TACO Interview with Galo MAKE ONE Canote

It was a few months ago that we sat with our friend Galo “MAKE ONE” Canote for this interview. The legendary Los Angeles graffiti pioneer and founding member of our city’s Second to None Crew had some unusual free time due to a regionally not too-uncommon traffic mistake. A lot has been said about Galo and his contributions both past and present to the art world, but knowing him to be a funny, deep, and intelligent guy, we figured it best to let him do most of the talking on his art, city, women, and everything else you’ve ever wanted to know about the man. Since talking, Galo has been characteristically up to his old flurry of tricks, waist-deep in the art world and recently having dropped STN as his crew, which we caught up with him to explain within. Enjoy the q&a and learn of Galo’s orgins, his inspiration, his work with Los Angeles youth, and of his in-demand services as a male escort. Apparently, LoveGalo has more meanings then we thought…

TACO: Yo Galo, what’s up man? Spending a lot of time at home recently? What exactly happened to get you that anklet?

MAKE: (Laughs) Wassup man? Yeah – a lot of time!! Well…what can I say? I made a bad decision and got popped for a DUI again. SUCKS! So being such a lightweight – they assigned me house arrest for two months. Beats being in jail having to deal with all the lame politics they have. It’s alright though, just have to step-up and take responsibility for my actions. Things are coming along.

TACO: You’re a legend in today’s graff art world, and a hero in Los Angeles…

MAKE: A legend maybe. But a hero? Aummm…Yeah I guess I can consider myself one too. (He smiles)

TACO: Where in L.A. did you grow up? What neighborhoods did you hang out in back in the day?

MAKE: I grew-up mainly in the Mid-Wilshire area, just south of Hollywood. I hung out a lot around the Belmont Tunnel/Yard. Other areas were: Pico-Union, Alhambra, K-Town, North Hollywood, Little Tokyo, ELA, Baldwin Hills Area, by Laurel Canyon Elementary, Venice Beach, and of course Hollywood. Pretty much all over L.A.

TACO: Where would you most want to live in the city if you had your choice?

MAKE: Any area where people care about their neighborhood, where people take pride in their community. Any area where all neighbors get along. Any area where all my neighbors are hot, single, sexy women. Once you know of one let me know. Oh and where Winona Ryder, Drew Barrymore, Elisha Dushku, Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Teri Hatcher, Brittany Murphy, Golden Brooks, Eihi Shiina, Lisa Bonet, Ivonne Montero, Persia White, PJ Harvey & Cristina Ricci are all my neighbors. (winks)

TACO: Heh. And what do you remember about growing up in our city? What was the L.A. of your childhood like?

MAKE: Mannnn…it was different. From what I remember things were chill. Or at least it seemed they were. Perhaps cause I was younger, I was a bit naïve and oblivious to a lot of my surroundings. But as I grew older, I slowly began noticing things, you know? The drugs, the gangs, the crime, how skin color was an issue and lame stuff like that.

TACO: How’d you spend your days as a kid? And how have you seen L.A. change through the years, and your experience here change from a kid to today?

MAKE: I spent my days mainly having fun. Being a kid was or is fun. I am still a kid! (laughs) I took my childhood years for granted. It’s the best time, at least for me, to be exposed to different and new things, to be free, to be innocent, to be unaccountable, to experiment, to absorb, etc.

As a kid I was only into two things, art and girls. If it wasn’t girls, it was art. If it wasn’t art, it was girls.

…(Cont.) MAKE: I’ve seen L.A. change completely. A lot!! Some areas have gotten worse, some have gotten better and vice-versa. Some have gone from good to bad and then cleaned-up again. Some have gone from bad to good and then got messed up. A lot of gentrification going on. A lot de-gentrifying as well. A lot of buildings going down and a lot new buildings going up. A lot of people moving in and a lot moving out.

I, myself, am particularly fond of the ‘80s, my teen years. Too bad people often condemn the 80s or dismiss it. When in fact, it was a pioneering time for art, music and specially the graff movement. Unfortunately, by the end of the decade, things went sour. The late 80s are considered the dark years for many graff writers. Many friends and remarkable talents died over lame gangs, drugs, racism, etc. We’re still feeling their absence.

TACO: City life everywhere seems to come with its major daily frustrations, but something about L.A.’s seem very unique to the country. What do you love and dislike about this city?

MAKE: I love ALL of L.A. But as much as I love it, I HATE it…despise it. I am completely fed-up with it. It’s the overused cliché’ of a “love and hate relationship”. I love how L.A. is a cultural melting pot, a dichotomy, how it’s filled with diversity, filled with opportunities in every corner. I love its griminess, its art scene, its graff scene.

But I hate the traffic, the overpopulated streets, the congestion, the noisiness, the pretentiousness, the Hollywood image and celebrity status, the “too cool” attitude, the dog-eat-dog mentality, how failure is found in every corner, the diversity, how our streets weren’t built for our traffic, the unjust laws, the retardedness and stupidity of gangs. I hate the griminess, the art scene, the graff scene. I hate me being in L.A. and hate L.A. being in me.

TACO: At least it can’t be said that you don’t feel very passionate about this place. How do you envision the future of Los Angeles?

MAKE: Like something out of Demolition Man or George Orwell’s 1984. We ain’t too far from it anyways. “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength”, right? “Big Brother” watching?

TACO: Sure feels like it a lot of the time. I wish they’d let us know where they’re watching! I kinda feel like we know who is watching, more or less. Galo, who were your heroes as a kid, both in your own life and in the world at large?

MAKE: My “heroes” – were singular. My MOM!! (R.I.P). She replaced every hero I may have had or believed to be one at one point. Jesus is also my hero. OH, and Spider-Man too.

TACO: Spidey’s cool under pressure, no doubt. How did you get into the arts and graff? Who exactly introduced you?

MAKE: Well art became boring. It was too formulated, conventional, predictable, bland. Often times too studied. When graff came in I was completely enthralled by it. It was fresh, different, risqué, unprecedented. It had life and it was fun. Who introduced me to graff? No one. It introduced itself to me.

