In this second installment of SSP, the impish and enigmatic Poet Bakersfield invites us into his garage-studio, and shares some insights about art and life.
Poet… AKA Poet. ; )
Spray paint and acrylics on a variety of surfaces ranging from canvas to sheet metal.
Studio name (if any):
The world is my studio.
Central downtown area.
This is a hard question for me to answer. The studio that I work in is an unfinished garage with an exposed ceiling… it’s probably about 25 x 25 but it also has some of my sporting equipment and tools in it as well. When you are a street artist the world sort of becomes your studio. The vast majority of the work that I do is outside on the side of a building, most likely well after the twilight hours have come. Sometimes it’s inside a nice air conditioned building, sometimes it’s on a dilapidated rooftop, but it’s always fun.
I like being able to express an idea with limited color. Some of that comes down to necessity considering what I do. Not having a lot of time to do a piece because I am worried about cops/criminals/civilians means I don’t always have time to add in a lot of color for visual effect, so I do what I can do with as little as possible.
More info at:
Bakersfield Poet on Facebook. It’s easy to find. That is where I tend to put up most of my photos and converse with whoever is inclined to learn more about what I do. I don’t have my own website, I guess I am a bit of a luddite in the art world to that regard but…. I dunno.. .I suppose I am just lazy.
1. Books or movies? (And favorite?)
Books for the most part, though it’s a toss up much of the time because I do love movies. I’m a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk, Brett Easton Ellis, and some fantasy writers like Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan.
2. What do you do to unwind?
I paint. This isn’t a job for me, I don’t get paid to do it and I don’t do pieces that don’t call to me in one way or another. Something about the smell of spray paint and the hiss of that can just puts me in a happy place.
3. Local business that should get more love?
The Foundry for sure. They are trying to do something that other galleries don’t have the balls to do, and that deserves more attention. People should attend their shows, buy their art, and support the local scene. Downtown Records has an art supplies shop off Easton that most people don’t even know exists, and the walls inside are covered with the best graffiti in town. Very cool place.
4. Favorite childhood memory?
I don’t think I ever stopped being a child. I mean it’s a fine line between a kid scribbling on a wall with crayons and me adjusting the visual appeal of a certain piece of wall with some spray cans. As for a particular memory? I can’t really pick one, they are all too important to me. I honestly believe that when we go, our memories are all we have to show for our life.
When it comes to art, I think that we get wrapped up in what we assume the world wants us to view as the definition of the word. And I also believe that people don’t place enough value on the work that is done by real artists. Anyone can paint, what I do is relatively simple, a guy with some spray cans and an exacto knife could probably replicate most of my work. But it takes something special to make art. To speak to people through what they see, to engage them in this kind of magical yet silent conversation, that’s art. It doesn’t have to be on the walls of a museum or a gallery, or oil on canvas, it can be anything. I just wish people would open their minds to a different idea about what art means, and what it truly takes to create it.
[Ed. note: Some photos, above, were taken on the street. Be on the look out for more from Poet Bakersfield--coming to a neighborhood near you!]