Interviews

Make/Galo

       

By Vincent Morgan |  Published on Tuesday, June 30, 2009.

Here's the FatCap interview of Make aka Galo. Make is a Los Angeles Graffiti Veteran. Lot's of memories, street guerilla actions, fame and work, positive graffiti-hip hop vision for our readers.

PRESENTATION:


FC: Where are you from? Tell us about your beginnings and your discovery of graffiti.
Galo/Make: I am from Los Angeles...born and raised. I was exposed to graffiti through Hip-Hop, although I had seen it around in other forms such as: gang-writing, punk, skate and by stoners and stuff. My friends from around my neighborhood, mainly the KGB (Kids Gone Bad) crew also exposed me to it. My boy Krenz/Yem really brought me out more then Rick-K2S schooled me then I just branched out on my own.

 

Galo Make one



FC: Why and how did you choose your name?

Galo/Make: Well, I guess like everyone else, I went through several name changes. I remember writing Mine, Axis, and Fraze to just name a few. I would also write my name Galo. I also wrote Time for a while but I still was not completely happy with my name. I recall watching Style Wars one day at my homie Skan's-KGB house and when I saw Mare I liked his character and style. I then just swapped his R for my K and Make was born. I was like hell yeah. Make is a dope name and have been writing Make ever since.

 

FC: What was the interest in art and what lead you to create all those things?
Galo/Make: Art was always in me. Since a child I was always doodling and drawing, replicating band names and their logos such as: ACDC, Led Zeppelin, Kiss etc. I was also into the lettering seen on board games such as: Candyland or cereal boxes such as: Frosted Flakes or Fruit Loops. I was always fascinated by letters and when graffiti came around I realized I could manipulate letters and fonts too. Til this day letters…calligraphy, typography, fonts, ads, everything letter related fascinates me also.

 

Graffiti by Galo Make

 

FC: Tell us about the graffiti scene from your town, you're in the game since 84, you have seen so many writers, so many styles…
Galo/Make: Most definitely - Los Angeles has gone through mad changes. But with L.A. there has always been one underlying element or dominating style that defines L.A. I believe that underlying element is the gangster style element. I strongly believe that has always defined and separated L.A. from other cities nationally and globally.

 

FC: How would you define your work and what inspires MAKE ONE?
Galo/Make: I can’t define my work really. As myself, am always changing, shifting and re-shaping, my style does too. My style is a pure reflection of who I am and what or who inspires me, which is everything and everyone in my life. Loved or hated.  Liked or disliked.

 

The things that inspire me are friends, my crew-members, my old crew-members, music, girls, nature, movies, comics, everything you can possibly imagine. I don’t think I can draw my inspiration from one main source although the female anatomy and body is one strong inspiration.

 

FC: Do you need to do graffiti? What’s your relation with this art?
Galo/Make: I believe I need to do it. I have to paint. Not necessarily for others or to be relevant or be seen but for myself. My relationship with my art is intimate but I know it can deepen. Just like anything else, specially relationships, there is always room for improvement.

 

FC : Tell us about the "Save the Radio-Tron" movement that inspired the movie Electric Boogaloo?
Galo/Make: The Radio-Tron was a youth center in Los Angeles. Many of the west coast pioneers of Hip-Hop in L.A. would gather there. It was initially called the Radio-Club and old school heads such as: Ice-T, Handyman, Air Force Crew, Shake City Rockers, Tony G, Boogaloo Shrimp, just to name a few, would come and hang out. A lot of the OG writers from L.A. would also come and hang out. The Radio-Tron, without any doubt, was the epicenter for Hip-Hop in L.A.

 

The Radio-Tron used to be runned by Carmelo Alvarez. A fellaz who always believed in the Hip-Hop and Graff culture. He pretty much opened the doors to us kids at that time and gave us a place to hangout and be safe from all the gang activity that was on the rise. He also assumed the role of a surrogate father.

