wheat paste

Background Noise, Episode 70: Morley by Matt Valerio

Los Angeles street artist Morley likes to break up the monotony of everyday routines. He uses witty black and white wheat pastes, often put up strategically based on their surroundings, to provoke thoughts and inject humor when it is needed most.

He uses these wheat pastes to put his own internal thoughts out into the world. Thoughts that he knows others out there can relate to. "Oh Alarm Clock, You Have No Idea What I Can Do With Nine More Minutes," or "I Love You Because We Hate The Same Stuff." They're all quick little reminders not to take ourselves too seriously. Reminders that it's ok to have a little chuckle on your way into work or your way home after a long day.

The art world needs more people who don't take themselves too seriously.

What was the first album you bought?
TAPE: The Pretty Woman Soundtrack. In my defense, my parents had pretty good music taste- so I didn’t need to buy any albums by The Beatles or Tom Waits as they already had them and played them in the house. But I got an infection from hearing the song “The King of Wishful Thinking” by Go West and it was beyond my control. Plus I was 8 years old, so give me a break.

CD: Naughty By Nature’s “19Naughty3.” I wish I could redeem myself with this being better than my first cassette tape, but sadly I cannot. This time you don’t have to give me a break- by 11 I should have known better!

What was the last album you bought?
“Another Eternity” by Purity Ring. It’s pretty good. I got the cover album of Elliott Smith tunes by one of the Avett Brothers on the same day. They’re decent covers for sure but there really is something uniquely magical about Elliott Smith that just can’t be recaptured. I think the attempt was a respectful homage, but on a purely sonic level, any cover of his will always be missing something.

What was your first concert?
White Zombie. It was the “Astro Creep 2000” tour, though- to be honest I went because I had a friend who was really into them and I was more of a fan of the opening band, The Toadies. Looking back, it’s kind of a strange pairing, musically. I still love that first Toadies record, “Rubberneck.” It’s pretty underrated as far as ‘90s post-grunge albums go.

What was your last concert?
Stars at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. The band KILLED it and it’s a really great venue. I had seen Built to Spill there right before they broke up. There’s not a bad spot to stand in the house and it’s not obnoxiously large. I don’t bother seeing bands if they outgrow places like The Fonda or the El Rey. I just don’t feel a connection with the band if the venue is huge and overflowing with people.

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
“The Blue Album” by Weezer was a monumentally important record for me. After outgrowing “Hip-Hop Hooray” just in time for Nirvana to abruptly end, I found myself searching for a band that I felt represented who I was. At 12-years-old, you really want a band that will be the bones that you can build an identity around. You take your fashion cues from them, your sense of romance, rebellion and swagger. As much as I would have liked to relate to Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder, they just seemed too handsome and mythic. Instead, I gravitated to Rivers Cuomo. He sang about seeking refuge in his garage and playing Dungeons and Dragons. It was like he was singing just to me! In a time of somewhat dour music, Weezer seemed happy with who they were. They weren’t ashamed of their nerd status, they wore it as a badge of honor. This was incredibly empowering at a time when I really needed it. Even though the band has since evolved in a direction that I don’t dig, I still wear the same horn rimmed style glasses that Rivers’ sports and take it as a compliment when people say we look alike.

Who is your musical hero?
My all-time biggest musical influence has to be Beatles-era Paul McCartney. I’m a bit of a Beatles nut and in studying their influence, I’m fascinated with how much they altered pop culture and the musical landscape. It’s mind boggling. I saw him play in Dodger Stadium last summer (breaking my “only small and medium sized venue” rule) and it was honestly magnificent. That’s a pretty big word but for me, it’s appropriate. My wife and I had crappy seats but just to hear some of my favorite songs sung by the man who wrote them. I mean- I got to hear “Hey Jude” live! It was a bucket list moment for sure.

