Visual Arts

Studio Vist: Golden Boy

His brand of art: I'm primarily a painter, but I also like dabbling in different mediums and styles. Like, next month I might do a film, or photography, or sculpture. I enjoy all art, and I don't like to be pigeonholed into one thing.

Themes: I try to find beauty in everyday things, walking down the street and observing what's going on. One piece I did, it was just a pair of dragonfly wings. People might say, "It's just wings," but I find beauty in the color combinations, the geometry of the wings, and how they were formed.

Graphic design: I've done flier design for music artists in Japan, logos and stuff for nonprofit and environmental organizations in Colombia. In New York, I've done corporate identity stuff. I've even done porn sites.

Influences: People like Bobby Castaneda, Fidel ©, Heather Gargon. Watching them paint and draw inspires me in many ways, and hopefully I inspire them.

Getting paints: We'll trade paints, share paints, some paints are donated. If you gotta buy some at Home Depot, little schemes like getting paint mixed and telling them it wasn't the right color, returning it, and then when they put it on the marketing rack, buy it for half the price, stuff like that.

Getting materials from the alleyway: There's some good stuff out there. One piece was from the back of a bed frame that I modified into a canvas, window frames, doors I've chopped in half. There's a lot of sorta-new stuff. Most of our furniture is found, and we like to fix 'em up.

Stay Gold: Gabriel came up with it. It comes from The Outsiders. It means to stay young, stay fresh, stay creative, stay true to yourself, keep it real, for the rest of your life if you can. When you're young, you're gold.

Soundtrack: It depends, one day I may want to listen to hip-hop, or there may be one day I want to listen to classical. Basically, I need to feed off different styles to keep things fresh.

First Fridays vs. their Art Lounge parties: We have people that just walk by our place and they see our film going, they just sit down and spend the rest of the night here. Good music, a whole lot of good vibe, it's about enjoying the art that we do. On First Fridays, there's 10,000 people, but half of them walk by the art and they don't even look at it.

Where he hangs his work: I'm gonna have a dual show with Ken Situ in January at Fate. I've shown at Thought Crime, Mainstay Gallery, Se Vende.

Where he hangs: Bikini Lounge, because I feel comfortable there, just hanging out and playing pool, and getting cheap drinks. It feels like another home away from home.

Halcyon days: Some of my earliest memories are just me drawing and being creative. I did a lot of traveling with my parents, and we used to stay at these Indian reservations, and I would draw these Indians as robots and crazy stuff like that.

Fave possessions: That belt buckle that says "Isaac" is one of my favorites; it was given to me by another artist. I can't find it, I think somebody stole it. My Tims [Timberland boots], I guess, I've had them for so long. They're reliable and they have paint all over them.

Eats: It's not by choice, but fast food, 'cause it's cheap and it fills you up. Fate is good, when we have the money. Truthfully, I wish there were some good pizzerias down here, like back East.

Brother Gabriel: He's the one that makes everything work. I take care of more of the creative end, but honestly, without him none of this would happen.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.