Sunday, December 7, 2014

My reflection of Circular Signals by The Latebloomer & Moemaw Naedon

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"No commercial junk, its that grown man funk." - Double K from People Under the Stairs "On and On".

   That is exactly how I feel about this album, Circular Signals by The Latebloomer & Moemaw Naedon on Surface Level Records.  It is a very cerebral listening experience that I thoroughly enjoy.  All the beats were produced by The Latebloomer and I am very impressed with his work on this, these beats were exquisite.  The strong core of jazz flowing through this album just made me smile.  It gave me a legitimately good feeling knowing that I'm listening to some genuine  hip hop music.  Moemaw Naedon is an incredible lyricist that showed me more of his writing ability on this project.  There are great features with Brother Seamus, Joey Smooth, Connect Rhymes and Frigid Giant.

    It starts out strong with The Minute, it perked me up in my seat and Naedon jumps out the gate setting the tone over a melodic beat, "I spend my days waiting for the night, that's when I sit and sort signals and reflect them like a satellite." Parallel Perceptions is a great gear downshift to smooth things out and ride with a transient horn.  Track three, The Line really grabbed me and was really impressed with Naedon opening up a lot more on this song with this very striking verse of, "I heard the hi-hat whisper on the snare yell, the kick drum said something but I can't tell, try to decipher what they speak but I can't spell it out quite yet let it fester in the brain cells."  There is a gentle guitar pluck that really allows the words to stand on the images they are creating and this made me open up my notebook and write this down the first time I heard it.  The Latebloomer came in next keeping the story going really strong with, "And I almost blew a gasket, surly on the train, headphones couldn't mask it, thoughts up in my brain about how full could the flask get, left with a bunch of questions no heart to ask it."  The chorus just keeps everything glued together, "What happened to them good times?  You know, the time when everything was properly aligned. Never knew it, but you stood knee deep inside.  A moment when you look back and watch yourself collide.  A scope inside your heart can poke into the darkest eye and intercept the vibes clouded by the sound of lies.  I heard the voice and the beat is telling me to rhyme, we aint gonna waste your time, let's run it down the line." That is poetry my friends!  Track six really picks things up a bit and just got my head bobbing with The Lighthouse feat. Frigid Giant.  The speed and flow that just comes off the tongue so easy, Frigid Giant makes me interested to hear more from him.  Track seven, A Passing Face gave me a nice dish that was reminiscent of a masterpiece from John Dankworth.  There is a very subtle part, that really bit me, "...and that's my only way home, I don't even know where the fuck that is, where the fuck is that? lost my way."  I am currently bouncing around in a new city without a home and I was walking around downtown on a Saturday playing this for the first time and I just laughed to myself and said, Yeah! I know how you feel! haha.  Track nine, Trife Magic feat. Brother Seamus is one of my favorite beats on the album.  I found myself going back to that one over and over to hear that horn with those delicious drums.  It's one of my favorite overall flows for sure.
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   Track eleven, Styles Unbelievable took me back to the days in the 80's into the 90's when crews were really strong and kicking music together.  It reminded me of something from the Native Tongues just getting down and feeding off each other.  That shit is just not happening anymore for whatever reason and this was super refreshing.  Joey Smooth came in after Nadeon and fed off his middle name given in the verse and I loved it!  Too many albums, even great albums over the years, are just too sectioned off, probably recorded in different locations and different times and don't even really go together.  "I came to save the planet, kick ass like Power Rangers....this is some Samuel L. Jackson with a light sabre ish."  Joey Smooth for the win! Then Connect comes up and feeds off Joey's middle name, and it was a really chill song where they came together to keep it fun.  That's the thing that was really refreshing about this whole body of work was that, it was very introspective but you know these guys genuinely love music and were having fun.  That's huge.
   Track fourteen, Straight to the N.O.  by Brother Seamus is the perfect finish.  This was Brother Seamus at his best.  There was a sense of urgency on this, it was almost like someone sat him down and gave him an ultimatum that this was his last chance and he stepped up the fuck up.  There was regular season Jordan, then there was playoffs Jordan.  And this was playoffs Seamus. I would be curious to hear from him where his writing process and motivation came from on this song, because he owned this from start to finish.  This was great track order to place this last, really strong finish.  I definitely took a step back and said damn, what woke up the monster.  You have all loved an emcee, and know when something comes out that you just say damn, he was really feeling this one.  And this was that moment in the career for Brother Seamus.

