You’ve seen the face around town, on billboards and street signage, often in spots that seem impossible to reach. Those white & black blocks staring you down with a gaze that says, “What’s up?” L.A. Taco’s Erwin Recinos caught up with the artist, Seizer One, to talk about inspiration, music and t-shirt collecting…
What part of Los Angeles do you really enjoy?
Wow! Good question. I love being on top of the world. There is that billboard downtown on 11th and Main, I like being up there. I like being on the Standard Hotel roof laying down and looking up at all the buildings and listening to the fancy chatter. I love riding my motorcycle up the Angeles Crest, it always feels so good to get up above the cloud layer. I just like being out at night. A month ago I felt super restless so I got out of bed and jumped on my bicycle. I just mashed through the city, up, down, east to west, just going. My wife texted me so I stopped and realized 4 hours had passed. I enjoy downtown, I moved to LA to live in a city, so the more city-like the atmosphere, the better I feel. Honestly I don’t think I’ve explored three quarters of the city, I feel like I exist in these little pockets. But those are the pockets I like.
What inspires you these days?
Music, My son, skateboarding, I am trying to focus on what just comes natural which happens to be a lot of letters, script, and hand drawn stuff. I am an art director so I get inspired when thinking about new projects, new possibilities, and new ways of making cool shit. I spent a whole week listening to what Trouble and Bass put up on their site, that was fun. Opened my eyes to a lot of music I wouldn’t normally tune into.
How has graffiti culture influenced you as an artist?
Huge. I love graffiti. I started putting up posters because the fines are significantly less, and I just wasn’t very good at piecing. But I look for graffiti religiously. When we go out I ask my wife to drive so I can just look at all the graff. I’ve actually rear ended someone because I was looking at a big production wall. I catch some pen tags here and there mainly when I travel. I’ve been itching to just bomb but… priorities man.
On your site you have a t-shirt of the day, recommend a “Shirt of the Day” for our readers.
Ah, ha ha, I haven’t updated that in a minute. I started that T-shirt of the day blog for my own reference. Just to keep myself present to what is in the market. I took a job for a licensing company that makes t-shirts so it was my job to know what is out there. Now I just love what my friends are doing, or the small companies. This year I set a resolution to only buy clothing that I either knew who made it or at the least had local and sustainable practices in work.
T-shirt of the day for LA TACO readers, I would say the shirt I am wearing right now. UNIF FTW! Eric is a friend and probably the most clever dude I have ever met. UNIF is blowing up but they deserve it more than anyone. They have a pop up shop open on South Fairfax right now, go there and get some before it’s too cool.
Last song you listened before this interview?
Currently listening to GUCCI GOTH MIX TAPE from AXEL WOLF, Shit is ILL!!
I received a batch your last sticker run and they were dope. Is the sticker game big for you?
Sticker game? Am I playing? Yea man, stickers are a central medium of getting myself out there. The game I am playing is getting up as much as possible. I don’t do trades, I just send people stickers for free in hopes they will put them up in their hood. I don’t really appreciate the whole “sticker scene” if there is such a thing. I certainly don’t think of it as art.
If you could do a collaboration with any aritsts (living or deceased), who would it be and why?
Damn, that’s a tough one. initially I was going to say Dali but I also think Robert Rauchenberg as his work truly defines the collaboration. I’d also like to work with a traditional painter, or even someone like Craola. It would be fun to learn some real techniques from a master. My favorite paintings are pieces that make you wonder “how did they do that?”.
When it comes to stickers in LA I think of SERCH and 455er, just off the top of my head. Give us a couple of names that come to mind when you think of stickers in LA.
Yea, I would agree with you on SERCH, also ATLAS. Now I am drawing a blank. It always changes you know, each time I go out it seems there is someone else that has just gone out. In my opinion ATLAS is king, I see many stickers from him that have been up for well over 6 or 7 years. I like seeing MQ stickers, I think OBEY but I guess that goes without saying. I love seeing SKULLPHONE stickers. There is a guy doing the little rectangle face with just the two dots and the line, those seem to appear everywhere I go.
Last book or annual you read for design inspiration?
Man, I don’t read anymore, no time. I really like Arts project or Computer Arts Project Magazine. They give pretty accurate advise on design, dealing with clients, all the way down to accounting. They did an article on how to start your own street wear brand featuring 123Klan and Rebel8 that was awesome. I collect Juxtapoz but don’t get time to read them anymore.
Do you have an interesting story about a paste run for our readers?
Not too long ago before Buff moved to NY we went out on a little mission. We’ve been doing stuff together for so long it’s rare that we even talk about what we are doing while we are doing it. We’ll be hanging off the side of the freeway or up on a billboard and talking about how to better our relationships, or how to be more financially responsible. So we were out on this pillar off the freeway and it’s an island, you have to run along the fwy to get to it. I am halfway through putting mine up when I see all these red and blue lights bouncing off of the trees in front of me. I don’t hear the traffic running by anymore, I just hear the purrr of an interceptor. Then suddenly a big beam of white light starts tracking along the railing coming towards us. We curl up under the guard rail like a homeless couple and the light passes right over the top of our heads. It’s those moments when you appreciate the company you are in.
Any projects or street campaigns that our readers should look out for?
I am going to release a print here in the next month. Looking to release end of November. I have never released a fine art print before so I am excited and I think all the people that have hit me up for posters will be excited too. I am going to try and post some sort of pre-sale either on my Facebook or Twitter or both. Other than that just trying to hustle on the streets.
Fine art is an extension of what you do, but it’s also a different world, how did you approach it?
I don’t approach it as far as I am concerned. I want to, I just have not figured it out yet. I think releasing these prints is the beginning of that. My posters and stickers was not meant to be art. It was an experiment to see what people would make of an anonymous face. What do people make out of simple black and white shapes. Who do they see. In that case I am still in the experiment. However, now people want what they have seen in the streets as art. Therein lies the dilemma. I want to give them illustration, collage, and letters, but most just want the face. I am in the process of discovery now.
Thanks for your time, any last words to folks reading this.
Thank you man, LATACO is awesome, I enjoy your posts. For the folks reading, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and stay tuned for the print release! S1