TACO: Your crew Second to None practically personifies L.A. street graff, how did you form the crew?

MAKE: The crew was formed in 1985. It was formed by David “Sine” Davilas (R.I.P), Sergio “Doc43” Rueda, and me. It was formed shortly after Sine and I had asked Rick if we could be in K2S (Kill 2 Succeed). He denied both of us but encouraged us to start our own crew.

The name was greatly inspired by a song we heard during our school lunch hour. Sine basically pointed it out as we were shuffling through crew names. (Laughs). It was funny. Good Times!

The original members of the crew are: Sine (R.I.P), Easie (R.I.P), Skept, Def, Doc43, and me. “Six in the Mix.” The crew eventually grew to be a nice collective of artists especially with: Relic, Tempt, Baba, Jack, Repo, Cash, Comic, Heaven, and Eyer. Other crew members are or “were”: Sketch, Teler, and Image.

TACO: And the crew’s relationship with K2S? Could you tell us how that was solidified?

MAKE: Well (sighs) – they have always been to me closely affiliated, but I always viewed them as two different crews – two separate entities; regardless of what’s believed. Much of the confusion may have come cuz of crossover members: Relic, Skept & Defer and maybe as of recent, Sketch and Teler. But everyone that was STN was NOT K2S and vice-versa.

I, personally, was never K2S – I got denied. Sine technically wasn’t or isn’t K2S either. After being denied, he really didn’t want to be in it anymore, neither of us did. Not in a bad way. We were just STN. It kinda bugs me when people list him as K2S. I know it’s outta love for him, respect, remembrance, which is cool, but as far as graffiti, he was and only wanted to be TWA (Todayz Writing Artists) and STN. I wish he was around. I believe STN would be a much different  crew than it is now. I often feel the crew’s direction may have veered off from what he had intended. That was one of the reasons I also left the crew that I very much help start. I was dedicated to the crew. And albeit, I am WCA (West Coast Artists) and AM7 (Angelz of Madnezz), I would only represent STN. That was it.

TACO: So you are definitely no longer STN?

MAKE: No. Unfortunately not.

TACO: Why?

MAKE: For reasons I’d rather not discuss online. They may be obvious to some but I blogged about it vaguely on my Myspace. The crew knows what those reasons are. But if I wanted to, I can always hit it up. Regardless how you look at it – I will always be considered STN by everyone and no one can tell me not to write if I wanted to pick it up again.

TACO: I know you’ve written a few names, but MAKE is who you are. What does the name mean to you and how did it come about?

MAKE: It came from watching Style Wars. The homie Mare139 came out and I dug his style and name. I swapped his “R” for a “K” and MAKE was born. So thanks Carlos. And MAKE means exactly what it means: to create, to form, to bring into existence. It also means: Mentor, Artist, Kreator & Educator – Mastering Art, Knowledge and Education – Movement And Kreative Energy. It also means to Make Love. I still have many names. Garo, Tsukuru, Urban Cowboy, The Love Man, Agent Cool A and some other hush hush ones

TACO: How about you guide us through a typical day in the life of MAKE ONE?

MAKE: Well upon waking up I try to pray and thank God that I’m more devilishly handsome than the night before. I then top my morning with lotz of coffee. I Myspace a little. Then start grinding and hustling. I sometimes call or hangout with some of my kids/students or have long breakfasts or lunches with clients or friends. I am also constantly thinking of my next show, its concepts and ideas.

In the evenings I read a bit, watch Seinfeld or The Simpson’s, pray, then go to sleep. That’s a typical day. Other than that it’s borderline TMZ on my ass. I’m almost a prisoner of my own fame. In a way, it’s sad, I almost can’t go out or do the kinds of things normal people do. I am also the Hugh Hefner of graffiti. So that takes up a lot of my TIME.

TACO: Any favorite pens or paint you loved then or love today?

MAKE: Now-a-days? Anything that writes, paints, scribbles, colors, etc. Back then? Unis, 3-fingers, Hot Pink, Baby Blue, and Plum Purple Krylons. Semi-Flat Black. White Pentels.

TACO: Who did you most like to paint with back in the day? Who are some of your favorite collaborators or friends you like to hit the town with nowadays?

MAKE: I painted with anyone. It didn’t make difference to me, and got hated on because of that. Til this day, I enjoy painting with anyone, anywhere, and any time. I don’t care. As a matter of fact, the more different people I paint with, the better. As long as the vibe is cool and there is no lame drama. I am too old for kinda that stuff.

With whom I’ve enjoy painting with the most were, my crewmates – Sine, Doc, Easie, Skept, Cash & Relik. With Besk-UCA. I enjoyed writing and bombing with Same, Price, Hate, Like and Sure.

But I, the loner I am, enjoy painting with myself and my alter egos the most.

TACO: Of course everyone would love to know some of your crazy-ass stories from the city. Any good, death-defying tales?

MAKE: Oh yesssss…yesss – In this city it is almost inevitable. I got stabbed seven times in the back and got my head split open with bats – “mistaken identity” or better said, “cuz of association”. I got shot at and of course been jumped, chased and robbed. Had a gun pointed in my face while getting mugged. I’ve fallen off roofs and ladders. Been in crazy car accidents. But I am still here. God has preserved me through-and-through.

TACO: We’ll have to find out what you eat later! What do you think of other forms of creative vandalism like poster pasting, stickers, and stencils? Anyone you admire doing their thing there?

MAKE: It’s all just junk food man, and lots of beans too. (laughs) Funny that in all that, I have never broken a bone. weird. I dig the new forms of “creative vandalism”. I do it myself. At one point stickers were frowned upon by writers (snickers). It was sorta cheating. But to me, it’s all the same thing man. It’s all under the same freakin’ umbrella. And I admire anyone who is out there doing it.

TACO: What about art off the streets, how do you stay creative and busy these days?

