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Truck photo: Teddy Hoffman Factory photo: Jeff Nass











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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS, Dominic Palarchio, Ashley Rosemeyer, Hans Stuting, Jenna Hoy, Tim Zimmerman, Nixon, Trevor Vaughan, Neil Visel, Michael Donovan, Damian Tsutsumida, Elli Lauren, Nico Skgz, Elliot Goldstein CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Taylor Kendall, Sydney Lindberg, Jeff DeForge, Dean Liebau, Bryan “Butch” Wright, Johnny Hodgson CONTRIBUTORS

Julian Donatelli, Luke McKaye, Clas Kristensen, Tim Evatt REPS

Pete Prudhomme, Doug Brassill, Chris Gadomski, Doug Setzler, Nick Legere, Dustin Amato, Ryan Brouder, Johnny Miller INTERNS

Ellen Fleming THANKS

Tom Ryan, Ben Meadows, Nick Carmer, Georges Dionne, Jerry Bellmore, Snowdogg Carter, Marco Delguidice, Dave Pollack, Phil Ashworth, Moi Martinez

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© Steez Magazine® LLC 2014 ISSUE 30 COVER:

photo- Ian Ruhter (Silver & Light) rider- Alek Oestreng info- This plate was created using an 8 x 10 Deardorf

camera and a 19th century photographic process called wet plate collodion. I shot this photo of Alek on the Truckee River after a day of riding at Squaw Valley. -Ian

EDITOR’S NOTE Putting all this stuff together into a magazine is a lot of hard work. 30 issues has taken us on a roller coaster ride for more than seven years and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. I’d like to thank anyone who has ever helped us out in any way, shape or form during this journey. Sometimes this credits page isn’t big enough to fit all the names and whether they might only appear once or twice, or not at all, we’re truly appreciative for all the friends, family, fans and support we have been given over the years. There’s so many parts and pieces that go into making a magazine cohesive and therefore we rely on a lot of people who don’t do it for money, or exposure, but the passion and commitment to the ideals that Steez Magazine puts forth. Congratulations to all of you on this 30th issue as there’s no way we could have done it without you. 30 issues is a big accomplishment, but there’s nothing stopping us from 30 more! Enjoy,


Crotched Mountain

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A 2-












Bariloche is really fun, “Catedral” is the name of the resort, and if you come visit you’ll know why. The mountain is pretty big, it’s about 20 minutes from town. It has more than 30 lifts, one terrain park (no pipe, sorry) and really cool places for freeriding! Everything is easy access, even the backcountry areas. After a 15 minute walk you are in paradise; “La Laguna”. The snow starts falling in May-June, as soon as we have enough we open the doors. In a common season we can have about 3mts (10 feet+/-) on top and about 0.5mts (1.5 feet +/-) at the base.




(10 FEET+/-) ON TOP 22

We are really close to the Pacific Ocean, and that means we can have 1mt (3 feet +/-) of snow fall in one night. It is true that we are also in the middle of the Andes, that means wind and when you say wind down here, it means lifts closing for safety. Riding “Catedral” is raw. Most of the runs are steep, good for intermediate and advanced riders. The mountain is like a big bowl, so it´s easy to get from one side to the other. It’s a lot of fun jumping from

the trails or getting into the trees, and by the way, these runs are insane! If you enjoy riding parks, there is a lift over the park to do laps all day long. It has good big air lines and some rails to push your imagination! Don´t expect a PlayStation park, and since we don´t have much snow falling in town I’m afraid to say that street riding is almost zero around here, too petty!




Has anyone attempted to pronounce your last name? People always have so much trouble pronouncing my last name. The ones who are brave enough to attempt it always butcher it completely. Most people don’t realize that the “J” is pronounced as “Y”.


I heard you were Miss Maine, have you ever caught your own Lobster and eaten it? I have gone fishing and lobstering many times, which is such fun but, I am ashamed to say I don’t eat seafood at all. I believe I have a hidden allergy. I have given it a try multiple times, and have tried some of the best seafood in the

world. I just can not seem to fall in love with its texture, aftertaste and aromas. Hopefully one day it will grow on me so I can enjoy some good ol’ Maine lobstah. Have you ever chopped down a tree for a model shoot? Nope; but I have been in the freezing water in the middle of January for a photo shoot in Maine – not fun. How many flannel shirts do you own? Now I actually don’t have any, but back home they were definitely crucial!

Is there even a Victoria’s Secret store in all of Maine? I think there was one VS store in the entire state, which is such a shame. I hope they open up more. Women in Maine like sexy lingerie too!!! Do you usually workout in stilettos? I never work out in heels, doesn’t seem practical. But I do pride myself in being a great runner in stilettos. I even attempted the ‘stiletto dash’ once. It was super fun, a great success, hysterical and done for a great cause. Stupid question, how does a Mainer like you

survive in NYC? Stupid of me to say but, NYC seems to be way colder than Maine sometimes. Probably because you spend more time outside on a daily basis -- people walk everywhere. Winter is brutal so when I complain, people look at me like I’m crazy. Other than that (and my crazy expensive rent), NYC is the greatest city in the world to live in! The hardest part is deciding what to do out of a million interesting possibilities with your very little free time. 27 How do you say “Sup Girl” in Bosnian? “Djesi mala”


24 SEVEN Written By Dean Liebau Photo Ashley Rosemeyer


It’s unheard of to live in Northwestern Pennsylvania and be considered a serious factor in snowboarding today, as it isn’t exactly the breeding grounds for dedicated riders. The resorts are far and few between, and the roads to them are some of the roughest in the country. Though untapped street spots are plentiful; finding a crew to help with the setup is a different story. Somehow, the snowboard scene has never caught on in one of the places that gets the most snow in the country. As with anything, there are exceptions, and I

consider Bryden Bowley to be one of them. Without a crew around to push him to hit the untouched street spots of Pennsylvania; he manages to find enough motivation to venture out and hit them all by himself. With only a shovel and a true love for snowboarding, Bryden always seems to make it happen. Photographer Ashley Rosemeyer and I had first made contact with Bryden when we heard that he had multiple spots picked out in his hometown of

Warren, PA. We went there to session and document the spots; the first being a 50-stair rail. Within minutes, I could tell that there was something different about Bryden. He had this positive aura that lingered around him, and a smile that never left his face. Besides Ashley and I, his “crew” that day looked like they had never stepped on a snowboard before. This just showed me that Bryden was completely alone in this battle and in his passion. He was motivated to snowboard all on his own, out of a love for snowboarding.

Bryden Bowley is a very unique, hardworking, motivated snowboarder. Being the Team Manager and a team rider for a local snowboarding company, Homewood Snowboards, Bryden is looked up to by many little rippers in the area. It’s not very often that someone will hit street rails alone all winter. He has such a unique style, great hair, and most importantly, a humble demeanor. Bryden Bowley is ready to put the east coast on the map, and is truly, a snowboarder to watch out for.



I got a text pretty late one night from Mikee letting me know that he and some friends from Palm Springs and Texas were about to skate this 4-block in San Pedro. That whole crew is so sick I had no problem dropping what I was doing and meeting up with them. When I got there, I realized I left my light stands in someone's car, so I figured I'd need somebody to hold lights or otherwise get creative somehow. Strangest thing, when I got out of my car, there was randomly a light stand, just sitting there. Made no sense at the time, but I was stoked on it. We lit up the spot and started to skate, it was pretty late at this point. One of the homies posted an Instagram photo of the stairs with a caption that said something like "late night hype." He got a phone call almost immediately saying that it was a really bad idea to be there because the previous night there was a group skating who got robbed at gunpoint for all their gear; phones, wallets, skateboards, cameras, everything. Dude went from person to person with two guns drawn and just took all their stuff. Almost right after that phone call there was a creepy guy who walked up and was just sort of chilling. Turned out to be a harmless homeless guy but, as soon as Mikee got his trick, we packed up everything quick and moved on to a less secluded spot. After that, the random lone light stand made sense. -Luke McKaye



