When I came back home on Saturday I found a package at my door. It was from Bluster. Inside was SERVE’s new book..
An hour later after going through it, I was shaking my head torn between Depression and Pride. The depression was due to the fact that Serve is SO prolific, and has mastered so many styles, that he makes you brutally aware of your own weaknesses. The pride is because Serve and I came up together in the 145th Street train tunnels in the mid 80’s, and seeing how far he has come, how he has evolved, and to see this testament to his work makes me proud.
Stylistically, Serve was a son of the One’s. His early work reflected his apprenticeship in the style clinic of the FBA masters Kaze & Tack. But then over the years something happened that is hard for most Graffiti artists to do, he EVOLVED. Not only did he absorb and master the styles of Broadway, but he went back into the previous volumes of the elite dynasties in Graffiti, among them TDS, TFP, and TMT. Somehow he managed to take elements from all of these disparate philosophies and methodologies and merge them into something completely his own. This is clear in his book which is like a PHD level master class in New York lettering styles.
The fact that the books smells like Design markers is another stroke of genius. Bruce Lee used to say that he made the animal sounds he used when he fought to confuse and distract his opponents, because when you do battle you need to use EVERY tool at your disposal not just the obvious punches and kicks. Utilizing the sense of smell in this book is brilliant, and reminded me of that philosophy.
For those with visions of grandeur, hoping to do battle with this man, Be Afraid!
The young Master student at the One’s circa 1985
A page from Serve from one of my old 80’s Black Books
This article was posted by West 8 months, 3 weeks, 1 Day, 21 hours, 16 minutes ago.
“Sometimes limitations are good”
Don’t miss this important show if you are in the Los Angeles area.
Next Friday, December 14th.
At: Soze Gallery
801 East 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90013
For more information call: 323-929-2361
or check out: http://www.graffuturism.com
This week saw the passing of a good friend, Justin Van Hoy, aka The Dutch Giant. Justin was really tall – maybe 6, 4” with shaggy bright Orangey-Red hair and a Jesus-like beard. He had been engaged in a long fight with Cancer, but died suddenly outside of his home on Wednesday. Justin was an extraordinarily talented designer and illustrator, but more importantly was a selfless lover and promoter of art. He was also a gallery owner and curator for his space This, Los Angeles.
I was introduced to Justin a couple of years ago through a mutual friend, as a potential designer for a book of my work. With no promise from me, Justin jumped in and begin to connect the dots of my own creative history in ways that I myself couldn’t see. He saw the links between graffiti, graphic design, creative direction, and fine art very clearly. This was a breath of fresh air to me, and made me see my own life’s work differently.
Justin’s passing was shock to everyone, because only a little over a week earlier he hosted a book release at the Gagosian gallery for the new book Milk & Honey, Contemporary Art in California which he edited and designed. This weekend friends and family gathered to celebrate Justin’s life. The celebration was held in a big loft space in Downtown, LA, and I was really happy to see that there were hundreds of people, standing room only.
Many people spoke about Justin’s heart, his talent, his bravery, and his commitment. The one thing that several people spoke about, which I know from experience, was that from the moment you first shook Justin’s hand, you knew he was a friend.
To paraphrase a poem that was read on Saturday-
“Death is nothing at all…., All is Well”
You can see some of Justin’s work here: http://work.thedutchpress.com
I know it’s already been posted, but wanted to big-up Sacha Jenkins and Chino for their efforts in putting these books together. Often those defining the Culture are not from the Culture and the end result reflects that. Book publishing in general is not a high profit business, in fact it’s often a no-profit business, so i view this as a labor of love on their part, and I’m happy to be included in the documentation of this important part of our history.
My 48 hour Black Book, circa the mid ‘80s
This article was posted by West 1 Year, 9 months, 2 weeks, 4 days, 12 hours, 37 minutes ago.
Some Thoughtz to share. These are two of my favorites from Hennessey Youngman, but check out “How to make an Art. Addendum”, & “Relational Aesthetics” as well..
Here is a video shot by my good brother Ben Solomon of a Mural installation done as part of Graffuturism’s In Situ project during Art Basel in Miami.
Sometimes a Black Book isn’t actually a ‘Black Book’. Here are some autographs from one of my favorite books
from a 2002 gathering of people who came to say goodbye to Iz the Wiz who was leaving New York for a warmer climate.
Iz The Wiz, Mare 139
Part TDS, Quik
Slin2, Dr. Revolt
A rare Flint tag, Henry Chalfant
For all my NY Brothers & Sisters - Don’t miss this sonic celebration tomorrow night featuring Sami-T of The Far East Rulers, Mighty Crown, along with NY’s own Deadly Dragon Sound.
I’ve heard through the grapevine that there will some special guests in the house including Screechie Dan, Rankin Joe, and DJ Muro.
Here is some artwork I recently did for my good brother Sung to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of his innovative footwear brand Clae. This is the third installment of his Five by Five Series where he pairs musical and visual artists together. My at-bat was for the legendary Japanese Reggae sound system Mighty Crown.
The original painting
The Inspiration - when I first heard this mix and Ky-mani Marley’s dubplates of his father’s Sun is Shining, and Trenchtown Rock my mind went racing to one of my favorite album covers of all time – Bob Marley’s Survival
Here is a link to the Clae / Mighty Crown mix, as well as links to the two previous mixes - Vol 1: Dam Funk meets Rostarr, and Vol 2: DJ Clark Kent meets Jamil GS.