Interview with Bazar (UTI / WCA) a young writer from Los Angeles. He talks about his love of graffiti, Los Angeles, music and vandal sessions by night.
FC : Tell us about how you discovered and got started in graffiti.
Bazar : I discovered graffiti through breakdancing, and began painting graffiti during the mid 90’s. I remember seeing the movie Beat Street and being inspired by the Hip Hop movement that was carrying over from the 80’s. Within both graffiti and break dancing there is that shared importance of style and competition, which is probably why I found it so fun to begin with.
FC : What’s the meaning of your name ?
B : After trying few names it wasn’t until about 1996 that I started writing Bazar. Although I could possibly be as Bazar as my title, I didn’t choose it based on any particular reason, it was the letters that I liked.
FC : Tell us more about your crews... Famed crews !
B : The crews that I’m in are established here in Los Angeles, and begun in the 80’s as pioneers of the early graffiti movement. These crews are WCA (West Coast Artists), and UTI (Using The Imagination). Adding to the list of crews, I’ve recently been put down with I WUZ HERE!, which is a relatively new movement focused on fresh graffiti art and urban apparel, established by CBS crew.
FC : What do you like about graffiti ?
B : Graffiti is fun, straight up. Even after years in the game it’s always rewarding to go out and catch a spot in the middle of the night. What’s important to keep in mind is that graffiti goes deeper than just writing on a wall, there’s a whole community, as well as a lifestyle that people embrace as part of the urban street culture.
FC : How would you define your work and what inspires you ?
B : As far as painting letters I’d say my style is forever changing. As an artist and as an individual I’m constantly seeking ways to innovate and inspire. Creating as many projects at a quality level as I can before my time on earth expires is what inspires me.
FC : What’s your taste in movies and books ?
B : My taste in movies usually favors towards comedies and Kung Fu flicks. I love reading books, a world of knowledge and insight to be gained. Music is inspiration to the soul, and usually comes best served in the form of Break beats, House music, and Hip Hop.
FC : Do you read comics ? What do you think about the influence of comics on graffiti ?
FC : Favorite quote ?
B : I’ve always liked the quote by Buddha, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
FC : What is the last album you bought / DL ?
B : As of recently I haven’t bought much music, just been bumping Pandora. Lately been listening to artists like Super Cat, Skrillex, Doc Martin, Zeds Dead, and 360.
FC : Name an artist (or many) whose work you respect and admire.
B : Artists that I respect and admire the most are those I’ve had the opportunity to meet and connect with. A quick list of these artists includes Swan, Skill, Chew (26K), Kier, Plek, Thanks, Spek, Mear, 455Er, Pyro, Self, P45, Dcypher, Fearo, Nikon27, Nuke, Trixter, Cre8, Evolve and Zane.
FC : How do you organize your paintings ? Do you do sketches before ? Do you have any gestures, characteristics or paint
B : I organize my paintings differently. For years I’ve been painting freestyle pieces, and lately I’ve been invested more into full-scale productions with 4 or more artists. This of course requires planning such as sketches, and Photoshop mockups.
FC : How do you work your letters ?
B : I’ve typically always had a more 2D approach to my letter style. When painting I consider line variations, breaks, connections, colors, colors in the 3D, and the composition of the piece on the wall space.
FC : In the street do you strive more for quantity or quality ?
B : In the street I always strive for both, quantity and quality.
FC : What was your most adventurous and dangerous graffiti ?
B : I think a good chase story might go here, but I think that’s common for any vandal. Instead I can remember a time when things got dangerous, and kind of funny at the same time. Years ago some friends and I were painting a rooftop that had one way up and one way down, (which was the pole we climbed up to get there in the first place). After we painted, two of my friends went down first. I was the last to go down. On my turn the pole started to snap from the wall near the top of it. Unfortunately it was the only feasible way down at the time, so I clung to the pole and cautiously began making my descent. After about 4 feet down the pole snaps off the wall, and a chilling fear took over me immediately when I realized I was falling straight backwards about 20 feet. Luckily, my good friend, Meln (TME), was looking out for me that day when he acted fast and blocked my fall to the ground. I didn’t realize this at first because my eyes were closed. I just knew I was falling one minute, and the next minute I’m standing up safely on the ground. When I turned around my friend MELN was rubbing his soar head. Seems as though the pole bounced right off his head when he caught me. He was a little bummed, but we all left in one piece that night.
FC : Nice... Big up to Meln! What’s the characteristic of a Bazar piece ?
B : I like using bold colors and flexing a variety of styles, always attempting something new.
FC : What’s your perfect spot for the perfect graffiti ?
B : With graffiti it’s all about visibility, how many eyes can you grab the attention of before the buff rolls around. Freeway spots are great, but I’ve always liked painting rooftops. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I wanted to be a ninja when I was younger!
FC : How’s the collaboration with other artists going ?
B : The collaborative projects are going great, and as of lately are the most fun to paint. With so many talented artists in LA I often branch out seeking all kinds of creative talent to paint with.
FC : What was your best graffiti experience ?
B : My best graffiti experience would be any time I got away with something big, always rewarding!
FC : In which way do you want your art to evolve ?
B : I want my art to evolve however it will. I’m focused on several aspects of art varying from graffiti to digital art. I figure there’s no limit to what an ambitious creative mind can produce nowadays.
FC : What are your worst and best habits ?
B : Worst habit would be that I sometimes procrastinate on projects until the last minute to get them done. Best habit would be that once I start a project I’m all in to win!
FC : Do you practice other forms of art ?
B : I paint canvases as often as possible, not really much experience with sculptures. I gotta’ admit that painting wall surfaces is where my heart is at. Recently I’ve picked up a keen interest in graphic and web design.
FC : When’s your favorite time to paint graffiti ?
B : I’d love to paint graffiti any time of day, but all my good missions have happened while the average weekend warrior was sleeping.
FC : What’s your favorite color ?
B : My favorite color is Purple; it really compliments a lot of colors nicely.
FC : A list of words that represent Graffiti.
B : UTI, WCA, I WUZ HERE!
FC : Word Association : I’ll give you a word and you give me the first thought that comes to mind.
- Graffiti Exhibitions : Meeting of Styles.
‐ Overdose : Sad reality .
‐ London : England .
‐ UTI : Unmasking The Imposters.
‐ Slow Food : Bad service.
‐ Music : HuskeyRadio.
‐ Family : Love .
‐ God : Real .
‐ Heavy Metal : Rocks !
‐ KRS-One : Fixed Mafia.
FC : Describe a typical day for Bazar.
B : Wake up, drink a cup of coffee, enjoy my view of downtown LA, and then start drawing, painting, or as of lately I’ve been really focused on a digital media.
FC : Which other artists would you like to paint with ?
FC : What are your plans for the future ?
B : In the future I’d like to start traveling internationally, and continue creating murals with progressive like-minded individuals.
FC : What do you think about hype ?
B : Life’s short, I don’t really concern myself much with hype or the politics of the graffiti game.
FC : What’s your real goal ?
B : My real goal is just to rock as much rad art as I can before my short time on this planet expires. I believe it was Bruce Lee that famously quoted, “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”
FC : Any words or wisdom ?
B : The most direct message I could give to someone would be that no matter what always keep your eyes on the prize!
FC : Thank you Bazar !
Bazar on : FatCap