How important is music to your creative process?
It’s vital for me. I always say that if my work seems like lyrics to a song you like, then I’ve done a good job. Music is really how I grease the wheels of creativity. I have to have something playing any time I work or create. Silence just feels like a brick wall. When I was developing the idea for what I wanted my work to become, I looked to music because unlike a lot of methods of creative expression, there is a more profound relationship formed between the musician and the audience. You can look at a beautiful painting without forming a connection to the artist because the artist isn’t really part of it. Ditto with film and photography. You can feel a connection to an author but it’s still removed from hearing an artist sing directly in your ears. With music, a 12 year old boy in Iowa can listen to Weezer and finally feel like he’s not alone in this world. I wanted the people that saw my work to feel that same connection. I wanted them to feel like it was someONE, not just someTHING talking to them. This is why I include a drawing of myself in all of my work, to try and realize that connection between two humans and remind those who might see what I do and relate to it, that none of us are alone, and hope is not lost when there’s someone to help you back up, even if that help is just a few words pasted on wall.

 

1. “Life of the Party” - Longwave
2. “Sax Rohmer #1” - The Mountain Goats
3. “The Song In My Heart” - Gomez
4. “Beautiful Beat” - Nada Surf
5. “Scenic Pastures” - Archers of Loaf
6. “Bad Reputation” - Freedy Johnston
7. “That’s How Strong My Love is” - Otis Redding
8. “I Should Have Known Better” - The Beatles
9. “Car” - Built to Spill
10. “To All My Friends” - Atmosphere
11. “'Til I Get There” - Lupe Fiasco
12. “Losers” - The Belle Brigade
13. “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan” - Dntel
14. “Eat, Sleep, Repeat” - Copeland
15. “Every Stone” - Manchester Orchestra
16. “Your Hand In Mine” - Explosions in the Sky
17. “Not Miserable” - Frightened Rabbit
18. “The Tracks of My Tears” - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
19. “Nowhere We Cannot Go” - Hayden
20. “Place To Be” - Nick Drake
21. “Heartbeats (The Knife cover)” - Jose Gonzalez
22. “To Sing For You” - Donovan
23. “Murder In The City” - The Avett Brothers
24. “Grizzlies” - Jim & Sam
25. “England” - The National

Check out Morley's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here.  Check out Morley's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 41: ELLE by Matt Valerio

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 41, the focus is on New York artist ELLE.

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 41, the focus is on New York artist ELLE.

ELLE is another artist who doesn't stick to one medium when creating her art. The New Yorker has gotten lots of respect in the street art and graffiti communities over the past few years. Initially, due to some impressive and daring roller pieces high up on billboards, and more recently her bus shelter "ad takeovers". These ad takeovers are quickly becoming more common in the street art world, with keys provided to artists by the Public Ad Campaign. This allows artists to reclaim ad space by replacing advertisements with their own work, often in broad daylight without anyone noticing.

She's quite prolific. You'd be hard-pressed to walk more than a few blocks in New York City's SoHo neighborhood without seeing at least one of her wheat pastes, stickers or tags, and once you notice them there, you'll start noticing them everywhere throughout the five boroughs.

In the past few years, she's painted murals at Miami's Art Basel, collaborated with the likes of legendary street photographer Martha Cooper, Claw Money, the London Police, Bunny M and Shin Shin. In addition to being yet another great artist that Hanksy recruited for Surplus Candy, she's shown her work in well-known galleries alongside artists like Dain, Dee Dee, Beau, Sheryo & The Yok and many others.

Rumor has it that her work will be hitting many more homes in early 2015 when an IKEA-commissioned poster she designed arrives in their stores worldwide.

If you ever find yourself walking over NYC's Williamsburg Bridge, take a glance over the north side of the bridge, Brooklyn side of the water, near where the old Domino Sugar Factory (RIP) used to be. You'll see a giant roller piece she did on the roof of a building staring back at you, right there next to a giant pink Swampy.

The girl has balls. Bigger balls than a lot of men out there right now.

photo by matt bomarr

photo by matt bomarr

What was your first concert?
If I remember correctly, I think it was NewFound Glory-- my best friend Lili and I cut school (we were in high school at the time and she had just gotten her drivers license) and she drove us out to Marine World, where they were playing a show in the middle of the afternoon. We were pretty stoked. Haha.

Last concert/show?
My buddy Mike just took me to see the Die Antwoord concert at Irving Plaza last week. It was sick. I'm in love with Yolandi and Ninja! So hot. My girl Jenny took me to see the Amnesty International show at Barclays a few months ago as well. It was also a ridiculously good show... the lineup included Yoko Ono, a few of the Pussy Riot girls, Lauryn Hill, Blondie, the Flaming Lips, Madonna...it was crazy.

