100 Creatives

7: Quincy Ross

7: Quincy Ross Quincy Ross is a self-taught artist, designer, and photographer with a background in music, fashion, graphic design and business. Despite what you may have heard, Ross owns the trademark Mos Def™, which landed in the History of The T-shirt book (2002). He's managed and promoted musical talent, consulted for a major clothing company and worked at Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture school Taliesin West.

Ross says that he's a big fan of museums, music festivals and habitually branding his concepts no matter how small or fleeting, but also that he finds his work to be most rewarding when he's teaching and giving back to the local community.

Read more about Ross and his work after the jump ...

1. List five things on your inspiration wall (real or imaginary):

- Architecture - Music - Fashion - Graphic Design - Pop Art

2. What was your last big project? A 25-by-8-foot photo mural at The Guggenheim Museum in New York City (2009). I was included in an exhibition that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the museum that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the death of the master architect.

In May 2009, the entire Guggenheim Museum was dedicated to Frank Lloyd Wright's life work. I was honored that the Guggenheim requested a specific photograph. After years of being at Taliesin West, I was able to walk the campus and give the museum a photograph of the Valley that Wright called home for so many years. The extra added bonus was that the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition then traveled to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain for three months.

3. What's your next big project? Minimal Mountains: a series of paintings in collaboration with fellow Phoenix artist Rafael Navarro.

Patriot's Square was supposed to be what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. (Side note: Patriots Square is no longer in Downtown Phoenix.) When I heard that I questioned myself, "What says Phoenix to me? How do I know when I home?" This project has been an on going thought on how could I present this feeling or idea in a original way. I have contemplated what says Phoenix to me and I'm now ready to bring it the public in a series of large scale paintings. They are our mountains. South Mountain in particular is our beacon. From there, you know where you are. South Mountain, part of the Salt River Mountain Range, seen when driving or flying into Phoenix is the sign that says, "I'm home".

4. Why do you do what you do? Because no one is going to do it for me. No one is going to make my community culturally better if I don't do have an active part in it. I feel Phoenix is my place. I could move to New York, Los Angeles, or Berlin and get in line behind a thousand others who are trying to do the same thing, but none of those places would be home.

Several notable artists have lived here in Arizona and were immensely inspired: Max Ernst, Jackson Pollack, Philip Curtis and Frank Lloyd Wright just to name a few. I too am inspired by the desert landscape.

In the early 2000s I set up shop in Venice Beach, California and it just didn't feel like "home" and would never be. So I moved back to Phoenix to open my first art space with my long time friend and fellow artist Jason Ayers. We started with the locking down of an art space and the ideas started to flow. We presented several art events and created a Downtown Phoenix art 'zine called Map; still the most detailed guide to date. We also created several conceptual art pieces and experiments that would later be coined "Performance Merchandising". After our lease was up went onto other ventures. Ayers computer science ventures and me architecture/art studies.

While studying furniture design as en employee of Red Modern Furniture, an opportunity came about to create conceptual art pieces in Red's former storefront on McDowell. I christened "Old Red Space" as my new art studio and event space. My current art installation is "The Quincy" and has been an on going process since 2006.

The Quincy has given birth to two original Performance Merchandising events that occur monthly: Turntables & Tamales™ and First Friday After First Friday™. These are ideas the couldn't work anywhere but Phoenix, and that is why I love it because it is a pizarra en blanco, or blank slate.

In many cases, one could say, "its all has been done before," which holds true in most places, but not with a uniquely Southwestern Phoenix flare.

5. What's something you want Phoenix to know about you I would like Phoenix to know that I love this place because it is not LA or New York and I don't ever want it to be. Their rules and ideas don't apply here. Phoenix not being the center of the art world inspires me to work that much harder.

(and if you're game, what's something you DON'T want Phoenix to know about you?) Please don't tell anyone: back in 2003, Jason Ayers shared his photos of James Turrell's Roden Crater in Northern Arizona. This is a moment in time where I realized the power of a photograph. After Ayers told me about his personal accounts of the crater, I said, "I'm going! I have to go and that's all there is to it." He replied, "You can't -- it doesn't open to the public until 2012." To make a good long story short, I've been to Roden Crater and got a short but personal tour.

The Creatives, so far:

100. Fausto Fernandez
99. Brian Boner

98. Carol Panaro-Smith

97. Jane Reddin

96. Adam Dumper
95. Mayme Kratz
94. Daniel Tantalean
93. Yuri Artibise
92. Lisa Starry
91. Paul Hoeprich
90. Betsy Schneider
89. Mary Shindell
88: Gabriel Utasi
87: Tiffany Egbert
86. Angela Cazel Jahn
85. Dayvid LeMmon
84. Beatrice Moore
83. Michelle J. Martinez
82. Carrie Bloomston
81. Paul Porter
80. Rachel Bess
79. Karolina Sussland
78. Aaron Abbott
77. Mary Lucking
76. Erin Sotak
75. Greg Esser
74. Matthew Mosher
73. Mark Klett
72. Tony Carrillo
71. Paul Morris
70. Joe Pagac
69. Alison King
68. JJ Horner
67. Kim Porter
66. Marco Rosichelli
65. Heather Hales
64. Amy Lamp
63. Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker
62. Lindy Drew

61. Robbie Pfeffer
60. Neil Borowicz

59. Lynn Fisher

58. Tanner Woodford

57. David Tinapple
56. Casebeer

55. Tom Leveen

54. Patti Parsons

53. Tedd McDonah

52. Mike Maas
51. Chris Todd

50. Monica Aissa Martinez

49. Stefan Shepherd

48. Jenny Poon

47. Matt Moore

46. Andrea Hanley

45. Julie Hampton

44. Ted Decker

43. Saskia Jorda

42. Michael Bergfalk

41. Scott Baxter

40. Carrie Marill
39. Kobina Banning

38. Suzanne Falk
37. Jon Haddock

36. Kade Twist

35. Cindy Dach

34. John Wagner
33. Roy Wasson Valle

32. Sue Chenoweth
31. Patricia Colleen Murphy

30. David Quan

29. Lesli Yazzie
28. Nathan Feller

27. Cassandra Coblentz

26. Matt Dickson

25. Tara Logsdon

24. Gennaro Garcia
23. Tiphanie Brooke

22. Dan Semenchuk

21. James Angel
20. Tessa Windt
19. Mitch Fry

18. Miro Chun

17. Randy Slack

16. Abbey Messmer

15. Jessica Jordan

14. Brent Bond

13. Peter Shikany
12. Carolyn Lavender
11.Derek A. Welte
10. James E. Garcia
9. Stephanie Carrico
8. John Spiak