Apr 25, 2010 | Comments 33
Economic crashes, healthcare in crisis and a world where helplessness feels like your only companion. These forces seap into our conversations, occupy minds and invade our way of life day after day. How does one react? How does one respond?
Respond With Art.
Street Art Alec reaches deep into our childhoods and take the most iconic figure of power and money, the monopoly guy, and re appropriates it into a effective and witty social commentary that something has “going terribly wrong”. He brilliantly uses the adorned character to create a visual statement from everything from health care to the economy.
The monopoly motif has gone through certain iterations, even dramatically morphing into a Picasso top hat like wearing character. He transforms the character into a art baron filled in colors, rather than one of money only in black and white. Again I watch art transforming reality to surface our potential.
Alec continues his work with a dramatic turn with his Jack Nicholson, Los Angeles Icon, posters. But again it is portraits in power and how one can turn power into artistic legend rather than the pit of scorn. How will you use your power?
Where are you from?
I grew up in New York which was great. Its’s given me so much in terms of art and culture. Being 23 years old I grew up under the influences of guys like SACE [Dash Snow] who were notorious in NYC. What are four words that best describe you? Ambitious, Focused, Creative, Versatile.
How did you get into street art? What is it that attracted you to the form?
Growing up in NYC I was immensely influence by graffiti in the streets. It wasn’t until later in grade school that I started writing my name in public places. Art for me is so much realer in the streets. You have managed to re purpose the Monopoly character for raising awareness from issues ranging from health care to our economy.
Could you tell me a little more about the series?
I started painting monopoly men right after the economy tanked. Seeing how many families were greatly affected by this, really pushed me to express myself through the character. I see Mr Monopoly as an icon of Capitalism and provocative when used as a narrator to immoral investors such as Bernie Madoff.
With the popularity of artists like Banksy and Shepard Faire, street art’s popularity is on the rise, how do you feel about this?
I think its great! People are paying more attention to street art. These guys really paved the way for younger new artists like myself. I worry that a lot of people are getting into it now for the wrong reasons.
Tell me the significance of your Jack Nicholson Posters and your choice of him as a subject?
I try to make my art work as approachable as possible. Using recognizable popular images helps people in the streets connect with the art. Jack is a true icon and a legend here in LA. His flamboyance and versatility as an actor make him conducive to using vibrant colors. I love expressing myself with colors and splatters.
I have seen you paste in some pretty brave locations in Bellaire neighborhood, not your typical locations to find work like yours. Is there importance in choosing the area in which you post your work?
I try to bomb areas where people will really enjoy it and take it in. Unlikely places such as Bellair and Beverly Hills really makes the imagery stick out and catches people off guard. What is most important to you as an artist in regards to what you would like to accomplish? I just want to reach as many people as I can wether it be in the streets, a gallery, or a museum. It’s important to express myself in an eye catching manor bringing art into people’s everyday lives where it normally wouldn’t be, making it an interesting surprise.
How would you like to be remembered?
I’d like to be a great artist and someone that inspires and influences the next generations when I’m gone. Leaving my mark not only in the streets but in history as well.
You can find more of Alec’s work at http://alecartshow.com/