon is (he estimates it takes approximately three weeks from concept to completion), and given the vast potential for his Plants vs. Society concept, would he eventually FIND an ending to this story? It’s interesting; I don’t think this story could ever have a true ending. The story, as I see it and experience it, if I live long enough to see that come to a finality, then that story will end, but everything always changes, so if that story does end, there will just be something else that happens, and either a new story will begin, or this one will simply continue on.

To view and purchase artwork from Jason Limon, log onto his website at

Claudio Ethos

The sun starts to set on Los Angeles illuminating the dust that hangs between buildings. Trash swirls in a parking lot, scraping asphalt to run free with temperate winds that dash around the side of an old brick building that faces an artists new vision. Born from prolific dreams that haunt him two weeks at a time, he remembers the atmosphere, the contrast, the drama released in the expressions of figurative incantations; which he relays in a sixty foot mural that stands next to the never ending L.A. traffic circuiting through downtowns Main Street.

A plain white cargo truck patiently sits waiting to be transformed into a Mobile Art Gallery. Within the truck several visionaries exchange anecdotes trying to define Claudio Ethos philosophy, vision, technique, and methodology. Claudio listens patiently while he lives the moment letting his answers evolve as the words fall from his lips. He refuses to define his art, and feels as if his most memorable piece is the one that is about to be born from his subconscious. He believes art is about process, discovery, and letting go of yourself until you can wield the medium of a form unconsciously-until it feels right. There are these Balloon makers in São Paulo that do not even know they are artists. These balloon makers fascinate me because they innocently spend months creating a balloon that they decorate with intricate paintings-fantastic paintings-paintings that take as much time as the ones shown in the finest galleries. They create them only to set them free, and not restrict the pure beauty of art to being confined to any one person-to be completely free of ego. That’s like an orgasm to me.

The conversation spills foreign beers pried open with a cigarette lighter, and we settle on the conclusion that São Paulo is about four times the size of Los Angeles. Ever since Claudio has been here in LA, he has had nightmares. I dream of my mothers brother. He sits with me casually at first, and then, his face starts to melt. His skin slowly seeps from his face and his eyes sag out of their sockets and ripple-ebb towards the floor. This is completely scary to me each night. I love it. I love the vividness of these nightmares. Everything is so real. It’s so exciting to me. While Claudio could reproduce realistic images, he prefers to embrace abstractive tendencies, and explore the more spiritual side of the artistic process. Many of his figures take on characteristics of people struggling through a cramped, concrete megalopolis. His inspirations are rooted in the streets of São Paulo where gangs of graffiti artists from his youth are revered as heroes stumbling masterpieces throughout the city. He does not let himself fall into categories, and rejects assertions that he is a surrealist, or has influences, or even subscribes to any one philosophy. Instead he forges his own black-and-white dreamscapes for public exhibitions, murals, and gallery shows. He does not approach the canvas with an agenda to make a statement, but lets the art manifest itself to his audience. Generated from experience, dreams, and memory Claudio Ethos remains essentially tied to an uncontrollable figurative spirit that he breaks into pieces, adjusts, and elaborates on; he blends suffused realism into detailed abstraction.

Claudio is shy about the fact that he has exhibited in Italy, France, Netherlands, Austria, The States, and Paraguay. He would never tell you that he studied formally for two years and then found it so boring that he left the arena of formal education to fervently work on art he deemed exciting. He prefers to work with dimensions closer to three meters and feels that producing art for galleries is an entirely different type of communication, and feels as if he is very young to the gallery scene. He has had five solo exhibitions to date, yet still feels as if he is somewhat restricted by the space of a gallery. Although he passionately expresses that he would like to experiment with more conceptual art in the future, Claudio embraces each moment as it’s own entity and slowly smiles as he grasps onto ideas that he enjoys. Exhausted from a six-day quest to paint his largest piece ever constructed, he finally gives up that he loves Max Ernst and existentialism, but asserts that it’s not the basis for his work, nor does it have any correlation to how or what he creates. Throughout talking to him one begins to understand that he passionately paints for survival, and lives through his creations physically and spiritually. Claudio’s dreams will continue to haunt audiences universally, forcing viewers to synthesize his figurative abstractions and interpret the message the art ultimately dictates.

Dirty jeans fray the sidewalk of Main Street; traffic brakes dusk, and traces of the Santa Ana’s spin Spanish party dresses whipping in the window frame across from Claudio’s massive mural. Intrigued, inquisitive passerby’s casually drift below the hydraulic lift Claudio paints from, and suddenly he spies a lady carrying several blue, black and orange balloons. He whistles down to us pointing enthusiastically. We pan right slow motion in the sun as the wind soothes the heat; and it feels much like a dream: the lady, with the balloons; Claudio’s creation containing the same balloons. Claudio, telling us previously, with conviction, his fascination with artistic freedom, and his obsession with the balloon culture in Brazil. We stand, in between, all this circumstance and speak of art, culture, food, spirits, and dreams, and love every minute. We all share the experience of Claudio constructing his newest image, the evolution of experience married with the excitement of execution plagues all of us and we start saying goodbyes and exchanging contact information. Then, disappear into a well-lit Los Angeles, reflecting on Claudio, his humility, and the future to come. We embrace Claudio’s spirit and are certain that we will connect with him again soon.

To view & purchase artwork from Claudio Ethos, please visit his website at


We Found Bill Ogden

Some people say that he died, some people say that he disappeared, but the truth is… Bill Ogden is healthy as an ox, fulfilling his artistic dream in a place that he loves the most, his home! Completely surrounded by the very beauty that harnesses his inspiration.

Since the early sixties, Ogden’s original nouveau style has inspired Southern California kitsch. Often referred to as one of the most influential and imitated artists of all time, this icon, called the “Godfather of surf realism” dominated the surf community creating promotional ads for Hobie Surfboards, Jantzen Inc., and being regularly featured in every prominent surfing publication, including a four year consecutive run of back covers for Surfer Magazine. From earning money shining shoes in front of a gambling hall as an eight-year-old, to being moved up a grade in school and selling his work during his art class, to hitchhiking up and down the coast, to turning down a $50,000 “career making” job opportunity, to the women, to the waves, and to the beer, Ogden’s journey has been one of excitement and turbulence, all in the name of preserving artistic freedom. But freedom, as we know, isn’t always free. Forgotten, blackballed, ostracized from a scene he helped create, Bill Ogden is back and ready to unleash his original vision with a whole new theme to an arts community that has been far less decadent with his absence.

Ogden is a man who, thanks largely to the greed and exploitive efforts by those who attempted numerous times to harness this free spirit, has been misunderstood, mired in controversy, misrepresented, and he’s plenty pissed off about it.

So FIND invited Bill to come stop by the studio for a little chat. Nineteen hours later, it seemed that we’d barely scratched the surface.

“Whereas before I was trying to show the feeling of being a surfer on the beach, living that free life and all of the stuff I did that wasn’t direct surf art, in that I did beach art: the seaweed, the seashells, the view, the waves, the sand, the rocks, the view looking up the coast, well now I’m showing that same thing only, the entire universe,” explains Ogden.

