|Chor Boogie and Eon75 Interview
We took two of SFs premier artists, interviewed them separately to see how their minds worked and then conducted a collaborative interview based on the paintings they have recently made together.
Por favor, read on...
We enjoy Eon75 email updates, his sense of humor and his amazing talent to make the world around us beautiful.
How would you best describe who you are and what you do?
I am a laid back artist who has a love for anything creative and a passion for nature and a good beach.
Were you into art when you were younger? You mentioned in a previous interview hanging around a free-wall, what was the motivation for being there? Were you into art prior to graffiti?
I wouldnt say I was really "into" art at a young age. Always in school I was drawing on my notebooks and anything I could get my hand on. I thought at the time it was just the ramblings of a mind that couldnt focus on school. Now that I look back on it, most of those shapes and forms are mimicked in my art now. I was never into graffiti till I saw a production on a legal wall in Gainesville Florida while I was going to school there. The sophistication of the production was unlike anything I had ever seen (the artists were Daim and Seemso from Germany). The next day I went to K-Mart bought some cans and went and painted. I hadnt sketched anything out, but I had ideas instantly of what I wanted to do. The piece was absolutely hideous. But the graffiti bug was planted and I havent been able to put a can down since.
Since you have had the opportunity to paint in several different places, how to you feel the United States treats public art and graffiti? How can we change our perception of graffiti?
That is a difficult question. It is always tough to comment on perception, especially when it comes to art. Cause it is such an abstract subject. But in general the public views graff as this good and bad element to any major city. You have tagging that is a necessary evil to the graff scene and people hate this aspect. But then when a nice mural is produced to counter the tagging people love it. The "perception" is always changing and developing and now with the fact that urban art is so trendy people are perceiving it as a money maker and using it with there brand designs. From soft drink commercials to Ipod covers. Having said that I believe the perception has become a more positive connotation with Graffiti.
You have a range of talents; Design, Architecture, Graffiti; did one lead to the other and what was the progression? And how do you approach being creative in those mediums; is it the same creative process?
First came the Architectural education, which weighs heavy on any creative project I might be working on, whether it is designing a mural or painting a shoe for a client. Architecture school gave me the tools to design and create a balance, graphic composition that is easy for the viewers eye to understand. There should always be a harmony or color balance to any concept or production. Having studied architecture for seven years it really instilled in me the fundamental building blocks or foundation for an honest composition and understanding of what works and what just looks odd and out of place.
How do they come together to make you the artist that you are today?
It is difficult for me to paint a wall or a canvas and not approach it in an architectural vernacular. Always analyzing the overall layout to see what I need to add or eliminate, and where. I always like to create a harmony between the positive and negative space thus creating a balance between light and dark. If you really delve into my pieces you will see a coordination of color to the overall image, and also the relationship to the background. If there is red one side of the piece then I have to add red to the right side. This theory carries your eye throughout the whole painting.
You are working on a project with the city of San Francisco and the Mayor. Can you elaborate on what this project is?
I have been hired by the city of San Francisco to paint an iconic mural in the Mission District of the city. The project is unlike any that I have ever done in the past so I am proud to be apart of this pilot program.
What was the major motivation in doing this project?
The program is called SmArts. And it was developed by the major as a solution or deterrent to vandalization and tagging. The basic concept is this. The city (Specifically DPW) spends about 40 million dollars annually to buff or cover tagged and vandalized walls and businesses. Gavin Newsom has proposed to take some of this money and allocate it for a program called SmArts. The city will then connect business owners with artists. It is then the artists responsibility to maintain the wall and make sure if it gets tagged to come back and fix it. Newsoms hope is that the city will one day be a "mural city" one day.
Right now the program is in its infantile stages and is still in development. The next phase is to head into the schools and see if we can educate young artists; thus changing the mindset of the graffiti artists that are just starting to paint. And maybe they will pursue a more creative side to graffiti than just a destructive side.
