12 Questions: Pixote on Shut NYC X Fool's Gold Skateboard Collaboration
1.) What does Pixote mean?
Rebel child. One of my favorite movies ever, is called Pixote. I was fascinated by its photography and the whole story of it, so I basically chose the name to free myself and express myself.
2.) How important have the influences of New York City been to creating your signature style?
I’ve been here for 16 years, and I feel like New York is the capital of the world. I’m really glad to be here. I feel like, of course, I carry a lot of elements from my country but I also have a New York flavor too with the mop styles on the doors.. I just love New York you know, the hustle.. New York taught me a lot about life. If you’ve lived in New York, you can live anywhere in the world, that’s it.
3.) What sort of artwork do you most enjoy creating? What mediums have you worked with and, of those, which is your favorite?
I mean, I love the streets. I feel like the streets are my gallery and everyone’s gallery, at the same time. So I feel like the streets are for everyone. It’s so open and I enjoy really a lot of rollers, sprayers, cans and of course, mops. But, I’m really particular. I like to use mostly black, or maybe like simple colors. But rollers are something I really enjoy doing because they are really big and it’s one of the things I carry from my country, Brazil.
4.) Can you identify any particular elements of your work that you would attribute to your Brazilian heritage?
Yeah most def, passion. It’s an element that I carry with me, in my style. I used to travel with my dad. Taking the bus, I’d just be looking up at the buildings and seeing the higher you get the more props you get. So, that’s another element that comes from the Brazilian influence. You know, the highest/the most scary spots. Of course I still carry that with me a lot.
5.) If you could collaborate with only one other graffiti or street artist (living or dead) who would you work with? Why?
I think somebody that is really, really dope to my eyes is Petro, an English writer. His style is so dope, so funky and still brings a lot of the old school influence that I really enjoy. I think the ’70’s, like the first era of graffiti, was really amazing to me. Then, getting out of the street I want to mention somebody else that I’m really into, Pablo Picasso.
6.) Who is your favorite New Yorker of all-time?
Wow, let’s see.. I think I’m gonna have to mention my dear friend that passed away, Harold Hunter. Before graffiti, I was really into the Skate Mafia, you know, I came here I was a skater I was 16. I didn’t know much English, and Harold was like,”yo, you’re my boy”. He really embraced me and introduced me to everyone. He used to sleep at my house, my mom would cook us dinner. That guy introduced me to a lot of people in New York City. Yeah, RIP Harold Hunter, much love.
7.) Your fine art is decidedly different than your street work. Can you describe how you arrived at your fine art aesthetic? Were there particular artists you allowed to influence your direction?
I come from an artistic family, so I grew up around a lot of art. My father is a writer and my mom is a video artist. I used to go to exhibitions and art shows, frequently, since I was a little kid. I feel like fine art is already in my veins in a way. I definitely express it in a different way than on the streets, even though I use a lot of similar elements. Like, I enjoy using the same weapons that I use on the streets for a canvas. For instance, I use rollers, I also use sprayers, spray paint, mops. I scratch the canvas and do all sorts of things to it, but, I feel like I have a different approach to fine art. I’m very much about trying to capture a feeling and sharing that with the art world. I want to be able to take you somewhere with that canvas. Lately I’ve been painting a little bit more abstract than usual and I feel like that is just a part of me. I mix all kinds of things: figurative & abstract mediums, but I like the abstract form, because it’s undefinable. It’s open to interpretation. I like to be a little bit more open to the imagination of the viewer. I feel like art is completed by the viewer, because everyone has a different opinion and, to me, that is very interesting.
8.) You are one of the more recognizable names affiliated with TWD. Could you tell us a bit about the crew’s history? And, what is the overall mission or goal of the crew?
Me & Sabio started the crew. We were like, yo, we gotta make something unique. There aren’t many people doing the same styles that we are. Right now the crew is really growing, but at the same time it isn’t about the quantity, it’s about the quality. We’ve been moving and growing. All of us have a similar style, or something that is really fresh and funky. We’re all really diverse as well and we’ve been messing with a variety of platforms: design, fine art, photographs. We’ve been doing a lot of shows together as well, zines. Fresh from LA, Erasmo from Rio, Pilchi from Milan, Sye5 from NYC, Cern, Rambo, Sabio, Sefu.. so, we’ve been very active, all of us. But, besides the whole graff thing we’re dudes that really f*ck with each other, you know. We try to push each other the best that we can and make sure we’re growing together. We are friends, crew, family.