“Right now, I’m working on this theme putting humanity, the planet earth, and the universe all in the same box. Because, people don’t think about it that way, I don’t know about you, but when I think about the earth, I don’t really think about it as being part of the universe. I don’t think anybody thinks about it that way. You only think about it as far as the atmosphere, the outer atmosphere; that this is like a capsule, and we are not part of the stars, and the novas, and the whole deal. And yet we are! So I’m putting all of this together. And then the painting [I’m currently working on], is showing humanity, earth, and deep space, all being one. It’s all one! In doing this, I think that we get a better understanding and more of a respect for ourselves; that we are literally part of that star up there. That star is in our space, because we are in the universe.”

This sense of oneness with the universe reveals a sensitivity, a humility, that seems at once admirable considering all the trials Ogden has faced, and at the same time understandable, perhaps providing a glimpse at the kind of mindset necessary to navigate such choppy waters without losing something of yourself. As his success grew, so too did the list of opportunists, all far more business savvy and driven by greed. Hungry and eager, his enthusiasm and drive to carve his own professional niche in the art world would lead Ogden to be taken advantage of on numerous occasions. Companies would commission specific works and later manipulate them in the name of mass production, compromising their integrity, and offering no additional compensation. Rights were stolen and improperly sold by those who had no authority to do so.

Still, through it all, Ogden remained steadfast in his righteousness oftentimes seeing himself as the reluctant hero reminiscent of those action films from the thirties and forties.

“That is why the bad guys don’t like me, because they don’t know what I’m gonna do. They know I have the ability, but I also have good reason, and they gave it to me. I’m probably never gonna have to expose those guys, because just me resurfacing, and coming through it all, usually runs them out of town. All you’ve gotta do is be true to yourself.”

If resilience, perseverance, and the willingness to give back define a hero’s true character, perhaps the archetype is appropriate. While he says emphatically that he has “loved every part of this adventure,” and only cites standing up for himself more early on in his career as the only thing he would do differently, Ogden is clearly concerned about his legacy and its accuracy in the face of lies, rumors, and assumptions that abound about his work.

“My work proves everything I’m saying, one way or another. If someone were to listen to what I’m saying and then look at my art, that would confirm everything.”

“When I was a wee small kid, I felt a responsibility that this is my duty, it’s my job. I felt that if I didn’t do it, one way or another, there would be something missing… I’d be leaving something out. As crude and primitive as my work is, and my work is very primitive, it was untrained, I was just doing it how I could. It wasn’t by the book, or from a teacher…I was trying to find my own way. Judgement IS the art. So, if you are doing a piece of art that you are struggling with, you are making choices, and that is teaching you how to look, how to draw and how to see, and it’s forcing you to use your imagination. Working from imagination, from life, and my experiences runs my machine. It keeps me going. This is what I want people to see and know, that I did not come up with this overnight. It developed through my whole lifetime. If younger artists see that, then they will see the reason they should keep going and keep trying and work more from life, imagination, and experience.”

And yet, Ogden’s concern of his legacy seems less ego driven, and more about how it will affect those who appreciate his art, but perhaps more importantly, the up-and-coming generation of would-be Bill Ogdens. ”Young people today are totally cool with my art. It’s not even retro. They dig it, because it’s still apart of their lives. It’s timeless. They can still relate to it, they represents so well. Because it’s free. I’m doing it for the people. We glorify the craft, we glorify the surfing, not one guy. That’s why I have a hard time signing my stuff, I don’t really wanna take credit for it because it’s actually coming from them. They inspired me. And it will inspire the kids coming up. It’s a perfect example that it does work. If you try it, if you do it, and you’re brave enough to experiment with it, you will learn to grasp it. All you need to know is that it IS possible and you will get more comfortable with it. If you have the desire… desire is the biggest deal… if you have desire, you can do anything.”

To view and purchase artwork from Bill Ogden, please visit

If you own any original art, rare prints, posters by Bill Ogden, please contact FIND Art Magazine to help build his archives. Also to be used for the production of his book with the completion of his entire story.



Freddy Sam, South Africa

Freddy Sam created his first mural on a wall five minutes from his house. This wall was constructed around the suburbs in South Africa because of the growing trepidation white South Africans felt towards black South Africans. This anxiety was manifested from a shift in governmental control, and many predicted a revolt resulting from the oppression that the black South Africans had been experiencing. Sam ventured out of his suburban community, past the security guards, through the streets, to an unfamiliar neighbor’s house and asked politely if he could paint a mural on his wall. In this process, he transcended class, opened dialogue between races, and fell in love with his community. Freddy Sam had found his audience.

Prior to this project, he created art for purely personal satisfaction. After this first interaction as a white South African experiencing the real South Africa, he asked his parents to take him out of the school he was in, and transfer him from a private school to a public school. As an adolescent, Sam found it difficult to understand exactly what was occurring in South Africa, and more importantly, what his role was in this turbulent, politically unstable society. This first mural solidified his realization that, art was a real gift for me because I had all these complications, and frustrations within my country, and I could use art to have a more sensitive approach, to understand, learn, and dialogue. Painting on the street provided me the most direct communication with the people because I had found an avenue to talk to them. The art became a common ground, an established equality amongst the dividing socio-economics.

While the rest of Sam’s contemporaries attended traditional Universities, he became a socially charged entrepreneur. His scope and vision was shaped by, what I do with what I love, and how I love popular culture within South Africa. I wanted to make a lot of money so I could fund campaigns and projects that represent these philosophies that I believe in “not just me” a lot of youth in South Africa believe in. Black, white, we are all striving toward equal playing ground, and want to forget about the negative history. He called his clothing line: Muthaland, and was determined to spread his message and vision throughout South Africa by finding sponsors, and completing as many different tasks as it took to run his business successfully. Unfortunately, he learned very quickly that many of his investors were only interested in selling to the masses, and cared little about his vision, philosophies, or ideals. They told me quite frankly that they were going to stop making the clothing proudly in South Africa. Start importing my products from China, sell to the 40 million black people in this country. Not someone who cares about the message on the t-shirt, but rather someone who just needs one. Sell it to them for half the price, but sell ten times more of them. What I like to call the bullshit behind the magic curtain. Sam soon learned that he did not want to necessarily work with all the high profile investors and requested the opportunity to buy back his stock in order to gain more creative control. Sam’s request was granted and he downscaled from twenty-six stores to six. But, these were stores that understood me. I’d rather have one hundred people who get me than one million that make me rich. That is not my objective.

Part of Sam’s entrepreneurial promotions included a street team consisting of break-dancers, musicians, and graffiti artists. These artists received free clothing in exchange for promoting his brand. He called his team: Write on Africa. Sam handpicked these artists ensuring each person stood for what the brand stood for. I invited graffiti artists to Johannesburg when I was eighteen to paint the first legal graffiti mural. Because it was the first technically legal graffiti mural, I got a lot of media attention. Because of this attention, Sam’s brand was broadcasted by several different media outlets, which, in turn, resulted in corporate companies, and established brands “requesting graffiti murals for clubs, boardrooms, backdrops, birthday parties, and university campuses. For four years Sam was a graffiti manager. He managed artists that were ambassadors of his vision.