Mikee Brown, 360 shuv photo Luke McKaye




Krister Kopala, wallride photo Clas Kristensen

One funny thing about working with photography is that I take a lot of photos on trips and vacations, but at home I'm sort of blind for the unique features and landscape that surrounds me every day. You find yourself dreaming about destinations and thinking of what type of photos you could take. Do you really have to travel to take good photos? I think I became aware of this fact last year and therefore, I tried to get some shots that had the footprint of my home turf. Growing up above the arctic circle in Norway you get used to seeing fishing boats and small harbors. The past decade there have been multiple shutdowns in the fishing industry, and I had seen this abandoned building on an old dock one hour drive from the city of Tromso. I thought it could be a good spot for snowboarding for two reasons. 1- It had the footprint of the fishing industry that the northern part of Norway is known for. 2- The building could be gone in a couple of years, so the last hours of “labour� that happened on the docks would be Krister Kopala doing what he does best. A fine closure for the old docks. -Clas Kristensen




DIY. This rail is a perfect example of doing it yourself. For many years this rail was one of those “if only...” spots. You know those spots, when there’s not enough natural speed, maybe an obstacle in the way, or in this case the support posts were sticking up 6 inches above the top rail. But, with a little creativity and a DIY attitude (plus a hammer, saw, etc.) things that seemed unachievable, were easily mastered. Not only does Charlie possess these qualities, he’s one hell of a gifted snowboarder to boot. Charlie “Buckets” Mayforth started snowboarding around the age of 6. Now at the age of 22, he still enjoys riding his home

mountain, Sugarbush, VT. For the past three years he has spent most of his time going to school at Savannah College of Art and Design, with the occasional trip to resorts in North Carolina, and home during vacation. During the summer, Charlie enjoys snowboarding, mini dirt bike riding, lake floating, and general underpaid summer camp employee shenanigans at Mt. Hood, OR. Charlie Bucket”s riding speaks for itself; his natural talent and style have continually left spectators in awe. -Jeff DeForge

Charlie “Buckets” Mayforth photo Ashley Rosemeyer


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You said, “When I found photography, I found my voice.” Can you elaborate on that statement? Yeah. When I speak in regards to my voice, when I grew up, I had really bad learning disabilities, and kind of felt like I was always different from the other kids in school, I couldn’t communicate in the same way. When I found photography, it was a way for me to communicate and share my voice, share my thoughts with the world. It’s like I was a mute for the first 22-something years of my life, and then all of a sudden I could talk. I guess that’s what it is about. Did you not pick up a camera until later in life? You said until you were like 22 or so? Actually, you know what, it was more like 25.

That’s crazy. You started professionally in snowboard photography with Forum. Can you take us through your early years of shooting? I grew up in Lake Tahoe, and when I started photography, I just started shooting the things that were around me, the mountains, everything. Snowboarding was there, so I started shooting my friends who snowboard. I worked with Kevin Jones and Jimmy Halopoff in the beginning, and they really helped me get to where I was in my snowboarding career. When I look back on it now, to shoot snowboarding and to work in a profession, it’s really intense. You have to put yourself out there, and there’s times where you think you’re going to die in an avalanche. You have to work in really extreme weather conditions. You can’t be soft. It’s fun to do it, and with the Silver & Light project, it’s really hard to make it work. I think if I didn’t have all that experience and all those types of things, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the hard parts of building the camera and making it work.




How did you discover wet plate and how did you transition into it? Well, when I first began photography, I learned black and white in the dark room. I’d go out and shoot portraits or landscapes because I was just learning how the camera worked, and that’s actually what I fell in love with. Then, the photography started becoming a job, and somewhere along the lines, I lost that passion. I wanted to go back and shoot film but, a lot of the film company types moved on, or they were out of business. I found the wet plate process, and I learned that I could make my own film, and once I learned that, I realized that no matter what trends happen, or whose going out of business, I could always do the thing that I love. That’s how I started with wet plate photography.


Can you explain the whole process of wet plate briefly? How the chemistry works in wet plate photography is, you start with a base, it’s called collodion. They used it in the Civil War like it was a liquid bandage. It’s like rubber cement, like if you’ve got a big wound, they could pour it over and then seal it. So, you have the collodion, and it’s made up of collodion and bromide and iodine. You add those salts into that actual collodion, and then what we do is we take this collodion and it has a syrup texture to it. We pour it over the top of these black aluminum plates, and that’s actually our film. From there, we take that film and we put it into a silver nitrate bath, and when those silver crystals mix with those iodines and those salts, it creates a metal alloy, and that metal alloy is what’s actually light sensitive. Finally, we make an exposure. You could do it with whatever camera you want. I just happen to do it inside of a giant truck. Once you’ve made that exposure, you have to develop it and fix it. That part’s similar to traditional black and white photography, but the trick is everything has to be done while the plate is still wet, because if that collodion dries out, then the atoms can’t penetrate through that natural cellular plate. They can’t penetrate through it and develop the stuff, so, quite interesting.






How dangerous are these chemicals to work with? I don’t think they’re very dangerous at all. I think people get thrown off because we wear a gas mask and stuff like that, it’s kind of part of our image. I mean it has alcohol and ether in it, and I don’t really like smelling that stuff all day because we work with it for hours on end, so we just wear those masks. How would you say that your life has changed and how has Silver & Light been received? When I decided to do this project and build the truck, I just wanted to do something that was in my heart. I just wanted to do something for myself, and get that feeling back, and we ended up documenting it all. We released that video, and I was so surprised that millions of people saw it. I got hundreds and hundreds and thousands of emails, it really connected to people. I think they’re inspired by fallen dreams, and to root for the underdog. It really touched people, and that has changed my life in so many ways. Where do you see the journey going from here or is it strictly something that you have to see where it takes you? Right now, I’ve just been seeing where it takes me. The big picture is to travel through America, and document America with this process. It’s following these early 19th century photographers like Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge and Timothy O’Sullivan, and really capturing America the way they did, and in that pioneer spirit they had too. So, that’s the big picture for this project. I don’t know how many years it will take but that’s what we’re doing.


Do you have a specific calendar set with a trip or is it just something you’re going to let unfold as it goes along? We don’t have a specific calendar set because we don’t have the financing to do all the places. What’s happening is, people have been reaching out to us and they’ve been like, “Hey, would you want to come?”, like, Chase Jarvis reached out to us. He said, “Will you want to come to Seattle and be on my show? I’ll pay for you.” That got us to Seattle, and then we went to Vancouver the same way and so, yeah. We just went to New Mexico. That was one of our first

commission jobs, so we got out there. It’s like we’re just going off of fate, or destiny, and it’s actually getting us around the United States. Speaking of the journey, you get a lot of helpers and you meet a lot of people on the way. Is that just as much of a reward for you as creating a beautiful image? Yes. The people that we meet along the way, it’s more important than the actual image. I think the image is just a record for us to remember where we have been but, it’s also the search for these images. That goes back to snowboarding, where I was searching for the next best jump or the next uncharted territory, or the first descent down a mountain. I think that’s the same spirit, and translates back into this project right now. How can you push this project even further and are there any other, maybe older processes that you’ve been thinking about experimenting with? No. I’m not so much concerned with older processes. I’m more concerned with right now, and we really want to start working on incorporating the motion picture aspect into this project. Moving pictures and film, I think, is equally as important as the images we make because, they tell the story, and you can capture thousands of frames within a minute where we may capture maybe one frame in a day. So especially on the portraits, and the areas we go into, we can really document it, and I like that. The first film we did, and we have been doing a series after that. I just want to keep working on that and make up more of it, more like a documentary of America based upon our travels, and what we come across. What are you working on now and what’s coming up? Let’s see. We have our first show, we will actually show the original plate set at the Fahey/Klein gallery in Los Angeles. We’re going to take what we have now and create storyboards and work out a plan, and install in them all the pieces that we need, and have that show probably in October of next year. You’ve never shown before, correct? No. I’ve passed up a lot of opportunities and things, but when I went in and spoke with




the people at this gallery, it was just the right fit. It’s hard to not show things or sell things for, I think it’s been two and a half years. We’re just so patient, because it’s much more important to find the right people to represent our work, and that feel strongly about it. Is that going to be the method of marketing and funding future ventures? Do you think you’ll do a show here and there, is it possible to do prints, or is it more commission and private venture work? I think it’s actually a combination of all of that, because once we do the shows, we’ll make prints, and then the commission work. I think all of those will come into play, and that’s what’s going to actually finance our journey through America. 54

