Paint and Terror in Tweakerville
Fresh from a short series of serious productions, Dr. Pride and I decided it was time to relax with some dank letters at a no-hassle spot up in the mountains. The wall in question is in a hella-cutty section of Corralitos, CA, a half-hour on 1-South from Santa Cruz. Pride whips around a little Toyota 4×4 5-speed that feels an awful lot like Santa Cruz ‘s famous wooden rollercoaster “The Big Dipper” as he jams it through mountainside switchbacks and no-guardrail hairpin-turns. I’m about to lose my tacos, hanging my head out the window; I remember that methamphetamine is a big damned problem in rural California as I examine the makeshift living structures and rusted-out muscle-cars that litter the red-clay hillsides. We roll up to the spot on a small plateau, passing a stationary school-bus filled with furniture and a set of indoor appliances left to rust into the Redwood trees. The neighborhood kids have been painting thick, black swastikas on every available surface; Pride reminds me that although the spot is chill, “Hey Bro, keep your headphones low and don’t rattle your cans too loud.” As he steps out of the truck, he notices that his gallon of bucket-paint has broken open during the bumpy ride up the hill, bathing his truck bed in robin’s egg blue. He curses as he backs the truck up directly to the wall and begins rolling-on paint from a standing position in the bed…
All tweakers and spilled paint aside, the Corralitos wall is a magnificent place to paint. The view over the valley is breathtaking, and every once in a while a bald eagle flies overhead and makes you feel like you’ve stumbled into a Coors beer commercial. My piece du jour is painted in Boston’s version of ‘Connector-style’ with a Pimp-Violet and Shock-Black fill-in littered with bullet-holes and punctuated by Purple verticals that give way to grey bubbles. The whole thing is sealed-up with pin-wheel highlights in Translucent-White and set against a field of spheres that suggest a depth of field beyond the bright blue three-dee-drop. The dripping rope is MTN 94’s Magenta, or as Pride pronounces it, “Ma-HEEN-tah!!!”
Dr. Pride uses his alternate name, “TIGER” for this piece; his letters tip-toe through the grass draped in a Melon&Cream outline. Tiger sees my spheres developing in mid-composition and decides to bite ’em, mixing his own version with broken aqua-marine bricks that suggest a shattered stability beneath the letter-structure. His outline is antiqued by spar-and-circle cut-backs that sharpen-up an already angular style. He crowns his black-honeycombed signature with the phrase “In God I Trust.”, which is either a statement of faith or a nod to the illuminati; I can never tell with this guy…In any case, a good time was had by all and we made it home for dinner. The ride back downhill was worse than the ride up. Pride’s whip got a new paint-job, and the tweakers of the Corralitos hills have some brand-new wallpaper courtesy of Skribblefish.com, Boston.
For the Love of Graffiti
About halfway through the story of Tiger vs. Pyse, our west-coast cat shape-shifts to assume another of his incarnated forms: P-ride CTK CTV. With an alternate letter-set to rock with that’s as worn-in as a pair of hockey skates, the Pridemonster takes to the ice in Bruins’ black and gold. His season opener sports Bali-blue highlights cut as sharp as sapphires with chilling precision and prideful indignation–a piece that threatens to pull your shirt over your head and beat your nose bloody. I’ve overheard gossip in the stands lately about the “giftedness” and “phenomena” of certain writers on the bench. Those are words that only spectators use. The guys who are out here playing in the paint every week and supplying this spectator sport are punching clocks every time they drop the gloves. Nobody who’s any good is out there talking about getting rich; they’re talking about getting back to work. Not everyone can play the sport like Bobby Orr played it, and that’s okay with me; it takes just as much heart to play exclusively for the love of the game. The pieces below were painted for no occasion whatsoever:
Pride floats across the continent from Santa Cruz on a cloud of the highest-grade smoke while Fritz the cat puffs and plots some stick-up art of his own. (Fritz by Pyse)
Pyse’s cherry-rock piece bleeds black from bullet-holes and rains flat Rusto drips while flexing in a Satin-white outline that’s so fresh and so clean.