During this time Sam did not make any money from his clothing line, but found it quite lucrative to work as an art manager. However, being an art manager was not where Sam’s convictions lied. He then partnered with a friend in effort to enable him to focus on the creative side of the business, while his partner handled general operations. Together they set up a new business called, Word of Art. The idea was to be freelance agents for freelance artists. So all those really talented artists, film directors, photographers, and illustrators who did not want to work for a traditional agency because they wanted to do their own thing, in their own style, would be free to do so. This gave Sam time to pitch boardrooms of advertising agencies and tell them, we were working with all these artists, but at the same time, I am the creative director and had designed a campaign for them; making use of all our brilliant artists. Quickly his partner urged him to capitalize, and offer his services to everyone they could find. Once again, Sam refused and held true to his vision. This resulted in a split with his partner and led Sam to other artistic endeavors.

Sam had acquired an industrial building, which had been a clothing factory, that was now half empty, because the clothing industry was being underbid and moved to China. Within this building Sam started his new project. I invited a whole bunch of other creatives-after three weeks there were seven of us, after three months there were twenty of us, after two years there were over a hundred people. For the first year the landlord told me that I was the creative director, that I have a great vision, and I should explore that vision, and that I must host events, and do it for free. The whole time I thought I had hit the jackpot because here is a patron supporting my vision. But it wasn’t. He had the idea of letting the artist create the flower garden, and then the flower garden belonged to him. So I begged him for a contract.

I quickly realized what we had created was very important. I started thinking if we could embrace this spirit, in ten years we could be the only building in the world that still has this artistic integrity, and the rent would still be inexpensive. Because in New York there is nothing like this, in Berlin there is nothing like this. It was specific to Cape Town. People from New York had moved to Cape Town just to be part of it. But I soon learned I would be given no contract. With no contract Sam still wanted to be involved as an instigator, Because building creative community is my number one passion as an artist. I get more kick out of seeing things take on a life of their own organically. Allowing things to blossom.

Sam currently runs a new-brow, urban art Gallery that hosts affordable exhibitions in Woodstock, South Africa. Although he does not want to be a gallerist, this does provide him a platform to build a community of artists. He wants his gallery to have an atmosphere that artists can come and create art, meet other artists, and feel the vibe. Otherwise I’m just a preacher. I want to create a space, have people interact with it, and then shift perception. Sam’s next phase is to generate money to do free art classes in his gallery in support of two contemporaries: Jim and Willard from Zimbabwe. Their passion is teaching children to paint workshop facilitating, and he would like to help them find a career in this. They do pop up art seminars from their car during the week, then have a gallery show on Saturday, and it’s sustainable. If you want to be involved, you come to the exhibit. Not like send me money, or help me with the PR. I’m not interested in that….that will come, if someone really wants to make a difference, they can come meet one of the kids.

Sam also is concerned with proving art that can make a difference in his community, and is taking a very scientific approach: A close friend of mine came to me with this idea. There are thirteen schools in South Africa with a zero percent pass rate, which means no one is passing an all time low. There are rural schools, meaning some kids walk barefoot for three hours just to come to school. Furthermore, there are schools in the city with the same problem. What if we had an international project in which we had thirty artists from around the world; and within one month we went on a road trip and we hit every school and we painted them: classrooms, corridors, inside, outside, an extreme makeover. I want to paint these thirteen schools and go back in one year and see if there is any pass rate. If there is one pass rate we have proved there is one per cent change. Ultimately, Sam is looking for this to be a global art project in which 50,000 participants look at one problem, a case study; can growth be shown where art is employed as the chief tool for change?

Sam’s artistic philosophy stems from the attitude that, “Africa will teach the world simple philosophies: goodness, communities, family, right, wrong on a very simple basis. The world we live in now has lost sight of what is right and what is wrong. But in the village it’s very simple. I love that, and I want to promote that, and the way I know how to do that is through art. Sam is not taking native African art and exporting it. But applying it to his community, which entails creating public art to inspire social change.

“I think art is a catalyst for change. A lot of the art we see today has to do with popular culture. It’s a bit recycled, a bit washed out, but it’s aesthetically pleasing, and we can identify with this because we are so used to all these images in our life, and when someone reproduces that in an art form, it’s easy, it’s accessible, I get it. If there is a punch line, or if there is not a punch line, if I like the colors, or if I like the graphic, it’s modern, you know? But I think there needs to be a revolution in art concerning substance. Can art make a difference? Can we use radical ideas for radical change in the world we live in? Maybe the solution is radical. At the moment the world views art as it’s number one phenomenon. More and more people are becoming artists, it’s the new rock star, but on the same side, do we need more rock stars, or do we need more Bob Dylans? Perhaps we need to look at the world more as a marathon race, and not as a sprint. Perhaps we need to preserve our culture. There needs to be more jazz in this world. Jazz in the sense of real emotion, sensitivity, and rawness in what we produce in art being reflective of us as humans and honest with ourselves. Simply put: we need to inspire ourselves, to inspire others, to create change.”

Freddy Sam was brought to Southern California by a grant sponsored by the Do ArT Foundation. To view & purchase artwork from Freddy Sam and get more information about his founderies, please visit: | |


Michael Pukac

DAFIND – Found Artist Defined

When did you realize that you can make money from your art? “As a kid, in fourth grade, I sold drawings of nudies to the older kids on the school bus for 50¢.”

If you haven’t heard of artist Michael Pukac, trust me, you will. Covered in paint and grinning from ear to ear, he’s quickly become the hot new darling of the Los Angeles art scene. His art is striking, but it’s his fearlessness that has assured his success. Fear of failure has never stopped Pukac from going after his dream. He first came to Los Angeles from the East Coast for no more than a year before returning back. Two years later, a series of childrens’ book illustrations, and a savings account with enough money to return back to Los Angeles again for a second take. Only this time armed with his new girlfriend and right- brained manager Dicapria.

In the beginning, Pukac made sure that no matter what he did, it involved painting. He explained, “My rule was to ‘live by the paintbrush’. You can’t ever think ‘I’m too good for that.” He would accept any job that involved painting, even sign painting. Surviving in Los Angeles isn’t easy, it takes planning, a little luck and a lot of hard work. “Always plan ahead,” Pukac said, “In Los Angeles you have to have your game plan together to be able to live off of your art.” It wasn’t until he discovered “live painting” that really opened the doors for him, “It was the best thing that ever happened to my career.” Extremely prolific, evolving now from struggling artist to having his art fully support both of them in just three years, finishing more paintings in a week than most artists do in a year, “I’ll do three paintings in four hours,” Michael says of his live painting performances. Breathing dedication and working a minimum of six days a week, he will work on 25 paintings at a time, spending 15 minutes on each before methodically moving onto the next. “It’s very, very efficient,” he explained. “I have to keep that momentum.”

Pukac’s style is fresh on the West Coast. “I came out here and realized that no one’s work looks like mine. Here in Los Angeles, they LOVE different. That’s why I feel so at home in the gallery scene here.” Pukac’s paintings defy logic, and he gets a kick out of painting flawed scenarios, such as a woman suspended by hot air balloons which are supported by candles. Pukac laughs, “it’s going to be a short trip!” He borrows from serious classical pieces then adds his own humorous, clever twists. His artists’ statement describes his paintings as “…playful – heartfelt yet irrational. They are like  romantic absurdities or well-spoken riddles with no answer…” He’s amazingly well-read and brilliant, and his paintings reflect his intellect. I asked Pukac if he paints fast. He answered, “Mother Nature doesn’t spend time testing before a release. I paint the way that nature works, fast and   without worry. Quality is inevitable.”