   Circular Signals is definitely M.G. approved!  This is the kind of hip-hop I want to see live as well, and recommend to do what you can to go see them when they come to your city!  The only thing I can really say is that I hope these guys stay hungry and keep challenging themselves with new beats, styles and growing in their writing.  This album needs to get out there and reach as many people as possible and it's times like this where it makes me happy to have the platform to communicate and share great music and have the trust from artists who send me music and allow me to do this.  Please go purchase this album on iTunes at this link below:
Circular Signals on iTunes

Circular Signals Website
Surface Level Records

Hope you enjoyed,

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Conversation with artist Paige Babin

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Paige Babin is a very talented artist that I had first come across at the last Raw Artist show in the Strip District. Her work really grabbed me from a distance and I was able to speak with her briefly while observing her paintings. I felt this would be a great opportunity to showcase this rising talent and learn more about her. Sit back and enjoy...  

What was your earliest memory of art in your life?

 I remember always trying to draw people; they were so fascinating and had so many layers and elements that I wanted to learn how to capture them. I wasn’t very good when I started and I think I ended up with the same person each time I drew (just with a different hair cut). However, one day I sat down and drew a rose and it actually looked like what I wanted it to, and for being how old I was, it was pretty good. I remember thinking, “Okay, that’s a step” and I wanted to keep creating from there. 2. Was art a part of your family growing up? My mom and sister have always been very creative and artistic, so I looked/look up to them. My mom was always making us dresses, and made these dolls for the Amish farmers market in Lancaster, PA. My sister would paint and draw and I remember it was always a lot of fun and always opened us up to look at things differently.  

Did you receive any influence while in any level of school from classmates or teachers? 
YES! My drawing teacher Maggie Aston ( was the first teacher that had me be able to draw a person and have it look EXCATLY like who I was drawing. I am forever grateful to her! Then there was Laura DeFazio who was my sculpture teacher and mentor who had me push my limits and taught me, don’t focus too hard on the outcome focus on the moment and it will come together more quickly. Todd Pinkham who taught me about color and how to move it around the paper to draw the eye to all areas that you’re working with (at that point I only worked in black and white). Then there was everyone who I’ve worked with Natiq Jalil who taught me more about color and how to work it and rework it, and how to not just use all bold colors and how sometimes less in more. All of my class makes like Joe Murk who is one of the best in my opinion taught me a lot! It was so great to be in such a creative environment and to learn from each other. It never felt like class or work, it felt like a group of people who shared the same dream just helping each other reach their goals.  photo paige1_zps4dd6f999.jpg  

When was the moment that you found yourself wanting to pursue being an artist?

I think the moment I was honest with myself that I didn’t want to do anything else. I work, and I enjoy it and I love the people that I work with, however it’s just not the same passion I have when I put my brush to paper. I love what I do and I wouldn’t want to change that. I think work though gives me that balance to allow me to have that same fire that I have. I get stuck on projects just like every one else does. Sometimes I get stuck for longer than I’d like to admit, but I have such a great support system it’s hard to not continue making art. I love it, and I love to see all the reactions people have to it. I still have a long way to go though.  

How did you find yourself doing portrait work?

People are beyond interesting! While there are probably a few people who look a like, besides the obvious twins, we’re all different. Everyone has a few corks about them, and how light and shadow play with someone’s face, it just it stunning to me. When I see people it’s almost like a story is written on their face. You can tell when someone has led and interesting life, and has a story to tell. I want to capture that and retell in through my eyes and how I see them.  photo paige2_zpsf1b5c0f7.jpg  

Who are your biggest influences and inspirations? 
Loaded question! Tugboat Print Shop, their use of colors, is just amazing and come on wood carved prints?! Ruben Ireland and Amy Hamilton, Jenny Liz Rome, Nicole Cioffe. I like all of their styles a lot, and then the classics Rembrandt, Van Gogh.  

What are your favorite experiences to this point of your career? 
I’d say my first show and Joz Arts in California, PA I showed as a print artist, and building the show with Natiq Jalil called Unfinished Business, which has now become a yearly event, and of course RAW. Those three stand out for me the most so far, and I’m excited to see what the years bring me.

What are your goals for your work? 
I have some pretty simple goals, continue to learn and continue to improve my work. And to have as many people as possible from all over the world experience it.  photo paige3_zpsef6587f8.jpg  
What is up next for Paige Babin?

August 1st I have my second annual Unfinished Business show at Garfield artworks with Natiq Jalil. We are also in the process of building a business of studios, lessons, and a gallery. That one is going to take some time, but the best things always do.

Is there anyone you would like to thank and recognize? 
I would love to thank my family for supporting me and helping me grow. They’ve taught and still teach me how to be the best person I can be and have always been there for me. I’d like to thank my boyfriend Morales Bates for supporting me and pushing me to keep working, he’s my rock and without him I wouldn’t stay on track like I should. I’d also like to thank Natiq Jalil for being a great partner, teacher, and co-founder of Unfinished Business.  photo paige4_zpsde37a779.jpg You can find her at:
 Paige Babin Facebook
 Paige Babin Instagram

Hope you enjoyed,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Every Image is Intentional...An interview with artist Karla Lamb by: Michael B. George

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photo credit: Joshua Tarquinio

I'm very excited to bring you a very special interview to you all today.  I caught up with a very talented artist and writer Karla Lamb.  You're going to hear from a woman who balances work, family, art, and life-- who knows, you might learn a thing or two about what it means to be an emerging artist in Pittsburgh and what it took to get there.  So without any further ado...enjoy!