First album, tape or cd you bought?
Huhh... I don't remember actually-- that was so long ago!!! I know the beach boys were on one of my mixed tapes somewhere back in California as a kid... Haha

Last album you bought?
Does adding a song to your Spotify playlist count?! If so, it would probably be Diplo- Set it Off... the music video for that song is super dope- the women in the video pole dancing are such incredibly talented dancers, and so strong! I love it!

Was there any album that made a significant impression on you?
Nosaj Thing- Drift
Die Antword- SOS
The Knife- Deep Cuts
Fever Ray- Fever Ray

Who is your musical hero?
DJ Cat King is one of my best friends and a killer DJ. She stands for what musical performances should be- she's an entertainer, enthralling, talented, beautiful and hard working. I think her and Grimes are tops. The music of Fever Ray and Nosaj Thing have also had a huge impact on me.

How important do you think music is to your creative process?
Music is incredibly powerful and greatly influences my creative process. I always wished I was one of those people that saw color when they heard music. Although I don't have that amazing talent, I do think that what I'm creating is intrinsically tied to what I'm listening to at the time. Maybe once or twice a year I discover an album or an artist that I can't stop listening to and it becomes the soundtrack to my life. I'll listen to that album or artist on repeat nonstop for a few months. I associate periods of artwork and places that I live and travel to with the music that I was listening to at that time.

Check out ELLE's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here. Check out ELLE's website here and find her on Instagram here.

1. Gigamesh - Redlight (Goldroom Remix)
2. Fatima Al Qadiri - Hip Hop Spa
3. Sia - Chandelier
4. Gold Panda - You
5. Elliot Goldenthal - The Floating Bed
6. Lila Down - Benediction and Dream
7. The Cure - Just Like Heaven
8. AWOLNATION - Sail
9. NU - Man-O-To (Edit)
10. Wax Tailor - Que Sera
11. Diplo feat Lazerdisk Party Sex - Set it Off
12. Warm Ghost - Myths on Rotting Ships
13. Lorde - Team
14. Faces + xxyyxx - Talk
15. Giraffage + xxyyxx - Even Though
16. FKA twigs - Two Weeks
17. Die Antwoord - Enter the Ninja
18. New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream
19. The Knife - Silent Shout
20. The Knife - Heartbeats
21. Fever Ray - When I Grow Up
22. Nosaj Thing - Fog
23. Nosaj Thing - Quest
24. Jhene Aiko - The Worst
25. Flying Lotus - Camel
26. The Cure - Lullaby
27. Passion Pit - Take a Walk
28. Nicolas Jaar - Mi Mujer

 

Background Noise, Episode 27: Stikki Peaches by Matt Valerio

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 27, the focus is on Stikki Peaches

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 27, the focus is on Stikki Peaches

Stikki Peaches is a street artist out of Montreal. His work is often pop culture-based, using well-known imagery that we all know and love.  One of his best known characters, known as "Bat Bond", blends the Caped Crusader's head with James Bond's body, with some spiked shoulder pads and a gun with a flower in it for good measure. This piece is usually accompanied by a question that Stikki asks in frequently in his pieces: "What if art ruled the world?"

You'll find that he also has a penchant for Star Wars. Darth Vader's helmet, and the Stormtrooper helmet have become iconic images in their own right, but Stikki takes them another step further, juxtaposing them onto men in suits, usually with some form of bright pants on.

His work is eye-catching from afar, but he adds yet another layer to his work to make it that much more interesting. He'll frequently fill in the faces of his pieces with hand-written words and drawings, sometimes looking like facial tattoos that might look like a bunch of scribbles until you get closer and see words like "hope" , skulls and crossbones, diamonds, "troop life" and more. Or for some extra color in the pants, he'll paste in some colorful comic book pages, and sometimes lays out stickers given to him by his friends in the street art scene to create hair or other features on his work.

Stikki has risen fast in the Montreal street art scene, and shows no signs of slowing down. He'll always get his stuff up when he visits NY as well, and people are taking notice.

Check out more of his work here, as well as his Tumblr, and buy some of his art via the great folks at Station 16.