Do you consider yourself to be successfull? “Yes, every day I wake up stoked. I had a day job once a long time ago, but to work for yourself is awesome. Some days I complain that I haven’t had a day off in months, but then remember how lucky I am. I have an ultimate goal in mind, and I am still running that marathon.”

To view & purchase artwork from Michael Pukac, please visit
Interview by Maria Brophy, art consultant and author of
A blog that helps creative people to design the lifestyle of their dreams.



Mear One

My Adventures Up and Down the Ladder

Mear One is a true artist – exceptionally skilled, incredibly intelligent, totally unique, and absolutely devoted to his craft. His murals and graffiti pieces have made him world-renowned. As a graffiti artist, his work goes far beyond the typical graffiti art that we see on bridges and street corners and has been elevated into the realms of “high art.” His works of art have a style and sophistication that is unmatched by any of his street art contemporaries. Mear One has had art in his life for as long as he can remember. Born to an artistic mother in Santa Cruz in 1971, he moved to Los Angeles at age three and has lived there ever since. He has been creating art for as long as he can remember. We visited Mear while he was in Los Angeles, busy creating a colossal tribute mural to artist Alphonse Mucha.

Who was Alphonse Mucha, and why did you choose to paint his portrait on a 30ft wall?
Alphonse Mucha was a late 19th, early 20th century artist, painter, and graphic designer from France. He represents an age of artists that have affected me in multitudes of ways. I feel that that his age of art was the one that produced the highest painting and was the strongest example of how people and artists can re-invent themselves and not fall into simulacrum and repetition. There were no re-do’s, or makeovers or, carbon copies, instead, there was a lot of originality and a lot of unique thought going on. It was almost like a golden age of Renaissance thinking but modernized. People like MC Escher and Maxfield Parrish have highly influenced me and have blown-my-mind!  A lot of Los Angeles’ architecture of that era has also influenced me, like the Los Angeles Observatory, Downtown City Hall, Bullocks Wilshire – these things are grandiose structures that I’ve always been very close to and to the ideology behind them: science, psychology, philosophy, mathematics, symbolism and mysticism. Alphonse Mucha was the quintessential artist of this time period because he painted pure, absolute beauty! In a sense everyone loves art because it’s beautiful, but to me, he embodies everything that is beautiful because he was able to reproduce beauty time-and-time again and view it in the most beautiful way.

There are a lot of ideas of peace and love in your work; do you think that your work has a positive effect on people?
Absolutely! Although sometimes I paint really negative shit –nightmarish images of violence, death, plague, famine, and deterioration to shock people. I want my work to be like looking in a mirror. If you don’t like what you see then you have to change yourself – it’s a reminder to redefine oneself and ones reality, or at least to question it, or to ask a question, or to become serious! If I can inspire people to look inwardly, or at least involve themselves in a conversation that asks questions, then I feel that my work has had a positive effect and the purpose of my piece is complete. I can then move onto the next one!

At what point in your career did you realize that you’d made it as an artist?
I guess in about 1991 – when I was doing the Con Art t-shirts and the Guns n’ Roses imagery. I was also creating storefronts and interiors and designing furniture for stores in Beverly Hills and doing all kinds of other crazy shit on an independent level that I considered successful. But you know, you have a dream of what success is. You reach points within it but your perspective on success continually changes. Eventually you come full circle until now, through my adventures up and down the ladder, I’m on my way to finishing the mural of my life. I’m at a point now where I just spend all my time painting. Getting here has meant sacrificing a lot of my personal life to be able to do that. Times are tough. I don’t paint cheap work – it’s all heavy-duty involved work. I need money to pay for this stuff and these are tough times where these pieces aren’t selling! But no matter how I look at it, I’m doing what I love doing and I’ll sacrifice anything to be able to spend the time doing the art that means so much to me; I’ve sacrificed making money, fixing my car, and even eating some days! But that’s okay because at the end of the day I have the colors that I want, the brushes I need, the spray paint I want, and the wall I need. The things that I really love, I’ve always got that shit! It’s interesting what success is; been there, done that and then come back to the streets, then off the streets to do other things, and then back to the streets again! And I find myself always coming back to my roots in graffiti art, vandalism, and big productions – doing art that isn’t thought up by someone else. Creating art that’s thought up by me and illustrates the things that I think about and how I perceive the world around me. It’s not like this project that’s funded by corporate thinking – it’s all coming from me. I feel that I’m living the life of a real artist compared to those who chase money and appeal quickly!

Do you think that street art has become more acceptable now, or is it still just as rebellious as ever?
Yeah, dude, that shit is popular as fuck! It’s pretty much influenced everything around us. The art form that started in a spraycan that was this super-urban rebellious thing is now just a form of advertising – on buses and everywhere else! So I think that not only has it become acceptable but it also became co-opted! In some ways this is good because the entire scene that came from the streets is now considered to be a valid art form.

Have you ever had any run-ins with the law while doing your graffiti art?
Back in the day, I was going to jail many times for doing graffiti and it cost me hundreds and hundreds of hours in community service and money that I could’ve used – having to bail myself out for my freedom! Just recently I was out with a bunch of people putting up some work and I had a run in with the cops. It was hilarious because we just told them that we were doing some promotion for “The Hollywood Propaganda Movie Machine” and they said, “Oh! Okay, that’s cool! We thought you were vandalizing!”

What’s the most exciting adventure you’ve been on involving your art?
Some adventures have been criminal and some have been glorious but they all kind of blur together. The whole thing is the adventure! When you go to sleep at night that doesn’t mean the adventure’s over, you’re just dreaming, and then you get back up in the morning and your back to living again! The whole memory is the whole adventure!

You’ve dedicated and devoted your life to painting. Have you ever had a “regular job”?
My first real job was working in a shitty movie theater in LA; carrying bags of popcorn, showing people to their seats and other shit like that. I probably watched a hundred movies in a row! Then I got a job in a restaurant and got fired for drinking their alcohol. Then as a sous chef at the restaurant next door where I learned to cook but ultimately got fired for creating my own menu and not taking orders properly! At around eighteen I dropped out of high school and got seriously into graffiti art. I didn’t have a job any longer so I had to get by “hustling all kinds-a-shit” and trying to make ends meet, but it wasn’t working so I got a job for the next 3 years working for a set building company where I learned mad skills – both artistic and social. It taught me a lot and from there, I continued to do graffiti and get jobs doing graffiti and that is how I became known.

Graffiti art is not inherently profitable. How do you bridge the gap between doing what you love and making money?
Graffiti art is all about Hustling! The point of doing it has never been to make money, although you need to eat to survive, you just have to get creative about     selling your work and representing yourself. You have to find a way to fit into the picture and be creative with it. I’ve never created art for money; I create art for my feelings and my life. And I know that its good art and someone will like it. Although I don’t believe in capitalism, I’m not an anti-materialist either. I don’t mind selling my work, hustling my work and showing my work at art shows. I like that reality. Creating Street art means that you don’t necessarily have to subscribe to the whole system or go about things in the same ways that other people do. I think that’s also part of it – finding a unique way of coexisting in this crazy scene.

