Interview of Vezun a gifted street artist from Nevada. He talks about poetry, street art, Killa Priest, and shares with us his vision of Art.
Vezun is an artist from Nevada. As you can see on his site or on his FatCap profile, Vezun got his own style and world of creation. He already published several books and participated to many exhibitions. We wanted to know about his vision of art. Here's some answers:
FC: Where are you from Vezun? Tell us about the street art scene from your town.
I'm from the greater Los Angeles area. From what I can remember. When I lived there, there was no graffiti there. I only remember a little bit of gang tagging and a little bit of talk of gangs. We left Los Angeles when I was in the fourth grade. My parents were always moving around when I was growing up. Late elementary school till the first year of high school I spent in the suburbs. But, I would go back to L.A. to visit family once in a great while. That's where I would see big graffiti. I used to get real excited and ask if they could stop the car so I could go out and look
Where I lived there wasn't any. I would see glimpses on T.V. and movies. I became aware of the books "Spraycan Art" and "Subway Art" around junior high school. I looked at "Spraycan Art" a lot. Very few kids at school were artists. But, I guess a couple of them showed me their drawings. And that was the scene where I grew up in those years. From freshman to my senior year in high school my parents really moved around a lot. But, in a more extreme way. I spent almost three of those years studying in Costa Rica where my family is from. To my knowledge graffiti art was non-existent there at the time. Except for what I was doing in my piece book. The going back and forth and the culture shock each time and the adjusting to new social environments had a big impact on me as an artist and as a person. I was in those times and I still am today, disconnected.
FC: Do you consider yourself as a street artist?
Is street art only graffiti art? My earlier work has more obvious graffiti and street influence than what I do now. I use the word influence to be sensitive to peoples varying definitions of those kinds of words. I consider myself an artist. I would like it if people considered me a serious artist.
FC: What’s your taste in movies, music and books?
My taste in things is constantly growing and evolving. I still like the things that I liked when I was younger. But, I'm in to a wider range of things now. It seems I'm more in to film than I am in to art. I spend more time watching films than I do looking at art. What type is too constraining a question. Really so many different types or genres. Without being too specific. Not too much of the current mediocre American pop cinema.
Music, is what I collect. Because that's what I will use many times. I draw and paint for long periods of time, to music. So I collect music because I will listen to it many times eventually while I am creating or doing other things. All kinds, I can't just listen to one or two types. I have to change it up. I think that my collection of music is quite eclectic and the size is pretty impressive.
Books, like art books or books to read? I'll guess you mean books to read. I enjoy reading different stuff. Some novels, but I try to read more non-fiction. All kinds of stuff. While I am creating I also enjoy listening to books on tape as well. Some novels, but more so I try and listen to big thinkers.
As I get older I am more drawn to older things. Older movies, music and books. Also, independent things. I'm very apt to buy some home made stuff. Or direct from the artist. Like a guy slanging his own cd on the street. Or something that looks like it's on consignment in a store. I got in to that mind set because I am an independent business man. So, I appreciate creation outside of corporate editing. Real art, direct from the source with no money influence tampering. That's what I do. That's what I want to see. I believe that's what is real.
FC: If your style was a music band or a song? Which one would it be?
At first I was going to say spoken word, like a speech or a lecture. But, the more that I think about it. Conscious rap. The type of rap that tries to raise the consciousness of the type of people that listen to that type of music. Let's say like KRS-ONE, X Clan, Some Ice Cube stuff, Saul Williams, Killa Priest, etc.
My favorite KRS-ONE cd is "I got next". It still trips me out how he brought in all this stuff that you would hear in a illuminati tape in to his album. Like the the type of stuff you would expect to hear from Jordan Maxwell or David Icke. But, he brought it in to rap or the rap hearing public. For the time I thought that was not new, but new to rap. I'm sure with all other kinds of things that I am not hip to, but that's what I noticed. To me he elevated the genre at that point.
Some Ice Cube songs are social criticism. Like the politics between men and women in America. He challenged a lot of practices and beliefs of the hood. His flow was slow and audible. You could understand what he was talking about.
I think Saul Williams is a self explanatory inclusion in my list of musical artists that raise consciousness with their music. Mostly I'm referring to the slam poems that I heard from him before his first album or even the movie "Slam".
On Killa Priest first album "Heavy Mental" he seemed to retain a love of god or the spiritual and channel that in to his writing. How much he had studied was apparent. His references at the time were unheard of in rap music to me. It's so hard to be spiritual in music. I think reggae artists are the only ones who pull it off. Usually it sounds lame.
FC: Do you ever work with other artists?
Working with other artists is hard. If I do the project by myself. I know I will finish it. By bringing in somebody else, I have to deal with many negative unforeseeable possibilities. Usually the "idea" of working with someone is better than what the experience ends up like. Still, I have had some good experiences collaborating with other people. Lately, just one local artist KD Matheson. We've done a lot of projects this year. He makes it easy, because he's serious and he's very talented. We have no ego issues. We are fans of each others work.
FC: Do you have some project in mind for the future?
In the future I would like to do more public art. Like the murals that I have been doing this year. But, for the city and for large projects of that type. In the future I would also like to write some screenplays and pitch them. That's been a dream of mine for a long time.
Last question, tell us about your vision of Art.
My art is cerebral. it comes from the things that i think about. i then have to take those thoughts and translate them in to images. My art means something. It is symbolic. Most of the time. I do sometimes create from the unconscious mind, but rarely. I prefer to say something because i feel that there is so much to say. Art to me is a form of communication beyond what we can express verbally or thru the written word. A different form of communication. To me art is the best or the purest when it is a statement or when it is symbolic (in it's conception or planning). Even better when it is personal or emotional in a way that is raw. Which taps in to instinct or the animal aspect of a human being. But, that side of it to me has more to do with execution or the technique of a piece. But sometimes i see or appreciate some other art pieces which do not fall in to my rules. And then in my mind these concepts or definitions that i have are challenged by other forms of art which do not jive with my concepts and definitions. So, it isn't completely absolute with me. it's still questionable and something i'm still trying to analyze.
Generally i'm strict about what i label as art. Or who i'd say is an artist. I do not use the terms as liberally as other people. Back to the communication bit. I think a lot of it is. Two minds being aligned or only aligned at certain points in time. Or being ready to receive or having reached that point in time when you can or are able to receive this portion of the communication. Especially when things are layered. Most of it will go right over your head most of the time. But, time and the mental development or the current state of consciousness of the person at the time when they view the piece will affect the way that they take it in. So a lot of factors go in to appreciation or breaking it down as a form of communication for me.
Thank you Vezun.