Transient

What was your first concert? 
U2

Last concert/show?
Jay Z, Holy Grail 

First album, tape or cd you bought?
Thriller vinyl (Still have it!) 

Last album you bought?
Kissland (The Weeknd) 

Was there any album that made a significant impression on you?
Kiss (Psycho Circus) I was crowd surfing and unexpectedly ended up onstage. 

How important do you think music is to your creative process?
I couldn't imagine working with no music either in the background or plugged in my ear. It helps me get lost in my work, no other distractions. It’s like an escape. The music comes on, the creative juices start flowing and before you know it, you've created magic, all because of those good vibes running through your veins :)

Episode 27 track list:
Bonobo - First Fires
Blackroc - What You Do To Me
The Weeknd - Wanderlust
Bob Marley - Three Little Birds
Radiohead - Creep
The Bad Plus - Sing For A Silver Dollar
Nirvana - Come As You Are
The Roots - The Seed 2.0
The Killers - This River Is Wild
Frank Sinatra - You Make Me Feel So Young
Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent
Oasis - Hello

Check out Stikki's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes.

COMING NEXT WEEK............HOW + NOSM

Background Noise, Episode 26: Brandon Sines / Frank Ape by Matt Valerio

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 26, the focus is on Brandon Sines.

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 26, the focus is on Brandon Sines.

Photo via Brandon Sines

Photo via Brandon Sines

NYC artist Brandon Sines has created an iconic character. His Frank Ape character can be seen on lamp posts, walls and doors throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. I could only really compare Frank Ape to a large sock monkey with pop culture tendencies. He'll show up anywhere. Whether it's as John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Janet Jackson's famous Rolling Stone cover, or manning the controls on the Starship Enterprise. Frank has no shame. He'll show up anywhere he damn pleases.

This iconic imagery has made Brandon's creation easy to latch onto. He's a likeable character right off the bat, and then to see him incorporated into already familiar scenes/images, it's a win win situation. So much so, that he can count Beyonce's little sister Solange (yeah, that's right, the one who attacked Jay Z in the Standard Hotel elevator) as a fan.

Brandon had his first solo show this past May at Specials on C, a former bodega in NYC's Alphabet City. The same place, actually where RAE hosted his own solo show last year. The venue has been friendly to artists, and there were really no limits in regards to Brandon doing whatever he wanted with the space. He even had Frank Ape-branded soda, dollar bills and M&Ms on display.

Now that he has everyone's attention with the Frank Ape character, expect to see more of Brandon's creations start popping up. Some of which you can see on his website.

Honestly, I'm not sure if the mix he made is tongue-in-cheek, given his history of humorous illustrations, and considering it starts with Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", but either way, I love it. It's an amazing mix of 70s/80s rock classics. Perfect for any training montage. I'm actually getting all pumped up listening to it as I write this.

What was your first concert?
First ever was probably Bob Dylan with my mom...on my own, TLC in 1998 I believe.

 

Last concert/show?
Filthy Savage

First album, tape or cd you bought?
An Elvis tape when I was like 6.  First album I bought with my own money...some old school hip hop compilation, can't remember the name...maybe "Back in the Day"?  I was 11.

Last album you bought?
Tears for Fears best of album

Was there any album that made a significant impression on you?
So many...the first 3 Nas albums come to mind, Soundbombing from Rawkus was my shit.  Older Wu tang.  Death Grips.

Who is your musical hero?
R Kelly 

How important do you think music is to your creative process?
It's not like I can't draw or paint without music..sometimes it's even nice to do that.  But nothing can give you that energy or inspiration that the right song can.  So it's kinda magic.

Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Nick  Gilder - Hot Child In The City
Bon Jovi - Livin On A Prayer
Boston - More Than A Feeling
Alice Cooper - Poison
Paul Engemann - Push It To The Limit
Joe Esposito - The Best
Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down
Eddie Money - Take Me Home Tonight
Ace Frehley - New York Groove
Elton John - Crocodile Rock
Bruce Springsteen - Dancing In The Dark
Phil Collins - Sussudio

Stream Brandon's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes.

Check out all previous episodes here.

Coming up next week..... Stikki Peaches.

Background Noise, Episode 23: Hanksy by Matt Valerio

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 23, the focus is New York artist  Hanksy .

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 23, the focus is New York artist Hanksy.