MAKE: I try to keep myself involved in anything art related. From helping artists showcase their work for the first time, to exposing and promoting artists and introducing artists from other cities or countries. I like curating and organizing art shows/exhibits and events. I also like helping out with exhibits. Sorta “behind-the-scenes” type-a-thing. People aren’t aware, of course, with the exception of those I may have helped or know, that I’ve hung entire shows, consulted, co-curated, promoted, written press releases for and worked on a lot of art shows and exhibits without having my name attached to it. Great shows too. Of course, never mentioned or given any form of credit. Not that I seek it, but a “thank you” or a nice cold Coke or a nice cup of java – would’ve been nice. (smiles)

You see, I’m aware I lack talent or fall short of some the talent that’s out there. So I need to make-up for it somehow. One may say that exposing or highlighting other artist’s talents and/or curating shows may kinda be my way of compensating; but I see it more as becoming a more complete, well-rounded “artist” who works with his strengths and weaknesses. And if it is compensating – so what?

TACO: Yeah, as a frustrated creative type myself, I feel the best thing I can do is try to help other people get exposure, if that’s what they’re looking for.

MAKE: The truth is…I don’t even really identify or consider myself an “artist”, at least not the artist the general people have so flagrantly given a loose, misconceived meaning to. That’s what a bunch of wannabe artists who finally have a show/exhibit or what actors who finally get a movie gig like to think of themselves as. I define myself more as a…“hustler.” One who does and tries different things to achieve a goal. I “hustle” to have an impact in the culture, to be recognized, to leave footprints and this applies to every aspect of my life. I’ve done many things for money, for love, for the name of graff, for approval and disapproval, and/or for social status. So when I say, “I’m an artist” I mean to say “I am a hustler” – defining the basic premise of what motivates me to do whatever it is I do.

TACO: How does Los Angeles and being from here affect your art? How has L.A. influenced your style and your intention in expressing yourself?

MAKE: Well L.A. has a great impact in anything I do. Anywhere I go I take L.A. with me. I am a product of it – its culture, its art scene, its attitude, its style, everything! And it has made me strong and weak. L.A.’s the most mimicked city in the world. The city everyone wants to come live in. It is also the most hated on. So being from L.A. has lead to many open doors as well as shut them.

TACO: Who has been a big influence on your art in the past?

MAKE: Too many to list. Besides, I’ve learned it’s sadly a waste of time to do so. Many whom I’ve always credited to influencing me turn around and hate on me, even though I’ve repeatedly given them complete credit. (laughs) Go figure. So I am like, fffffffff…forget you then!! Maybe that’s why you ain’t the one being interviewed!!

TACO: Who influences your art these days?

MAKE: I’d have to say my kids/students, teachers, my friends, my girlfriends, my enemies, my sister, God. But if there is any one person that influences me most is ME. Cuz everything and everyone around me is ME! It becomes ME and ME becomes them. Understand ME? If it’s in ME, it’s because it influenced ME. It makes ME. So ME influences ME, thanks to everyone who influenced ME.

TACO: Whom do you admire in the art world?

MAKE: ME, Galo, LoveGalo, MakeOne and those who aren’t born yet.

TACO: Whom do you admire on the walls these days?

MAKE: ME, Galo, LoveGalo, and MakeOne.

TACO: What are some of the pieces you’ve done that you are most proud of?

MAKE: All of them. From the one I was least proud of to the one I am most proud of. I later realized that the piece I was not proud of I became rather fond of and the piece I was once proud of became the piece I detested.

TACO: Getting back to curating, we were shooting the breeze at your Karan Koron show recently, which was one of the all-around tightest art shows I’ve been to in the city? When did you start curating?

MAKE: That was a tight show, right? When I realized I can improve or put on a much better show/event than the one I attended the evening before. It’s also just in me to organize, direct, and I guess, be in control. And I like said earlier, I just wanted to venture into other creative forms of expression or outlets.

TACO: Whom do you want to bring exposure to? What are some of your aspirations and accomplishments as a curator?

MAKE: To bring exposure to those that may not know how to get in, have the resources to do it, have enough weight in their name. It’s challenging. There’s also a thin line between exposing and exploiting.

TACO: And you also just did a big, radical show in Mexico City. Can you tell us about that?

MAKE: Yeah. It was called “Abriendo El Border,” Spanglish for “Opening The Border”. It had many objectives. In short, it was to bring greater light and awareness on the true pioneers of graffiti in L.A. to Mexico. To also expose the overlooked, remarkable talent and current art movement in Mexico. It was to politically address the border issues. To metaphorically illustrate the border between Mexico and the US/L.A. is truly non-existent.

Our art is our passport to and fro. It cannot be detained, so neither can we. Our art has a life of it’s own and it travels where it wills. It is how we communicate with others, in and outside our culture.

So the show involved roughly 14 artists from L.A. exhibiting and doing a live demonstration at Border Gallery in Mexico City. The following day consisted of a graffiti expo with roughly 200 plus graffiti artists from all over Mexico. It is rumored to be one of the better graff expos in Mexico. Imagine 200 plus artists painting a permanent mural/installation on a three-mile long wall in a famous cultural center in Mexico. It was breathtaking and I could have not accomplished without the help of Ashes, the cultural center, Comex and all the participating artists form Mexico and LA. They showed us mad love.

TACO: How do you consider your relationship to Mexico and how has it informed your work? Any recommendations to TACO readers for good times in D.F.?

MAKE: Mexico is in my heart. As much as L.A. plays a significant role in my work, so does Mexico. Everything around me, everything I’ve been exposed to, read, seen, places been to – informs me.

And there are plenty of places to go in D.F. man. When I travel, I personally choose to go to the less “touristy” spots. I try to go to the more common areas that the natives may go to. It helps me experience the place more for what it is to the common person that lives there. why go to a country to and eat KFC or Subway?

So the places I may suggest may be a little obscure. (laughs) But hit me up. If you’re going, I will shoot a list of places to go.

TACO: Now, we’ve had a few conversations about our different work with kids in the city. How did you start working with kids?

