L.A. TACO Interview with ABCNT

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ABCNT has always been a favorite artist of ours, as his work demonstrates the power and potential of art to invade the corporate-dominated public spaces of the city. His multidisciplinary work includes clothing, music, and a wide variety of visual art which all speak to the idea that the streets belong to the people. ABCNT recently sat down with Erwin Recinos to discuss art, power, politics, Los Angeles, and tacos… 

Name and occupation?
ABCNT, occupy all streets.

What type of work do you do?
Solidarity through design.

Favorite taco spot?
Pinches Tacos, Culver City

Is there an artist that you would like to work with and why?
Most likely a musician.. maybe Kanye.. make some fucked up music videos.

What are you into collecting?
Diggin’ for records was common practice, but space, time and money is limited.. getting rare stickers is always fun, art prints from my crew or artists I admire as well is something I’d hold on to.

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Cenk Uygur, Turkish-American political commentator for The Young Turks, holding an ABCNT sticker.

Any projects you currently working on and can give some info on? The what, why and the when?
I’ve partnered with The Young Turks (www.TYTNetwork.com) which is an online progressive news channel. I’ve helped them create merch for their online store (www.shoptyt.com) and currently updating their graphics and branding.”

“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” is a film I recently provided art production and animation to. It just premiered at the Sundance film festival as the very first film of its kind. It’s an Iranian vampire western shot in black and white, and it’s entirely in Farsi, so it’s making some waves. I’m excited for it to make its Los Angeles debut this summer.

Also planning a Marxist Glue II art show with Zoltron and StickerRobot. (www.marxistglue.com)

Wow! Marxist Glue was a tremendous show with some solid artists. What did you learn from that first show about yourself and your work?
Definitely. It all came together like magic in a way and credit to everyone involved for making it happen. I remember having a sesh with some friends and the homie Toks said what about the name “Marxist Glue?” I called Zoltron up in SF and he said “dude trip out I purchased the domain name ‘marxist glue’ a year ago and its just sitting there!” So it felt like it was meant to be from that point on.

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Photo from Marxist Glue Art Show at now dissolved Hold Up Art, October 2010.

I’m a big t-shirt junkie and some of your designs are collector’s items to me. What made you start creating your artwork and placing it on tee’s?
I started silk screening in 2004 at Art Center with Tony Zepeda who worked with Lichtenstein and many others back in the day and tshirts were almost always the first thing anyone wants when you’re screening. Then in 2005 I met Brandy Flower via Frosty at Dublab and joined Hit+Run making shirts, live at all sorts of house parties, clubs, bars to major events like Coachella. That lasted about 7 years til more of my time was limited and focused elsewhere. Shout out to CREW worldwide.

I enjoy your Twitter feed, you have an active voice in politics. Where did this interest come from?
I think being Iranian you grow up with a sense of political awareness that’s unique in terms of relating to American culture and the world. My parents used to also attend anti Iranian govt protests when I was younger, so that definitely influenced me as well. Not really proud or particularly fond of being into politics, its all fucked and theres very few voices you can trust. It essentially always comes down to economics and resources at the end of the day. I just find it a moral obligation to sometimes address issues I believe define our time and generation.

Does the city of Los Angeles influence your work in any way?
Most of the time Los Angeles is the canvas and its inhabitants are the audience so my city is always on my mind when I’m creating my work. Which region to place art in, which streets are friendlier to public art etc. L.A. is a constant reminder that we need public transportation and more community development to encourage walking, riding bicycles, urban farming etc. these are the types of issues I am influenced by in L.A.

Last five songs on your most recent playlist?
DJ Rashad – Pass That Shit
Death Grips – Anne Bonny
N.O.R.E. – Cowboys and Indians
Mobb Deep – The Money
Swiff D – Thrifty’s ice Cream

Give the LATACO readers some details about the print you released Monday.
I don’t do prints too often and so I decided to release a 18×24 print and price it at $20. Fuck this whole $200 for a print bullshit. I was always into posters, and posters should be affordable, so hopefully people dig it.

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ABCNT Print: serigraph un-coated matte finish, signed and numbered. Available now, click image above fore more details.

Keep up with ABCNT via Instagram, ABCNT Printshop, Twitter and of course his blog.

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Comments (2) to “L.A. TACO Interview with ABCNT”

  1. Everyone wants to be Shepard Fairey but nobody wants to be Shepard Fairey

  2. if abcnt wanted to be shepard fairy, he’d be making portraits of bob marley, tom hanks and michael jordan, not anonymous masked protestors and obscure political prisoners.

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