  What were your earliest memories of art growing up? 

One of the earliest memories of art I have is an oil painting of snakes, cacti, and the Aztec god of water Tlaloc that my mom was working on for several years. She never finished the painting but I liked it that way. She was a tour guide for the Zócalo in Mexico City where the main temple ruins are, and would tell me the Aztec legends as bed time stories.

  Did you grow up in a family that were into the arts? 

Yes, both my parents are literary and creative. They both wrote poetry and fiction in their early years. And now my dad is into home brewing, baking, and carpentry. My mom has a great eye for interior decorating, jewelry making, and fashion. My siblings are both into performance arts, hip-hop, and acting.

  Were you inspired by any teachers or classmates in any time during school? 

Definitely. I usually associated with the “art” kids in high school and we would hang out in the art hall (sounds cliché but its true). We took pride in being marginalized and didn't mind being called punks, or freaks. Looking back, we were all producing great art back then too. Not to boast, but my crew was pretty talented. A lot of us ended up in the creative field as adults. I remember I was working on this 3D collage of Adam & Eve and someone stole it right out of the art room during lunch. It was pretty messed up. I was also in the art honor society, and all the advanced art classes. I can’t answer this question without mentioning Mr. Slachta. I’m pretty sure he still teaches visual art and graphic design. He was a great teacher because he was always so encouraging and supportive in all our endeavors. He gave great feedback and let us listen to cool music during class.
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photo credit: Joshua Tarquinio

  What did you find yourself interested in first, writing or painting? 

I can’t really say one or the other definitively. I've always done both. It wasn't until I was really coming into my own that I realized that words existed that described what I was doing. Like, I was always sketching and journaling but didn't know that that was what it was called—if that makes sense. I always personalized every book, article of clothing, and bedroom wall I ever had. I knew early on that I needed to surround myself with images that inspired me. My earliest collages were of my own drawings all over my bedroom and I have about five years’ worth of journals where I wrote down everything because I was afraid of forgetting it.

  When did you decide you really wanted to pursue art as more than just a hobby or recreation? 

I think it is every artist’s dream to make it on some level. What I aspire to do is just to share my work, to inspire, to provoke, to have people see themselves in it, for it to resonate and be memorable. I want it to be able to speak for itself. All I ask is for it not to end up in storage or in someone’s basement. Art is more of a passion really, it’s an addiction and the profound love to create and communicate emotional expression with others never fades no matter the circumstance. Honestly, I've always had some romantic notion of decorating my place with my own work, just for me. I get lost in my own palette, the images, shapes, and colors hypnotize me. That’s how I know it’s good. If it gets me to stare and get lost in it, to be enamored and subsumed. Art is a compulsion, not a choice. It’s called a discipline because that’s what it takes to be prolific. You have to earn that identity, it takes effort, energy, and commitment. But to answer the question, the desire to get my work out into the world has always been there unconsciously, incubating, scheming, and getting ready to make big moves. What better time than now?

  What have you learned while giving yourself to the process of writing and painting?

I've learned I am a very messy artists, but it is that organized chaos that helps my process to bloom. I believe a collage should be spontaneous and carefree, so I don’t make sketches or thumbnails. The layers evolve organically because I am impatient and glob on paint instead of waiting for it to dry. It was interesting to learn that I am most creative in the evening and in the middle of the night. I've learned to go deep into the dark places of my psyche and churn the turmoil into something beautiful. It is very gratifying to see a finished work after killing my darlings, going in an opposite direction, and doubting where the piece is actually going. I tend to apply the same creative process to both mediums actually. I've learned that a piece is never fished, just abandoned. When I re-purpose my old paintings and recycle lines from unfinished poems, I see how I am a different person with a different story from one day to the next. Lots of editing but no over thinking-- that is key.
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photo credit: Joshua Tarquinio

Who are the artists and writers that inspire you?

I’ve been following the work of Larry Carlson lately. His psychedelic prints and surreal collage inspire me to not only fill the canvas but to think outside of it. I recently got to see an unfinished Egon Schiele piece at the Philadelphia Museum of Art called Danaë, it is stunning. I've always like his style, along with Gustav Klimt’s sensual portraiture and color layering. I use contrasting patterns, swirls and gold-leaf because of them. I've also always loved Matisse’s composition and line work, “Large Red Interior” is my favorite of his. Of course, Frida Kahlo and Jose Guadalupe Posada are huge influences from my Mexican heritage. A lot of the motifs I use allude to their work. As for writers it is a long list stretching across several genres. The writers I will always go back to include Sandra Cisneros, Anais Nin, Allan Ginsberg, Don DeLillo, Mary Karr, and Milan Kundera just to name a few.