Do you have any words of advice for the young artists trying to make it out there?
Seek uniqueness and originality in your own life and the way you live your life. Let your art evolve as opposed to looking at what other people are doing or trying to make your work fit into what’s fashionable because there’s too much of that already. When everything is starting to look alike, it wears away at originality! There should be an element of innocence and honor to your work that hasn’t been blatantly copied. We live in such a retro- reality where everything is recycled. We need to start reinventing our work so that nothing is old and everything is new.

If you could be any superhero you wish, what would your powers be?
I’ve always dreamed that I could run up the side of buildings, that I would be this ultra-graffiti-vandal diffusing the powers of physics and using my mind to dodge bullets while leaping from rooftop to rooftop droppin’ burners on each one at super top speeds. I‘d be like this super martial artist political assassin–A vigilante message relayer.

I think that this statement better describes Mear’s very own brilliance and superhuman artistic ability! We will   definitely be seeing a lot more from Mear One both in the galleries and on the galleries. You can rest assure that the next work of art he thinks up will truly be a MasterFIND. The completed mural of Alphonse Mucha can be viewed at 6th and La Brea at the Loft at Liz’s Art Gallery. It can also be viewed stop motion on his blog at To view & purchase artwork from Mear One, please visit



Thomas Pendelton

Thomas Pendelton didn’t go to a fancy art school. He doesn’t collect his own artwork. In fact, he doesn’t do a lot of the stuff most working artists do, but what he does do, is work 12 hour days, seven days a week to keep the dream of being an artist alive. And it’s this level of hard work and determination that makes him so talented in so many areas of creativity. In his hidden Newport Beach studio called ‘Spikey’s Dive’, you’ll find everything needed to sling a tattoo, paint canvases, paint cars, and fabricate leather. He’s also a high end fashion designer, producing custom threads for celebrities from Rob Zombie to Shaun White to Nikki Sixx. He is as adequate with acrylics as he is with tattoos as he is with custom apparel and painting cars. It’s this Jack of all Finds nature, however, that, according to Thomas himself “may have fu#k!d” him in the long run. “If I was just doing that one thing,” he ponders, “I would’ve mastered it and I would’ve shoved it down people’s throats.”

What a great problem to have, you might say, being so great at so many things, but like everyone else, Thomas still has personal goals he’d like to accomplish, one of which is being able to focus on just that one thing. “I have a specific goal to get my art to the point to where I am painting something continuously and telling a story with that one subject,” he says. “Just like Goddard and just like Wyland. Every painting they make is a new episode with the same characters in a different situation.”

You might think a guy like Thomas Pendelton has called himself an artist his whole life. That’s just what everybody else labeled him. A working artist making ends meet since the age of 17, he started tattooing at 21 but didn’t really consider himself an artist until age 29 when he tattooed his mentor (and legendary ink slinger) Rick “Papa” Walters at Bert Grimm’s Tattoo in Long Beach. “He taught me the right way,” Thomas says of Rick. “He taught me how to make my own machine, my own ink, needles… all that shit.”

When Thomas wasn’t tattooing, he was designing t-shirt graphics and logos for apparel companies like Famous Stars and Straps, Silver Star and various bands. “One day I walked into a Hot Topic and saw that most of the wall was my artwork–and I was flat broke!” He made a couple hundred bucks for designs he did 10 years ago that are still making money today. “I’m stoked because I was put to work at a time when I was nobody, and the fact that my designs still sell proves that my original ideas worked.”

But at the end of the day nothing matters more to Thomas Pendelton than simply being both an artist and a family man who wants nothing more than what he’s already got. “Since I met my wife and had kids, my life is exactly how I always wanted it. I just go to my studio, make art, and then go home and hang out with my family. That’s it.” Knowing Thomas Pendelton a little better now, we can tell you, no, ”that’s not it” and you’ll definitely be seeing a lot more from him in the future.

To view and purchase more of Thomas Pendelton’s artwork, please visit




FIND Art Magazine recently met up with D*Face on the eve of his opening, “Going Nowhere Fast” at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City, CA. We began talking about artists in the scene and soon cut into mass-media, street art in mainstream culture and the role of the artist, matters of taste and style, pushing the creative edge, the power of strong ties to friends and community, and the journey of it all.

Looking into the street art community and its boundaries, it is a culture founded on the fringes of expression and I perceive the mainstream as a danger to undermining its defining factors.

For me, it’s about getting it out to more people and getting more people to see it. Staying true to what you believe and your integrity. Just last night I dropped a 500lb gravestone on Charlie Sheen’s star on Hollywood Blvd. That’s what I’m talking about. You should be able to do both. It shouldn’t be straddling the line between, “Oh yeah, I only do gallery shows now and that’s what I am, I’m turning my back on these roots.” For me, those things are really the interesting dynamic of it all. Spending four days painting a massive wall because more people will see it rather than in a gallery, that’s the important factor. I’ve been doing it long enough now to where I hope that it will always be pre-eminent.

Are there slight dangers in losing the tenets of the scene, especially if kids come up trying to emulate, dare I say, Banksy?

I think the problem is not how many people see it; it’s where people draw their inspiration from. It’s as much about society in general as it is about the scene. Look at every car, it’s based on the other car that sold really well because they know it’s the public’s idea of what should be accepted; therefore, if Banksy is mainstream popular and everybody loves him, or the perception is everyone loves him, then every kid that’s looking at it that ever wanted to do a stencil, ever wanted to do graphics, or was interested in graffiti, sees somebody getting paid for it, then obviously that’s going to be their point of reference. The problem is when everyone starts looking internally as opposed to looking externally, that’s when the dangers come and you end up with artists being copied.

Are you pushing boundaries in your work where you weren’t before?

If I sell work, I get to invest my money back into what I want to do. I say to people, my wife in particular; “I think I may paint the Queen dead. It’s her 80th birthday, everyone’s thinking, ‘When’s she going to pop the clocks?’” She’s like, “That’s such a bad idea. It’s going to look terrible” Brilliant I’m doing it! That was my gauge, how bad she thought it was going to be is how good it will be. That’s kind of like the shift in my work. When I did the gravestones, to cast them, and put them out, that seemed like a simple operation compared to when I did the Oscars. The goal posts are moving all the time with how ambitious you are going to get with your street installations. For me, I just don’t want to paint walls. I just don’t do stickers. I don’t just want to put posters up. I want to try to get the public’s interaction with that work to be ever shifting. And the best way to disguise it, for people to question it, is advertise. That’s what I do. Because advertising is around you so much, you don’t even notice it. In a way, doing a stencil on a wall or putting a sticker on a lamppost – has become part of our visual understanding of what surrounds us; whereas 10 years ago you put up a wheat paste and people were, “It’s not an advert, what is it, what’s it for?” They had that interaction with it. But now they’re, “Oh, it’s street art.” So then you have to start switching it back up. I will do it in a way you haven’t ever seen it before. It won’t be in your conscience, in your psyche of “Oh, that’s street art.” We dropped one of those tombstones on Santa Monica Beach – a tombstone on the beach, we poured sand in front of it, two candles burning – people that saw it were like, “What? Who? Why? Who’s done that? What’s that about? Is that an art thing? What is it?” I want people to just question it. Hopefully they’ll come back from that with a broader vision, a bit more of an open mind with what visually they surround themselves with.

The balance of power has shifted a bit. What used to be street art, on the furthest edge of expression, away from the galleries, contemporary vocabularies have learned to include it. Do you change their vocabulary?

