Face it. The Hawks are gonna win The Superbowl. So we might as well start repping the city, and let peeps know. And what better way than to have Photo-realistic painter Joey Nix come out and bust one with a couple hundred Molotow cans? We sat down with him to hear the story.
(GR)So how did this mural came about?
(JN)A buddy of mine, Liam (who is the Hawks fan in the mural) got me the gig. He is a Bouncer at the hawks nest. A famous sports bar in Seattle, that happens to be right by the stadium. It's parking lot is the closest, to the stadium to set up and tailgate at. The owner wanted a mural in the lot to solidify the bar and create a buzz in the area. So he asked around and here I am.
(GR)Can you share a bit how you came up with the design?
(JN)Actually, I already wanted to do something that was Seahawks/Sounders themed. I did a mural in Wallingford last year, featuring some historical players but I really wanted to tell a different story. Everyone hypes the players, but what about the fans? They don't get traded or retire. They are here year after year supporting the Hawks. So I told the owner, I wanted to make a mural about the fans and he was into it. You see, in Seattle, the 12th man is a big deal. So I went online to find the most extreme fans on the net. The first one I found was the guy in the phoenix helmet. He's the shit. Dude is like 7' tall and runs around Sodo in that mask and a cape. He is a really well known Superfan and picked him first.
After that, I found a Seahawks fan I really wanted to use, but the photographer wanted too much money to use the image. So we scrapped that idea and did a photo shoot with Liam, the bouncer. Liam is pretty bad ass. He even does Beard Competitions. Also, he was the guy that got me the gig, so it was fate I guess. Tehya Sullivan also helped out on the project. She did the stadium and the 12th man flag in the design as well. Also we got the mural done in time for the home opener. The one where Guiness World Records came to record the worlds loudest stadium. How loud was it? We ended up setting the world record of 136.6 decibels. Thats as loud as a 747 jet! Oh, and we routed the Niners. In fact we haven't lost a home game since the beginning of the 2012 season.
(GR) You have been getting quite a few gigs lately. Would you say that you earn a living doing graffiti?
(JN) Graffiti? No. But I definitely make a living using Spray paint. There is a big difference between graffiti and murals. These are conceptual murals. Commission work if you will. I come up wit a theme that fits the clients needs and execute it. I look at this as training for my own ideas of fine art. Of course these are my ideas, and I'm proud of it. But I prefer to get paid to my own conceptual art.
(GR)Thats dope! I have always been one to support anyone who has a hustle. Still, there are detractors out there that say "one should only do illegal work". Or that "murals aren't graffiti". What's your opinion?
(JN)The average Joe has a hard time understanding. When they see a spray can making any type of mark, it's graffiti. Graffiti isn't supposed to be fine art. It's vandalism. You can still keep it ill eagle, and keep to your roots. Ultimately I want to expand my horizons. I love to paint pieces and burners, but I think its cool to try other things.
(GR)maybe the answer is more nuanced than that.
(JN)I dont want people to think I'm a certain way. I just look to make more dope art. Whether its a tag, a throw up, a mural, or a fine art piece. The satisfaction of doing it. Fuck money. Its all about that dope feeling from doing a piece. But I'm always looking ahead. By the time I'm done with something, I don't even want to look at it anymore. I'm looking at the next thing to paint.
(GR)What brand in this mural and why?
(JN)Belton Molotow Premium. I have used that since 06. It's just the smoothest paint out there. Its especially good for portraiture/Photorealistic work. Also, it just doesn't want to drip, ever. Any other paint is too runny for the details... Also Molotow has the most impressive color palette. Ever look at a rack of Molotow next to other brands? There just is no competition.
(GR)Any other projects on the horizon
(JN)Working on a Solo show. It's gonna be at Axis Gallery in Pioneer square. I'm also about to do the facade of this restaurant called Pintxo about 2 stories up. Should be pretty sick!
(GR)Any last shout outs?
(JN)The Hawks Nest, Tehya Sullivan, AP the Green Ranger. Oh and Congrats to Daner for his Freedom!
See more of Joey @ joeynix.wordpress.comr
Also @josephnix on Instagram