You’ve overcome a lot of obstacles that the wet plate process restricts, and you’ve even figured out how to shoot action in different locations. Is there anything you’ve

been dreaming of shooting that you haven’t yet, or are there any other barriers? Yeah, I mean just in general, I can think of 100 things that I want to do with this process, and we’ll just slowly keep chipping away at it. I’d actually really like to shoot skateboarding with it. Not just shoot street skating, like legitimate spots, and then make big, original plates for that. I look at skateboarding like an art form, even just the movement of a kickflip, and then freezing that in time on one of these plates. I know you’ve got a couple of photos where you’ve started to shoot some action skating and stuff. They’re awesome! Yeah, the photo I took of Levi Brown was actually a test, but it came out as one of my favorite photos ever. The really cool thing to me is that all he’s doing is an Ollie. At first I was like, “Oh, I want to get something better,” but when I think about it, the Ollie is like the basic foundation of street skating. Without that, you couldn’t do 90% of the tricks. I thought

that was really, well, that’s worth a lot. It says a lot, the most basic thing but, it was more about his style and him, and I like that. It’s really cool. You said that you feel more alive now than ever. Has this been one of the most challenging ventures in your life? Yeah, this has been by far the most challenging, because I’ve taken all the money I’ve worked and saved for the past 10 years, and just put it into something that when I started building the camera, a lot of people said it couldn’t be done. There’s a reason why it can’t be done, because it’s been 150 years of this style of photography that’s been around, and no one’s been able to do it. That freaked me out a lot. That was hard. I had the potential to lose everything that I had, just based on a dream. How scary was that initially? It’s all scary. It’s scary everyday. There’s days when honestly, I just wanted to give up, honestly, and then all of a sudden, you keep

getting these e-mails that are like, “Your project changed my life. I’m so inspired. I’m going to quit my job.” I get those all the time and when I read those, I’m like, ‘I can’t let these people down now’, so I just keep pushing forward. I don’t think anyone knows, but that’s really a driving force behind it because, I don’t want to let them down. They believed in me, so by me just quitting, I’d be quitting on them too. Final question, why aren’t more people living their dreams? You know, that’s a difficult question. Honestly, I don’t think I can answer that. I can answer it for myself, why there’s been times when I haven’t lived my dream, and one of them is just out of straight fear because, it’s hard to put yourself out there and fail. It’s always easy once everything works out but, the hardest part is when you fail, and getting up, again and again and again. That’s one reason. Another reason is that sometimes people don’t have the luxury of living these certain dreams. Maybe



they have kids, or they have other obligations where they’ve got to sacrifice something, and then there’s helping other people out so, it could be a combination of a lot of things. The most important thing is, even if you can’t live your dream, it’s just the ability to dream. That’s what gets you up and out of bed everyday, just to have a dream of something, something better, something nice; just the thought of having a dream is as important as the actual dream. 56

Any shout outs? Last words? I think this project; it has been really successful, and part of the success is the people that you don’t get to see, who work on it everyday just as hard as me. One guy is, Lane Power, and he directs our films. Then, the other guy is my assistant, Will Eichelberger. Those two people have stuck through this just as long as I have, and it’s been scary for them because they’ve taken great, huge risks too, but we all believe it’s going to pay out and work out, so we just keep going forward. Also, special thanks to Profoto. They have supported the Silver & Light project from the beginning and helped us out with lights. I would not of been able to make any of the portraits without them.

It’S AlWAyS WORth thE hIkE.

R O M E S N O W B O A R D S . C O M



Aaron De La Cruz is an abstract artist currently working out of San Francisco. His brushstrokes mimic the freehand movements of a graffiti artist quickly tagging a wall, while his finished pieces offer a complex grid-like structure, where the eye can spend days exploring the seemingly well planned lines that create a nearly threedimensional experience. Inspired by graphic design and architecture, with roots in graffiti and skate culture, De La Cruz has developed an abstract painting style unparalleled by any other artist.

De La Cruz just finished a huge wall at The Hundreds’ main office and warehouse. The building is an old meatpacking plant in the L.A. suburbs, and The Hundreds’ have started their own sort of office museum by inviting street artists including Madsteez and Meggs to put up large-scale murals. Interviewed by Sydney Lindberg Photos Provided by the Artist

What’s your piece at The Hundreds like? It’s just an abstract piece. There are greys and a few key colors. In a lot of their clothes they use RGB or CMYK, so I just chose a couple colors out of those tones. I also used some grey, and black. In fact, I did a somewhat abstract piece that’s kind of influenced by the year 1980. Why 1980? On all of their clothes they have “drawing black lines since 1980,” and it’s also the year I was born, so I thought that was kind of cool. I didn’t really put the year 1980 in there, but what I did was I took two horizontal, well, more like square/ rectangular geometric forms to kind of represent a one, and I added a line for a nine. I kind of put two circles in there too for an eight, to represent the organic motion that you do when writing or drawing out “1980.” Like I said, a lot of my stuff is very abstract, but there’s some abstract awareness to what I’m doing, in a way. A lot of your work looks very well planned, the geometric patterns fit together perfectly, but most of it’s freehand, right? I’d say about 95% percent of it is freehand. Most of it is off the top of my head and in the moment. Recently, when I’ve been working on projects with bigger budgets doing work for the city or a client, sometimes they want to see sketches; so I’ll sketch stuff out. It might

be a color scheme, or it might be a generic wave of designs and patterns. I’ll let them know that, hey, look, it’s going to have this design or this style, but it’s not going to be this exact one. My work is constantly changing little by little every time I re-draw something. I don’t ever repeat the same stuff over.

MY WORKS ARE JUST BIG DREAMS IN A WAY. Anyway, yes, most of it is in the moment, and yeah, I’m just comfortable working that way because for the most part, it’s guided me in the right direction. Why do you choose to work in black and white, or restrict yourself to simple color schemes? I usually apply black ink to a surface. My work happens to be black and white because the wall I’m working on is white, or it’s white paper.



I use black ink because it leaves a little bit open to the imagination for myself. Even though my work is very two-dimensional, I’m always thinking in a, very three-dimensional way.


With the black, one, it’s very reminiscent of a central tag back in the day, you have a black marker and you tag on whatever it is. Growing up I’d always laugh at people who would say that they hated tagging but they loved like, beautiful graffiti. Right? I was like, well… I get what you’re saying, but you have to do this first, in order to get to that level of creating a beautiful piece. You have to master your tag first. That’s

one of the reasons. The other reason is now, when I’m laying down the black line, with the higher contrast between surfaces, it helps me to take a step back and imagine certain layers, or certain marks being either raised, or going underneath the others. I’m trying to slowly move into creating three-dimensional forms and objects. Using black just helps me out. And, I do work in color sometimes as well, but not that much. The color stuff comes whenever it feels very right for the project, or if I’m trying to push myself and take chances.

You mentioned you wanted to start doing some three-dimensional pieces. Part of your exhibition for Art Basel Miami was a three-dimensional piece. What’s the difference in creating those? Well, for the Miami show what I had were two prints, two drawings and a threedimensional piece that was all white. For the three-dimensional pieces, they’re very, very minimal. It’s almost like wood, worked in one simple color. It’s more about the balance between the strength of constructing this white wooden piece. You’re playing with shadow and different things like that. Those three-dimensional pieces started since I’m so interested in architecture, furniture and space. They’re almost like, I don’t want to say sketches, but maps for me as far as bringing to life what I’m just trying to imagine. Right now, I’m only able to work so big because of

the budgets that I have, resources, and outlets as well. You know, I can’t make huge pieces if I don’t have a proper place to put them. My works are just big dreams in a way. These pieces I’m doing, even though it’s a wall piece, it’s really cool for me to imagine if you laid it on the ground, and had it 10 times the size so, you could actually walk or climb on top of my shapes, and stuff like that. I’m really trying to interact with my audience more. When I take my work off the wall, my audience is able to get that much closer to my work. I want to get to a point where my audience

can really interact with what I’m creating on a physical level — where they can touch it, or climb it, or walk around it, or whatever it may be. I think that comes from being a kid. Growing up I had a brother who would expose me to graffiti and all of this stuff; we’d build skate ramps. Take these simple shapes and build ramps out of them, and skate; that’s almost where I’m trying to get now with my work. I want to build these forms where people can... Bam! Just walk on them or do whatever on them.. What kind of experience do you hope the audience takes away from The Hundreds piece? Good question. I guess what I would I want you to imagine, with that piece in general, is imagine how it would be to climb on it, or go behind, or in front of it. The way I worked that piece is, there are these grey shapes weaving

in and out of these other shapes with drips coming over them, and underneath them. So, I want the person to be like, “wow, how can I climb this, or I wish I could touch it.” Short answer: I’m trying to explore space. You talked about putting up tags and painting skate ramps, what was life like growing up in Fresno? How did you first get involved in graffiti? I got involved at a really young age, probably around 6 or 7 years old. I wasn’t doing it though. I had a brother who was seven years older than me, and at the time it was the ‘80s so we would skate, breakdance, go all throughout the



town, we were doing whatever we wanted. I was hanging out with a bunch of 14 year olds, and doing whatever was free. They would have these backpacks filled with cans and they’d spray paint these huge eight balls or skateboards. I lived on the border of city and country so, we were surrounded by acres and acres of orchards where we could roam and get lost. We were also surrounded by tract homes going up, so we’d steal wood from the tract homes and build skate ramps. Again this was with my brother, and I was kind of just going along for the ride. My parents worked so my brother was watching me. Imagine being that age, 7–8, and being able to do whatever you wanted to do.