How do you feel your work effects peoples perception of graffiti?
Well I dont feel that I am your normal graffiti artist. I use the medium in a more abstract manner and am not focused on letter structure. Which Im sure annoys a lot of tradition graff artists. So typically when people meet me and I tell them I am a graffiti artist they already have a stereotype or idea of what a graffiti artist is. Then they see my work and understand that I am not your normal graffiti artist and from there it usually opens the door for a discussion regarding the art form and how I view it.
Your works are photo realistic with aspects of organic sci-fi what was the inspiration to merge these together? And what are your current influences and inspirations?
Well I in no way can paint in a photo realistic manner. The last few murals I have painted with Jae54 and whether he likes it or not (probably not) he is going to start teaching me how to paint like this. Ive done some photo realism in the past (train tracks,bees..etc) but nothing like I would like to do. My influences are and always will be the environment that surrounds me and nature. I grew up in South Florida and was very much a beach bum. So I am very connected to nature and the structure of nature. This is a heavy influence in all I do. Organic Space Age Funk!
Are you a Trekky or Star Wars Fan Boy?
I guess I am an uber nerd. I like both!
What do you feel are your weaknesses are as an artist?
I wish I was an illustrator. To make up your own characters and worlds and then being able to paint them. I am so jealous of artists that are well rounded like that.
If you had to describe your style to an alien race of squid people what would you say? What would you have them listen to to help enhance the whole experience?
I wouldnt have to say much cause they would see by my paintings that I speak their native language. And they would hail me as their Earth Overlord.
You traveled throughout the world doing art, where do you envision retiring?
Easy answer. Barcelona. Anybody that has been there and painted there knows why. Its my heaven on earth.
Besides ruling the world through the walls of SF, what else are your interests and hobbies?
Soccer first and fore most. Traveling, meeting new artists, Bad TV. Reading anything I can get my hands on, and enjoying life and all its beauty.
We respect Chor's dedication, ground breaking view of graffiti and art and colorful personality. This interview was amazing for us to receive!
So lets get the basics out of the way.....Who are you, where are you from, and where are you based now?
My name is chor boogie... (CH-or '' BOOG-e) I am an artist.. my medium is spray paint .. aerosol voodoo technician ... I hale from SAN DIEGO.. from a small city called Oceanside/ vista...now I am in San Francisco .. the bay baby ...
How long have you been an artist and what got you started?
Ive been an artist since a young pad one from the mere age of 5 yrs old.. well when I was in kindergarten my teacher handed me some paint brushes and said go for it ..I did and when she came to check on me I looked at here and said I am going to be an artists when I grow up now here I am.. Then the years passed and was introduced to spray paint by seeing the colorful artwork in the aqueducts which blew my mind.. So at the age of 10 I said I wanted to do that and was inspired by magazines such as the source and books like subway and spray can art.. but I was also intrigued by masters of modern art literature and reading biographies and looking at the artwork of masters in that world as well...so from the age of 10 I started drawing letter styles and caricatures .. but there was something about characters that stuck out to me I was just feeling it more than doing letters.. so as time grew I felt I needed to graduate to a spray can .. so at the age of 13 was when the magic happened.. so started off bombing and being a vandal for e real short period because I was more enthused with the artistic side of what I do..
Have you had any major setbacks along the way to success? How did you overcome them?
My major set back was my self... I cant play the blame game .. but the streets had an influence on set backs.. ego ..pride.. but most of all .. drugs ..sun .. doing heroin for a minute really fucked me up ...mixing it with crystal meth, and an assortment of flavor of drugs..acid ..pcp..the whole 9.. now talking about grimy street life.. once you hit bottom of that then you are playing with forces that can wind up killing you.. which they did in some of my cases.. overdosing all types of shit.. like going to hell and back a few times and actually chilling with the devil making him your best friend. shit is real and its fun in the beginning but there is a balance to everything and once the universe feels you are not grateful for the life you have let alone the body.. then it starts to fight back ..to save you..FATE... is the answer and it was not my fate to stay in the underground the real underground.. its my fate to rise above amongst the living above ground ..