 Please tell us what is up next for Karla Lamb? 

So, I’m really excited about being featured in the next RAW artist showcase on June 26. It will be the biggest exhibit I've participated in so far and I am extremely psyched. I got scouted by the regional directors when they saw some of my work in the first ever DOUBLE MIRЯOR Exhibit back in May. I produced about six completely new collages in a month’s time for this show, which is a bit of a record for me. I got amazing prints made of the originals for people to buy at the event, and I only have a handful of tickets left to sell. These are all milestones in my artistic career so I’m feeling pretty elated and humbled just to know that I have so much support. I also have another multi-artist show coming up called Deutschtown Music Festival on July 12th that I just got invited to be in. And there is always my ongoing project DOUBLE MIRЯOR, which is an exhibit I help curate on the South Side every other month. The next one is actually this Friday night so you should definitely come out. All of these shows have such an amazing amount of talent in them that it is overwhelming to realize that I am part of such a cool effort to keep art alive in this city.
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  What are your current goals?       

My first goal is to sell as much art as possible at these exhibits I have coming up. Next, I want to utilize the momentum I have going and keep on producing. I would like to get more involved with other galleries around town and network with different artists because in the art world it is definitely a matter of who you know-- and I want to be on both sides of that coin. I mean, I like organizing events, marketing, coordinating and persuading people and I think my passion and skill set can get me as far as I want to go either behind the scenes or on the canvas.  I’m not afraid to stir up some ripples in the universe that’s for sure.

  Is there anyone you would like to recognize and thank for their input and support?

First and foremost, my partner in crime Dave. He inspires me to do my best, and to be a boss in everything I do. He gives me thoughtful and objective feedback on both art and writing, his critiques are enlightening, and I appreciate his perspective. He’s a mural collagist and an excellent writer. Our styles are completely different, but we encourage each other, share ideas, concepts, and images. The inspiration is reciprocal, and we joke about one-upping each other but the friendly competition just drives us to be better. We want to see each other succeed. I get a lot of my images from his vintage Playboys and he’s stolen of a few of my poetry lines, so it works out.  My family and friends have always been there for me in every way, and I wouldn't be where I am without them having my back. I've been meeting a lot of new people too, now that I’m more involved in the art scene. The creativity in this city is palpable and everyone seems to be working together, so that’s always reassuring. I would also like to give a shout out to my old roommate Rhys who introduced me to decoupage. That’s how this whole obsession with collage started, she probably has no idea.  Lastly, thank you Michael George for taking the time to interview me and letting me share a bit of my story. This is just the beginning.

  Where can we follow your progress, updates and work? 

I hate to hype up social media, but it’s such a great tool to reach a wide range of people. I usually blow up everyone’s feed on Instagram and post pictures of my creative process, sketches, and finished work.  My RAW artist profile features a lot of my new collages and there will be a video interview uploaded as soon as it’s done being edited. Obviously FB and Google+ for upcoming features and events, and I’m working on a digital portfolio. I’m also in the process of making a zine of my collage journal. I tend to be pretty shameless when it comes to self-promotion so if you already follow me you’ll probably hear about it.


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photo credit: Joshua Tarquinio  photo karla1_zps608f3d86.jpg

Thank you so much Karla I'm so excited to see the upcoming shows and wish you all the best in the world! :-)
And thank you to Joshua Tarquinio for great photography please check him out at:
Tarquinio Media LLC
Tarquinio Photo
Tarquinio Photo Facebook Page

Glad you all enjoyed, M.G.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The work of artist Eric Dean

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Follow him on Instagram:



Monday, May 19, 2014

My reflection of Galactic Brethren The Fall of Zidor

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   This is not a new release and it's taken me the necessary time to really digest this masterpiece.  I'm still not even close to be doing done processing this beautiful funk mind trip but I gotta sit down and write about this before I never do.  (Still doing the same with listening to Krs-One speak, that is coming once I put his fucking book down for 2 seconds.) There are albums that have just grown on me, challenging thought process, picking up something new, vibing to a beat in a different way just an evolving self regulating organism that you can't bottle or contain.  Some of those albums include Gza Liquid Swords, Deltron 3030, Cage Movies for the Blind, People Under the Stairs O.S.T. just to name a few.  This album is being placed in that group for those reasons I mentioned above.  There is just a refreshing nature about the finished product of this album.  Brother Seamus and Moemaw Naedon make up this eclectic duo that go by Galactic Brethren.  Connect Rhymes mixed and mastered all tracks with Naedon.  And the amazing artwork for the album cover was done by Ronnie Hicks.  That within itself is just a must have piece of art.  This is one of those rare releases that was made by real hip hoppas for real hip hoppas.  This is real, solid, well done, well executed, well polished hip hop music.  Period.  It doesn't need a major label distribution deal to be given praise for selling units or making mad money.  That can be used by people who exploit the art for gain, this is for the art by the sweat and the pain.  A wonderful concept album that leaves you with a little something you just can't touch or define.  It's not so direct and predictable like so many things out there anymore. 

