Monday, April 30, 2012

GIVE UP Interview

I met "give up" back in 2009 after I had started to document much of his work I had seen on the streets of Houston. Over the past 10 years or so he has become the most prolific wheat paste artists in Houston if not Texas. He was gracious enough to answer a few questions for my new blog.

Bridge Burner:  what was the first concert you went to on your own?
give up:  the first live band i ever saw was at a house show when i was in junior high.  a kid we skated with had an older brother in some thrash band.  when we got to the house they weren't very stoked a handful of kids showed up, but it was still a pretty awesome experience.  they'd taken out all the furniture and built a drum riser in the living room.  i found out later it was my shop teacher's house and he'd been out of town.  i think the first show i saw at an actual venue, as opposed to a house or community center, was jawbreaker at the shimmy shack.  i think that was around '94 or '95.  
BB:  what are a few bands you are listening to right now?
gu:  i've been jamming column of heaven pretty hard lately.  a lot of 'holy terror' bands.  some of the noisier black metal bands like sutekh hexen.  a lot of noise and drone stuff.
BB:  How much does music, whether your own or someone else's, play a part in your creative process for your art?
gu:  i'm constantly listening to something.  it's always on.  and i know it affects my output, if not through a conscious effort.  i've been doing artwork for different bands here and there for a little while so i'll jam their records and see what comes out.  if i'm stoked on what i'm working on that energy or style i'm putting into their project will end up spilling over into my own stuff.  as far as with my own music, i think the sounds are more influenced by whatever current visuals, as opposed to the other way around.

give up

BB:  how did Horders come about?
gu:   i'd always tried to fuck with music, without much contentment or quality output.  trying to play in and organize bands is a lot of effort i kind of lost interest in.  i was thinking back and some of the most enjoyable times for me musically was just making noise and experimenting with sounds and a 4 track when i was younger.  garageband and other technologies opened a lot of doors as far capturing sound and layering and mixing.  without the need for a full band or studio or engineer.  horders is just another outlet and a way for me to play and listen to exactly what i want.
BB:  how long have you been screen printing?
gu:   i think i coated my first screen in '95 or '96, but i didn't really start fully immersing myself in it and trying to push myself within it's boundaries until the early 2000s. maybe 2002 0r 2003.
BB:  do you have a favorite personal print?
gu:   it changes.  a lot of stuff i end up hating before i've even finished printing the edition.  or at least see things i would have changed.  i like this "untitled (feral pack)" print i did back in 2009 still because it was the first time i'd worked with doing color separations that way.  and i like this "war lust" print from last year because i think it's another that kind of starts a new direction.

BB:  over the course of printing posters and other work for the street has your process changed much?
gu:   i've learned how to make and then expose and print from larger and larger screens.  then learned how to streamline the process.  i also started using hinge clamps for certain multi-colored prints.  in the beginning i eyeball registered everything because i thought using clamps detracted from it being "art".  now i know in certain instances doing things the "right way" makes the most sense.
BB:  compared to your earlier "give up" work, there seems to be a more organic element to your prints.  Was this a conscious effort or more of a natural progression?
gu:   it happened pretty naturally. i don't like to force things, more just see what grabs me and see what happens.  there are a lot of elements in the natural world that can be used to convey all kinds of different feelings.  plus nature just never gets boring to me.

give up

BB:  obviously your own photography is an essential element of your print work, are there any photographers that you really dig?
gu:   shooting my own photos for reference started because i didn't have the internet to cop from when i first got into this.  then it just seemed natural to stay on that path.  i can admit most of my stuff has a very "design" quality, but maybe working from my own photos will help shake off any graphic design label and hold it more firmly in an arts context.  plus this is mine and i feel like i can better tell a story with my own work than by borrowing from someone else's photos.  that said, i do like sally mann's stuff quite a bit.  and i used to be pretty into some of helmut newton's stuff, though i'm not sure how relevant that is to me today.  i really like a lot of the photos from hermann nitsch's events, as it seems the documentation is as much a part and just as important as the events themselves.
BB:  i know you used to do graffiti and quit that, have you ever wanted to say fuck it and quit doing "give up?"  If so, what keeps you going?
gu:   i want to quit doing "give up" all the time.  but that's usually borne out of some other unrelated frustration.  i figure as long as i continue to enjoy doing it i'll keep pushing forward.  when it stops being fulfilling it won't be worth doing any more.  but at this point, even if i wanted to quit, i've immersed myself so deeply into this life i wouldn't know what to do otherwise.

I want to thank "give up" for taking the time to do this interview.  Below are links to his websites for "give up" and Horders.

In the near future I plan to post an interview I did with a photographer friend who has amassed an impressive collection of urban exploration photos from Texas and all over the country. Here are a few shots of my own along that theme.


bunker redux




Thursday, April 26, 2012

run it into the ground

For the last month I have not been able to stop listening to "Wretched World" by Converge.  Feels particularly appropriate while driving around late at night.

Eyesore has been putting in work.  Good to see and in large format.


Untitled Trying to get this blog going with some interesting features. Working on a couple of interviews which I hope will be done within the next couple of weeks.

Hello Everything show at El Rincon Social

Hello Everything

This Saturday, April 28th from 7pm-12pm "Hello Everything" will be opening at El Rincon Social. This exhibit will be a diverse collection of some 20 Houston artists and photographers. Get full details here:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stick 'Em Up at MFAH

May 4th, 5th & 6th Alex Luster's documentary "Stick 'Em Up" will be showing at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.  Showtimes and tickets are available on the museum's website.  Coinciding with these showings is a special poster show at Domy on Friday May 4th from 7pm-9pm.  Several local artists, many of them featured in the documentary, have created their own take on the Stick 'Em Up movie poster.  Check out the trailer for Stick 'Em Up as well as the poster show:

Stick 'Em Up! Official Trailer from Alex Luster on Vimeo.

STUCK UP from Alex Luster on Vimeo.

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