Sunday, November 4, 2012

Decipher art show

From the Press Release:

"Decipher is the exhibition that will focus on Thomas “Breeze” Marcus’ visual insights to large aerosol painting. These good-sized panels show magnified line work that feel like they were cut out of a larger mural and placed in this space. The new images from Breeze originate from graffiti, a world that has heavily influenced his artwork for over 15 years. Also, utilizing an inert traditional foundation Breeze’s interwoven forms closely resemble Native American(Tohono and Akimel O'odham) basket weaving. This combination profoundly impacts his style showing that he is amongst the distinguished muralists in Phoenix.

What is interesting about this body of work is the endless variety of designs. Slightly recognizable as letters yet not intentional, the organic layering of the lines gives a sense of perpetual movement. That energy, then, is illuminated with spray paint. The rich color selection amplifies the atmosphere within the black line. Here, Breeze gives the viewer a glimpse into infinity by “making something out of nothing”.

Decipher will talk about social connections. Deciphering what the line means: words, forms or figures? Trying to make sense of these multiple layers involves open thought of abstract mixed with a graffiti edge. However the work is deciphered the end result enlarges tradition in a new contemporary way. Using imagination to identify the forms becomes hours of study and entertainment.

Universal human ideas have brought this artist to stand out in the crowded streets. Breeze’s work ethic and discipline adds to the character of his style showing integrity by bringing something legitimate to painting table. This exhibit closely examines the larger painting in a smaller format.

Niba DelCastillo is a photographer from Tucson that Breeze invited to participate in Decipher. He will portray a dozen pieces that document outdoor public murals and graffiti in Phoenix. These photographs will show the importance of these large-scale paintings and their relation to the community. Visual education better defines the artists and their murals creating a better understanding of our culture. For more information on murals in our downtown neighborhoods check out:"

-Ken Richardson

1st Studios is located near downtown right next to the historic Westward Ho. 1st Studios was the first Television studio in the valley as well as the home for the original local Wallace and Ladmo television show.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Angel's Trumpet Ale House Mural w Lalo

Our most recent collaboration. Lalo and I created this piece on 2nd st and McKinley just north of downtown Phoenix. A wall that had an extensive history of graf and other work on it...was commissioned into a permanent mural after the owners of the new Angel's Trumpet Ale House (Matt and Sherry)gave the green light for this design.
Lalo painted the girl serving the drinks as well as the clouds and faint cityscape...And I created the huge wing span that ate up way more paint than I expected.
Photo by Niba DelCastillo

Photo by Niba DelCastillo

News 12 doing interviews with Lalo and myself.

Finished. Not sure on the exact measurements but I believe its around 15 ft x 60 ft...give or take

ASU West Campus Mural

Been a busy month or so...trying to keep up on here. This was a recent project that myself and fellow Calle 16 artist Hugo Medina worked on together along with student volunteers on the ASU West campus.
The actual canvas image size after being stretched is 11ft x 20ft.

Hugo at work

view from above

Last months project in Lac Du Flambeau inspired me enough to want to repeat the flower patterns as in the LDF mural. Hugo did all the portraits as well as Flamenco dancers and Guitar players. I brought in the Arizona sunset with the help of a film student who was eager to try aerosol. The turquoise Mayan hieroglyphics I felt would be fitting in the corners.
End result...a mural of diversity, inspiration and hope. Piece completed and hanging without the large stretcher bars.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Featured artist: Thomas Greyeyes

Thomas Greyeyes is a young Dine(Navajo) artist who recognizes his own creative purpose and is deeply rooted with his Dine culture. He often reflects his voice through his art on issues that affect not only the Dine but all Indigenous peoples and our struggles. Tom and his partner Grace Miles(San Carlos Apache) were arrested last year after doing an art installation in Flagstaff's town square in protest of the Snowbowl Ski resort to make fake snow on The San Francisco Peaks. (Brief description: Snowbowl Ski Resort in Flagstaff aims to utilize a deal in which they would use reclaimed(sewage) water from the city of Flagstaff in order to create fake snow upon the sacred peaks for recreation. It would not only be a desecration but a health hazard to the environment)

Protect the Peaks Art Installation from Tom GreyEyes on Vimeo.

This past week, a local(Phoenix) creative publication featured an article on the recent "Painted Desert Project" that myself, Thomas Greyeyes and several other international artists participated in over the summer up on the Navajo Reservation.

