12ozProphet Feature Interview: Jick
This article was posted by Kenny Beats 2 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 10 hours, 10 minutes ago.
Jick is a man of his word. A precise, calculated individual whose intentions to “get up” lie within a deep rooted desire to preserve the traditional guerilla graffiti mindset; and he chooses to lead by example. A disciple of the omnipresent IMOK and IF crews, Jick became an avid student of the game in his formative years as a writer; but far from a teacher’s pet. With an emphasis on being well rounded, Jick’s carefully executed Fill-Ins, Throw-Ups, Pieces and Tags lace some of the 5 boroughs most legendary graffiti walls and spots, as well as blanketing the entire Metro North commuter and local train tracks. Painting walls along side such legendary writers as Smash137 and WANE haven’t hurt his cred either. The 12ozProphet team sat down with Jick to discuss his motivation, the importance of versatility, what crew means to him, and much more.
12oz: What motivates you to bomb?
Jick: I would consider myself a selective bomber. I’m honestly not out in the streets like a JA, EASY or ADEK, I’m more into hawking strategic long term spots that will have an impact, mission bombing. Something about bombing trains for example comes from a sickness I have always had for doing dangerous shit. Before I got into bombing or trains I did far stupider things to feed that urge. I used to free solo rock climb (without ropes); shit when I was way younger we used to see who could get out furthest on the shaky ice without bitching out or fall in.. I fell in (barely survived that stupid game). I even did that retarded “lay on the dotted line on the highway” game as a teenager. in adulthood i actually see bombing as a life saver to me, because honestly out of all of the dumbass things that I really liked doing to quench that thirst for fear, clipping a fence and mashing out a train in a couple minutes has the least chance of ending my life. Thank you graffiti.
12oz: When did you first write “Jick”?
Jick: I really wish I had a good reason or story behind JICK, the first iteration was JIKZ. The reality is I came up with it in 9th grade chemistry class, technically whilst looking at the periodic table of elements (for the record there is no ji or kz element, dont bother looking it’s just what I was looking at.) JIVE IMOK/DF was probably my favorite writer at the time and I always thought he had the sickest J to I flow in his handstyle so I just gravitated towards that combination. As I got older and tried making my letters work together better I realized that j - i - k was 3 straight lines in a row and fucking sucked to tag so I eventually added a C. Captivating stuff huh?
12oz: You’ve been known for super technical pieces, but never hesitate to throw up a classic NY bubble letter (sometimes even in the same spot); Do you have a preference?
Jick: A bubble letter is more fun to paint than a technical piece. Period. If you don’t have fun doing your throw-up, you need a new throw-up. Having said that, it depends on my mood which one I prefer. Sometimes I am chilling with the crew talking about style, coming up with funny concepts for a wall and it gets me really amped up to go murder a piece, try something new and keep the creative bug fed. Other times I want to grab the ladder and do some shit people will see and bug on. If you’ve ever had that mood in a bar where you just wanna fight…that’s the same mood that makes me want to do fill-ins. Some fucked up adrenaline junkie asshole that is still lurking inside me that needs to be fed. If I have spent too long doing a legal wall, or have done too many pieces in a row, I feel the need to go destroy shit. It’s like a delicate balance that keeps me from going crazy. If I do one fancy burner, I need to go do five illegal spots to make up for it. I think DMAND taught me that.
12oz: How do you define “well rounded”?
Jick: I mean, “well rounded” is obviously doing everything from tags, to fills, cleans, freights, pieces stompers etc. If you don’t get involved in some level in all aspects of graffiti then you aren’t well rounded. But, more importantly you are missing out on the experience of each, because they are all extremely different and have their own important aspects. For example, doing a burner and doing a clean train are entirely different sports in my eyes. Walking around catching tags is way different than doing a crew spell out stomper on the tracks with your boys. They all carry with them much different emotions and levels of fun and destruction. From a purely life experience perspective you are cheating yourself out of aspects of this lifestyle that are both fun and make all the other pieces of the puzzle fit together better. The street smarts and ability to execute you gain from bombing or doing cleans ups your overall senses so when the police cuff you up at a legal wall because they dont believe your permit, you know how to get out of it or worst case you know to shut the fuck up play by their rules to get away. Plus, let’s be honest getting a few beers with your boys and writing on shit that doesn’t belong to you, no matter what it is, is a fuckin’ good time.
