MECRO fills us in on his work, parallel to his Spring ‘23 solo exhibition: “Ice Cold”.
What initially brought you to art?
When I started painting graffiti, that's what really amplified and energized my interest in art. It was a freedom to paint whatever I want, wherever I want, and that mindset changed my perspective on what I can create for myself in other aspects of my life as well.
What imagery has historically interested you and why?
Lettering. Up until recently, my main focus in art is typography, lettering, sign painting effects, etc. This was likely the result of repeatedly painting graffiti year after year after year, and always experimenting with various letter structure & styles. In the last 3 years I started focusing on typography that is related to Americana or nostalgic branding, which came with imagery that represented the same. This show is mostly imagery and not so typography heavy, so it gives off more of a pop art vibe overall.
How has your process evolved in the last 5 to 10 years?
I've become more focused on my artistic directions (the reason why I paint what I paint) as well as my life direction (why I do what I do and what brings me happiness) over the last 10 years. Overall, I believe that I was feverishing creating, painting, experimenting, and so on, staying busy, working, always having something going year back....but recently I've felt a shift to create genuine connections with clients and want the best for them. I'm more interested in providing quality murals and services to the people who seek out my skills, I want them to know they are appreciated because they support me and my family when it comes down to it. So in that aspect, I've slowed my feverish approach to art-making and focused more on the product and how I can improve that by any means necessary. All the while still moving forward and building authentic connections to clients/people.
What, or who, has had the most influence on your work?
Aside from client driven projects, my own artwork is a bit of a collage of my favorite things, textures, fonts, effects, shadows, etc. I pull inspiration from vintage branding, retro signs/lettering and do my best to weave them together into a single visual. In short, I'm influenced from many different directions and I'm always working on a clever way to marry these ideas together.
What has surprised you about your practice?
This is an interesting question and a good one. I'm most surprised when someone comes to me and points out my older work, from years ago, and they really like it. Usually, I'm very hard on myself when it comes to older work. I always see ways I could have done it better, so I'm always pleasantly surprised when someone whole-heartedly loves an older work. Everyone has their own taste in art and I'm always surprised by what work of mine people find appealing or for that matter not appealing (when I find it some of my best work)!
What is your identity at large? Do you think about this a lot in relation to your art?
I don't worry about this type of thing anymore. I'm not really concerned with how people view my identity, especially those who don't know me personally. I do care greatly about authentic connections to people, and client work is typically where I find this. I want the best for them, so it's a mutually beneficial relationship.
I think all too often people are ready to label each other or put people into a box like 'he's an artist, he's a graffiti vandal, he's a corporate artist' or whatever they may say... I don't believe in this thinking, people are multifaceted and don't require a sweeping label on their identity. I mainly want to be known as a great father, husband, and good person in general...and if I can inspire others by what I create or do, then I'm happy with that.
What is your most precious takeaway from this exhibition?
This show is nearly 3 years of work, so all in all, it feels really nice to put all of these pieces together and see them as one singular body of work. Since this body of work is only one style of many that I work with, I always make it a point to create a show that has a comprehensive experience, immersing you in the spirit of the art on the walls. Opening night is therefore very precious to me, because I get to see people experiencing the work first hand, and that's really special.