Did you have any mentors? If so, how did they help you develop?
My mentors from masters of modern art where Michelangelo, Leonardo, Gustav Klimt, Salvador Dali, to more contemporaries like Chuck Close, PHASE2, VULCAN, APEX,NEON, COMA, SAKE, HEX, SLICK, ZODAK,.. I would say they helped, inspired and motivation .. since I did not go to school for art .. because when I was enrolled in some art classes the teachers frowned upon the fact of spray paint being a medium.. (I think they where just jealous) and never taken art classes after that.. but as far as them inspiring me .. knowing the spray paint contemporaries personally actually helped as well because the conversations are out of this world .. but honestly I will say fair and foremost .. I AM MY OWN MOTIVATION AND INSPIRATION BEFORE ANY.. I believe thats why I am in the position I am in today because I push my self with patience and discipline.. and TRUST my work and what I do..
So we noticed that you happened to acquire a really awesome sponsor... How did you get that sweet deal?
MY SKILLS AND WHAT I BRING TO THE TABLE AS AN ARTIST.... fair and fore most and my developed relationship with NEON and the MTN COLORS NORTH AMERICA FAMILY ..he is my boy and got a lot of respect for him ..his talent and what he has brought to the table when it comes to this medium .. HE SUPPLIES THE UNITED STATES WITH THERE TOOLS OF COMMUNICATION. believe that.. plus its a combination of things.. the SHINE I've been getting and using the brand definitely helps.. PLUS ..they have been hitting new markets and the art market is one of them so they chose me and a few others that represent that world well, because they all ready have the graffiti market and its time to evolve.. they know I don't do GRAFFITI as well as not push it.. because my objective is different and they respect that.. hence the fact of the sponsorship..
Not to long ago we noticed you were in the news over some kids trying boost your paint.....what the hell happened? Did you get any punches in? Do you have any leads for the AP vengeance team?
Well I was working on a mural... a large mural on the main street of SF.. Market St.. as I am painting getting some finishing touches in.. I keep my paint in the middle of the wall so I can keep a close eye on it. so when there are large groups of people walking past my paint I give a quick peep.. from there I seen this little cockroach of a bitch.. scamper to my paint and snag a can and put it in her bag.. i was like hell no .. got off the ladder and confronted her ..she acted like she didn't see me see her steal some paint.. she started acting stupid saying she didnt do anything ..I snatched her bag and pulled out the can at that same time she tried to hit me and it was like instant reaction.. I dodged the hit and smack the shit out of her face with the can... THATS RIGHT.. I smacked that bitch up.. with a can to the grill and I am proud of it .. I dont care if you are man or woman in this so called graffiti world if you are playing hard and have no respect ..your gonna get hurt.. So. from there 3 guys came out the wood work.. and then I realized it was a set up and they where grimy TOY ass bastard childs of grawfeetee.. and then the rumble happened ..apparently the main dude I was fighting came in first and got a cold clock to the eye.. and I dont understand why the two other guys where there because they didnt even do anything but get hit... armatures.. and you may say of course hes going to say he fought back and whooped ass.. out of pride and ego sake .. trust me if they didnt have a knife it would have went a whole different route. but if I would have gotten stomped out I would admit it...so we are fighting in the middle of Market St.. with spectators around of course.. and the toys started to take off.. I was missing my phone and ran after the punks caught up to the one with the knife and rushed him first.. practically doing some MMA shit on him kick to the stomach and a knee to the face. MAN YOU SHOULD OF HEARD THE CROWD WHEN I DID THAT... then his boys tried to come in for more ..really I dont know why they where there they where pussy..didnt do anything.. it was funny all these fucking bastards did was show there fake ass gold hyphy fronts saying the stupidest shit .. so at that point he dropped the knife and we fought until he picked it up and they all ran.. and i ran after them.. they hopped on the bus.. and we where at a stand off.. I am looking at this dudes face and his nose looked busted with blood coming out and his eye as well.. puffy face.. so I am walking back to my stuff and all the local drug dealers are giving me pats on the back