 

Anyhow - the spot faced some legal issues and was served with a notice of closure. So we all rallied up and marched to City Hall in the event to prevent its closure and some people were moved, specially the film crew that had initially filmed Breakin’  there. They were inspired to fork out Electric Boogaloo and pretty much based the premise around us. That's like the short condensed version (laughs)

 

break machine

 

FC: Ok ... nice... Let's talk about your crew. What was the history of STN?
Galo/Make: The crew was formed and founded by David "SINE" Davilas (R.I.P.), Doc43 and myself. It was formed in 1985 shortly after Sine and I asked pioneering L.A. graff artist RickOne/Crime to join his newly formed crew, K2S-Kill To Succeed. He denied us but yet motivated us to start and form our own crew and so we did. We soon asked DEFER, SKEPT and EASIE to join. We immediately began to put in mad work, doing pieces, going out writing and bombin. Then a couple years later other dope kats got in like: RELIK, CASH, TEMPT, TELER, SKETCH, REPO, BABA and so on. They put in some mad work too. They still do. STN quickly became the one of the most reputable and most sought out crews in L.A.

 

FC: I'm really curious about your experience in Mexico, and how did you bring some graffiti and hip-hop culture there? There was nothing there before?
Galo/Make: (hahaha- Laughs)) There was but it was all New Wave and Mod. Stuff like: Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode and stuff like that. There was some Hip-Hop but not many were open to it. It was real underground and people frowned at it and referred to it as passe. I came with a heavily Hip-Hop influence that I was still into. I was still breakin and as I said, for them it was more of a passed fad. They were over it and even looked down on breakin and Hip-Hop. I 'd frequent this one spot in Guadalajara called Recorchorlis. I'd go there a lot….A LOT. I am talking about maybe 3 - 4 days a week. I befriended the owner and I eventually asked him and the main DJ to let me have a night to play Hip-Hop. At first they were hesitant cause you know? no one listened to that sh**.

 

I started playing my tapes and thanks to Mellow Man Ace's bi-lingual song Mentirosa and another group called Wilfredo Vargas who had a funny song called Mi Abuela (My Grandma) people became a bit more receptive to it.  The Mi Abuela song was an all Spanish song and was hella funny so that kinda broke the ice. Little by little, people began appreciating the sound. Next thing you know - Wednesdays were a happening night at Recorcholis. I ended up doing a piece inside with some homies I had gotten into graffiti. Then with fools breakin and i doing the running man and the cabbage it kinda took off from there. (laughs)

 

 

Old school graffiti by Galo Make

 

FC: How and why did you use guerilla street team tactics? You seem to use it for your projects, nationwide tours, fundraisers...
Galo/Make: Well guerilla street team tactics is raw and un-cut. It is a strategy that is applicable anywhere and in anything. It’s more than often inexpensive and easy. It is also stemmed from my graffiti lifestyle. To bomb. To advertise your name anywhere, anyhow and by any means necessary. It is pretty much the way corporate America does their thang. The more they “brand” their name into our minds the more people sub-conciously want that item or are aware of it. The only exception is we do it budget style. (Laughs) but it's just as effective.

 

In essence I pretty much began pushing that stuff a la DIY (Do It Yourself) Punk style too. You know? I was like let me get this rolling. I was sorta writing my name on cardboard and nailing them to posts and trees and stuff and so I pretty much did the same thing with handmade posters...soon after it began to bump, the joint was down to create a little street team of homies that would get free drinks in return for their work. It was dope.

 

galo's piece make one

 

character by galo make in los angeles

 

CULTURE


FC: What are your tastes in movies and books?
Galo/Make: I like a lot of indie films, foreign films...movies that provoke thoughts and emotions. I like documentaries too and I am a sucker for good chick flicks.  My taste in books are similar.  Books that provoke thought and educate.  Not much of a novelist except for Anne Rice's Vampire series or George Orwells' 1984. And of course graff related movies and books.