The very first time I got blown away by graffiti was when my brother took me up to this side of the freeway and he wrote our name, De La Cruz, inside of a batman logo. I was just blown away. We were already doing bad stuff but, to be free... It was just to be free, and draw, and create anywhere you want. To have that gift as a kid was just mindblowing.

I never really went back to revisiting that feeling until I was 12 years old. When I was 12, I was just out tagging and doing stuff like that. I didn’t start painting until two years later. At that time, for me, it was good. All of my friends were getting involved in gangs, and drugs, and breaking into houses, stealing cars. So for me, I was a good boy. I was breaking the law and all, and my parents knew I was doing it, but they weren’t pissed about it. They were like, hey, at least I’m not out getting involved with drugs at a young age. As I grew a little older I started taking art a little more seriously, as well as my graffiti. That’s why I started abstracting my work, around ‘98–’99, I had been tagging for so long that I was kind of tired of just writing the same name over and over for so long. I was more attracted by the motion you make when creating the letters than the actual letters themselves. I think that’s part of the reason why now I don’t like doing the same thing over, ever. I don’t like to watch a movie more than once even, and I just don’t like to repeat the same thing if I have the ability to not do so.

Do you still have that sense of freedom when you paint? Definitely. I have people that ask if I get tired of doing the same thing over, but those are the people who are just being introduced to my work. Even over the past two years my work has changed a lot — how I’ve tightened things up or loosened things up, and how I’ve added more designs to my work. A lot of the work that I’m doing goes back to that moment, or that time in Fresno growing up as a child. I think now I really have the opportunity to dedicate my life to something, and have fun while doing it. That’s what it’s about.

create a landscape, or building, or something along those lines? I’m not there yet, but I want to start thinking that way because, optimism has got me to where I’m at now.

As an artist, you have to take your craft seriously, or nobody else will take you seriously. You also need to have fun, and you always have to ask yourself the question, “how can you grow and get to know your work?”

If you’re working with a brand, they have to be willing to see what your vision is; it has to be a collaboration. Working with a brand is like working with another artist. It could be something awesome, it could be something cool, but I still have to consider if it’s going to push me artistically.

When did you realize that you wanted to go all out and dedicate your life to art? I think it was around 1999, 2000, that I really just wanted to do art, and it was all I wanted to do. I decided that this was what I really wanted to do with my life when I made the effort to move and get out of Fresno. I worked in education for 10 years doing after-school programs, teaching art classes, stuff like that. I knew art was something that I really wanted to do, but it came down to figuring out a way that I can do it for the rest of my life. Now, it’s about making aesthetically pleasing images that keep others and myself interested, intrigued, or interacting with my works. I’ve been thinking more about how I can create a source of income to support myself. Now it’s about doing art shows, creating projects, getting involved and working with various companies. Or, how do I take my work and

How do you feel about working with brands? I know you recently did a collaboration with Look/See on a pair of sunglasses. Working with brands has always been tricky, and usually selective. There have been brands that have approached me and I don’t work with them, or brands I won’t work with because I’m not in line with what they’re doing, or whatever it may be.

The Look/See project was really awesome. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with companies that give me full creative control, and they’re like, do whatever you want to do. To even have a brand say that, like Look/ See, that’s awesome. When you work with a company there are so many factors involved —  a budget, the people art directing the project, your friend, or the person who approached you. There has to be some type of relationship there in order for the project to be successful. For Look/See, I really wanted the design on the glasses to have a three dimensional feel to it so, we did that. We had all the boxes hand screenprinted, so that whoever bought the glasses actually got a hand screenprinted box, which was kind of cool.




What else influences you outside the art world? Are you connected to urban culture, skating, music or any of that? I draw inspiration from reflecting on the past, and trying to answer questions I had as a youth. Music and culture and stuff — I mean, I’m into it. I’ll watch a dope skate video even though I don’t skate myself anymore, and I don’t breakdance. Mostly, right now, I just had twin boys, and they’ve become my biggest inspiration. I’m lucky enough to have a schedule and a career that allow me to spend time with them, and get lost and be a little kid again. How old are your boys? They’re a year on January 8th. Congratulations! Thanks. They’ve really been my biggest inspiration. It’s just reality. I have to stay afloat and take my art seriously for them, although I have to travel a lot and being away from them is hard. That’s just the reality of it. As for other inspirations, thank God for Instagram because I’m such a visual person. I never had Twitter, I hate Facebook, and so, Instagram has been awesome as far as inspiration to see what people are doing right now. (@aarondelacruz) In the past, I drew a lot of inspiration from graphic design and architecture. The biggest reason is because I’m not educated in it at all, but I find it interesting. My brother studied architecture, and since my work is really tied in with my family, a dream project would be to work on something with my brother. 64 What’s your favorite architectural building, and why? Forestiere Underground Gardens was a place

I lived by for almost 15 years. We walked by it all the time having no idea what it was. It was just a little sign that looked as if the place was an old fruit stand. Years later, when I moved away from the Bay Area, someone asked me if I had been there before. It’s an underground architectural masterpiece built by some guy from Sicily. It’s designed to have rooms that you move around to during each season. I had to return back and visit, and come to find out people from all over the states have visited it as well. My other favorite architectural structure is the Gaudi Church in Barcelona, the Basílica de la Sagrada Família. I was fortunate enough to visit this place and it’s beyond amazing. It was started by architect Antoni Gaudi years and years ago and is still being completed today, long after he died. I like how they continued his legacy and finished his dream even after he passed. What other artists influence you? I first thought of Keith Haring when I saw some of your paintings. My biggest influence is the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Plus many industrial designers and architects that I don’t know by name. I’ve been asked if I liked Keith Haring’s work a few times before, I get that much less often now. I have tried to separate myself from any artist that has come before me, keeping my work unique. So what’s coming up next for ADLC? I have a project in Italy, in January along with a group show at Benny Gold. I’m at Pow Wow, Hawaii in February, and Arkitip show at Slow Culture Gallery in February as well. There are plans for a show in New York toward the end of the year at Poppington Gallery. And finally, I will be releasing a jewelry project that I’ve started as well.



Rider Evan Mansolillo Photo Hans Stuting


Rider Daniel Josefsen Photo Clas Kristensen


Rider Troy Clawson Photo Luke McKaye


Rider Charlie “Buckets” Mayforth Photo Ashley Rosemeyer


Rider Kristian Kvam Hansen Photo Clas Kristensen


Rider Shane Kassin Photo Luke McKaye

Photo Jenna Hoy


Rider Forest Bailey Photo Tim Zimmerman


CHRISTIAN HOSOI Interviewed by Michael Connolly Photo Nixon Let’s be honest, where do you keep the spandex stashed? Top drawer! Wax on or Wax off? Both, to block all punches and kicks. Reasons to tie your sweatshirt around your waist? I stuff it in my belt if I got one on so it doesn’t bind around my waist.. Looks cooler too! Favorite juice beverage? Americano with Matcha scoops added. Is it true you are terrified of dolphins? These questions were for someone else.. I love dolphins! I was a Greenpeace kid. 84

Where was your favorite public bathroom? Any skatepark.