12oz: Any opinion on legals?
Jick: I like and do legal walls but honestly its almost a different sport to me, with a few overlaps like baseball and billiards…both have a ball and a stick but they’re pretty fucking dissimilar. An illegal piece or clean train or trackside stomper will always be worth more than a legal piece to me. Graffiti needs to be done illegally and is much more fun to me when it is. The energy i see in an illegal piece of mine has a more natural and perfect feel when I look at the pictures after. When you throw a fatcap on a can and are throwing paint around quickly with that adrenaline level up my letters just dance more, there is more flow and power to how they end up sitting on the train tracks. I typically have a different audience for a legal piece. A legal is meant to be looked at up close in person or on the internet, being scrutinized and yapped about. With most legals in New York, you usually have a limited amount of space with your name in between two arrows because everyone tries to squeeze as many dudes as possible on the wall…and everyone tries to sneak an arrow or two over your line (myself included). An illegal wall is often meant to be seen by passengers on a train so you have a smaller window of time to get you message across. I want to stretch my letters, go big and graphic to make sure that amongst the wallpaper of average sized throwups and simples, the thing that makes your neck snap around is a big blast of color and letters saying J - I - C - K. The other common illegal piece for me is environment sensitive. Breaking into an abandoned hospital or military barracks and rocking a piece on an interesting surface. In those scenarios we try to conform our pieces to the scenes we find.
12oz: Whats your best NYPD story?
Jick: Well if you’re looking for your generic chase story bullshit this aint gonna be it. I was in a bar with a few of the homies near Bryant Park in Manhattan and we see this big polar bear looking wasted dude at the other end of the bar. Dude was just being a big drunken bully pushing around all the yuppie suits…was kinda funny really. Eventually this dude makes his way down the bar and starts blabbing at us, me specifically. So this guy is playing his wasted dude act but we’re breaking his balls back so he gets all lovey dovey and buys a round. Next he goes in on me and starts talking about how awesome I am and how much he loves my work, I’m his favorite…kinda getting weird. Now mind you I havent told this guy anything about me but he keeps telling my friends that I’m the man and that hes seen everything I’ve done. Immediately I start getting worried and confused about what the fuck this drunk gorilla is talking about given my nefarious activities but really how the fuck could this asshole know who I was. Next this guy pulls out a couple pictures of his wife in lingerie, telling me shes one of the most beautiful women in New York blah blah blah and follows with something strange: This guy starts asking me how much money I think we can make together. Now im fucking floored, I have absolutely no idea where this is going but in all of his picture showing I see an NYPD badge in his coat…Fuck. But this guy keeps going drunkenly asking me about making money slapping my chest with the back of his hand and reiterating that I’m the king and how good I am. Finally I ask “dude, what the fuck are you talking about with this making money with me bullshit?!” and he looks surprised and replies, “Porno, how much money do you think we could make if you make a porno with my wife?”.......... This drunk cop thinks I am his favorite dude porno star (really freaky when you come to the realization that he’s been picturing your junk the entire time) and he is trying to pimp his wife to make a porno with me for money. Un-fucking-real. This guy has me cornered in a bar trying to convince me to fuck his wife on video, and while banging a cops wife is pretty high on my bucket list this is probably something I need to make an escape plan for. He ended up giving me his card (NYPD card) and told me to call him and that he would take me and his wife out for a steak the next night to talk details. I never called, but I got his card on my bulletin board as a little trophy. I still wonder who dude thinks I am.
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