Artist Spotlight: AMUSE 126

AMUSE 126 is best known as one of the most prolific graffiti artists to come out of Chicago. With works ranging from simple tags and throws to giant pieces and murals, it seems like AMUSE 126 can do just about anything. With over 15 years of experience, this self taught artist has grown in the graffiti world with constant work as well as perfecting his abstract style, continuously taking chances and trying new things. AMUSE 126 will be a part of our upcoming show CMYK opening June 4th from 630-930pm.




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Last week to see original works by Lily Black in “This Isn’t How I Planned It”!

Bay area artist Lily Black has lived more lives than your average. Although Lily refrains from calling himself an “artist”, he certainly has been creating things for profit for a long time. From selling props to costume stores at the young age of 12, to making record art for heavy metal bands like Autopsy, assembling H&R Block offices, doing graphic design, and being a slave for Sony, Lily would preferably do just about anything if he can do it with his hands, especially if it involves a paint brush or a pencil. Growing up in the East Bay and eventually transplanting into living in the downtown area of San Francisco from the burbs, Lily soon became familiar with the environment around him and thrived off it’s sometimes bleak existence and thus it became a type of fuel to inspire a portion of his creative process.
Even rat's have dreams

Purchase prints from the show through this link or find out more about Lily Black’s work in our interview below:

1AM: Did you start out drawing?

LB: My Art history background is art brut or outsider art which is the 3 C’s – children, criminals, crazies, so I’m self taught, pretty much anyone who hasn’t received formal art training. But oh yeah, you kind of have to. My father moved his office and bought way too much stationery and there were boxes and boxes of unused stationery for free and when I was growing up, any amount of trouble or restriction I was in did not include art supplies. It was like food, water, clothing, art supplies. And drawing is the lingua franca of the arts. If you can’t draw you’re going to have a hard time. Basically, I can teach a dog how to draw but I cannot teach a dog how to stop drawing.

1AM: How did this current body of work all start? What was it’s inspiration?

LB: The long Moleskine Japanese notebook is 5 inches by 3.75 inches and all the pages hold pout into one long page. I made it for a girl, which is a really good way to do stuff. It’s in the paradigm of art that is in the realm you’d have to call obsessive creepy stalker art. But we were already dating so it’s slightly different. So it’s more dating creepy stalker art. Some of the content in there include her name and date and ~love~ But we both like urban decay and in America it’s called Detroit and in Japan it’s called Haikyo which means melancholic and beautiful ruins. So I have industrial sites, love hotels which have been abandoned and open to the elements of animals, Haikyo Japanese culture in general is subtly tucked in there. We also both like science fiction a lot so I made a world that we both would like and enjoy. Making a world where there is atmosphere, architecture and population and which in this case is zero, and an aesthetic to convey this is warm grey scales which makes it appear to go beyond the edge. That’s what turns me on and that’s what I wanted to portray.

1AM: Essentially it’s like a visual love letter..
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Interview with Liquid Hymn artist, J.S. Weis

DescendingPattern3s1AM: The phrase “Liquid Hymn” implies almost a religious or spiritual relationship with nature. Is that how you view your relationship with the natural world?

Jeff Weis: A hymn is a song of joy or praise usually used in a religious context, but I meant it more as an analogy.  My working process is like a song of joy and it’s sung for nature instead of religion. Implied in the word hymn is that you are reaching out to an idea that can’t respond directly to you.

1AM: In an ideal world, how would you envision mankind’s relationship to nature? What attitudes would you like to change?

JW: In an ideal world consumerism wouldn’t dominate our lives. Taking energy away from something else is at the heart of consumption, which is necessary, but consumerism encourages overconsumption. Essentially, we take more than we need.
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Take a deep breath…

…and let the art of Alex Kuznetsov take possession of you.

Born in 1978 in former USSR, Alex Kuznetsov is one of the first graffiti writers of his country. With almost 15 years of spray paint practice,

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Kuznetsov travels all around the world creating murals. You may know him under many names: Iks, Temos, Monk, Awek and more. With so much experience, classic graffiti holds no secrets from him and since 2010, Alex Kuznetsov has been offering us his vision of using the spray can as a new medium for artists to explore.
945768_334277623341588_1904114573_n-1 Photo credit: Alex Kuznetsov

Kuznetsov demonstrates that there is no need for letters or characters to affect the viewer and start a dialogue. For him, he convinces us of this with the power of abstract painting. And it works- can you feel the energy of the gesture? The expression of his body in action? The way he explores, controls the surface, and lets the colors cross over each other? It is wonderful to see the many expressions of spray paint on canvas.