MAKE: It mainly began at church. I noticed many kids were being mis-treated, treated indifferently, misunderstood, neglected. Seeing that motivated me and I saw a need. Shortly after, I became a youth-leader of a group of kids and teens. I must say I had the largest of the groups. I knew I had a gift and it was clearly evident by the number of kids around me and drawn to me. I felt an immediate responsibility to look out for these kids, to impact their lives. Not knowing how, I’d just treat them as what they were – KIDS/TEENS! Never scolding but giving timely advice, giving them respect. Listening, talking, spending time with them and I enjoyed it. It all just came naturally. I was even asked by other churches to help out with their youth and also speak to them.

A few years later, I was hired to do a 3-month workshop, thanks to a program director named Kristy Lovich. From there, I was also invited to speak to kids at schools, non-profits and other churches, and soon thereafter, invited to do workshops. While being motivated and enjoying it, I developed a more formal art curriculum, proposed it and submitted it to schools and non-profits. I’ve been working with kids and teens since.

I’ve been blessed to work for LAUSD, charter schools, non-profits, universities, galleries and museums. It eventually lead to giving a course to teachers and professors at a teacher’s conference. I’ve even conducted Class Management Orientations for teachers and programs directors having difficulties in their classrooms.

It’s amazing the relationships I developed, the opportunities I’ve had, where I’ve taught and whom I’ve taught to. Where I’ve spoken and been a panelist at. It’s been most gratifying and rewarding.

TACO: What would you like to do personally for kids, what do you think you can help them with most as an artist and as a man?

MAKE: I want to be a factor in their life. Have a positive impact. Help them un-tap their inner person, unleash their creative being. I want be able to help them be themselves and be comfortable at it. I want to instill confidence, to help them not feel inferior to anyone regardless of color, where they live or level of education they possess. I want them to speak boldly, with confidence, to be fearless.

What can I do? Not sure. I’m just myself around them. I don’t judge them. I let them be, but of course not let them be. I know I have a certain power. Not a power to control or manipulate but a power to influence. And as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker – “with great power comes great responsibility” – and it’s true. When I have these kids under my supervision I feel completely responsible for most of their actions, for what they may decide to do the next minute or next day and that can make a whole world of difference.

And you may say, “You’ve got some nerve Mr. DUI!” Yes! You’re right. I am guilty. Guilty of making bad decisions. I make them all the time. I’m the first to make them. The first to fail, the first to fall, the first to disappoint, the first to annul what I just said. The first to be a bad example, a bad role model. But I move on and I know I can still make a difference. And If I can make a difference in just one kid, help him/her make a decision(s) that can better their life, I’ve done my job.

I see these experiences as humanizing me, humbling me. It reminds me I ain’t better than anyone. And if I focus on my failures or short-comings then I am not growing therefore my kids aren’t growing either.

TACO: How do you see the future generations shaping L.A. at this point?

MAKE: Two words – Downward spiral. Unless teachers and our schools begin to give a damn about our future.

TACO: I hear that. Our schools and the school system are both filled with great examples of people who want to make a difference and some who want to not make waves. I remember you saying some very inspiring things about broadening kids perspectives…getting kids to see that the world is much bigger than just their block, their neighborhood, their city, their country and so on…I know you’re a man of many and varied interests, was there any one thing that helped broaden your perspectives as a youth or have you always been that kind of cat?

MAKE: My mom! She introduced me to a lot of things. My uncles and older cousins too. But at the same time, I was always adventurous. I mean, I just knew there were other spots besides the area I lived in. Being OT’d to another school helped also. Having girls that lived or worked outside my neighborhood helped. So as I grew older, I was not afraid to try new things or to go outside my four, ten block radius. Dude! Life, this city, this country, this world is much bigger than that.

TACO: Then do you think Los Angeles will be your home forever, or…

MAKE: Hell naw!! I want to live in Japan or Mexico. Maybe Ancon, Ecuador.

TACO: And for now, where do you like to eat in L.A.? Any favorite restaurants, spots, or stores?

MAKE: Awe man. Let’s see…I like, and although hate, the Rustic Inn. I like the Mustard Seed, Mexico City, Jump’n Java in Van Nuys, In-N-Out, Cassell’s Burgers, 101 Café, Millie’s. Daikokuya, Haru-Ulala, Orochon Ramen, East, Kokekokko, Sushi Komaasa, Sushi Gen for the BOMBEST Sushi in Little Tokyo. Soot Bull Jeep and SoNaMu for Korean Food. La Fonda, Roscoe’s Chicken, Guetlaquetza for Oaxaquenen Food, El Caserio for Ecuadorian, El Buen Gusto for Salvadorian, Mamita’s or Lola’s for Peruvian, Elena’s for Armenian, El Comao for Cuban, TiGeorges for Haitian. Dude, I can go on…

TACO: Keep going brother!

MAKE: Chandras for Thai. The Bucket Burger in Eagle Rock. Café Tropical, Tacos El Apache, El Alazon for seafood…wooo.

TACO: Those are some kind spots on that list. What about to wet your beak? Where do you like to go out in L.A.?

MAKE: I like to go everywhere, especially if I haven’t been there yet. Anywhere girls are at.

TACO: WORD. Speaking of which, I’ve seen the stickers, met some of those gorgeous LoveGalo girls and seen some beautiful women hanging around you…so tell us, is MakeOne a bit of a player?

MAKE: (Laughs heartedly) A player? Naaah. A player is one who plays. I don’t play. I did use to have a motto “MAKE, FAKE, and TAKE” (Make a move, Fake them out, and Take them home) But not anymore. I have relationships now. Short-term, open and/or non-committed but they’re mutual. At one point, I considered myself and believed to be a “girl therapist,” a “hero” or a “love doctor” to some. That’s where the name Dr. Galo comes from. But all I really was, was a vampire. I used to prey on women and fed on what they lacked in their relationships or life. I stopped cuz it wasn’t cool. One does “reap what they sow.”

So I’ve learned, “honesty is the best policy”. Being straight out with them is mature, I guess. (laughs) But now I want a serious relationship. I am tired of having shallow relationships. I am also tired of being an escort, of being paid to pretend to be some girl’s boyfriend. (laughs)

TACO: What kind of girls do you prefer, dude?