It’s the same as graffiti. People’s perceptions on graffiti have become very clearly focused. It’s letters on a wall. It’s tags. For me personally, once people began referring to me as an urban artist, I wanted to push that perception further and further. Who knows what that is and I don’t know where it’s going to take me. I have great fun making my work. I don’t want it to be dead-pan serious. If you start with doing your thing, having no agenda, no reason, just because it’s your own interest, that’s what remains. If you start shifting your work for a particular audience, that is when it becomes dangerous because you are not being clear to your own vision.

Matters of the heart require a certain level of selfishness.

Anything that is creative and if you’re putting it out in the public domain – whether an actor, musician, visual artist, whatever – it’s really heartfelt. You have to take the negative and the positive with that. Some people deal with it better than others. I’d rather people hated my work than people thought it was just OK. I think the line between love and hate is so close. Mediocre is not what I want to achieve. I want people to be insulted and upset, stoked, grand, feeling that it’s the sickest thing they’ve ever seen.

Hypothetically, we ran a foundation with a half million dollars and decided to give it to you with no restrictions. What would you do with the money?

That would be such a rad opportunity. I don’t know – I’d hire a plane to dump a load of paint on the Statue of Liberty – something nuts, something where people would say, “You can’t do that:” Well, I just did! Other than that, I would probably invest it into a gallery that is self-generated, which is what we’re trying to do with Stolen Space, It’s built upon friendship and trust. That’s the main part, is building friendships. It’s a community and that community is really important. But at the end of the day we have to rely on sales to keep it running, and it needs to have a staff to remain open. I would do something like that to help other artists coming through who share the same idea.

That’s similiar to our mission with FIND. . .

When you put yourself up in the street it gives you an opportunity to show your work to other people, but if you don’t have that, it’s really hard to get an opportunity to show your work to other people because the galleries aren’t always welcoming and open. A magazine gives a window — maybe someone will pick up that magazine, and be, “that’s the best stuff I’ve ever seen in my life! Who’s that artist?” Look it up, maybe buy a canvas, have a gallery see it, maybe do a show? Those are opportunities that take time for an artist. A magazine is a very pure way of doing it.

The underlying skeleton in your work appears as if “pop” is only skin deep. Is that how you perceive popular culture?

Death is a part of life. The line between life and death is really interesting. What’s really interesting is that it polarizes people. I really like the idea of celebrating the life of somebody when they’ve passed. Equally the birth of a child is the most amazing experience in the world. Death is an inescapable part of life and what people try and do to stop the onslaught of death by making themselves look younger, or trying to have a different perceived age, particularly in Hollywood and L.A., is really, really interesting. What are you afraid of? Are you afraid that you’re getting old? Well, everyone gets old. Are you trying to dissuade death? I think a lot of times people’s perception of what they should like is way out of whack from what it actually should be. And that’s part of the Hollywood thing I’m trying to get people to see. I’m not saying Hollywood, L.A. is a fucked up place – I absolutely love it. I’m just saying, don’t take it too seriously. Don’t get caught up too heavily in that idea of what you want. At the end of the day, we all have skeletons. What’s outside of it is what you are. We are being judged by our exterior gloss – what clothes we put on, our skin tone, and our face shape. We’re all going to rot back into the earth where we’ve come from. So yeah, It’s very basic. Plus, skulls look cool as fuck.

To view and purchase artwork from D*Face please visit and


MASTERFIND Rick Rietveld & Phil Roberts

Freedom Rider

If the human brain was a muscle, these guys would be Mega Athletes!

Rietveld and Roberts are bonafide Art Masters who did it the old fashioned way: they stayed in school, studied a lot, and never stopped drawing. Their friendship goes back 30 years to the early days of the surf industry. It’s where they both got their start. Phil was working for Sundek Clothing and illustrating for surf magazines, while Rick took on a freelance job to create a company logo and found Maui and Sons. “I never dreamed I’d be part of the surf industry,” Rick told FIND about his start, “but as it worked out I combined two of my favorite things to do: Surfing and art.” In the late ‘70s, both Rick and Phil were already the top two illustrators in the industry. And even though they were familiar with each other’s work, it wasn’t until they met at a tradeshow in Florida that they began paying a lot more attention…

Now Fast forward ten years… Rick enjoying the fruits of his labor becoming world famous with Maui and Sons, and Phil grinding away as an illustrator making all those glamorous box office movie posters. No one outside of the surfing world had a clue who Phil Roberts even was. He all but bailed that industry when the computer came out with an illustrator of its own… And like that, it was the end of an era… Oddly enough, Rick feels like he ‘missed out’ on that whole Hollywood movie poster illustrating phenom, but according to Phil the whole Maui and Sons thing turned out to be a much better path. “Everybody around the world knows who you are,” he scolds Rick. “Yeah my posters were all over the world but my name wasn’t on any of them! Nobody knew who the hell I was!!” And we’re talking a lot of work without credit. “A year of sketching in that industry,” says Phil,“I’d do 3,000 drawings.” No joke.  HBO once hired him to do a series of poster sketches –none of which had his name– and he busted his ass setting a personal record of 100 drawings in 10 days. “I was on fire,” he recalls, “doing ten ensemble drawings per day and I just cranked.” It’s hard to imagine drawing that much but that’s what it takes to play in the Big Leagues.

"Kelly Slater at Teahupoo"

Fast forward another ten years… it’s now the 90s and these guys are on fire. Phil’s designing waterparks. Rietveld’s got his own line of art-inspired clothing. Art going out worldwide. Collectors are going mad. Art is happening for both of them, and art is happening well. Today these guys are on a whole ‘nother level. Ironically, after years of battling concepts and ideas, they now share a studio in Newport’s sprouting art district known as “The Project.” Rick’s clothing line “Rietveld” is known worldwide, and Phil has continued his love for ocean science with some of the most incredible ocean and underwater illustrations on the planet. Mag covers here, commissioned pieces there…. No one can draw a better wave than Phil. Apparently Billabong knows this as well since they hired him to do a series of paintings, not including the one featured in the center spread of this magazine, a scene from the poster he illustrated for the new IMAX 3-D film called The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D starring Kelly Slater. When you see that poster, think of Phil. Know his style. Love his style. We sure do.

Being in their studio you can’t help but feel the buzz. Not just because the paintings are so sick but because of the creative energy in the room. Maybe that’s why they share the space. Maybe not. “Well it’s like the Godfather, you know,” Phil says in his best Marlon Brando. “You keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”  Rick just laughs as Phil adds, “We think a like, and sharing a studio we can look over each other’s shoulder and see what the other guy’s working on. Sometimes I’ll see him sketching something, and I’m like, damn, I was thinking of that first.” Regardless of why they share a studio, it doesn’t take a DaVinci to figure out the real reason: Creativity breeds creativity. When creative minds get together there’s no telling what’s going to happen. We just know that when these guys finish their next work of art it’ll be a MasterFIND.

To view and purchase artwork from Rick Rietveld, please visit To view and purchase artwork from Phil Roberts, please visit



Chor Boogie

“My art is emotional landscapes of a melodic symphony through color therapy, a street romantic voodoo.”