   Biological Energy just made me smile and perk up because I love how the beats and vocals were layered over each other to just set the tone.  I've always been intrigued by that style and I don't have the production experience to probably give it the technical description it deserves, but it's fucking sweet.  Brighter Day just just makes you wiggle in your seat and starts you bobbing your head like you may have a neurological condition.  I couldn't sit still from the intro and I wanted to just stand up and bob my head and I'm not even past track two yet.  Then the gear shifts, The Galactic Brethren is just a super smooth jam that I love to let it hit me like a strong gust of wind that you just get moved into the direction of the words and flow and that transition that has that kind of dark, classic steady sound Moemaw and Connect will have to explain that for you, haha.  Now this is where I'm going to have to probably stop doing track by track because I feel like I could simply just write a book on this.  Not even joking about that at all.  Because track 5, Rediscovery is one of my favorite songs I've heard in a long time.  So I'm going to just share with you this verse as it struck me and I love singing this and thinking of the exploration of records and the process of going through all of them with the unexpected joy that you get from finding that beat, that break, that sample, that snare, that hi-hat.  So for everyone who's been record digging and loves music, you're welcome...

Slide a record out the stack carefully selected
Time and money burned learning tricks and methods
Digging in the box for days I'm in your basement
Dusty finger tips eyes gaze in amazement
At these stacks of wax from back when cats were trying to get paid
I'm a catch the kick back
They put down back then, I pick it up now
Decades go by still circular in sound
Close my eyes, try to visualize
The drummer in the session steady keeping it live
Hey yo, they was on some shit back then
For real man, understand this will never end
Antique shops, moms and pops
I'm in these spots spending all I got
Looking for them rhythms and them breaks to knock
A space long forgot to me they still hot
Resurrect the methods of perception vested
Each piece of vinyl from a studio session
Diggin' for days, thrift store bouncin'
Lost in a maze tryin' to build me a mountain
An archive with live vibes as time goes by
It gets bigger I'm a dig till I die
Records for fun I might sample every one
M-P-C working overtime stay plugged
Into the wall, next to the platter
I get to choppin' problems so the world don't matter
It's rediscovery, see my journey be archaelogy to the third degree!
-Moemaw Naedon

  Then there are sleigh bells added to the beat like a 90's Buckwild beat :-). I mean, I just want to stop typing after that.  That is just, beautiful.  Can't beat that.  That's incredible poetry.  A real feeling that was pouring out that people who love music that much can really appreciate every word of that sentiment.  And I so appreciated that on so many levels.  This is not a review of this album and in no way can I finish this.  I say that because there is just so much here and this album was not maid to be defined but in my interpretation enjoyed and cherished.  It would be a disservice to this album to box it in.  This is just my honest feelings of my real appreciation of this effort, competence and stimulating context of this fun, vibing piece of art.  I am not going to be able to really have a way to really organize this or really end it properly, it's just the way the album is to me.  I was riding home from the bus tonight and track 13 the Sick Ghosts came on and i was like rapping with my hands and I'm sure I got some stares but it was impossible to ever sit still and not either want to move or want to think every time I go through this album.  And that's when you know you're making a connection with something when it provokes thoughts and emotions.  Some of the skits are ridiculous and hilarious as well which is a great way to mix it up.  I think I could probably publish a book on the first word to the last word on this album but would gain a different more complex view of it each year that passed.

   I want to just say thank you for making this and it's just my shit.  Simple as that.  My goal is to purchase a few cd's and mail them to friends in other countries, like Iran, the UK and Columbia.  I would just know my friends who live in these places now would love it but also be curious as to just see where the album could possibly end up.  I mean, the feeling of some good friends smoking some weed chillin' in Columbia to these sounds, someone on a train in Tehran blasting this through their headphones, a house party blasting Rediscovery in London.  That would just be epic!  And that is exactly what this album has to do, is share that feeling with everyone.  I thank you very much for making this and giving me something to really invest my ears and neurological pathways to.  Can't say enough about it. 

   Please go buy the album at:

Galactic Brethren The Fall of Zidor

   Show some love to Naedon on his FB page and get a hard copy of the album:

Moemaw Naedon Facebook


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Follow Up Conversation With Rising Star Artist Durt McGurt

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I'm so incredibly excited to revisit with a very talented man who is doing some very wonderful art work and getting some serious buzz generating from his ever evolving style and substance. I caught up with artist Durt McGurt since I last published his interview in December and he was able to fill all of us in on his busy schedule over the last several months. So much going on in a very productive way that it was definitely time to showcase all that's been happening. Without anymore wait, sit back and enjoy!