calling me CHAMP.. "champ you fucked those punks up ..it was like some crazy Bruce lee shit the dude had the knife so close to your face and you just dodged that shit many times.. " honestly at that point I didnt know the kid had a knife until later on..TRIP OUT.. but as I am walking away one of the dealers was like yo man ..I think you got stabbed .. and I was in denial and saying nah its his blood .. he was like no man there is a hole in your back with blood coming out of it .. I was like what.. then I checked my body.. and there was a hole in my lower stomach... at that point I was like ..I think its about that time to calm down.. and take in mind all this happened with in 5 to 10 min.. real quick.. so from there my wife picked me up and was off to the hospital.. once I got there they drugged me up and started inspecting.. the hit to the stomach went in about an inch damn near my lower intestines which would have been a worse case if that would of happened same with the back since it went in two inches and was close to my lungs.. so they plugged me up and 10 hours later I was out of the hospital.. so no matter what .. I may have been victorious on the fighting stand point .. they still stabbed me because they where weak and could not fight in the first place.. thats why it took 3 of them to try to do some damage and where unsuccessful plus they realized I wasnt fucking around hurting them.. and had to resort to a knife .. if that's not cowardly then I dont know what is.. either or getting stabbed sucks.. and people are like oh you got street cred now calling me the 50cent / Tupac of this medium ..what kind of stupid shit is that .. little do they know Ive had that cred and I am not proud of it .. but I guess its resorted to something like this to get your name noticed.. get the fuck out of here and get real...I wish that upon nobody.. so the police know who they are and made no arrests.. I dont know why .. funny system.. also.. I found them on myspace.. and tried to befriend them leaving a message saying I know who you are.. call me crazy.. but they didnt accept ..I wonder why I would reveal who they are but toys get no shine especially ones that stabbed me...... but it is what it is and it aint what it aint .. its been a second since its happened and on a lighter note I finished my mural.. which beautified the city becoming a landmark...thinking positive thoughts now
After reviewing your resume we see that you're quite the globe trotter, with commissioned pieces in places like Australia and China. I saw a news report saying you did some work for the Olympic Games. I also heard that you did work the freaking United Arab Emirates!! I imagine that you have some amazing stories from your travels, care to share?
TRAVELS.. well there all lovely places.. with lots of stories.. the people in general are cool in all these places . even when you come in from another country and do something they have never seen before done with this medium of spray paint .. they are just mind boggled.. but show a lot of love.. its crazy Ive painted in crazy places like favelas in Brazil and I get stabbed on my door step.. just had to throw that in there.. but yeah Brazil was amazing painting in the red light district was nuts.. painting while all these naked whores walking around.. they are coming up grabbing your dick and balls. literally fucking me up while I was painting .. pretty bugged out.. but we finished the project.. I was there with a photographer making a book on prostitutes of Brazil and brought me there to add some spice to the book.. then the favelas.. being prepped before walking in .. noticing gangsters walking around with AK-47s and a ten year old with 2 nines on his waist line and a bag of drugs for him to sale introducing you to the favela... shit was nuts.. we had to get permission to paint there ..and had to be cautious of taking footage .. even though some shit could have broke out.. it didnt and it was cool.. plus the women of Brazil are amazing just have to throw that in there..
CHINA was fresh let alone painting for the Olympics.. but I was there when they had that major earthquake that killed thousands upon thousands of people .. I was 500 miles away from the actual earthquake and still felt it.. beneath my feet .. there was a massive evacuation.. and I was still trying to paint during the earthquake.. it was nuts .. felt like some Godzilla movie.. there buildings are more massive than ours.. and to see the buildings sway in the wind like match sticks was crazy.. I was mainly watching those just in case I had to make a quick run in the opposite direction it was going to fall..nuts..