A shopping cart, piloted by a middle-aged male transient wearing long, shaggy auburn-hair, rattles down Market Street. Hydraulic bus brakes squeal as sirens bleed through an unperturbed sea of multi-cultural urbanites, cloaked in jackets, sweatshirts, and a variety of pants. Automobile motors combined with elevated trains, buses, car stereos, and construction crews fill any gap of silence one might expect. Enter CHOR BOOGIE casually toting several plastic tubs filled with an eccentric collection of spray paints cloaked in white t-shirt and faded blue jeans. Insuppressive mettle, gained in a battle won from an adolescent interim, that functioned as a phantasma of deviance, becomes the impetus for a positive addiction, a co-dependency; composing complimentary and conflicting colors. Find Art Magazine recently had an opportunity to ask Chor Boogie about his personal narrative, the growth of his technique, and what drives his perspective.

Tell us about how you developed your name.

When I got into this art-form, urban-arts culture, everyone had a nickname. I was Jason Hailey at the time, and I gave birth to Chor Boogie because I like the feeling of writing it, it was easy for me to do quickly. And this is my chore; and I get boogie with it!

How has San Francisco contributed to the evolution of your art?

I have always worked with colors, but not as fluently as when I arrived in San Francisco and worked extensively with Apex and Vulcan. Even though they are more letter form based, and I tend to gravitate more toward imagery, they were important inspirations in my development. I remember painting Turk Street when I first arrived. I was short on time and started working on another section of the wall and I was doing it really quick. I remember Vulcan looking at me and saying, So you want that to represent  you? I said to myself, Awe shit, alright, I’ll come back and finish this correctly. Came back, completed the wall, and found this style in which I blend colors, form, and patterns to pop out specific images while incorporating realism. Say like a nose, eyes, or maybe a mouth screaming. That piece I entitled Purgatory. It was constructed near an affluent part of the city, but was a designated area for crack heads, drug addicts, and drug dealers. They were all watching us while we were beautifying this poverty stricken street. I’ve been through trials and tribulations in my life when it came to drugs; I had been clean for about six years at that point and I remember looking in and thinking: this is just purgatory.  These transients are just stuck in the middle.  No up. No down. Just stuck. So I called the piece Purgatory.  Ever since then, I’ve employed the concept as a prominent theme throughout my work.


How do you consider yourself to be advancing the medium of spray paint?

By adding detail and the upside down can technique. There are no additives, there are no preservatives, I don’t use any cheat tools, and still, I am pushing my audience to consider how I achieved my overall effect, you know, to think outside the box.

Tell me about discovering the inverted can technique, and how it impacted your work.

The inverted can technique is an old school technique that originated out of the late seventies, early eighties. Artists used to utilize it for fill-ins in their letter effects, background effects in general, I knew nothing about it at the time. This was when I was living in San Diego, working for a spot called Writers Block. This one artist named Vox came through from LA, and he had some crazy technique, and I was wondering how he got all these thin lines in his pieces. At first I thought he was using a stencil cap so I hit him up, and he said, no, but try this and he showed me, and told me I should do that with my characters so I started a piece and it changed my life forever. I adopted that technique shortly after.

What do you mean adopted?

I mean embraced it. I took it into my own. I believed in it, and really buckled down to try to take it to a different level. By me doing that, it basically helped me achieve things that are almost impossible with a spray can when it comes to imagery. It also opened up more opportunity in terms of realism and size. Currently I claim the smallest piece in the world done with spray can, which is two inch by two inch. I think I’m going to go smaller this year, which is one inch by one inch, and that is painting my miniature Boogie Birds, all in spray paint, inverted, on little canvasses.

How do you go about composition when you’re commissioned a mural?

I basically just paint. You know, like an orchestra.  I envision something on the wall and paint it. My style has developed within itself. I have found foundations in all the artists I’ve encountered along the way because I listen. Their words have been subconsciously imbedded in my head. I still find meaning in what they were saying in terms of form, shapes, color, proportions in portraits, and life in general. Listening is an excellent tool to get ahead in life. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you know you just gotta shut up and listen.

The Silver Queen

Who do you listen to and why?

Klimt, Michelangelo, from a historical standpoint, maybe Leonardo? Klimt because of his use of metallics…and Michelangelo because of his realism, and the scale that he worked on.

What type of message are you trying to communicate to your audience?

Originality. Originality is the key to survival. I’m a traditionalist. My art is emotional landscapes of a melodic symphony through color therapy, a street romantic voodoo. I want my audience to be free. I want my audience to have the freedom of speech, the freedom of feeling. I want to conger some feeling, any feeling within them. As long as they feel something, that’s it. Whether you had a feeling and it was pleasant or unpleasant, it really doesn’t matter, you had a feeling.

Why don’t you change your name back now that you’ve gained notoriety?

I know a lot of artists that change their name back ‘n forth, but I gave birth to Chor Boogie; and Chor Boogie will be the name I run with till the day I die.

Chor Boogie is living proof that Urban Art is still rapidly evolving. Find loves the fact that he pushes the constraints of his medium fearlessly breaking through glass ceilings that few will ever see the glare from. We believe it’s his prolific nature combined with his unique point of view that enables him to recreate himself with each piece he completes. We hope that this now third generation of urban artists graces his heels; because even though he encourages listening, he speaks as an urban sage, guiding audiences to once again consider just exactly what they are viewing.


Check out the new Chor Boogie documentary coming out in 2012.

To view and purchase artwork from Chor Boogie:



Who’s David Weidman

David Weidman IS an Artist.

To those familiar with his whimsical style of pop art, this statement is obvious. But to the man himself, it’s a statement he resisted to make, and a title many of his contemporaries were reluctant to bestow upon him.  “I had trouble with that, says Weidman. “At some point, I said, ‘yeah, I’m an artist,’ but it wasn’t easy. It took awhile. I think it happened because people told me I was. When I got the idea that I had something people wanted, and people started supporting their desire for that by giving me money for it, that’s when I decided, ‘well, I’m probably an artist.’”

David Weidman’s artwork defines an era in the American public consciousness.  It invokes the spirit of the 1970s, of panel station wagons with rear-facing rumble seats, of browning Polaroid photographs, of earth tones with deep oranges, and of the playful undulations of Saturday morning cartoons and nascent family sitcoms. And though he pulled his last screenprint in 1980, FIND caught up with the eighty-nine-year-old Weidman, ever the artist, living content in the same Los Angeles home he build with his own hands in the seventies with the woman who helped him design it, his wife and artistic inspiration, Dorothy. “I started to screenprint because Dorothy decided I would. We were driving in Long Beach seeing all these homes being built and Dorothy said, ‘All those homes have walls that need pictures.’ So I made pictures.”

Born in Los Angeles in 1921, Weidman came of age as an art student at Jepson Art Institute following WWII. It was the height of Disney-era animation and the midst of a booming post-war L.A., where innovation, new ideas, and creativity became an American imperative, with Los Angeles being the epicenter. Under the guidance of master printmaker Guy MacCoy, the Jepson Institute had pioneered many techniques of silkscreen printing as a fine art medium, versus a   reproductive process. Weidman stepped into this new and exciting world of serigraphy and began to embrace it as his preferred medium of expression.

“Screen-printing was a natural, but I didn’t do it the way most people would at that time,” explains Weidman, “They were making a painting or a watercolor or doing something and making a silkscreen of that. My only difference was that I would take an idea and develop it naturally, working best with the characteristics of the medium. So it was not a reproduction of a painting. I developed it on the screen.”