 You've had some great opportunities to showcase your art since our last interview, how has the last several months felt in the life of Durt McGurt?

The Durty life has been extremely busy man. It’s always non-stop for me, I been so inspired lately with everything that has been happening, I come home from work, I paint, go to bed, wake up and continue where I left off from. It’s a continuous process that I have. I’ve been really working on getting my vision down in more detail, making the paintings look more how i see them in my head. So, far I feel it’s been accomplished in my last paintings that I’ve completed. Right now my goal is three paintings a week, so the creativity is just flowing fast right now. Aside from all the painting getting thrown down on canvases, I’ve been slowly starting to get a studio built at my house. I have so many ideas for the “Durty” Studio, and what I want to come out of the studio artistically.

In between the painting and designing going on daily, I spend a large amount of time on the social networks responding to people who post on my pages. I feel that I have the responsibility and courtesy to respond to everyone who posts on my pages with questions, and feedback. Being so active in the social sites has really helped me connect with some cats I never would have imagined I would. I don’t want to name drop, but just to give you a few people that I’ve come to have a more of a friend type relationship with through my art are: Mr. Dibbs (Google him, dude is killer on the tables), not just Dibbs, but his girlfriend as well, Jared Paul, a great emcee, and even better spoken word artist, Adam Cost (COST), legendary graffiti artist from New York. All these casts own my work, and it’s been from getting my name and work out there with the help of the social networks. I’s a 24 hour grind man, and it’s all about getting my vision noticed by someone new a day. Like me or hate me, you still have to respect that I’m reaching for a goal at a fast pace. I’m not the best artist by any means, but I’m persistent, passionate, and I stand behind my work.

So, this is how life has been for me in the last several months. Does this answer your question? Hahaha

Yes, absolutely! What is it like to genuinely admire someone's talent and for that person to reciprocate and show support back to your talent?

For me this was mind blowing. It takes me completely away from reality. I don't know the right words that describe it, but it's completely motivating. Having support from other artists that I listen to, and follow makes me want to be more creative, and put energy into my work. Feedback like this really makes me feel it's possible for me make it at the art game. Don't get it twisted from that statement, I don't it's a sign that I'm going to be famous, that's not what I want or expect, I don't think I'm going to make a million dollars at this. What I feel is that these particular artists see my vision and get it. If they see it and like, then there's others out there possibly feel the same.
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Tell us about how your first Raw Artist show went in the Strip.

 My first RAW show was nerve wracking. I mean this was the first time I was showcasing my work publicly, and in a big event. Not to mention there was a video interview as well. I’m not a video type of guy. I don’t like the way I look, or sound. Before the show I was able to take a glimpse of all the other artists pieces there, and it was intimidating with the talent that was in the show. I was more or less the only urban/graffiti style artist there. So, to say the least I had the feeling it was going to be a bust for me.

I took all the anxiety and nervousness shoved it aside and focused on why I was there, to get my work seen by anyone and everyone. Once the doors opened it seemed like there was a thousand people in the building (way of on that number i think). After a few drinks I got in my comfort zone and just went with it. The show was busy, packed with all different types of people. I was great to hear from people, “hey, I’ve seen this online” and “i like you on Facebook man, and I love your work”. I was and still and shocked on the response that I got from everyone that viewed my work.

 What was your most proud moment or interaction at that show?

My most proud moment? The whole shebang man. It was great meeting with people and interacting with everyone who was at the show displaying their art, and everyone viewing. Not to mention I sold the most tickets and got a complimentary bar tab. I like to drink, so that was a bonus too
You were in the Art Expo at the Rostraver Ice Gardens, how was that experience?

This experience was nice for the fact that it was for a good cause. The whole expo was to help benefit an officer that was injured in the line of duty, and is a personal friend of my cousin. To really speak about the show, it was an experience, my art got to be seen and viewed by some people. I handed out a few business cards, but it wasn’t my target audience. I still had a great time at the expo.

To follow up on your ice garden show about being a scene that was a little different....

Do you feel its important for artists to put themselves in environments in which it may not be their usual scene around the people they are comfortable and familiar with?

Taking your self out of your typical element can be beneficial. It's not about the sales, but about the feedback and responses you get. While I was there I had more of an older crowd viewing my work, and asking me about the gas masks, and how my paintings were done. With the people that attended the expo they probably wouldn't have seen my work anywhere else, so that was still a positive for me. It wasn't about the sales, it was about the exposure for my work.

What was your most proud moment or interaction at that show?

Just getting my art viewed by different people that normally wouldn’t have seen it anywhere else.