"Catch Me If You Can" (photo by Matt Bomarr)

I'm a sucker for a good pun. I often make them myself, and now that I'm a dad, I can REALLY get away with them (or at least I'd like to think). While I consider myself pretty good, I have to bow and acknowledge that New York artist Hanksy is the master. Just look at the image above. Marty McFly, get it? Of course you do. It's brilliant. And it doesn't stop there.

Hanksy first started getting attention when his Tom Hanks-themed wheat pasted Banksy parodies started popping up around NYC and other cities. All of them featuring recognizable Banksy imagery, but with the Academy Award-winning actors face added in.

"Human 50 Centipede"

He has since moved on from the Banksy stuff and has been doing his own original pun-tastic pieces all over the country, gathering a fair amount of continued attention in the process. After all, his work constantly has the potential to go viral due to its pop culture familiarity, the tongue-in-cheek humor to it all, and the roll-your-eyes "oh god" punny-ness. Fairly recently, one of his images started making the rounds on Reddit. An image depicting rapper 50 Cent, actually, multiple 50 cents, all strung together Human Centipede-style. The name of the piece? You guessed it, "Human 50 Centipede". Another one that popped up in the Lower East Side last year featured the late James Gandolfini merged with Gandalf from Lord of the Rings for "Gandalfini". I seriously could go on forever with these. Love him or hate him, the guy has wit. See for yourself in the gallery below.

Hanksy's wit has even been acknowledged by Stephen Colbert. Last October, when Banksy conducted his "Better Out than In" on the streets of New York, Colbert called on Banksy to use a wall on the outside of the Colbert Report studio as a canvas for one of his pieces (actually, he sarcastically "forbade" Banksy from doing art on the wall) . Not one to be baited, Banksy did not oblige, but Hanksy wasted no time and hopped on this opportunity. The next morning, a wheat pasted bear with Stephen's head appeared on the wall outside the show. The name of the piece was "Colbear", and Colbert loved it. He devoted about 5-minutes on his show to talking about Hanksy.

Hanksy also curated January's 2-hour guerrilla art show "Surplus Candy" in an abandoned house in Alphabet City. An event I attended with a couple of friends, and have mentioned in numerous Background Noise blog posts, due to the fact that many of the artists I've featured in the series were also part of this one-of-a-kind show. Once again, a short video that sums up the entire event can be seen here.

He put together possibly the longest mix in the series so far. Clocking in at 1 hour 47 minutes, the mix gets started right out of the gate with Miley Cyrus and jumps right into Japanther. Operation Ivy to Pharrell Williams. It covers the whole spectrum. I'm happy to have Hanksy contribute to this series.

What was the first concert you went to?

Thanks to various huffing incidents, my childhood memory is fairly foggy. But I'm fairly certain it was one of the first Warped Tours. Rancid and Bad Religion played and I was 15 and I was super fucking stoked. 
 
What was the last concert/show you went to?

The So So Glos at the great Shea Stadium.

First lp/tape or cd?

The first couple cassettes I purchased with my own money was Green Day's Dookie along with the soundtrack from the movie Newsies. Seize the day, yo. 

Last album you bought?

I've got a fairly good amount of friends in the music biz, so I try to cop their new releases as often as possible. Yesterday I picked up "Back in Black" by Chicago's Archie Powell and the Exports. It's great. 

Is there one record that made a significant impression on you?

Energy by Operation Ivy. It's the one album I will forever return to. Again and again it never ceases to bore me. 

Who is your musical hero?

Bob Dylan. 

How important do you think music is to your creative process?

Unlike some creative types who can work in silence, swimming in their own thoughts, I can't. I fucking drown without some sort of noise. For me silence can be suffocating so I make damn sure I have some playlist cued up and ready to go whenever I'm working in my studio. 

 

Check out his mix below. download it here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. And don't forget to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes.

Background Noise, Episode 3: Sacred Youth by Matt Bomarr

abelmacias.jpg

My new "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 3, the focus is on Brooklyn's Abel Macias.

photo by  @dgclarkk

photo by @dgclarkk

If you've wandered the streets of New York, you've most likely seen some of Sacred Youth's work. From his bright Pink Clouds pieces, to his yellow rabbit wheat pastes, which often adorn doors and various other surfaces. These alone were enough to get my attention, so when I saw that he was participating in this year's Bushwick Open Studios, and would be opening his studio to the public, I jumped on the chance to check it out. 