Worst advice your dad has ever given you. Pops always gave great advice! What happened to the last dude that gave you a motivational pat on the ass? Never had one. Most expensive thing you ever purchased? McLaren Mustang in the ‘80s. Does Jesus skateboard? He created it and did the first Christ Air through the clouds when he ascended after his resurrection. Last Christ Air? Vert ramp a few years ago :)) Worst thing about skateboarding today? There’s nothing bad about skateboarding today! Skateboarding and Christ Airs rule!


CLINT WALKER Interviewed by Bryan “Butch” Wright Photo Trevor Vaughan So to go pro for Birdhouse did you have to do the loop? You did the slip-n-slide? Yeah, I got a call from the Bird Man. Nah, we just thought it would be rad to build one, so we did. It was awesome. On the New England Ambig Tour who was the “punkest”? Haha, I’m not sure, that was past Corey’s punk stage I’m pretty sure. I think that was in between his prep/mod - sports fan look. When you were Am, how many tours did it take for you to get laid? Haha damn, that’s a hard one. The first trip I ever went on was to Europe with Birdhouse and I know I was really determined to just skate as much as I could on that trip, I wasn’t worried about girls at all. So, maybe the 2nd or 3rd? Other than you, who has the best filmed Ollie Body Varial? I’m not really sure, I don’t really like seeing people do them the late way. Ollieing and then turning… I do it as one motion. Someone did one in the last Transworld video that was pretty good over a flat gap, it may have been Danny Garcia. Not sure though. They are still dumb as fuck, I just happened to get good at them. 86

Is Corey as punk as he seems? Fuck no. Corey is rad. Now he’s all biker. He’s just a little mixed up as to what he wants to be

when he grows up. I hope he starts dressing as an astronaut soon. I love Corey though, he’s the man. Taco Bell or Del Taco? Del Taco for sure, Double Del Burgers are so good! How many boys did you kiss after winning King of the Road? Zero? Was I supposed to?! There are probably some boys cuter than some of the ugly girls I kissed on KOTR though. Heelflips or Kickflips? Kickflips, but I can’t KF Crook to save my life. Who’s the best photographer? Trevor Vaughan. Best fuckin’ friend and best photog. He kills it. Who’s your best friend? I don’t really have one single best friend. I have a group of friends who I want to be around all the time ‘cause they rule; Dirty, Clive, Scart, Tvaughan, Mills, K-walks. I’ve been close to those dudes for a while. I love ‘em all. You should smoke because you’d look cooler, don’t you think so? Probably not. Cigs are gross, and weed makes me turn into a 12 year old girl.



TOMMY CHONG Interviewed by AB Photo Neil Visel First off, do you smoke cigarettes? No. Does Pennsylvania still hate you? No, just that one courthouse. One Judge, Judge Schwab. Where is the van from Up In Smoke now? I think it’s in the desert somewhere. Actually, Cheech’s cousin is living in it. How many times a day do you say “heavy shit”? 5 or 6. How often did Ashton Kutcher bother you while filming “That 70’s Show”? One time. He overheard me talking about starting a TV show, and he wanted in. Do you still have your original denim vests and jackets from Cheech & Chong? I have some of them, but I’m waiting until they rise in value, and then I’ll sell ‘em on eBay.


How stoked were you to be featured on Tom Penny’s Pro Model skate deck? I was really stoked when they started paying us for it!

Do any of your current vehicles have shag carpet or tassels? No, that’s Cheech. Mine are very sophisticated. When you get pulled over, do the cops automatically search your car, or just ask for a photo and autograph? Both. Usually they search the car, and then they ask for the autograph. How hard did you laugh when you found out Cheech was playing a cop role on Nash Bridges? I didn’t laugh as hard at that as I did when I found out he was a love interest on Cagney & Lacey. I was in jail when I heard about that and I laughed all night. Have you ever completely shaved your beard? One time and I almost got deported. What percentage of sales do you get from the crappy pre-made Cheech and Chong Halloween costumes at Party City? Less than 0%. We’ve been ripped off so many times. We see it as free advertising. Keeps our name alive.







FAC E B O O K . C O M /6 8 6 686.COM



@ 686


BLAKE ANDERSON Interviewed by AB Have you jumped off of any roofs again since you broke your back? I wouldn’t call what I did breaking my back, it’s more like a form of hardcore self chiropract-ing. How drunk is everyone on the set of Workaholics? The only show with drunker people on it is probably COPS. What year(s) were you Richard Simmons for Halloween? I’m Richard Simmons everyday of the year, I’m Gene Simmons on Halloween. How can Alice be your boss and an Applebee’s chef at the same time? I don’t know how she does it, but her 4-Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders are fucking delicious. How many script ideas have Comedy Central denied? All of them. Fight the Power. 90

Have you figured out a way to incorporate a role for Neil Diamond in the show? No way. Neil Diamond is a BITCH and tell him I said that. I’m trying to get some celeb beef going and I’ve chosen Neil Diamond as my target, but it’s hard to get at that dude ‘cause he is not on Twitter very much. Favorite South Park episode? The one where Kenny dies. Who would you invite to your roast? Martin Lawrence… that’s it… and it wouldn’t be a roast, it’d be more like a bbq. In your book, is James Hetfield a sellout for cutting his hair? No, long hair Metallica was Cliff’s Metallica anyways. If you could go back in time 500 years what would your name be? Machiavelli. What’s the ultimate munchie food? Have you ever seen the movie “Munchies”? It’s tight. Spoiler Alert: electricity turns them to stone.

Rider: Adam Hohmeyer Photo: Waylon Wolfe

Carrabassett Valley Academy A Better Way to do School


VANILLA ICE Interviewed by AB Photo VIGA If you were black would you have gone with “Chocolate Ice”? No, more like “Mocha Frappe Rappa”. Did you ever consider fighting David Bowie? No, I would much rather invite him to Gathering of the Juggalos… and have him sing the chorus to Ice Ice Baby. How many Rip Van Winkle jokes did you deal with as a kid? Every teacher named me that after I would fall asleep in class of boredom. A quick slap of a ruler on my desk would wake me up and the teacher always said, “wake up Rip Van Winkle!” Come to think of it, that would’ve made a good rap name… The title of the record could be “Don’t Sleep on It, Creep on It”…   Why do you think R. Kelly peed on that girl? For the same reason that Justin Bieber peed on grandpa. Evidently there is entertainment value in it for them…   Who was the Miley Cyrus of your day? I know it’s strange, but probably Lil’ Kim because of all that sexual fashion/shocking media hype stuff… except Lil’ Kim could actually rap.


When was the last time you put on that leather American flag jacket? This last Halloween, I cleaned off the dust for a throwback moment and performed on the today show in New York City on stage with two

breakdancing Ninja Turtles. It was so epic, I will never forget it. Which of your mug shots is your favorite, the blonde or brunette one?  Actually both are pretty cool, the funny thing is they were both during that weekend that lasted a few years. LOL. I’m glad I can laugh about it. “We are who we are because of who we were!”   How many Carly Simon albums do you own?  I’m sorry, I’m not quite sure who that is? Wait a minute is that MC Lyte’s daughter? A new rapper from Brooklyn?   Has Ben & Jerry’s asked about naming a new ice cream flavor after you yet? Yes, “Vanilla Ice Ice Cream”; Coming soon. Then, next is “Ninja Turtle Lime Sherbet” Ha ha ha.   Now that you’ve gotten into home improvement TV, how often do you and Bob Vila kick it? Oooooooh Ninja Bob, yea. I was thinking about putting together a new performance stage show, featuring Bob Vila building a huge Ninja Turtle on stage during the performance. There just might be a problem with the sawdust skipping the turntables.   Do you ever miss being the 6th best jet ski racer in the world? Oh yeah, great memories. Many jet ski races all around the world, with 40,000 screaming people in the grandstands and lined up on the beach with more talent than Bay Watch.