AUSTRALIA WAS REALLY FRESH... aboriginals are the coolest..
CANADA ..EVERYONE IS NICE IN CANADA ..love em..
DUBAI.. REALLY HOT .. thats where ALBUS CAVUS got hooked up with MTV and did some interstitial for them ..lots of money crazy money.. the ocean was like taking a bath in hot water.. and they treat you like a king out there mad respect .. but they dont play so we had to be on out Ps and Qs.. and show respect .. which is understandable.. the women walking around with diamond studded burqas.. but really they are thirsty for culture thats why we where brought out there .. we did a workshop at America university Dubai .. and so on.. but the main thing is the architecture is like the buildings are made of gold..
Who served the best dish?
i cant say the food was amazing in all the places.. for real..
If you could plan a road trip with any 2 people in the world (dead or alive) who would it be? Why? What kind of car would you be driving cross country?
Gustav Klimt ..PHASE 2.. APEX.. VULCAN..and NEON.. IN A TOUR BUS..
How do you feel about the current state of the graffiti culture?
I feel the culture is deprived or stagnate .. simply because there is no understanding or philosophy for the reason or purpose of why that word exists.. I believe that the people that push the word only push it because of money.. I feel that there is way more to the medium than graffiti.. and if you say its a movement what ..movement.. tell me the significance.. and I hope you don't tell me because its about the struggle.. or la resistance.. or its political .. or its just an egotistical form of getting fame with the justification of your name being spread all over the place. hating on peoples art because you cant do that or just don't take the time to learn something new....using your fate as being an underprivileged excuse of the reason why you cant evolve from graffiti ..trust me you can call it what you want it.. shit ...graffiti is set in stone.. so you do what you feel is right.. if that appeals to you so be it.. i would just like to see people evolve from what it is.. to establishing there own understanding and there own meaning for what they do.. and to all these young kids out there ...YOU GOTTA KNOW YOUR HISTORY.. and if you think the ones in the light today are the TRUTH .. you are mad mistaken ..reason being is show me what and how they are elevating this medium to the next level and what are they bringing to the table that already hasnt been brought to the table before.. hence the fact of tell me where you are going with this.. PLUS .. how can all the books and movies describe the relevance of what this medium is about when they dont even have the right people in them explaining the truth.. and trust me you will be re educated by PHASE 2 AND VULCAN who re-educated me (WHO BETTER TO LEARN FROM)... who where there since the beginning .. and how they remember when NYC was clean and had no marks on it at all and when it all started they didnt call it graffiti .. there was no name for it.. the government labeled it that name .. so in actuality if its so called political then its a contradiction.. a lie.. that was fallen for .. set in stone because now its a money game.. ITS also this the PEOPLE pushing that word mess it up for themselves (like they really give a fuck) but they mess it up for the ones that do elevate.. simply because of the negative connotations behind the word.. THINK ABOUT IT.. if you dont give a fuck go somewhere else with that shit or BLOW YOUR own FUCKING HEAD OFF..honestly thats some real narcissism ..no matter what ever name its called take SHIT for example your going to call it shit because you got love for shit..and that shit is making you money.. GET REAL PEOPLE..STEP UP AND BE ORIGINAL CREATE YOUR OWN NAME YOUR OWN SIGNIFICANCE..YOUR OWN REALITY WHEN IT COMES TO THIS MEDIUM.. DONT LET ANYBODY DICTATE THE FLOW OF WHAT THE TRUTH IS.. but like all things there is two sides two every coin .. and I guess this is the BALANCE..
Art Primo would like thank you for chatting with us and would like to commend you for being fuckinâ€™ amazing. If you are ever up in Seattle you know who to buzz.
Any last Shout outs?
MY LAST SHOUT OUT IS A QUOTE.. FROM THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI..