Within Weidman’s editions there are great variations, because unlike most printmakers who aim to reproduce the exact image, with the exact characteristic, Weidman cultivated an organic process in which colors would be remixed, paper stock would change, a new image idea may occur to him. This unique style of improvisational printmaking made, in essence, each print a kind of monotype.

There are so many variations of expression by making marks on paper, and everybody brings to it something different. One of the things you bring to it is your feeling about an object, your emotions, and different people respond differently to different things, says Weidman. “How you organize those elements: line, shape, and color…at some point they result your final outcome. But you can direct your emphasis in different areas. The medium that you’re working in is very important, because different mediums ask for different solutions. All mediums have characteristics that if you’re working well and are aware of them, you can utilize the medium to the fullest. The biggest elements of silkscreen is the overlay and the transparency. If you utilize that, you’re using it in a way that’s honoring to the medium and all that it contributes.”

“You can’t change your character from one moment to the next. There are uncontrollable things that will be  inherent in all that you do, but within each area you can insist that the medium takes a role and plays a part.”

Weidman’s time illustrating backgrounds for cartoons such as, “Mr. Magoo, Fractured Fairytales, and Gerald McBoing Boing” really sharpened his awareness of the importance in each medium’s role and how it plays.

“A lot of my maturity came after I left the film industry. In the film industry, we didn’t work in silkscreen. In my mind, the thing I appreciate the most is when I make the medium part of the outcome. I have simple drawings that I made into prints that had little to do with the medium, but then I made prints that depended on the medium for their final essence.”

Weidman gives much of the credit for his artistic style to his wife Dorothy, also a graphic designer. While Dorothy is content to view their relationship as collaborative, Weidman describes it in more stark terms. “You can call it collaborative, or you can call it theiving,” he jokes. “I always steal…thats my big thing.” “She’s a major contributor to my work,” David explains. “She gives me input. She’s a quality designer, and I was taking those and making prints, I added very little to them. Basically, they’re her things. You wouldn’t know the difference between what she influenced me to do, and what was my own.”

“We’re a good pair, because she’s unable to make a salable object. I turn what she does and contributes into something that we can sell together. It’s a total item. If I had to wait for her to come to a total item, I would still be waiting, and I don’t have that long to wait…I don’t have the time!”

Dorothy counters, however, “It goes through his nervous system; it always get his stamp on it,” she explains. “He can take anything and make it work.”

In the 1960s, Weidman opened his own gallery; a modest operation in hip burgeoning gallery district of La Cienega. Pop, Conceptual, Light and Space, were the emergent  trends of the times and printmaking, and  especially serigraphy, was not considered a fine art medium, yet. Weidman’s work, however, gradually began to shift perceptions of the serigraphy with his following of clients growing rapidly and large, to the chagrin of his fellow gallerists. Soon after, Weidman’s iconic style of illustrative printmaking was being called upon to adorn the lobbies and halls of prestigious hotels across Southern California. His success, however, came with a price. The high physical demands of the process wrought the aging artist, leading Weidman to abandon screenprinting in 1980, leaving only his original prints in circulation.

“When clients began dictating to me the color and the subject, they took me off my rails. They didn’t emanate naturally from where I was…they would disturb my growing and doing…my natural process.” Physically, as well as emotionally, it became way too much.”

Now approaching ninety, Weidman, whose attention in recent years has turned toward ceramics, is not only more comfortable with the idea that he is indeed an artist, but is also reflective on just what that means.

“When I was ten-years-old, without thinking about it, I would reflect the images as I visually saw them. The other approach was to take the elements that make up an object and think about the graphic elements, such as line, shape, and color… these were all elements that became important in the production of the item. That didn’t require any thinking. I was repeating the visual impact from what I was looking at and putting it down on the paper, or canvas or whatever. So, it’s a matter of understanding. Now I can go back and do that, and I can do that very well. It’s important that you’re aware of what you’re doing…that you don’t do it mindlessly. If I make a paining, I don’t think of the outcome and the effect of the painting the same as if I make a silkscreen print. It’s a completely different set of criteria…the importance becomes emphasized on the medium as much as on the image.”

David Wiedman IS an artist…but above all, he’s a man who loves his wife, his family, and his life. It’s this quality, above technique, or notoriety, or commercial success that defines him as such.

“One thing I did at an early age is decide what I wanted to do because it gave me pleasure. And I did it for those reasons. When it stopped being pleasure, is when it became a business, and then it lost its appeal to me. So do what gives you pleasure. The more you do, the better you WILL get.”

To view and purchase artwork from David Weidman, please visit
All images and designs are Copyright of David Weidman 2010, all rights reserved.




Edward Frausto

Found Artist Defined

Take us back to your earliest beginnings as an artist?
I was eight years old. It was right around the time Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-mania was sweeping the nation and they had just released the more realistic-articulated-rubber movie versions. I snagged as many as 20 bucks could buy me. I had about three dollars left over and grabbed a pack of Marvel Universe Series 1 trading cards. This seemingly inconsequential, primal act of gathering as much as possible forever altered the course of my miniscule existence! It was the caliber of art on the cards that really got me. I didn’t read the comics, however I collected them for the art work. I couldn’t really understand the subtle nuances of super-powered, costume clad beings altruistically running about their adjacent cities saving people.

Tell us about your childhood…
Well I lived a tormented, tumultuous, f*cked up child hood, I wasn’t afforded the luxury of ignorant child like bliss, the proverbial curtain was pulled back early on to reveal life’s true grotesqueries: People weren’t god’s, heroes or altruistic at all in fact quite the contrary. Mom’s are heroin junkies and whores, fathers abandon their children, cops are corrupt and are more often motivated by some sort of misplaced-archaic racial bigotry, the justice system is flawed beyond belief and the USA as a whole suffers from delusions of grandeur.

Tell us how you “really” feel…
America sucks, religion sucks, the general populous sucks, our health care system sucks, big-budget government spending is a slap to the face of hard working tax payers and– for all our efforts –WAR doesn’t accomplish an f*cking thing!

Where do most of your inspirations come from?
Without question comic books of course. Then I’d have to say depression, contempt for my fellow man, Black Metal, boredom, love, the fear of being irrelevant, the mind bending works of Nietzsche, Aleister Crowley, Anton LeVay, Jung, Stephen Hawking and Alan Moore, the art of Alex Ross, Witkin, Frank Millar, Tim Bradstreet, Mike Mignola, Jae Lee, Norman Rockwell and Dali.

How would you describe your art to a blind person?
The world is ugly and beautiful and that’s how I’d describe my art to them. I’d tell them that my art is a balance of the grotesque-inner ugliness of mankind and the outward-exterior beauty that besets them, and then I’d attempt to convince them with logic mind you, why they should shake loose from this overrated mortal coil.

What will we FIND you doing in the future?
I’m going to continue doing the gallery thing. I will be a featured artist at the HIVE in L.A coming up this September. I plan on attending Comi-con this year and shopping my portfolio around, hopefully get a gig doing covers for D.C and maybe apply to Blizzard Entertainment. Really I’d just like to create art and make a somewhat moderate living off of it.

How ‘bout a great conclusion to this interview?
In conclusion reality sucks, I knew this essentially from childhood and sequentially escaped into the world of  make believe, where the world was still f*cked up, but there were good people trying to do good things….

To view more of his artwork, please visit