We recently had the chance to sit down with Benjie Escobar at a bomb new ramen spot in Little Tokyo to discuss his current projects, what he’s been into lately, and what he has in store for POW! WOW! Long Beach. A true kid at heart (like most of us) Benjie stays in touch with his roots and aspirations through his multifarious artistic explorations. Benjie is involved in so many art forms it’s hard to keep up– he’s into restoring low rider bikes, illustration, photography, collecting odd stuff, and the ever so delicious musubi.
If you haven’t already heard about POW! WOW!, which will be taking place all next week, Benjie will be there painting a huge wall that will be his largest project to date. Even if you don’t know Benjie’s name, you’ve probably seen one of his designs on the internet or on someone’s t-shirt. Most recently one of his designs was copied and reposted all over the internet like Kim Kardashian nudes. The only downside was that he didn’t get much credit for his witty Venn diagram. Benjie being the humble and funny artist he is made a parody of his original design. Hopefully that one gets ripped off too and makes it to Juxtapoz’s instagram again.
What are some of your past and current influences?
In no order, going off of stuff I screen shotted on my phone: Horrible internet memes, self embellished clothing, iron on letters, Nintendo, my cat, pizza, burgers, musubi, gremlins 2: the new batch, people who can surf better than I ever will, UFOs, fairy kei, reformed Cholas with old photo albums, margaritas, luchadores, vintage local anything, American gladiators, pointy boots, multi colored hair, dragon ball z, pink or teal sweaters, flaming hot Cheetos, SGV dive bars, street fighter 2 endings, Japan, pastel cyber goths, the original point break, spaghetti, risograph, micheladas, tribal tattoos, and old Schwinns.