Alex Kuznetsov’s works will be presented beside a incredible line up of international artists gathered by curator Poesia and exhibiting at 1AM Gallery in the ambitious group show titled “A Major Minority – an Intercontinental Survey of Neo Contemporary Urban Art” opening on March 14th. Come embrace the movement too! Alex Kuznet in progress by anna belyakova
Photo Credit: Anna Belyakova
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Curator James Brown interviews RC Work for upcoming “Clash of the Titans” 1:6 Show!

Curator James Brown interviewed 1:6 artist RC Work for a quick pre-show interview. Read up before the show opening on Friday, January 10th! Please email for an online catalog. IMG_1261

RC Work, tell me a bit more about the Forgotten World series, this has been a long labor of love, with so many great designs. Is there a plan to do a larger run of toys ?

Actually I wanna create a space where it’s a bit out of reality. It’s very important to build up the atmosphere of the series the most in the beginning. You can find that the whole series is connected between the nature and the human being. There are many different kinds of people or creatures who bear their own responsibility or characters and I wanna show how the human being reacts under unstable situations. Read More »

Interview Series: Vogue

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:

Studio Visit with Vogue
Detail 2

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. Read More »

Interview x Christopher de Leon x STREET DREAMS

Check out the interview below with Christopher de Leon about his show “Street Dreams”:

The All-American Dream by Christopher de LeonHow did you two meet and decide to show together?

I met Eric a few years ago via Instagram. Liked his work and he always seemed down to help out with a show I was putting on here at 1AM.

Why did you choose to use pyrography (wood burning) in your works?
Pyrography is something I’ve messed around with for sometime. I’ve always wanted an chance to produce a full show with the medium. It’s a medium that is also rarely seen and done at the level that I’m trying to reach with it. In all honesty, I just like it.
What is the weirdest/craziest/most interesting interaction you’ve had with the homeless community?
Most craziest moment I’ve had with a homeless person is when I first moved here. I gave half of my subway sandwich to a guy asking for money and he took the sandwich and threw it across the street. he said he asked for “a fucking dollar and not a sandwich.”

Comic Relief x Interview with Hydro74

Earlier this month, before the opening of “Rednecks & Aztecs“, we interviewed the artists to get information on the show. Below are Hydro74’s answers- although unhelpful, they are by far the most comical replies we’ve gotten and certainly pay tribute to his character so we thought we’d share. Plus, it’d be selfish to keep these gems to ourselves. Mervin by Hydro74
Please describe your pieces that will be in the show/what mediums are they?

A bunch of things to create the illusion I’m a artist that was inspired by something I saw while eating pork and beans and drowning my sorrows in cheap whiskey. Some ink on paper, some other types of ink on paper and some paper on on glue.

What’s the significance of the

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title and how does it tie into your work?

Significance? I’m a redneck, he’s a Aztec… Best I could come up with considering I was drinking moonshine at 3am. How it ties in, well, hopefully it doesn’t otherwise it might have looked like this was planned! Read More »

Christopher De Leon x Studio Visit for “STREET DREAMS”

We met up with Chris last week in his local studio space to get some shots of his upcoming pieces in our next show “Street Dreams” opening February 15th. Check them out below:
Studio Visit with Christopher De LeonStudio Visit with Christopher De Leon Read More »

Interview x MADC x Over The Edge!

fifteen forty-one by MadCWhat was your introduction to graffiti and what were your thoughts when you picked up your first can?

I was given a book (“Graffiti Art Germany”) on graffiti by a friend. I read it in one night and was absolutely fascinated by the art, the possibilities and the community behind it. I wanted to be a part of that and paint big walls myself. I was pretty disappointed about the outcome of my first piece though. Handling a spray can was much more difficult than I thought.

How do you come up with ideas when doing a wall?

No idea really. I have ideas in my head at all times. Sometimes I just pick any kind of colours, go to the wall and paint without any plan. Other times I have a clear vision of how the wall should look like. Then I make some rough black and white sketches, choose the colours carefully and try to work by the plan as exact as possible. Read More »