From Oakland to San Francisco and beyond, the Bay Area is a mecca for art — both on the streets and in the galleries. Without a doubt, one of the more prolific street artists to emerge from the scene is local native Vogue TDK. Over the last thirty years Vogue has used his art to communicate with the rest of the world. Like many of his fellow graffiti contemporaries, Vogue got his start by producing illegal out-door art that often breathlessly combined aerosol paint with the world around us. In the 80′s he started the skinny cap technique which has become the norm for others looking to create finer detail.
Whether it be dangling from a sign high above a freeway or painting a mural on the side of a building, Vogue has continued to develop and evolve his style. On May 31st, he’ll be opening his new show entitled: “How We Do”. The exhibit will showcase works that look at the streets from the perspective of a hustler’s life — low-riders, spray cans, trains, and city-scapes will pay homage to Vogue’s career and life. More importantly, the works will be done photo-realistically using aerosol on canvas. Expect to see plenty of intricate street life iconography such as train tracks, car culture, and graffiti artists.
Recently, we caught up with Vogue TDK. More at the jump:
Who is Vogue? Tell about yourself.
I am a spray can artist from the Oakland area who is also a business owner, entrepreneur and family man who dabbles in pin striping and airbrushing.
When did you start painting and what inspired you to pick up a spray can for the first time?
I started painting in late 84, early 85 and I was inspired by the documentary Style Wars which I saw on a PBS channel. After watching this it opened my eyes to a whole new art form that was youth driven.
Did anyone take you under their wing when you were coming up?
No, there was nobody at that time to influence me. I was one of the first generation writers that evolved from the west coast.
What was the bay area graf scene like in the 80s?
Those were the golden years when everything was new fresh and exciting. Exploring and meeting new people was just as fun as painting. I would say it was primitive but really thrilling where everything was a mission from getting the paint, the caps and finding the right spots to paint.
Who would you say is the most underrated writer?
It’s hard to say generally because graff is so global now. But locally I would say Done from my crew is one that stands out just because he has the natural talent and is well rounded. I see a lot of potential in a lot of up and coming writers but I feel like they need a bit of guidance and structure.
Graffiti has exploded in the mass media. The market is flooded with books, documentaries and mass produced clothing and accessories. What are your thoughts on that?
I feel that as long as it is put out by people with involvement, knowledge and background of the history, it can be beneficial to the art form as it has with all other aspects of the hip hop culture.
What has kept you interested in graffiti for so long?
The freedom of expressing myself whenever and however I would like in a public form, also being able to push the boundaries of my work to a higher level to show people that graff is art not just vandalism.
For more information visit www.1AMGallery.com or email maya@1AMSF.com to be part of the preview.