Friday, March 16, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
I met the Phantom Street Artist when I was 14 years old. Few people may know that the street artist, widely known for his iconic album cover artwork for Rage Against the Machine's Battle for Los Angeles, is also a talented wrestler. He was one of my first wrestling mentors. We trained wherever we could - frequenting wrestling rooms and gyms in and around around East LA and the Greater San Gabriel Valley year-round. Over the years the Phantom has remained a close family friend.
Here's a video of one of his latest performances, "You Don't Know What Art Is."
In recent years the Phantom has incorporated live performances into his exhibitions. Using an almost obsessive attention to detail, his performance creates an undeniable aura. Initially I found the homemade aesthetic of the props and lighting captivating -- almost like I was watching a school play. Then the camera work and monologue intensified while the noise on the film a gradually evoked the morbid feel of 1990s crime scene footage. This bold critique of the politics of the art world is a breathe of fresh air. Enjoy.