I grabbed my friend Seth, and off to the studio we went. On the outside of the building was a great mural he had done with Rae, and as we descended into his basement studio, my eyes widened, and my brain nearly exploded. There were so many different pieces of art down there. From large scale paintings, to smaller prints, t-shirts, stickers, and framed pages from books, overlaid with phrases hand-written by Sacred Youth. Many of it blurred the line between well educated artist and outsider art. In other words, my cup of tea. 

abel old man.jpg

It's very clear that he never sleeps. He recently had a group show with Beau, Elle and Hue at the now defunct White Rabbit gallery on Houston Street here in NY, and his work can often be seen on display in or around Little Skips cafe in Brooklyn. 

abel horse.jpg

A couple of questions:

 

What was your first concert?

First concert was NIRVANA at the Omni in Atlanta.  1993. so cool. 

Last concert?

Last one was my friends band, SKATERS, from NYC, who just got signed to Warner Bros.  They are awesome.

 

First album/tape/cd?

Some Weird Al Yankovic cd was probably my first cd.

Was there any one album that made a significant impression on you?

Definitely Nirvana's Nevermind became my soundtrack to my youth.  Energetic, rebellious, at times FUN and upbeat with with Sad angst moments as well.

You can check out more of Abel's work over at his website or on his Instagram

Stream his Background Noise podcast below, on MixCloud, or download it on iTunes 

The Background Noise podcast will be taking a break until Jan 6, returning with a great mix from NYC street artist Gilf!

Background Noise, Episode 2: OCMC by Matt Bomarr

Podcast image design by Mike Valerio

Podcast image design by Mike Valerio

My new "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 2, the focus is on NYC's OCMC (Oh Captain, My Captain).

OCMC got my attention when I first moved to New York. I would (and still do) wander the streets, looking up, looking down, basically just taking in the diverse visual stimulation this city has to offer. I would encounter pieces, similar to the one above, which featured a vintage photo of a beautiful young woman. I started to see them everywhere, as well as other pieces that were obviously by the same artist, featuring different people. Not until later did I learn the fascinating story about the origin of those first images I saw. OCMC had lost his grandmother, and as a way to deal with her death, he started pasting up her image throughout the city so he could see her wherever he went. That really struck a chord with me, and that, on top of the visually pleasing aspect of his work, made me a fan. 

photo via according2g.com

photo via according2g.com

His work goes so much further than those first wheatpastes I saw. I've seen shows of his that had pop culture icons' faces as the main focus (Basquiat, Debbie Harry, Warhol, Muhammed Ali), overlaying newspaper. His "Subway Series" featured New York graffiti icons Futura 2000, Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quinones, with their faces superimposed over NYC Subway Maps. And then there's his David Bowie print, "I'm Afraid of Americans", featuring David Bowie's mugshot, that hangs above my bed, courtesy of the artist. 

Photo Nov 22, 9 13 55 PM.jpg

It's all great stuff, and OCMC is a musician as well as an artist, so I knew he'd be a perfect fit for this podcast series.  I asked him a few music-related questions as well. Have a read, and have a listen to his podcast. It's great. 

What was your first concert?

The first concert I ever went to was a band called The Good Rats. I was snuck into a rock club to see them when I was ridiculously young. It was life changing. 

What was the first album you ever bought?

The first album I ever bought was KISS "Dynasty".

What was the LAST album you bought?

The last records I bought? Just last week... Joy Division "Closer" and an Ace Frehley's Kiss solo album (picture disc, motherfucker!) on vinyl.

How similar are your musical tastes now to what you listened to in high school?

My musical tastes now are fairly similar to what I listened to in high school, though my tastes are a bit all over the map. Back then you would have just as much of a chance in finding me at a Prince concert as you would a Motley Crue show... 

Any comments on why you chose the songs you did?

I tend to listen strictly for moods when I work, hence why I chose what I chose... Wait, what did I choose?

Download OCMC's Background Noise podcast on iTunes , Mixcloud , or stream it below.

Follow OCMC on Facebook or Twitter , and check out his website for more info.