Global Uprising ~ Interview with Mear One

You’ve lived in Los Angeles almost all your life, how does the city inspire you?

Well LA is a beautiful city, with our mountains and beaches. I love how our city pops up all over the place downtown, Venice, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Culver City, Highland Park, Eagle Eock. All over there is this intricate Spanish Moroccan ancient Babylonian Mayan architecture and between the Griffith Park Observatory and the Bullocks Wilshire there is an underlying Egyptian/ art deco influence. These elements make this city aesthetically interesting to me. I think the local deserts and forests inspire me the most though. I go to these places when I’ve had my fill of the city and swim through rivers with my backpack on my head and cook dinner on mountaintops. LA gives me a bit of the whole world right here in one place.

Where in the city have your lived, and what is your favorite corner?

I grew up in the industrial back lots of Hollywood’s sound stages and set builders. I went to Bancroft jr High and then to Fairfax High. I liked the neighborhood so much I moved to the Fairfax Melrose district where I became a graffiti addict and let that hood become my center to spread out from. I later spent a lot of time on the East side of Hollywood and Echo Parkn through the Sanbourn yard and Belmont tunnel yard– these were the yards we use to paint at. I lived in Eagle Rock for a year and moved to echo park where I stay today. I love my bike ready art-centric music-blazing part of town.

Is all graffiti political?

Not all graffiti is done with political intent but the simple act is a political one in the sense of breaking restricting rules and expressing ones self. My art usually reflects a political form of communication so I can relay an idea worthy of discussion in a way that makes it interesting. I enjoy exploring the illusion and exposing hidden ideas of our world, I believe we get brainwashed along with our collective conscious through the obvious veins of media, school, etc.

What is the power of art with regard to change/revolution?

Art is the ultimate way to combat the machine because it reflects imagination, something the talentless authorities cannot control. So Art is the weapon of choice because it can speak and pierce straight to your person and you don’t need to read a book to get it. It just resonates with your mind (if it happens to be the type of art one likes) and gives you something to work with, or a new perspective. Some art is propaganda and it just goes to show that art is so powerful it can be used for all the reasoning we Americans can come up with to sell a product or an idea. Sometimes it doesn’t take a corporation to instill superficial ideas, many people will generate this type of art willingly so they appear to be artist of work that stands for real change and real revolution but fall short of doing the real work for the people while they make money off false hope.

Your powerful piece “Global Uprising” has a lot going on, can you take us through a few of the details in the work?

I created a piece called Global Uprising recently to applaud the Arab spring that was taking place. It was the first time in many years I felt a political change in the weather. It is so inspiring to see and be part of the American occupation and potential revolution. I created the piece old school style by hand carving each separation. The process I use is unique unto myself, I think. I wipe large swipes of paint onto a sheet and begin to remove the paint. I’m weird like that… anyway it creates an etched litho kinda hand paint combination that is more challenging for me in an age where everyone is trying to do it easier. I should lighten up a bit here and pay dues to the type of art I have seen that is a living example of what I speak. Diego Rivera, Irving Norm, Goya, and Robbie Conal, to speak on a few. Thanks for the great contributions and vision in art to a world that is sometimes blind.

What’s your favorite taco?

I love tacos but I’m a Vegan so not too many around I can recommend unless I’m cookin’ but Cafe Gratitude has some very very natural tacos that are the bomb, pricy though.

What’s next for Mear?

For the next 9 months or so I am gonna be working on a powerfully inspiring body of work. It revolves around destroying illusions and replacing current modes of thinking. Critiquing our history while researching alternative versions of the documented timeline. I feel the need to expose what I feel to be some of the biggest fallacies of our planet and nation. Of course, this history can become rhetorical at times so there is a juxtaposition of mystery, mysticism, coinciding with the mythic challenges of humanity in our current state I’m integrating. In many ways I am working with the premise that things are naturally hidden so my work also embraces an element of riddle. There are parts spelled out and then there are parts that may take your investigation.

Do you feel you are part of a movement?

The movement I align with is finally growing in strength and numbers. People are getting into their quality of life, and awakening from this dumb jackass mentality of “stupid is popular” and becoming conscious of our selves in the context of the rest of the world. It has been 20 years of my personal dissatisfaction in American self-image. I came from the underground, where knowledge was power and stupid couldn’t cross the street by its self without help. So it is great to see intelligent people speak up and begin the new movement. It’s about time.

How can people fight back against  brainwashing?

People can fight this machine and break it down one cog at a time. They need to become interested in deeper matters than their personal image and excess wealth. Most of the obsessing people out there don’t even feed themselves good food. You see limos drive through McDonald’s, people sniffing toxic drugs, partying everyday and wasting their life on an obsession. When we awaken and take care of ourselves properly then we can take care of each other. There are plenty of teachers out there and if you awaken and make changes in your self then we too can become teachers to help others. It is very hard living in a big city with all the constant pressures to maintain a positive head state let alone spread positive energy so it starts within the individual. One must want the change in one’s self. One should question their own motives constantly and form a positive relationship with one’s self so they can remedy their current situation.

We are all connected to the bigger problem of this country. The government, corporations, the medical establishment, military, social, what have you are all connected to our apathy and ignorance of what has been going on. I won’t preach about specifics but America hasn’t ever been very kind with all its supposed freedom and liberty. One more thing, I am so tired of people telling me “America is the greatest country of them all, even at our worst were better than the rest”. Well that my friends is a pile, I’ve visited Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France, to name a few and these societies are no better but their head state is closer to a real ideal of freedom and liberty than I’ve ever experienced here in my home.

So I leave you all with some positive thoughts, we have come far from the wrongs of our ancestors and emanate from their best, we can now all connect all around the world. We are the result of love, even those who were thought to be mistakes. It’s all misplaced and placed love and even fighting for our freedom or our right to clean air is a quest for love. Sometime we have to fight for it. There’s no time like now. All Power To The People!!!

Visit Mear at MearOne.com. Tons of visuals, information and more.

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Comments (7) to “Global Uprising ~ Interview with Mear One”

  1. great interview. mears a great inspiration.

  2. Mear is the black lion of Voltron. LA Graf wouldn’t look or work the same without him.

  3. MEAR is one of the ultimate LA graff writers. Dope interview.

  4. inspirational guy and incredible artist… thank you!

  5. mad love for MEAR the man is a legend and i get the sense he is just warming up. thank you for including the shot of the mural that was on alvarado street at sunset for so long… i loved that mural and used to live right around the corner. i wanted to cry when i saw it was buffed… after i moved away.

    -ASKME

  6. Very inspirational. Great work and great message

  7. [...] Shirt Spot in Lincoln Heights recently commissioned artist Mear One to bless the whole side of the building with his signature style. This mural is located on Pasadena [...]