Unfortunately "they" failed to represent my friend Tom...not a single mention or even a photo of his work...And in my opinion Tom should have been the main one featured out of all the artists, because he is the only Dine(Navajo) artist who participated in the mural projects.

Thomas Greyeyes and his contributions to the Painted Desert Project

Thomas Greyeyes and his contributions to the Painted Desert Project

However...aside from this project(Whom Jetsonorama along with Yote organized)...The Navajo Nation has been a canvas for muralists and artists from the reservation for years. The infamous windmill water tanks(along with other structures) that are EVERYWHERE on all parts of the rez have been used as a platform for everything from Original art that reflects the culture of the Dine people, as well as being used as a form of media to advertise the voice of protest against Coal Mining and water contamination, to water rights and as well as the issue of Protecting sacred sites such as the Peaks in Flagstaff(which is a sacred site to the Dine and Hopi).

TO'EI'INNA(Water is life) and a rez dog.

My frustration here is not just against the recent publication's failure to mention my friend Thomas...Its bigger than that. I notice how the art world(and the world in general) can be at times(superficial and egotistical). I see certain sites and blogs that only showcase a "who's popular" contest. I am all for more art in the world and even support and admire all the other artists who were involved in the Painted Desert Project...however there are so many great artists who go unnoticed for not only the quality and skill in their work, but more importantly the messages and deep rooted meanings in their work that they put out there.. which in many cases hold far more validity in relation to sociological issues and show strength and power through the philosophies and psychological factors that illuminate from their work.

The amount of Native artists who put in work is amazing but again often overlooked. It reminds me of the era of the late 70's and early 80's when Haring, Basquiat, and Warhol were the big names coming out of NYC...but names such as Dondi, Tracy 168, Taki 183, Stay High 149, Vulcan, Coco 144, Seen and so many more subway train writers...never got the recognition they deserved...and probably put in more hard work..blood, sweat and tears...than the first 3 mentioned.

This entry is me showing love to my fellow brother and artist Thomas Greyeyes... and the numerous other Native artists who represent harder than most...I could say so much more but instead.. At this time Id like to recognize some of those influential artists(Renegades of Funk)...

Tom Greyeyes, Averian Chee, Razelle Benally, Rebekah Miles, Douglas Miles, Xiana Clitso, Jeff Slim, Cy Wagoner, Patrick Cloudface Burnham, Randy Barton, Saba, Closer, Melissa Cody, Rose Simpson, Dwayne Manuel, Navem, Erode, Eter, Angel Diaz, Mike 360, Nomas, Lynette Haozous, Nahshon Russell, Myron(Falling Star), Vansler, Ryan Singer, Jeremy Singer, Jerrel Singer, Chris and Debra Pappan, Micah Wesley, Bobby Wilson....and to the young native kids who are just finding their voice and power through creativity....and so many many more. Please forgive me if I forgot to add your name...but know you are recognized.

We recognize ourselves as human beings and our relation to this earth...therefore we carry on this legacy of creative intelligence through balance and continue our survival and place in this world...

Thomas Greyeyes "Decolonize/This is Indigenous peoples land/ Protect Mother Earth"

"Our Existence is Our Resistance"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lac Du Flambeau/ Ojibwe (Midwest III)

A visit to Lac Du Flambeau "lake of the flames" Ojibwe band near Lake Superior. I was fortunate enough to participate in doing a youth workshop with this community. I hope the pictures speak for themselves. This was a great experience working with the people and youth of this northern woodland tribe in northern Wisconsin. In the end the youth schooled me on who they are, and as a collective we created a mural that speaks to who these people are and the legacy they carry on. This community project is one of my favorites to date. Thank you to everyone involved, and for having me.
Jazmine after our walk through her community...she gathered a feather and other natural materials.

A boarding school dorm

"Gi Waabanda Min (What we collectively see)
Traditional birch bark artwork and floral patterns

Down the lake

Ojibwe floral pattern beadwork

The primer

This community is named after an event in which French traders witnessed Ojibwe fisherman spearing fishing at night from their canoes on the lake...with torches guiding them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Milwaukee(Midwest part II)

My 1st time in MKE(Milwaukee). For about 7 days I was back and forth between Chicago to the south and Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe Reservation in Northern Wisconsin(Check back for part III).
MKE has a contrast of newer starbucks gentrified areas such as the 3rd ward south of downtown, to old, dirty, grimey abandoned areas of an obsolete era of early to mid 1900's industrial warehouses made of "cream city brick". I personally dig the decay of past footsteps.(Cream City brick is a brick made from cream or light-yellow colored brick made from clay in the Menominee River Valley and the western shore of Lake Michigan.)