9.) You’ve recently begun a collaboration with Shut Skateboards & Fool’s Gold, tell us a bit about this project. And, what it is that excited you about the opportunity?
It started actually with meeting KR at the Krink Studios. Me and him started vibing and he was giving me a lot of mops and other products to test out. As it happened A-Trak from Fool’s Gold was hanging out with KR and saw one of my stickers in the office. He mentioned he really liked my work and asked how to get in touch with me, so that’s how A-Trak and I ended up working together. He suggested that we do an art show at Fool’s Gold. I had a few meetings with him and he came up with the idea to merge my involvement with all these cultures: skateboarding, music and graffiti. So, I went up to Shut, who are good friends of mine, and I pitched them the idea of making a skateboard with my designs. Then, linking it up with the art show at Fool’s Gold. So, it’s been a few months that I’ve been working on the designs and supervising the production.It’s finally ready and it’s coming up really soon. The art show is October 3 and is basically a collaboration between myself, Fool’s Gold & Shut Skateboards. I’m super stoked about it. To have my skateboards, you know, I never thought I’d have a skateboard. I was good, but I mean I was never like a pro, so to have my designs on a skateboard is really a lot of fun.
10.) Is there any specific meaning behind the graphics you designed?
To keep it cheap! Naw, naw. One of the first ones I did was almost.. a la Cramps, the band. Kind of like ghost-fonts, but I customized it to be my own. Making it a little thinner in the bottom and also a pixacao-inspired lettering I developed. The pyramid is a strong figure for me, it’s a very powerful image in the universe. So I feel like the pyramid is around me, a lot. I did the first graphic which is printed on a mini-cruiser. It’s a pyramid in the background with Pixote on top. I tried to keep it very simple, just two colors. Simple, clear & raw. The other one, I don’t know how the other one came about, but, the boards are vertical. I thought to do the Pixote vertical. I started messing around with influences. I love snakes, so it has a little snake, some spiderwebs and drips. Yeah, it’s funky. I basically left the letters as outlines so you can see the wood grain and the whole outside is basically paint. It’s gonna look dope.
11.) What is some of your favorite music? Any particular bands, albums or songs that get you motivated and inspire you to create?
I’m just gonna mention that I’m also a musician, so music is a big part of my life. I’m very open to music from jazz to bossa nova to hardcore to hip-hop to trap. I feel like there is good & bad music in every style. Lately I’ve really been into surf rock, I love those twangy guitars. These days it’s hard to make original music because everything has been done already, so mixing and blending different elements is the way to go. There are too many bands to start naming them, but I’m going to mention one guru that I think is going to be in my life forever, that’s Jimi Hendrix. You know, when I was 7, I got my first guitar. I locked myself in my room and played with a turntable and his vinyl. I was enlightened by his music. I really felt that I was in that music. I plugged my guitar into that same stereo and it was a special moment that I still remember. It gives me goosebumps. He is the god of electricity. He took music to a different level. I know it’s almost cliché to mention, but I don’t see it that way, because I really understand his music and his notes. I feel like his music was like painting. I see his music like painting textures, going around and flowing, getting out and coming back. It was like a picture.
12.) When you aren’t creating artwork in a studio or on the street, what do you like to do?
Lately, I’ve been getting into surfing. Surfing was something that I did when I was a lot younger in Brazil and then I didn’t do it for many years. Finally getting back into it, has been very enjoyable. I see it as a form of meditation; it’s a very spiritual sort of meeting that I have with the ocean. When I’m out there, I’m not thinking about anything. There’s no problems. It’s just me; the moment; the ocean; the waves, and that’s all I think about. So, it’s one of my favorite things to do right now.
Don’t forget to enter the contest to win an exclusive signed Pixote X Fool’s Gold X Shut Skateboards deck by posting your best Pixote photo to Instagram and tagging #12ozprophet & #12ozmrpix, winner will be announced on Monday, October 7th!