ALTHOUGH IT STANDS TO REASON THAT A SAMURAI SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI, IT WOULD SEEM THAT WE ARE ALL NEGLIGENT. CONSEQUENTLY, IF SOMEONE WHERE TO ASK ,
"WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI?.''
THE PERSON WHO WOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER PROMPTLY IS RARE. THIS IS BECAUSE IT HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED IN ONE'S MIND BEFOREHAND.FROM THIS, ONES UN MINDFULNESS OF THE WAY CAN BE KNOWN..
NEGLIGENCE IS AN EXTREME THING..
Where did you two meet and what was the inspiration to do pieces together?
Chor: Well I met max at culture skate.. and I would say its magnetic laws of attraction.. that brought the forces together.. just like everyone Ive collaborated with in my life..
Eon75: Chor and I actually meet though a mutual friend named Zach, who owned a gallery here in SF. He thought it would be great if we connected worlds and painted together. Then through my friend Terry at Culture Skate Shop we were able to meet and paint the wall in the courtyard in the back. So it was a couple of factors that had to come together...and they did!
When collaborating, do you have a rough idea of what you are doing or is it more regiment? And is your system for deciding which ideas come to fruition?
Chor: I have a bag of tricks for being a street romantic like my style for instance (OMEGA) its an abstract expressionism of a romantic voodoo with emotional landscapes of a melodic symphony through color therapy A MASTER OF ILLUSION TECHNIQUE. so you get 50%mind + 50% heart = 100% body + 100% soul which = 200% spirit then ADD an infinite universe you have a chorboogie creation... I apply this to my collaborations as well.. So in tune its a natural vision..
Eon75: To be honest we do not plan anything out or talk about the wall at all. There is no process. It is freestyle at its finest.
How do you deal with the differences in each others creative processes?
Chor: The collaboration is a challenge .. but you have to drop your ego and pride and forget the challenge ..release the attachment to your work and trust the collaboration.. in the end it all works out..
Eon75: I generally have an idea of what I want to do. But all that goes out the window when I paint with Mr. Chor Boogie. I never know what he is going to do. I am always amazed by his process and the outcome. So just from time to time step back and see where he is at or where I think he is going and then coordinate with my process accordingly.
In what ways are you challenging each other as an artist? We noticed both of your abilities to incorporate unique features in your environment; which one of you is responsible for this?
Chor: I think we both contribute to that.. we both have different styles .. and bring that to the table when in collaboration..
Eon75: I dont think there is really a challenge between us. We both love what to paint and are very comfortable with our styles so we know that the end product will turn out nice no matter what. Neither. I blame the environment.
What collaboration is your personal favorite?
Chor: I believe the first collaboration was fresh..
Eon75: I would have to say the first one we did. I paint my piece going from top to bottom and worked off of Chors Prismatic face to my right. Then he pulled he wrapped his swatches of color on the other side of mine. So it had a really nice flow to it and carried the viewersâ€™ eye across the whole wall.
Have you encountered any crazy situations while working together?
Eon75: No crazy situations. Maybe just crazy people
Describe each others â€œquirksâ€â€¦..the weird things you notice of each others personality/habits?
Chor: I dont pay attention to those characteristics..
Eon75: Hahah..Chor just puts on his head phones and paints. Goes into his world . I always wonder what happens in that world. Or what the heck he is listening too. And then there are the cinnamon sticks or toothpicksâ€¦
Do you have any big plans for the future that you can disclose? What upcoming projects should we be on the look out for?
Chor:we are collaborating with paintbrush artist JET MARTINEZ .. on the new DIKBLICK ART store on Market St.. which is amazing with in it self..
Eon75: Chor and I will be painting with Jet Martinez in June. A permanent mural in an art store here in San Francisco. Should be a great combination of styles!
Art Primo again wants to thank these two amazing artists for their time. Chor has a documentary being made of him, be sure to have your eyes open for SPRAY PAINT.
Be sure to add them on your social networks;
Duke and Ffarg