MKE night time tourism

2:30am site seeing. Some serious camera power going on.

Ghosts of the past

Light at the end of the tunnel(river)?

In the end Milwaukee shows its age and past. Green hills, trees, lakes...and a history of diverse architecture with everything from Victorian Gothic, Art Deco, Post Modernism and more. Not my choice in cold ass winter weather...nor mid summer humidity and heat. But not a bad first visit. And props to the Potawatomi tribe with their trust land Casino in the Menominee valley south of Downtown. Or at least I thought that was interesting?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicago (Midwest part I)

Back in the desert after a few days in the midwest. Had a chance to paint a spot in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood of Nw Chicago. Thanks to Tony "Once" for the spot.

Downtown at night. Its been many years since my last visit. Good to see you again Chicago.

CTA outside Taco Chino in uptown.
This one's for you Daniel and Niba at I hit up this joint Taco Chino with my friends Chris and Debra Pappan along with their daughter. Fusion place with Korean BBQ Tacos and 1 or 2 other fusion items. Pretty damn good I must say.

"Not For Tourists"-Taco Chino

How ironic...I fly half way across country......and there is a giant mural on the wall of some Saguaro Cactus. Felt right at home...but
And some good local mural works in the Belmont Cragin area.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Az Central Mural Tour

I haven't been able to work out why part of the screen is cut off when I post videos? Still working on it so you can see the whole thing. This video was posted by in collaboration with Daniel Mills who runs the local Phoenix street art website I believe this was back at the start of the year? can follow the link to the actual page and view the whole video...OR just click the full screen icon in the bottom right hand corner of the vid..which is visible. sorry again. hopefully i can figure it out.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Apache Rez: Doug Miles, Thomas Greyeyes, Colton Brock.

Recently my long time friend Douglas Miles of Apache Skateboards brought up the idea that we should collaborate on a wall mural in San Carlos Az. (on the Apache Reservation). Along with Thomas Greyeyes and Doug… the 3 of us came up with a mural concept which each us would travel to each other’s communities/reservations etc…and create a collaborative piece of art in each of those areas. On this trip to SC, mutual friend, artist and all around good dude, Colton Brock joined the mix on the walls of the San Carlos Skate Park.
Upon arriving into San Carlos, one of the first things you notice is a Skate Park on the right hand side that is next to a community center. This would be our canvas for the next couple of warm sunny days. Less than an hour into starting on the first day, Tribal Police pull up and give us a hard time. With a bit of misunderstanding we had to postpone working on the wall for a couple hours. In the end we worked it out and were back to painting.
Doug Miles created a life size illustration with Colton creating a background based on the surrounding environment…such as the flat volcanic mesa tops, electrical poles and large amounts of bamboo bushes that seem to be everywhere. Of course the bamboo is not indigenous to the land, but today is a noticeable image around the community.
Tom Greyeyes produced a piece based off a photo of his girlfriend Grace kissing a sort of Halloween looking mask of a wolf. I can’t remember but I believe Tom is actually wearing the mask. My contribution to Doug and Colton’s piece was more decorative, and with Tom’s piece it was background and an interesting co-lab at that. I look forward to more.
In the end, countless paint cans were empted, gallons of water consumed with an equal of amount of sweat poured out. Young skateboarders who frequent the park, sat and watched while taking breaks from their own craft. Food shared, stories exchanged, honks from people passing by.

“I think this piece is not what people are used to seeing. Its ‘odd’…but this makes it good. It’s outside of Phx to so people look at it different..” -Douglas Miles

For me personally, San Carlos is familiar in more ways than one. I have memories as a kid of traveling to SC for sunrise ceremonies with my uncles. My stepdad who raised me is from San Carlos, and (his mother) my grandmother Cherry taught me a lot about Apache people as a child. SC holds many hints of similarities to that of my own communities of Salt River, Gila River and Sells Az. SC can be a difficult place to live, but its home for many, and I get that feeling of home and can relate even though I'm not from there. The community itself has its ups and downs. I know these struggles and triumphs very well, and I am thankful for being raised the way I have. Not everyone can comprehend what it’s like to live on a Reservation in the United States. Regardless, San Carlos is a place of people with a long history and legacy... its also a place of everyday people living and surviving with many stories to tell. The walls of the park are just a couple stories translated in paint.