MAKE: Well for starters, they have to be born a woman. And I like them all. I don’t discriminate. I can be Shallow Galo sometimes but I try not to. I like tall, short, dark, light, Whites, Blacks, Asians, voluptuous, waifs, skinny, thick, short-haired, long-haired, bald, blondes, brunettes, prunes, out-going, complete bodies, missing body parts, conservatives, kinky, smart, ditzy, Goths, punks, wannabes, strippers, church-goers.

Cholas? Maybe. Only if they are able to hold a conversation and/or don’t draw their eyebrows in with Sharpies or use the phrases: “how stupid, ay?” or “I know, huh?” I believe women are the most beautiful, most amazing, miraculous, stimulating, fascinating creatures that exist. I even wish I were a woman sometimes. I think I am a lesbian. (laughs)

TACO: Any last words or shout outs you wanna MAKE?

MAKE: Yeah – quick shout-outs to my sister Sandra, my family in Mexico and Ecuador. My old STN colleagues. Size, Besk, Huge, Unit, Shandu, Frame, Vyal, Cab, Neo, Slick, Tempt, Axis, Relax, Acme, Hash, Relic, Cash, Doc43, Prime, Jeyd, Envy, James, The StephVader, Celina, Ware-dawg, Greg Bojorquez, Eriberto Oriol, Sergio and Sara, Koji Iijima, Sticky Rick, DJ Rif, Kenta-san, Prince Vince, Envy, Natzue, EGR, News, Tiza, Rem, Chalk, Mookiena, Kif, Jel, CupCakeCartel, Chyna, Cinthia and Iris.

To the homies in Japan. To the homies in Mexico. To: EYOS Crew, Ilegal Skuad, Border, and Freakolors.

To Dyal, Jonk, Ashes, Dear, Klase, Eker, Reload, Akar, Fixe, Osoe, Saner, Goyo, Eugenio.

To ALL my students; past and present.

To Yaegaki Sake, Asahi Beer, Popkiller, X-Large, Meltdown Comics, Royal Elastics, Spanish Montana, Tokyo-Drive, 50mm, Graphotism, and of course everyone at L.A. Taco.

Special heart-filled hellos to Aja, Sally, Yu-Ling, Sonia, Evey, Celia, Justine B, Karla, Tropik – you will always hold a special place in my heart. If I can clone my heart, I would and I’d offer it completely to you.

And to all them hating, jealous, un-productive, wannabe, constantly complaining and whining smack talking slandering wishing to be me fools. Peace. I aint mad at ya!!

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde

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Comments (128) to “TACO Interview with Galo MAKE ONE Canote”

  1. nice interview

  2. He’s my idol…I LOVE him…

    GALO

  3. [...] here to read a thorough and multi-faceted Taco interview with the legendary Los Angeles graffiti pioneer [...]

  4. Great interview. Keep it coming.

  5. Gracias Galo.

    Saludos

  6. GALO IS THE EPITAME OF LOS ANGELES SEXINESS!!!!

    LOOK AT THE PIXX… HE IS THE SHIT!! PROUD TO HAVE HIM AS A FRIEND.. (EVEN THOUGHT HE LEFT ME OFF THE ROLL CALL)

    XOXOX BABA… MSK STN AWR UA KSN

  7. I love you Galo!
    That part about changing kids lives almost made me cry.
    Fuckin school systems are a sad sad joke, stifling creativity and sucking out their souls.

    xo

  8. MakeOne True L A Legend…..Much Props to this cat!

  9. thanks for the shot out! … just kiddin .. nice interview .. nice to get some insight on sucha a great writer and good person .. and the photos in this post were great as well!

    pe@ce

  10. GRACIAS GALO!!!
    ERES UN CHINGON MAKEONEGALOKSONE!!
    OJALA SUPIERA MAS INGLICH PARA ENTENDERLE MAS!!

  11. i love a cacahuatito i love his style!!

  12. yo just stopping by to send mad love and props to my man, make one.. straight up original LA killer…
    holding it down, year after year.. maximum respect.
    fisherman KOG LTS

  13. i heart galo!

  14. True insite on who you are what makes make.Kids our a lifespan of growth.I worked at ACLA and I love all those little people I met .

  15. Nice interview Hadley!

  16. dope article… very cool stuff. funny, especially loved this one “Well upon waking up I try to pray and thank God that I’m more devilishly handsome than the night before. I then top my morning with lotz of coffee.” i was crackin up dude….
    more power to u my friend, keep on “hustlin” i like watching u succeed :)

  17. GALO, ILL with FLOW……………..

  18. Damn Galo…u a supa star…. let all L.A know the history of were we come from…. always Respected bro… peace

    Old Timer BISER 722… K4P MAK FB
    rocking since the early 80’s….

  19. MAD..RESPECT 2 GALO…
    Keep it real Dawg!!!People need 2 hear the truth!!!

    Peace Out!

  20. WOW! next time you pick the eatery. haha
    Great interview. Long time coming. Good questions with some hard hitting answers. Very straight forward.
    Thank you for the shout out…

  21. KOBI-TO:funny, deep and intelligent guy. It was well put.

  22. would u still be my homie if i drew my eyebrows on with a sharpie?? Haha!!! Make one is the illest!!!

  23. Damn Galo! All this time and I didn’t even know I lived right above an L.A. legend. Seeing how people can be ungrateful, and not give you any love when props is due….here you go; Thanks G for helping cover the scrape off my ride. LMAO!!! On some real sh*t though, now that I know you’re a Suppa’ Hero and how much of an impact you make w/the lil bambinos, i’ll try and keep in down next time. Peace- WyNo1

  24. dope interview. galo is a lengend, and a HERO….

  25. Galo is a great guy to drink a beer with and discuss food spots. He’s one of the more interesting people I’ve met. Thanks for posting such a great interview.