TUMBLEWEED / 148, 152, 157, 158W, 161, 162W, 167W, 177W / ZERO CAMBER, ROCKER TIP & TAIL


What makes us different? • U.S. made machines = the highest quality

• Revolutionary vacuum-molding process = bigger sweet spot • Patent-pending process = most versatile manufacturing process • FULL FSC certified bamboo core = rock-solid ride • Environmentally savvy materials = RAMP green • 2 layers of carbon tip to tail, side to side = light & superior performance


Event II was recently released. It’s been a long-anticipated album. With a 13 year gap, were you guys ever worried that you may have lost some of your fan base? Del: No, because they’re the reason why I did it. It was because they kept asking me to do it. So I knew I wasn’t going to lose the fan base, because the fan has been asking me for years to hurry up and do it. Dan: We had always intended to do one; we didn’t think it would take thirteen years. Part of the reason it did was because we learned a lot more about the record after we made the first one. What I mean by that is we had fun making a futuristic rap record and after we made it, the commentary that came back, we really had to understand the present very well to talk about the future, because that’s actually one of the main sci-fi devices. I don’t think when we started the record we thought we were making a sci-fi epic, I thought we were making a cool futuristic record. As we made it we realized, ‘Oh, there is actually a sort of responsibility to ground things so you understand where you’re going,’ and that just made it a little more complicated. It took a few false starts to get going. So, the 13 year gap was worth it? Dan: You take what you have and you work with it. A lot of things have happened in the past ten years or so that were like, pertinent to what the Deltron thing was talking about. It’s also like, the concept got solidified by things such as 9/11, to the banking housing crisis, to the government declaring war without consulting the people, even to social media and how it has affected our r(evolution). Once we got on the path, and the path was made, it all made sense. We had a direction, and the direction had to do with the direction of man, the nature of man.


You have a lot of different kinds of people coming in and being featured on Event II; comedians, actors, other musicians. How was it working with these people? Dan: They’re basically all friends of mine. My whole concept using these people were they were the right people to flesh out the flesh out the feeling of the world. So, we have to have a little bit of irony, and a little bit of

ACTUALLY, AFTER DOING THIS ALBUM, I PROBABLY WILL NOT DO ANOTHER DELTRON… jokes, because I don’t want it to be so heavy that you’re listening to it and you get depressed. Kid Koala is known for using unique recordings and techniques to spin, are there any unique sounds used to create the new album that you’re excited about? Dan: Well, we have what we call the Deltron crate, with a lot of futuristic sounds and stuff. The thing about Eric that makes him a special DJ, is that he can keep everything in tune. So like, I’ll do something and when he cuts over it, it won’t clash with what I’m doing; that’s his extra-special talent. The other thing is that we’ve worked together. As soon as he hears my track he goes, “I know what you want right here,” and

Photo Damian Tsutsumida

that’s exactly what I want right there. Del, in a previous interview you were quoted as saying that George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm gave you the initial ideas for Event II, and Kid Koala is a graphic novelist. Would you say that literature is the main inspiration behind Event II, as if listeners are almost hearing a story, not reading one? Del: Actually, after doing this album, I probably will not do another Deltron, and the reason why has something to do with what you just said. It is probably better suited for something that is more of a literary thing, or even a script. It allows more freedom than the song writing process, or the musical form allows you to have.






The vocals ain’t even the main thing, as far as music is concerned; the music is the main thing. The vocalist helps convey the message I guess, but the music says so much that you can’t say in whatever language you speak. There is only so much time that you have to say what you’re going to say. Dan: Well the hardest thing about poetry is, poetry and writing is always what you don’t say. Anyone can describe something in 3,000 words; someone special can describe it in 5. Your tracks are skillfully composed, so much so that it must take a certain kind of listener to appreciate them. Can you tell the difference between your fans and fans of maybe other artists? Del: I think with this project there is a certain level of skill that, if you can appreciate it, it’s there. But, I also think it’s done in a way that even if you ain’t thinking that deep or nothin’, you will still be about hearing it and enjoy it. Some Deltron fans are really out there in the future, they really believe in conspiracy theories, trying to link up the album to whatever they’re thinking, like, “He’s the prophet! I told you this is what is going to happen! He said it!” Some fans are like that, other fans just like it. Not like it’s all that deep or nothin’, they just really like it, know what I mean? There’s both extremes and everything in between. Dan: Yeah exactly, I kinda look at it in terms of watching The Simpsons. You watch The Simpsons and you realize there are crazy political undertones, or you can watch The Simpsons and see Homer strangle Bart, and either way is a valid way to enjoy it. Some people get both parts of that, some will get one or the other part, and that’s just fine because if everyone thought exactly the same, the world wouldn’t be that interesting.


The music video for “City Rising from the Ashes” is both visually exciting and mentally stimulating. It’s hard to picture our world in disarray, where children are left alone. Whose concept was that and was the vision captured? Del: Go overseas or something, you’ll see it.

THINGS NEED TO BE LABELED LIKE, COUNTRY NEEDS TO BE LABELED COUNTRY, ROCK NEEDS TO BE LABELED ROCK, Dan: It’s going back to the nature of man, the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, which in my mind is really one of the main things… what Deltron is about. It’s about the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. So, once you use that as a baseline point, you can see all these things possibly happening. You can sorta see the direction… and if it’s more bleak or more industrial or whatever, it’s still alright. The future still has the cities and the narratives and all that. It just depends on what part of the world you’re in, or worlds I suppose, at this point. Deltron talks a lot about the future of the world, the future for the economy and personal outlooks. Speaking on it more, where do you see the future for America? Del: For America? I don’t know really, to tell you the truth. I try not to pay too much attention to America, they do what they wanna do, usually, they tend to do what they wanna do. So, I’mma say it like this, if you’re living here, you’re probably in a good situation. We’re kind of privileged here. Not everybody else in the world is as privileged as we are. Dan: The fact that we are privileged is great, but

BUT, YOU CAN’T JUST GO TO THE STORE AND HAVE SOMETHING CALLED “MUSIC”. also the other part is that we don’t really have a say. I think we can maybe go back to the Iraq War, where we were supposed to have Congress approve the war and all of a sudden Bush goes, ‘I want to have a war because I feel like having a war.’ It just takes away the invisible wall where you’re like, ‘We have power, we have a say,’ and all of a sudden it’s pulled away, and then you don’t actually have a say. Not that the government isn’t there to help us on some general principle level, but the fact of the matter is, we are not dictating the government. Del: Power can be abused. It is very easy to be abused. It takes somebody of high virtue to not abuse power when they get it, because it’s tempting. You three all have distinct styles and talents. The Automator is a classically trained violinist. What musicians influenced each one of you the most? Dan: Basically, classical music has an influence on me in terms of strings and that kind of thing but, I got a rap background. Public Enemy, and The Bomb Squad, are big influences to me in

just terms of hip hop. I listen to a million kinds of records, and ultimately I stop listening when I start making a record. They’re a foundation of who I am, but I don’t want to have an overriding influence when I am working on a record. All this stuff has influenced my growth over time, and all the bands I’ve worked with as well, because you learn something every time you work with somebody. Del: I get a lot of inspiration from anime, and some science fiction. I’m not hella into science fiction but, I like writing science fiction and studying science fiction. I just wanted to have more of a general idea of what was tasteful, as far as that’s concerned. Manga, Japanese Comedies, Japanese Cartoons, video games, those types of main influences. I’ve studied music theory myself, so I understand music, but all three of us understand music. Eric is a great piano player, he knows key changes really well and tension notes. When he’s on a turntable he plays it like an instrument, where it’s all tuned up and interesting. That’s why he’s the most talented DJ in the world. A lot of people would consider you guys alternative hip hop, how do you guys define Deltron 3030… or is it even worth a definition? Del: I would probably define it more in rock terms than anything because it has those elements in it. If you had to put it somewhere in the record store where you could find it, hip hop or rock would be fine. Dan: Things need to be labeled, country needs to be labeled country, rock needs to be labeled rock, but, you can’t just go to the store and have something called “music”. If you did have that, then that’s what it is, it’s “music”. We do everything. Del uses rhymes, but we also have singing on the record, we also have orchestration, we have rock band stuff, we have classical music on it. But yeah, it ultimately, if you put it in the hip hop section because the guy rhymes,


said, I would rather suffer than spend my whole life making music that I didn’t like. You need enough to live. Of course, there’s the quality of life, like, I don’t want to go back to living in my parents basement but, at the same time, the real pure joy out of everything is not pure high art, but making what you want to make and expressing it. Del: As an artist, that’s what matters to you. Those type of things, that matters to artists. Dan: Commerce and art are two different things, without a doubt. Not to say you can’t do both. But commerce and art are two different things. that makes sense to me. But at the same time, if there really was a music section, then this would be a prime candidate to be a “music” record. So, you’re all seasoned vets in the music industry, but you all still have a pure love for your craft. How do you guys stay cemented in these values without being attracted to the glory of excessive wealth and fame that can be found in mainstream hip hop? Del: I don’t care about none of that stuff. Fame and wealth, doesn’t matter, none of that stuff matters. Of course I want to be able to live comfortably. If I’m working, I want to get paid for working. But as far as being able to just floss on everybody with hella cash, and just be gaudy with it and all that, I’m not interested in that. I probably wouldn’t change the way that I live now, which is pretty simple. I would probably get more equipment; better sound, or something so I could make better music. That’s probably what I would do with a fraction of the money. I would probably help people that I know with the rest of it.