 

FC: Do you read comics? What you think about the influence of comics on graffiti?
Galo/Make: I used to read Spider-Man. As far as the influence? I think it is great. Graffiti can be influenced by anything. That’s what great about graffiti…you can integrate any element to it.

 

wwddw


FC: Favourite quote?

Galo/Make: "It is better to be talked about than not talked about"

 

FC: Name an artist (or many) whose work you respect and admire.
Galo/Make: Mine and all my friend’s work. The often mentioned, Picasso, Dali, Siquieros, Rivera, Orozco…I like Klimt, Basquiat but am more influenced by his lifestyle and approach to art than his actual art. I like Ver Sacrum, Geoffroy Tory, of course my crew-members work, my old crew-members work.  As far as graff - Defer, Relik, Tempt, Twist, Hael, Risky, Perl, Ezra, Acme, Size, Opia, Vyal – just too many to name. The world is filled with amazing artists whose work I admire and respect.

 

FC: If your style was a music band or a song? Which one would it be?
Galo/Make: I would say Led Zeppelin – hands down! Everything! Their songs, their lyrics, their sound…etc. Another would maybe The Stones.

wbg

 

STYLE AND FLOW


FC:  How do you organize your paintings? Do you do sketches on blackbook before? Do you have any weird habits?
Galo/Make: hahaha - I used to sketch a lot more. I hardly don’t anymore. By looking at my last pieces, maybe I should hahaha. I mainly bust off the top of the head. I have a general idea of what I want to do and the rest such as backgrounds and stuff just comes as I paint.

FC:  Ok do you need something particular to be creative?

Galo/Make: Only girls! As long as there are girls – that is all I need!!! Girls Girls and ummmm oh yeah...Girls! specially in short short shorts and cut off white tank tops...whaaaaaa?

 

FC: Do you feel the work you are doing is something that should be preserved or stayed transcience?
Galo/Make: I’d say both.

 

FC: How do you work your letters?
Galo/Make: I take existing writing styles and just thicken out where I want. I then add elements here and there and reshape a little, exaggerate a little, thin out. I like taking gangster style writing, which I have been doing more lately, and just flex from that. I also take some of the old-school punk and stoner writing and flex on that as well. But my approach to working letters is always different…even when I rock them on the wall. I will change something.

 

galo make one graffiti

 

FC: What was your most adventurous and dangerous graffiti?
Galo/Make: hmmmmm…I’d say this billboard I did once. Climbing and getting up there and avoid being seeing was hectic. The swaying of the billboard scared the living crap out of me. Being up so high when kinda being scared of heights was also challenging too.

 

billboard graffiti by galo

 

FC: How do you choose your images and where they are placed in the street?
Galo/Make: I like to choose spots that are visible. I have, although, lately been hitting up areas that are in the cut. I like the idea of some one just happening to be in this weird random area and running into my tag, piece or bomb. Much like when I run into some homies hit up.

 

FC : What’s the characteristic of a Make One piece?
Galo/Make: that it reflects me internally and in my entirety – That would probably be the best way to answer that.

 

FC:What kind of reaction do you want to evoke from your art?
Galo/Make: Just a smile or a grin. I often try to write something that may be witty to provoke a smile on one’s face or something positive or thought provoking. I would like to also inspire you know? Like when I often see someone else’s work I like or don't like but  the work is bomb...I get inspired…I’d like to reciprocate that to others.

 

FC: What’s your perfect spot for the perfect graffiti?
Galo/Make: Massive visibility! Plain and simple!



FC : How do you collaborate with other artists ?