I was honored to share the wonderful night with the legendary Blastmaster KRS-ONE, please tell me what it was like to hear him speak for as long as he did.

Wow, wow, wow. I mean KRS is a legend, a fucking legend man. Hearing him speak was extremely inspiring, motivating, and a learning experience. Listing to his rhymes you can tell that the brother is highly educated, and intelligent. Hearing him speak first hand was just proof of it, Hearing him speak and just believe in what he’s saying with as much passion as he does is incredible, that goes for anyone who does the same. Regardless if you like his music or not, like him or not, agree or don’t agree with what he’s saying. You can not take away from what he knows, what he’s experienced, and what he has to offer to so many people on different levels. What got me was when he asked everyone to be silent, and without saying anything out load to say “hip hop”. The place was completely silent, and I think at the time it was the loudest. The way that he was talking about spirituality, and everything was amazing. I agree with him on that we need to make our own organic knowledge and share it with the ones that don’t know, and help the younger generation. I could sit here and respond to this question for a long time, type thousands of words to get my point across of the experience, but it boils down to: We got to hear, and meet a legend speak, kick knowledge, and lecture all of us. We’re all a little bit more inspired now.
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He genuinely became your fan when you gave him the piece of vinyl art you made of him. Please tell us about that and how that felt.

So, that right there was bad ass. I mean since I was like 12 or 13 when I started to listen to him, and now at the age of 33 I handed this dude a piece of art that I did. His response was priceless. I didn’t think I was gonna get the feedback that I did from him. I expected to get, “That’s cool” and have him sit it aside and move on. That’s not what he did. With the amount of people there he took that 5-7 minutes to talk to me about my art, and the process I did to make it. He was really interested in what I was doing, and what I did. I personally think that saying he’s a fan is a stretch haha. But you’re right, he genuinely liked what I gave him, and was completely grateful that I brought something for him to take back with him. Times like this make every second, every minute, and every hour put into a piece worth it. This was an experience that I will never forget.
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Another legend and staple in the history of hip hop, X-Clan member and 1Hood Media founder, Paradise Gray has been supporting your work and wanting to showcase more spray paint/ street artistic ability, tell us what that means to you.

Paradise and I were talking on the social site scene for a few weeks before we actually met in person. I posted something online, and he was like I want one. Being that I knew who he was already I respect that I had for him, I couldn’t say no. So, then at the KRS signing, he walked up to me introduced himself formally. I did a similar piece for him that I did for KRS, and he was completely appreciative of the gift. The complements that he gave to me to my wife, and in front of you were striking. I didn’t expect that all. While we were there looking at photos, old photos of him and the legends of hip hop was when they were all starting out was dope man. I mean, seeing the originators of the culture I love at such a young age was too much. Slick Rick without his eye patch, Rakim at his first show, KRS as a teenager, LL before he was all TV star was just cool. The time that he took out of his personal time there, to speak to me about art, hip-hop and everything else was appreciated. I consider Paradise a personal friend now. He has so much knowledge, and experience that he has to offer to everyone. I love what he’s doing with 1HOOD media.
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When I was there with you going through Paradise's computer and the iconic photos you referenced, I felt like someone could've taken a photo right there and then and had a picture in which 20 years from now someone will be saying, that's me and Durt at 720 before he was a huge name! It was like a life coming full circle moment for me, I wanted to ask you...

What if I told you those images you just mentioned, at that same moment someone can use that image to say the exact same thing about you and your career in the future?

You know what that's a huge compliment, and I love it, appreciate it and adore that you feel that way about my work. Truth is, I don't see that happening. I'm an unknown artist, and I'm content with it. If for some reason it does happen, I'll love every moment of it. We'll see what mark I make 20 years from now. Right now, all I want is to get my work seen by anyone or everyone.

Did you have a hard time laying down in bed and having your brain slow down and get some sleep?

Mike, yes I do, when I lay down to sleep there’s so much going through my mind. I mean, I have thoughts of new paintings just coming in at random times, and I constantly check my social sites to make sure I respond to everyone that comments on my posts. Commenting back to people is big for me. Thees people take the time to say something about something that I painted; I feel that a response is needed to each one. The reason to that is, I know when I comment to someone that I’m following and they don’t comment back to myself or anyone else that posted, it starts to feel like that it’s all about the transactions. I get that some of the major artists and figures that I follow don’t always have the time to respond, but it’s nice to see that they communicate back to their fan base.

OK, back to the question in hand. It is hard to fall asleep, like I said I have ideas come in at random times, when this happens I normally grab my phone and jot it down in my note pad. Also, when I have a painting drying, I have the urge to just sit there until it dries, just so that I can continue to work on it. The hours I work are pretty crazy. With my full time job, I work late hours, so that means that I’m naturally up late, and when I come home it’s back to work again in the studio. Even before work I’m in the studio grinding out some art. It’s all worth it at the end of the day though. Doing this has really helped me deal with some personal issues, and fight though them, not to mention I lose track of reality by getting into my own little world while I create.