Dan: I’ve known Del for a long time, and that is exactly 100% right there. Me, personally, I’ve had different records of different sale numbers and what not, some have gone really big and some have gone really underground. Really, to be honest, I don’t care. I’m just happiest when I’m making music. And once again, like Del, I mean, I like to live comfortably, I don’t want to suffer for art if I don’t have to. But, that being

Del: I will say that I do enjoy figuring out how you can make something that keeps the art aspect and is still commercially viable, there’s a way that you can do it. I enjoy figuring out ways to try and do that. Dan: We have done it. Me and Del did it together with the Gorillaz and stuff, we’ve done it. I have a few friends that started out very true with art, then started making a lot of money, and started getting caught in the money cycle, and then they burned out after a few years. They just don’t like it anymore because they were real artists in the beginning, and when the money thing happened, they just kept making money, then it became a job, and they kind of killed the art. So what artists are you guys listening to these days? Del: I listen to Earl Sweatshirt quite a bit. I listen to Vince Staples quite a bit. Pro Era, Joey Bada$$. Zombie, I listen to him too. I listen to School Boy Q, the whole Black Hippy Crew, I dig all of them dudes. Ya know, Kendrick Lamar and all them. Is there anything you want to add in? Del: Yeah, let me say thank you to all the fans out there, you know what I’m saying. I’ve tried to go through more stuff with the fans reaction, and how they responded to the first one. So, a lot of thought was put into that, and how they appreciated it, to bring this one to y’all. So, I hope you all enjoy it.


BROOKE FREDERICK Interviewed By AB Photos Brooke


When you first see the photos of stiff and bloated corpse’s, you start to think about what kind of photographer would want to shoot this stuff for fun? Who, in their right mind, would ask to get in the coroner’s office during their free time to take photos of a bunch of dead bodies? Meet Brooke Frederick. She’s not a psycho, just a truly passionate photographer from Southern California with an eye for the obscure. She also takes lots of photos of really pretty models, so I guess that balances out the crazy factor.



Death seems to be commonplace in a lot of your work, as well as sexual themes. What was your childhood like? Funny enough, I had a pretty normal middleclass kind of childhood. I grew up in Southern California, by no means had a hard life, definitely middle-class. I kind of grew up in like, a very sugarcoated environment, obviously God bless my parents. They wanted me to be in the best possible situation, the safest schools, safest neighborhood, things like that. I mean, I hate to say it but, it’s kind of like a normal Americana type of upbringing. I wasn’t struggling, I went to good schools, I got good grades, you know, had a group of friends, so, yeah, it was kind of normal I guess... Did you always want to do photography and how did you end up getting into it? No, I did not always want to do photography. I never really knew what I wanted to do until I started getting pressure when you’re supposed to decide what you want to do. I originally wanted to do fashion design and I think that might be because my older sister wanted to do it, so that was what I wanted to do. Then in high school, I took a photography class, I got a camera from my photography teacher and just started messing around to see pictures of my friends. I called them photo adventures. When I got my license we would just drive all over the place and yell and just take weird pictures of each other all over town. So, that’s when it kind of started. I always just thought that it was something we were doing for fun until I realized at one point it was all I wanted to do, I wanted to try to make a career out of it, and try to make money. So, I actually started pursuing it a couple years out of high school.


How do you get access to some of these crazy places and people, and taboo situations? Who comes up with the ideas and themes? People ask me this all the time. I’m not going to lie, it helps that I’m a little white blonde girl. I kind of use that to my advantage in some of these situations. Honestly though, I ask. I’ve


realized there are so many people out there that think, “Oh, no. No, don’t ask her,” and are too scared, or they think that it’s just like an automatic no but for instance, I went to the LA County Coroner’s Office, and I e-mailed him. I was like, “Hey, I’m doing a report on death in Los Angeles, can I get a tour?” And he was like, “Yeah, that’s fine. Come in.” I’m just semi-honest, and if I’m just asking them one person to another, I can have this access. Most of the time I’ve had good responses, people are up for it. A lot of my street photography stuff it’s the exact opposite where I don’t ask at all. There are moments where it’s just a split second and you have to catch it. If you ask






or if you change the situation, the picture will be different. So there are times where I literally just have to drop everything, or screech to a halt in my car and get out, and just shoot really fast, and then carry on. I’ve had people yell at me for doing that because I literally will like, black out, and I just have to get the shot and nothing will stop me. I’ll take the shot and sometimes throw people off, so there are different methods. Certain times I ask, certain times I just guerilla style go for it. What is it about film for you? I’m only shooting film still. My photography classes from when I got my first camera for Christmas was film, so it’s kind of just always been how photography is. I never really thought about it as digital or film, it’s always just been film for me. In college they sort of introduce digital, which I definitely appreciate. I always say, “I know how to use it.” I’m familiar with it, but for me it’s just the way the photos come out, they’re never really the same. I can never

be totally happy with a digital photo. It just never comes out how I want it to and I think it also helps with the simplicity of a film camera where you kind of know it, and you can shut your eyes and work it, you don’t really have to fumble with it. Everybody has their ways they shoot, and film is just so much more fluid for me. I think that it’s just something I’m used to, and it’s just also, at the end of the day, the surprises in film and the overall look is kind of what I enjoy, you know? Totally. What are your thoughts on Instagram and the ideas behind it, and all these other digital platforms where everyone thinks that they’re a photographer now? It does suck that there are so many people out there who are quote unquote photographers, and it kind of makes me angry sometimes but, I can’t get too mad because I’m totally on Instagram. I want more followers, and I hope this gets a lot of likes so, I can’t be that mad because really I’m playing into it too.



To be honest, I guess you could say my iPhone is like my digital camera, it’s the only digital camera that I carry around with me, technically. I like to be able to showcase my work, and have it reach people a lot easier because you know a lot of people don’t know to go to my website, don’t know right off the bat who I am. It’s kind of a great platform for that, I like to take it seriously in a way where I want people to see that I’m an artist. Even with my Instagram photos I spend a lot of time trying to make them look good. 110

How would you describe your work to an outsider? This is tough. Take someone in line at a grocery

store, I’d probably say, “I shoot documentary kind of stuff, but in an unconventional way.” I don’t really feel like I have to shoot whole stories like a news photographer does. I like to document everyday life. I like to put myself in situations that I think are interesting, and shoot people that I find there. I like to be on the road, so I shoot a lot of weird situations that I get myself into, and like ‘to document the weird’. I like weird things, and I like photography so, I seek out, weird, fucked-up situations or people that I find interesting or out of the norm. I sort of start from there, and shoot from there, and then I like to see what happens next. It’s kind of like documenting my

own adventures I guess, and the people that I meet along the way. You’ve traveled to different parts of the world, but Americana seems to be one of your favorite subject matters. Is that correct? I’m really into it so far. It’s funny because I just went to Russia and I’m having a small photo show with my Russia photos tonight actually, which is good. Aside from that, I just feel that from traveling abroad you appreciate where you are from, and where you do belong. I’m like, such an American. It’s somewhere I can fit in and belong, and it’s totally mine to explore. I go all over the U.S. and really, it’s kind of yours. That’s why I love it so much, and there’s just so much out there. There’s so much waiting to be shot; so much good material that I want to go explore. The U.S. is so huge, and there are so many different places and niches, and weird cultures and subcultures. I’ve traveled some, and I’ve done a few road trips, but I have not even been to a quarter of the U.S. in full. It’s just so big, there’s so much stuff to shoot. I’m just fascinated like, “wow, look at these tractors,” stuff that everybody else in that town would be like, ‘really? why are you looking at that?’ That’s normal, or that’s just Joe over in the corner, but I’m like, “Oh my god, Joe!” Have you ever been denied access to anything that you were dying to shoot? I have been, so I keep bringing it up, but I got access to the L.A. County Coroner’s Office, which was awesome. It was obviously really intense and gnarly. Since then I’ve been trying to do works with a mortuary, or a mortician, someone like that. I’ve been trying to reach out and really get a behind-the-scenes look like, maybe an embalmer, where their job is to prepare the dead and put makeup on them. It’s so weird and fascinating to me. I’ve been trying so hard to get access to that. I’ve been e-mailing, I’ve been doing flyers and I’ve applied for jobs on Craigslist. I applied the other day for a mortuary assistant job. I’ve just been trying every angle, and