Pride comes back around the block once more to show us the westerly art of the “Chaos Piece” in which each letter bumps a different color scheme. Dopey (by Pride) drops out of Disney to emcee the whole production…I wonder what he’s holding in that hand behind his back…
These are the last efforts from the PrideTiger Vs. Pyse exhibition match of Summer 2015. There’s still some dispute about who took the title, my manager is looking for a rematch in Santa Cruz this winter. Tighten your skates and tape up your sticks boys.
Hittin’ the Bricks in Central
Tiger CTK,CTV is an urban animal that thrives in the bloodlust of the big city so I took him to an alleyway in back of Central Kitchen to stalk some graf game. Pyse LS,RTW is a slippery suburban fish that shimmers in the copper-chrome current. Painting in Central Square is always performance art; Cambridge bystanders stop and suck fumes. Tiger was vibing with a born-again who said he used to write with Boston legend Alert before he found Jesus, I guess the savior isn’t rocking handstyles in heaven. Meanwhile, I was getting hustled for half-empty cans by some dreadlock toy with bad angles. In short, this spot always spells distraction. The restaurateur makes sure that artwork wraps up by opening-time; chaperoned youth-groups show up to stress out pieces indiscriminately but Pyse & Co. persevere, slinging paint and still making the time to pose hard. The cardiographic blue pulse-line in my rope is just to show you that I got a hand steadier than an amateur surgeon after his second drink. Tiger’s piece ran for two days before a go-over by someone with less can-control than an AA meeting in Milwaukee. After this double-burner was documented, we strolled to Harvard for cheeseburgers and beers at Charlie’s Kitchen…well, beers for me anyway; Tiger’s a sober cat.
Tiger vs. Pyse at the Harvest Moon Festival
I’ve been in the rhythm of painting live shows lately. Gloucester sweetheart Carol Pallazolla invited Santa Cruz, CA graffiti writer Tiger a.k.a Pride and myself to paint an 8’X20′ mural on a set of five individual panels at her late-summer event: The First Annual Harvest Moon Festival. Tiger was only six hours off a cross-country flight when he painted a pumpkin-head character in under an hour like he was stepping off a curb. Then he turned around and gave an interview to a local-access television reporter, laying on heavy vibes of sunny Cali carelessness. The festival featured a wide selection of food, crafts, and booze, with performances by Fishtown icon Alan Estes, Henry Allen and the New Swingset, and Jenny Dee and the Delinquents among others. I managed to get a thorough sunburn on my right side while painting this monster (the leftmost four panels of which are for sale individually or as a set). All in all it was a beautiful day; Tiger and I look forward to performing again next year. Please view the “contact” tab at the top of the screen for more information about purchasing a piece of this mural.
Tiger and the Girl with the Silver Chain
The last sweet breath of Summer breeze brought my friend Tiger on a Delta Red-eye from L.A. Tiger is a mad-laboratory-scientist-turned-graffiti-extraterrestrial from another dimension not unlike our own. Transformed by experimental artworks, he emerged a symbiotic creature of his own creation. This is evidenced by a meticulously clean style that thinly masks the seething tentacles of a Martian beast unknown to our world. Homeboy even brought an auger with him from the lab so that he could tunnel into the subterranean wreckage beneath our city and colonize the place. Tiger is a colorful Casanova, and one of his demands was that I provide leashed female beauty to escort him around the planet. He was satisfied to floss beside the Girl with the Silver Chain, a ghetto visage of spunk sprayed to life by the legendary Pyse117. The West-Coast Wildstyle letters were achieved exclusively with MTN 94, the only flavor of pigment that the Tiger finds palatable, while Pyse’s choice poison is a mixture of Molotow transparent paints spiked by silver Flame Acrylic. In this strange story of reverse-species submission, one could say the Tiger has tamed the Girl.