  26. You Make, you forgot to mention El Pollo Loco, Loco!
    Thanks for the shout!

  27. GALO FOR MAYOR OF L.A…….. I’M SERIOUS……

  28. Thanks for the shoutout! There’s much more to ya then it seems.. =)

  29. GRACIAS GALO POR TENERME PRESENTE, SABES QUE TAMBIEN TU ESTAS PRESENTE EN MI…

    AUN NO SE MUCHO INGLES, PERO TRATARE DE BUSCAR UN TRADUCTOR EN LA RED PARA ENTENDERLE A ALGUNAS COSAS QUE NO ENTIENDO (LA GRAN MAYORIA JAJAJA)…

    BESOS AMIGOS, ERES EL MEJOR :)…

  30. Dude has so much style, he needs to start giving some away to less fortunate kids!
    Make/Galo is loved & is nothing less than legendary at this point in the game! wish him the best in all his new found art endeavors.

  31. yeahh k buenas fotos y k buenas niñas sales bien kaon a y k chingones dibujos esoso si son dibujos no mamadas t deseo mucha suerte en todo lo k agas ok y me siento orgulloso de tener un primo komo tu fucker but kiss my fuckin as yeahhh jajaja

  32. orale, you already forgot about all them cholas we used to kick it with when we were kids, they werent the smartest girls in the world pero ahi estabas. Lmao. Great interview.

  33. Galo is bringin sexy back!

  34. hello galo!
    GREAT interview, thank you for the mention
    akar.

  35. Interesting facts about the famous Galo. Hope all is well, keep up the awesome work. Take care and send a shot out to us Sentinel Girls.

  36. Great read. The world needs more Galo and more tacos. It would be a better place. For real.

  37. THE HOMIE GALO!!! sick interview man
    great insight to the life of MAKE1

  38. ^^^^^^^^^^
    ||||||||||
    I’m one of those…hating, jealous, un-productive, wannabe, constantly complaining and whining smack talking slandering wishing to be MAKE fools!!! Nah just playing loco.
    Sup Galo!? Always wise words from the brother. Nice Q&A! Don’t ever change man.
    PEACE
    BP
    P.S. When is the book gunna come out? For reals loc you gotta give the world at least another chapter!

  39. As always, Sticky Rick is right…loooong time coming! Hoping to do more interviews with the dozens of people I’ve told I want to interview…

    Was in NYC the other day, by the way, and saw BUKET and SOUP EE tags. There’s no place like home!

  40. WOWWWWWW LIL MAKE
    I GUESS YOUR NOT LIL MAKE NO MORE
    LOOK AT YOU SUPER STAR…..
    THATS RIGHT MAKE IT TO THE TOP…

  41. Make is a LA LEGEND!!

  42. MAKE ONE IS A REAL ASS DUDE! I GREW UP IN KOREATOWN A FEW BLOCCS FROM THE HOMEY… ME AND MY BOY SKETCH USED TO TAG UP THE RTA AND EVERY WALL POSSIBLE IN L.A.! MUCH LOVE TO THE HOMEY FOR LOOKIN OUT FOR ME… HIM AND SINE(R.I.P) WERE MY BOYS AND THATS REAL LA OG GRAF SHIT. I GOT LOVE FOR YOU HOMEY BECAUSE YOU PUT ME IN THE GAME IN THE MID 80’S….WHEN I WAS JUST TAZER AKA TAZEONE HPA, BKA(REMEMBER THAT CREW WITH ME AND HAIR AND SKEPT? HAHA) BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY COUSIN DEFER!

    PEACE AND CONGRATS BIG GALO!

  43. So the “M” in MAKE is NOT for modest?

  44. homeboy here, been knowing me since, Uhhhh dont know..but he old and wise and a MAN OF GOD!
    Keep it going!
    Jah bless you, dawg!

  45. Thanks for the LP shout out. Great interview….stay outta trouble so the kids continue to have a mentor.

  46. Galo, through the years I have seen and heard the great things you are doing. Run the race that is before you. . . Hey Galo, when are we going to have sushi again? Pasadena or Little Tokyo, I’ll treat : )

  47. Huge!! His arts,style,life,evry thing!
    i can’t miss his next motion!!!

  48. Great interview, GALOE! I’m amazed but not surprised.. ;-) YOU’RE ONE OF A KIND!

  49. MUCH RESPECT TO YOU GALO!!

  50. Talk about COMELON ! DUDE, you continue to ROCK, Dave Navarro would be so proud.

  51. One of the best interviews I’ve read. The Karan Koron show was sick son ! Remember shooting the breeze with Robin Williams. MAKE, Continue to Amaze the world man, you got tons more show.

  52. THAT WAS A GOOD INTERVIEW GALO THANKS 4 PUTTING MY NAME UP.

  53. CON WEBOS VIEJO, CHINGON MI GALO
    AKI ANDAMOS ….

  54. galo es el mejor,es un honor haber podido compartir muro con el, una hermosa prsona y le mando un beso

  55. Man Galo ur fuckin awsome hope to keep seeing you in the class uve benn like the best teacher i have ever had

  56. no mention of the chalk outline of the dead body..in the loft@ 900 e first st. those were the days…and don’t forget about housequake party.. naked roomate…istill don’t know about that one!…and of course my love affair with lorena…hey our sons name is ANTONIO SEBASTIAN MCNEIL..He is due August5th…surreal huh…

  57. It’s always entertaining to know about the Gi-Galo. Keep posting those pictures of your beautiful ladies… they compliment your pieces well. Stay productive keep making lucrative moves and keep your focus on your path!!! I’ll see you at the top.

    El Sureño witta Leño, puro Oaxaqueño,

    Mandoe MaK•K4P
    El ZapoteKa

  58. FAMOUS WHEN DEAD GALO!!!!!

  59. Great interview bro! My eyes are burnin’ from readin’ the whole thing, lol. It’s been a loooong time gettin’ down. Best to you man!

  60. Nice way to escape the present and rewind back into a time that will forever exist in the minds of those who started it all ;-)

    CASH – SECOND TO NONE!