Galo/Make: Just by working together. Not allowing my ego or pride to get in the way. I think that most artists I work with or have painted with have no room for egos when collaborating. It’s about working together to get a job done. It ain’t about trying to out shine the other. That is kinda childish if you ask me and it often projects insecurities to a certain level. That is why I am becoming a little more selective as to whom I paint with specially if doing a large production. I also like to be able to trust anyone with my outline and vice versa. I feel good when people ask me to help out with whatever part of their piece. It strengthens my confidence as I am sure I do onto others when I ask them to help out as well.

 

FC: Ever have any serious graffiti beef?
Galo/Make: Naw - I try to keep everything relatively peaceful. Although, there have been some circumstances where something was about to break off but gladly did not. And if there is any rumor of any kind of differences or beef I try to talk about it and try to work through it.

 

FC: What was your best graffiti experience?
Galo/Make: All them have been. From the most pleasurable of pieces I have done to the most wackest. From painting with a dope artist to painting with a wack one. To being at peace painting to always having an altercation as I just mentioned. From my illegal adventures to all my legal ventures.

 

FC: Where do you want to bring your work in the future ?
Galo/Make: I want to bring it anywhere. Bring it globally. Bring it to more girl's rooms and walls. But I think overall, bring it more to schools in an academic format.

OPINION


FC: What makes a piece good?
Galo/Make: There are many variables. Pallette chosen, style, variation, technique, can control both straight lines and round lines. If it’s a production, how it all pieces harmonize with one another and so on and how you can immediately tell there was a collaborative effort. Stuff like that.

 

FC: Do you ever think graffiti being costly for society??
Galo/Make: Naw - I don't think of it. There are way more things to worry about that are more costly on society than a simple scribble on a wall.

 

FC: Word. Did your opinion about graffiti change through out the time?
Galo/Make: Oh yes. It certainly has. One main one that comes to mind is having worked in the corporate world and often times be sort of ashamed, for lack of a better word, about me doing graffiti because of all the negative connotations behind it. But now I am a proud graffiti artist and writer! And what?

 

lod crew make galo

 

FC: What do you think about the European graffiti?
Galo/Make: I think it rocks. I have been influenced by a lot of it. It definitely has a unique fun style while some of it is hard and solid. I like it a lot. I give them props. We can definitely see the European influence in a lot of writers from L.A. today too. If you know what i mean!

 

FC: How do you see the street-art in 10 years?
Galo/Make: I can't even begin to fathom where it will be in 10 years. I mean, what I am experiencing now and how far it has come I would have not even conceived ten years ago…so I wouldn’t be able to say.

 

FC: What you think about the impact of internet on graffiti?
Galo/Make: I think that as much as it has done damage it has served it’s purpose. One of the things I do not like about it is that it has robbed us the joy of having to go way out of your way to go check out a piece. Such as catching a bus or two or three and ride for about an hour or two to see a newly done piece. Now? we just Google and click. Hahaha – the internet is pretty much one large global writer’s bench.

 

FC: What you think about customization of clothes, sneakers?
Galo/Make: why not? I don’t think it is selling out unless you are compromising your OWN integrity or crossing your boundaries. Everyone is always gonna have a comment or gonna have some sh** to say about that. Man – I just say more power to whomever is doing what it is they are doing and as long as it gets your pockets fatter then that is dope. Look at it as buying in as opposed to selling out! Too many haters man.

 

FC: As a graffiti veteran how do you feel about the explosion of street art ?
Galo/Make: I think it is fresh. Like I said earlier, when I was younger I had no clue it would amount to this. I am happy to be part of such a culture and happy to have seen it grow and evolve to what it's become.

 

 

io

 

FC: You became involved with youth programs and you work with troubled youths. How is it linked to graffiti, and how graffiti can sometimes bring some positive impact on people?
Galo/Make: Well – as we all know – the commercialization of graffiti has definitely opened up entrepreneurial interest in kids/youngsters and even corporations or organizations. They have seen it as something that can either be cashed in on or used positively to attract kids who may be interested in the culture or art form. Too many times we incriminate and/or castigate the art form or those that are into it. I believe that graffiti can definitely be used to spark interest in any youth or even adult to other art forms or even careers.

