Memo Pisa el Lodo
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
  Interview with Celso
I noticed that Celso was in town recently and I wanted to ask him a few questions about his work and Los Angeles...

How was your trip to LA?
Awesome. I was so busy making and putting out works I didn't get to hang out with friends and fam. The weather was perfect on a few days too - no smog, clear skies and you could see the San Gabriel Mountains...LOVE when that happens.

What are some of your favorite things to do in LA?
Margaritas at El Coyote (trashy goodness), late night carne asada at King Taco and burritos at Adolfo's on PCH...

What are some of your favorite places in LA to see art (of any kind)?
I always drop by LACMA, Self-Help Graphics, SixSpace and like seeing all the fresh stuff on the streets and alleys too. I love older nabes, downtown and Mulholland Drive - the entire city is a glowing work of art at night.

Photo of Rodeo Dr.

What were some of your favorite places to hit up?
I like to hit places where I use to live but sometimes you stumble across a great spot or view and you just steal it. I love the fact that you can get up in broad daylight and no one seems to care. Non-traditional spots are the best, really and areas that haven't been crushed to death by mass produced stuff. I enjoy making original works and lately I'm working with Plexiglas because it really works with light and the urban landscape. The posted series (real estate and political signs) I developed in upstate New York over the summer and just knew it would work best in LA because of all the traffic....It's a cheap and double sided canvas/sculpture/installation and I found a ton of them in Orange Co.

Tell me about your character(s).
I work with models when I can afford them but usually I get friends to pose for me and when all else fails I can usually find my inspiration in the back of the LA Weekly or X-Press :)

Ever had any run-ins with the law while putting your stuff up around LA?
Not in L.A. but I've made a few acquaintances at the NYPD...

Who are some of your favorite artists?
Robbie Conal for his political posters, David Hockney's LA, Michael Amescua (of East LA) for his metal work, Ellsworth Kelly for his use of pure color, Warhol and his screen tests, and also Die Brucke expressionists like Otto Mueller. Of course, I can't forget Tiki-Jay for his passion and sculptures and my crew in NYC - Gore-B, Infinity, Dark Clouds and the Skewville bros to name just a few....

What inspires you?

My wife because she'll kill me if I left her out :) but she really is amazing. I'm also inspired by the people I meet, the uniqueness of individuals, natural landscapes, and a good motorcycle ride.

What was it like collaborating with Tiki Jay?
TJ rocks! We worked the entire time we were together - he's a machine! He killed Brooklyn and SoHo when he was here a few months ago and he showed me some great spots I'd never been to in So. Cal.

What are your observations about LA street art? –And to what extent
does it differ from NY street art?

LA is so spread out and a completely different environment to hit than New York. I usually work small here because space is such a premium. A door can get filled up in a matter of days but in LA the sky's the limit and you could literally paint the town if you can afford it. I'm inspired by the artists who work along the Freeways - I mean those works have to pop at 65mph! I want to come back soon and work a bit larger in certain places. In New York finding a spot and maintaining it is part of the challenge. I'd also like to see more colorful works in LA and I'm happy to be part of the mix.

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Exploring Los Angeles' interactive urban environment.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I live in the Historic Core of downtown Los Angeles and close to downtown Riverside. I like to walk around, take pictures and interact with my surroundings.

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