  61. hola a Taco y todo el munndo..
    aprecio su trabajo siga dandole,,ahi estuvimos representing en guadalajara con peke eyos crew y mas gente, una brazo a todos1!!!!,
    desde aka les mando un saludo.,,,
    i say hi to everyone, from barcelona, spain,,,
    i leave some links that you can see street happenings and cultura from barcelona graffit writers muralists street artist…

    http://www.artebastardo.blogspot.com
    ttp://bcnstyle.ekosystem.org/maze-interview/

  62. Kakkoiine~!GALO San!
    Kono Yopparai! Sukebe!

  63. Wow, I didn’t know a lot of things about you, too bad I had to learn them from an article and the man himself. MAKE time for your Real friends. Call Me.

    P.S. Great Interview! Dont stop and Move forward Always. Luv U man!

  64. As much as it might seem that MAKE has a larger than life ego(you know he is joking. . kind of) he actually pours a whole lot of that energy towards connecting with people. Think about it. Make will paint with anyone. He’s not taking sides. Hence the reason for leaving STN. It’s just not in his nature. His nature is to be free and to associate with anyone with a forward thinking mind. He moves, meets, and makes.
    Sure the article focuses on his legendary contributions to the L.A. Graffiti scene and the STN crew which should always be noted, but he has and is willing to try other means for expressing the now. If anyone wants to put on or be in a relevant show they need to hook up with MAKE. He’s got 2020(the year) vision.

  65. Great interview darlin. I love the pic with the graff-jacket. When we doing lunch Galo-Gallop man. LOVE YA .

    p.s. we share the same feelings about LA the love/hate thang.

  66. Great interview. Props to Mr. Galo for always holding it down. Progressing with the times, and staying real to graff.

  67. YOU BIG PIIIMMMMPP YOU!!!! NICE INTERVIEW BIG DOG, BESIDES HAVING REAL INSIGHT TO THE WAY WE ARE AND THE WORLD WE LIVE IN, GALO HAS HIS PRIORITIES STRAIGHT, GRAFF AND GIRLS, OR WAS IT GIRLS AND GRAFF????
    I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I MET MAKE AT PAN PACIFIC WITH RICK, HE WAS COOL WENT OUT OF HIS WAY TO SAY WHAT UP AND INTERACT WITH US, ITS NICE TO SEE SOMEONE WHO WHOLE HEARTEDLY BELIEVES IN INTERACTION AND EXPANSION. NOW SOME TWENTY ODD YEARS LATER HE IS STILL INTERACTING WITH OTHERS AND EXPANDING HIS KNOWLEDGE WHICH IN PLAIN TERMS MEANS ..TEACHING OTHERS TO BE BETTER PEOPLE AND HOW TO SEE THINGS IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

  68. GALO….

    a definite insight of a pioneers experience..

    mad respect..

  69. So sweet the sound of passions pierce in this sharp world when passion be what He instill.

    Beauty, Complexity, Skill, All things that make up our day…We hold these in hand, allowed to be malleable that each one of us would teach one another of truth and give delight, leading our minds and hearts to more Excellent Things.
    Love You Galo

    can’t wait for what’s to come…

  70. tackz, Whatz up dude it’s been a long time!

  71. FIRST OFF I GOT THE HOOK UP FOR THE A.A SIGNATURES…
    UTMOST RESPECT TO THE HOMIE MAKE BEEN IN THE GAME FOR 20 PLUS YEARS AND STILL KILLING THE SCENE..

  72. Galo is and always will be the perfect dichotomy between dark and light, but, the light outweighs and outshines everything he does. He IS a true artist no matter how much he claims not to be. Galo, your contributions to children, political awareness, and, simply, LA pride and community are so admirable. Keep doing your thing. Whatever your “thing” is at the moment, it will always have a great impact on those around you, whether you know it or not.

    I am proud to know you.

    Love,

    Jenni

  73. Thanks for not mentioning me homie! LOL! Much love and respect! LegendOne.com loves Galo!

  74. You a pimp my ninja!

  75. ladies love galo!! :)

    seriously, he is one nice guy. always cool with everyone. and flips up his letter style when you least expect it.

  76. [...] Make at LA Taco [...]

  77. Good stuff!! You are so inspiring – diving into your ART head first and kicking some major bootie at it! I’m thorougly impressed! Un beso xo

  78. yo keep doin it real big G. your art is the dope – pure & uncut!!

  79. YEP! I know all about your make fake and take. you JERK! just kidding. I must admit it was fun while it lasted. I enjoyed every moment I spent around you. Wish I still saw you here and there. I miss you and miss your humor the most.

    Does not surprise to see you plastered all over the internet, you deserve it. Great interview. And keep it up.

    Love You Galo!

    PS – my nephew Jamie still asks for you.

    Sinthia 666

  80. HOT BOY GALO – I am humbled to be in one of your many circle of friends and forever proud of the good you do. Shit I am even proud of your fuck-ups because you always have a good spin on them! You are a hero to some, a role model to others, and a friend to many. Let me know if you need some volunteer work, I have some kids that need your positive spin on stuff… Great article and I passed it on to the blue haired lady.

  81. que onda?
    saludos desde la cd. de mexico
    paz para make one!
    ilsk crew desde 1995..

  82. PROPS HOMMIE.
    LEYENDA!

  83. la verdad creo que es arte y que se nace con el don para lograr pintar algo fuera de serie como lo que veo muchas felicidades sigue asi y llegaras mas lejos ok.

  84. Ese Make

    Saludos del DF
    Haber cuando te dejas caer pa aca!
    checa la pagina

    suerte

  85. lol, wow nerd i feel informed-
    nice pics

  86. MakeOne.. one of the most influencial/styles-for-miles kinda guy. Not to mention straight humble as fuck!
    Great interview homie and keep doin’ what your doin’…

  87. good shit
    great interview

  88. Galo…..NICE!
    I guess being in AL I totally missed out on your popularity. BUt I’m in the know now. I always thought you were cool, even if you didn’t graff!!!

  89. that was a great interview! galo is one of the most talented, kindest, and humble guys i have ever met.