You got an overwhelmingly positive response at the Double Mirror show hosted by the talented Ms. Karla Lamb in the Southside at Delanie's Coffee Shop. I am certain you sold the most pieces of the talented lineup there, tell me about how that resonated with you.

For this show I wasn’t there, and I wish I were, cause I enjoy the interaction with the crowd, and the other artists. My manager Chris Boles picked up the artwork and made sure that it got displayed. With me not there he was my representation for my work. I did hear from him that there was some really good feedback for the art that I had there. I don’t know if I sold the most pieces or not. I know there was some amazing talent in the show, and I wish I had been there to see it all. To be honest, I feel like a fish out of water at show. From the small amount that I’ve been in so far, I have seen so much work that is just strikingly amazing, and I hope to get to that point one day,

Have you been able to sit down and reflect on all that has happened to you since this past winter?

I have reflected on some things, and it just motivates me to keep going and to keep challenging myself. I’d like to think that I am my biggest critic, there’s times I make myself mad cause a painting doesn’t come out the way that I visioned to be. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve just gone over a painting to start something new. There’s been numerous paintings and designs that I didn’t even post on line, cause I hated them. I fuck up a lot. I learn from each one, but it’s a bitch to learn this way. So, reflecting on the past, is just motiviation for the future. I want to double the accomplishments I’ve made, and work harder at challenging myself.

What is next up for Durty-1?

What is up next? Well, there are a few things in works. As I mentioned earlier about my manager, I am now a featured and represented artist for Red Fish Bowl ( Chris, the manager/operator, approached me for this opportunity with him and his collective. Chris believes in my work and has a passion for all types of art. A side from signing with Red Fish Bowl, I’m in the process of building a complete functioning studio at my house. This is going to be what I call the “Durty Studio”. It’s not going to be anything huge, just enough space for me to get Durty. There are a few things that I don’t want to mention yet, since they’re not all set into stone, but if all the possible opportunities happen I will make sure to post them, and keep you up to date. I just don’t want to jinx anything.

My next show casing will be on June 26th at Club Zoo in the strip with the RAW Artists. I will be giving away FREE prints to the first 50 people that stop by at my booth, and for everyone who purchases tickets from me will be guaranteed some Durty Art. If someone gets a ticket from me I will give them a print for their support. For all out of state purchases I will give the free print at the show, and the print that is offered with the ticket purchases. So, this means, if you get a ticket you get a print, if you come to booth and you’re one of the first 50, you get a print. Tickets can be purchased at

Along with that, I’m just looking to get work noticed by anyone and everyone.
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Have you had any collaboration requests from any other artists, musicians, apparel company?

Actually, I just did my first collaboration with Uncle Strawberry. We tag teamed a Dr, Seuss themed painting and it turned out dope as hell. This is an artist I have been following for some time now, so it was great to work with him on this. We’re still figuring out what to do with the painting, I expect prints being available, and the painting being auctioned off.

Requests from musicians? That is something I don’t want to elaborate on at this time. I don’t want to put anyone on blast, and it end up not happening. There are a few that I’ve spoken to and talk about doing some stuff for them. Until I know for sure, that’s all I’ll say. However, there is a local company that I have a meeting with to start a line of Duty Art shirts. The owner approached me about this, and says he digs my style. So, there is a possibility of a small run of a few designs here in the next couple of weeks.
It's been genuinely exciting seeing the growth and acceptance of your work in such a relatively short amount of time, I wish you all the positive vibes in the world. Any shout outs or anything you'd like to say?

Mike thanks. I appreciate it; if it wasn’t for people like you and all the others that like my work, and share it throughout the social sites I don’t think I would have had any success with my art.

There’s so many people that I want to shout out to: My wife for dealing with my late nights, and for supporting me in something that I’m passionate for, You for always showing support to me, Mr. Dibbs and Laura for giving props to me and getting my wok noticed, Paradise Gray for being motivating, Uncle Strawberry for the collab, graffiti legend Adam Cost (COST) for all the likes, and all my friends and family for all the support that they give this dude. Also, to everyone that follows my art and myself on the social scenes. It if wasn’t for everyone liking and sharing the page I wouldn’t have gotten my vision viewed by as many people as I have. It’s warming to have all these people that I know and don’t know show love and support.

To view my work please goes to the following links.

For commissions, painting inquiries, and showcasing contact Chris at and

For tickets to the RAW show on June 26th please go to and click on “Buy A Ticket For This Artist”. 

Thank you so much Bobby, I'm so proud of the work you're doing and only hope you're able to continue to share your gift with us!
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