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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