  90. I especially like the pic of you with the cowboy hat. Very cool!L.A. is an amazing place with its possibilities and endless imagination. Sure, there is traffic, etc… but overall, it is lovely. We’re lucky to have you here, creating art and making a positive impact.

  91. great interview Hadley (we need to hang out soon) YO GALO!!! dope interview, one day we should meet up, you now how much i love stickers…..*hint* *hint* stay cool!!!!!!
    455ER
    L.A.

  92. keeping it real!!

  93. Thanks for the shout out. Keep creating…..

  94. GALO coming up once again!! Good Lad!

  95. Make…what a funny interview…you really are a devil angel. Keep being you…well defined.

    Peace

    Timoi

  96. very interesting interview…….
    gotta give galo and taco props……..
    galo, your the shit man!!!!!!!

  97. Galo is a cool cat, and L.A original…….props up

  98. Stay Up Make.

  99. MAKE ONE , THANK YOU FOR ROCKIN THE PIECE FOR THE NEW FUNKDOOBIEST ALBUM COMING SOON !!!!! THE GOLDEN B-BOYS PRODUCED BY DJ. RALPH M………. Art Work BY MAKE ONE, & SEDO !!!! funkdoobiestmusic.com COMING SOON !!! STAY TUNED ….1

  100. K TRANZA MAKE COMO ESTAS BUENO MUY BUENA ENTREVISTA LOKO MIS RESPETOS OK BUENO FELICIDADES OK PEACE AND RESPECT.

  101. Great interview TACO. Galo is a very talented individual. I have been very honored and blessed to have had lunch and drinks with the fella.

    Always smooth, always in good spirits and always chamrming with the ladies.

    Enjoyed reading this very much.

  102. This is awesome, Galo is awesome! Congrats to Taco and MakeOne for really getting it right. Solid.
    N

  103. One conversation with Galo about graff and it completely changed my perspective on my letters and characters. Even though my time at the spiraling orchard was short I still consider him one of my mentors. I still hope to paint with Mr. Camote.. errr i mean Canote someday. ha. And maybe he can teach me a thing or two about being surrounded by women 24/7.

  104. Galo, Finally…I read the long-ass interview…Now, I feel like I grew up with u Mr Galo cause I know so much! Keep doing what u do…

    Oh, and I want that pic of the billboard graff – I like that.

    Sp

  105. Congrats Galo, keep up the good work!

  106. Peace Out to the Make One…Galo ….

  107. Damn I can see where you are coming from with the kids. Specially with the education system, it’s fucked up! Anyways nice interview, thanks for the shoutout.

  108. All I have to say is that I’m very proud of you. They are no words to describe your work Galo you are one of a kind and you always have been. keep up the good work!!!

  109. What the fuck? how the hell you get some shit like this? You fool! I always knew you were after stars yet you are a star yourself!!!

  110. Hey Galo long but interesting stuff.. It is good to make a difference if everyone would try to make a difference the world would be a better place Good for you! & Good Luck!!!

  111. Yo I’m glad that your still doing the art, it been 6 year’s since we worked together.It’s good that your doing things with kids,Art is a good way for young people to express that which they can’t say. God bless and keep doing your thing .

    Your friend SAMURAI SECH

  112. PROLIFIC! I am amazed at how little I knew you Galo! Damn dude it really MAKES me wish I had not lost track of you. I am really impressed by your trip to Mexico and the 3 mile mural. That sounds awesome. Damn, keep it up dude.

  113. Wow…. Galo your my hero!!!!!1

  114. by the way – visit the Jun-Keez Shop in South Gate for all your graffiti supply needs and urban gear!

    befriend us at

    http://www.myspace.com/junkeezshop

  115. yo galo hope all is good come down down see you soon y mucho respeccto to a G like GALO.

    jorge

  116. Galo!!! I absolutely enjoyed reading this in-depth interview. Wise beyond your years, creative beyond the imagination, and realer than the truth…glad to have met you :)

    Paz y respeto,

    La Dona Licha

  117. Great interview Galo.. keep doin the damn thang. All hustle big-dog.

  118. Man that was a long interview its late so I will be back again to read one more time incase I missed sumthing.I am very impressed an happy to see a frend on top of his game.I liked the photos must be nice.

  119. thats was dope i r n a insperaition me man ..that good ur making ur own show i give u props homie..well help me grow big like u..hey 2 bad u did not talk about ur nail slon jkjk…but thats sad u did mention my name haha jk jk

  120. Oh Galo..fool you crack me up..not just in this interview,but all the time! Enjoyed reading this. Much love and success to you man, but apparently you have a lot of that already.

  121. Whats up Galo? You remember me from when we used to kick it? Ruben, Douglas, Andy, and Prez. Maybe you remember the white bug. Anyways hit me up, it’s been a long long time.

  122. hey Syder…wats up?

    hit me up makeonestn [at] hotmail [dot] com

    thanks for the comment too.

  123. Great interview…I learn something new about you each time. You’re a rare person, look forward to seeing more work!

    -S

  124. COOL WHATS UP

  125. Really enjoyed this interview! Funny, honest and full of insight into your world. I look forward to collaborating with ya more in the future. I Love Galo. ~Lulu

  126. •You gotta lღve this interviewed! You sure mentioned a lot of heads from back in the day! Y yo que? Jajaja! ツ

    ↑ Blast from the Past! Stoked that I’m in communication with you GALO CANOTE ►MakeOne◄ It’s been like what almost 20 yrs since we last saw eachother? Damn back in the Tagging days! I still remember the peace you did of my name at the Belmont tunnel? Also when you guys would come down to East Los with your crew! Goodtimes! You have are if not more creative and talented as I remember. I’m gonna scan that photo of you in your high school days and email it to you! Jajaja!↓

    Stay in touch, you’ve got my digits!

    Yollanda

    P.S.
    Once again congrats on all your achievements and Success!

    Mood:►Mean Streaks Babie!◄

  127. the worst fate to befall man is to be born a woman.

  128. Wow! Riveting! Brilliant! Bravo, my old friend, cheers!