 

Graffiti embarks so many things now. Custom design clothing, spray paint, stores or shops, galleries, fine art, books, custom toys etc etc…how can something that introduces the youth to this be always negative?

 

WHO'S MAKE?


FC: What's your worse and best habits?
Galo/Make: oh man – I got them all…but my worse habit is procrastination. Yep! I’d say that’s the main one. I have been wanting to start a Procrastinators Club…but ehhhhhh, I guess I will eventually get to it some day.

 

FC: Hahaha I'm sure it would be a productive Club! I'm in! Do you do practice an other art?
Galo/Make: yes – the Art of Seduction.

 

FC: We were told that body painting works pretty well…
Galo/Make: aummmm…yeah, kinda. I really try not to hook up with groupies un-less I am feeling them in some way. Often times groupies are too easy and I would much rather have the challenge. The whole body painting thing is a def way to hook up though, although I have not done it in a while. I am kinda over that – besides I see body painting as objectifying women (wink). I'd rather let the woman body paint me and objectify me.

 

 

sdv

 

FC : Have you been arrested for graffiti ?
Galo/Make: yes I have and the few times I have I have been let go and the cases dropped. Thank God cause I would not want to get caught now-a-days with all the implications.

 

FC: Describe a typical day of Make One
Galo/Make: wake up – kick the girl that spent the night out but before she leaves  she has to make my bed, maybe make her take me to breakfast. Drink or make some coffee if she doesn’t take me. Myspace, Facebook and email a little. Get ready to chill with the homies. If teaching, then prep for my class…come home – call some other chick to come over, maybe have her take me to dinner, come back home and wake up the next day and start all over again.



FC: Do you dream in graffiti and colors ?

Galo/Make: Yes – most definitely. Ever since I began to do graffiti my dreams are more vivid and brighter.

 

FC: What are your plans for the future?
Galo/Make: To establish myself more as serious artist. To immortalize myself and leave some kind of legacy behind. To be talked about when I am gone. To MAKE waves and not ride them. To paint with cats I admire and whom I respect. To become the Wilt Chamberlain of graffiti.

 

FC: Any favorite story about your graffiti adventures?
Galo/Make: yep – too many and too long. This one time, back in the days, my homie Defer, Skept, Sine (R.I.P) and Doc43 pulled an all nighter rocking like 14 pieces/bombs in one night….walking. Not all were there as some would rest but Sine and I were definitely on point on that one that evening. True story.

 

FC: What's coming up in the next few months? Show etc…
Galo/Make: I am putting together some little things here and there. Some are just for fun and others are a bit more serious. I just also recently curated a small exhibit with L.A.s very own FDS crew. I'm just trying to stay busy and on people’s minds and tongues…specially the girls.

 

 

make galo

 

FC: What's your real goal?
Galo/Make: To immortalize myself and like said before - be the Wilt Chamberlain of graffiti and maybe have my own beer cups with my face on them too!

 

FC: Shouts outs?
Galo/Make: yeah - Size, Perl, Opia, Envy, Vyal, Ezra, Tempt, Yem, Acme, Panic, Baba, Mosh, Volt, Bash, Arpen, Unit, Eribero Oriol, Luis @ Jun-Keez, Dyal, Hael, Stae, Charm, Jonk, Ashes, LOD Crew, WCA Crew, FDS Crew, UCA Crew, AL Crew, OTR Crew, DMS clicka, Gus and his yard, Jim and Trish in Seattle, the LoveGalo Girls, all my love interests, all my girl suitors, all my exes, all my future girls, all the girls that dumped me, all that girls that played me, all the girls that used me and ummm that's pretty much it.

 

FC: Any last words of wisdom?
Galo/Make: yeah  - - - “Don't talk about it, be about it!”

 

Make on FatCap

Make's blog

 

Thanks Make!

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