nobody’s replying, I’m not getting hired but I’m not done trying. I’m still going to keep on and see what happens, but I’ve hit so many walls. I know it’s just because death has so many boundaries that I would have to cross but, people overreact about the dead. I’m so numb to it now, especially after going to the coroner’s office, where I can handle it but, people are too sensitive about it. Do you think that’s one of the keys to succeeding in photography these days, to just be ultra-dedicated to it and immerse yourself in something that may not be exactly your career field, but you could totally benefit from it because of the access provides? You have to eat, breathe, sleep photography, or whatever your career path is, but especially photography because of the competition, because everybody can be a photographer. I feel like it just has to be constantly on your mind. I’m always trying to think of something, or trying to link up what I’m doing and how it can affect a project in the future. You can be good at photography, you can be good at lighting, you can really have it down to a science, and you can make money that way. You can make money being a product photographer, shooting pretty models. That’s one thing, but I feel like if you really want your career to be something that you’re completely happy with creatively, I feel it just has to be your whole life. Do you have plans for another book? Yes, and it’s actually what we’ve been talking about the whole time. In April I’m planning on buying a teardrop trailer. I’m doing a full American tour. I’m going to take at least three months, but I’d like to take six. I’m pretty sure I’m going by myself, but there might be people meeting up with me. I really want to do an indepth tour and be able to explore and be able to meet people. I just want to take a bunch of portraits of different people. My plan is to have a photo show for it, and then make a huge fat coffee table book with all of the stuff that I shoot. So what’s the time-frame on that? I’ve just nailed down that it’s officially happening, so as of right now, I’m prepping, budgeting.



I’m trying to get the money together, and I’m leaving April 1st. I’m trying to be out definitely all the way into summer, but hopefully until the end of summer. I grew up always traveling with my family and stuff. I just loved driving, and seeing all these little towns and the little things that they have. They all have their little claim to fame. You’ve done stuff for a couple of big companies. Are you freelancing all over the place, working for a few companies, or are you mainly focusing on private projects? I’m definitely freelancing. To be honest, I’m not doing a ton of jobs but, I’m freelancing and there are a couple of companies that I really love and I want to work with so, I’ll try to work out stuff with them. At the same time, I went to Art Center and the one thing that I’ve realized, especially because I went to a very commercialbased school is that it’s one thing to get a good job. Maybe it pays great or it’s for a big company, but if you don’t get your creative freedom, or you don’t get to do what you would normally want to do, or if you’re not proud of what you shot to the point where you wouldn’t even put it on your own website, or you wouldn’t even be stoked to tell anybody about, it’s those jobs I’m trying to stay away from. I know I shouldn’t be picky, especially because I’m so young in such a big industry, but because I try to really value my work and my creativity, I really want to work with people that want to be creative with me.


You just did a photo session with a model in New York City for a week, correct? Yeah, I met her over in L.A. She’s one of my best friends, a lot of the models that I use in my photos are some of my really good friends. I prefer to shoot people that are comfortable with me and I’m comfortable with. That could be some-

one I’m just meeting, but regardless, I shoot a lot of my friends just because of the comfort that comes through when we are shooting. You can just tell in the photos, we’re comfortable with each other, and it’s not awkward. We’re not posing, this is real life, and it does have the more documentary/lifestyle feel. I like to shoot models that I can be friends with, so we can go out and do real-life things, and I just document it. I’m not setting up fashion shoots where we’re posing in front of a wall. If I can take a friend with me, and we can put on cool clothes, and she can do weird shit in front of the graveyard then, even better. It’s just like being able to shoot fashion in a way that’s still documentary and lifestyle, and the way that I like to shoot everything else. Last question. What do you need to do that you haven’t done yet? I feel like a ton. Number one, get shit done. I need to do more commercial work. I’m not going to lie, I’ve done a lot of personal projects but, I feel like I also need to do more work with clients and with different brands. I think it would be good for me professionally to have to work with clients, I think it’s just a good practice and, if I want this to be my career, obviously I have to. So, that’s one, and then two is, I need to try to do a really monumental personal project, and I hopefully need to get recognized for it. I’m being honest. I’m hoping that the U.S. tour may be one of those things. I’m just, so close to being where I want to be, I just have to break through this one final creative wall, and really showcase my work in the way that I want to. I feel like that’s my main thing that I need to get done right now. Any shout-outs anyone you’d like to say thanks to? Let’s say thanks to Kayla Kelly!




Twenty years ago, the hip hop world was flipped upside down when a group of nine MCs joined forces to create the most influential and powerful musical groups of all time. This group did not just deliver dope tracks and poetically infused lyrics, they created a culture of expression that revolves around music, art, clothing, and an overall awareness of self. Faithful followers know that The Wu-Tang Clan is not only

one of the most unique hip hop groups to ever exist, they know that The Wu-Tang Clan is, and will forever be, a brotherhood, a movement and a shared cultural phenomenon. I had the opportunity to speak about the past twenty years and the future for the Wu with Cappadonna, the Clan’s 10th “unofficial” member, and Power, rap mogul and executive producer of all Wu-Tang Clan albums. By Ellen Fleming Photos Nico Skgz



“It was basically just a concept, it was no get rich scheme, we didn’t talk about how much money we were going to make, it was just this whole concept about how we were going to affect people, and change what we were doing every day, at least try to,” Power explained. The Wu-Tang clan accomplished just that. The Wu-Tang Clan was birthed from the streets of Staten Island. Even though Power is often credited in creating The Wu-Tang Clan, he explained that it was actually RZA’s idea, “when he said the idea first, I was looking at him a little funny…then when he broke it down, you know as a kid from the same neighborhood, watching the same movies, it automatically clicked.” Cappadonna had a hard time visualizing the future for Wu-Tang as well, and who could blame him? He believes some of the other guys might have been able to feel the future success, especially RZA, but not himself, “I was so humbled in my life, in my younger years that any amount of success on any level seemed unreachable.” “We grew up together. We all came from the same hood; we got the same common


interests. We was hustlas, little young hustlas, that did something with our talent and made it into a business…That’s what I think is one of the greatest accomplishments, how we did it. It just took a lot of hard work, determination, organization of the craft, and staying in tune to the street, what they like and what we think that they want to hear.” The Wu-Tang Clan is comprised of RZA, U-God, Raekwon, Method Man, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, GZA, Ghostface Killah and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Cappadonna was in the early stages of the Wu-Tang creation, but was replaced by Method Man when Cappadonna was sent to prison. “Everything happens for a reason,” Cappadonna explained, “…that little bit of time right there that it took for me to enter into the game was necessary…it was like an added preservative, and it was right on time. You know how they say, ‘God might be late, but he’s always on time’? Ya, that was one of those things.” It might be difficult to look past the ostentatious clothes and heavy gold chains Cappadonna is known for wearing, but his stage name

tells his real story. He chose the name Cappadonna as an acronym to express what he believes in the most: “Consider All Poor People Acceptable Don’t Oppress Nor Neglect Anyone.” For Cappadonna, that way of thought has always been in him. “We as a people need to be responsible for one another. That’s what makes the world

go round. It’s good that we share our gifts with each other for the fulfillment of our purpose on earth…It’s always been in me. I realized that as a kid, having my own share of homelessness and how I came up in the era that I came up in…I was born in ’68, the year Martin Luther King was killed, so a lot of that came from the energy that was in the world already…So, me sharing my gift is unlimited.”




Sharing and creating is part of the foundation of The Wu-Tang culture. This past November marked the launch of WU HA | 20 20, a yearlong initiative aimed to combine hybrid art with Wu-Tang’s 20th Anniversary celebration. The launch took place at Wallplay Gallery and was curated by Power himself, and his partner Laura O’Riley. Artists from all over have created works inspired by Wu-Tang and their symbolic “W”. Every type of medium was used in this celebration and it truly paid homage to not only Wu-Tang, but to the artists themselves. Even though the artists participating in WU HA | 20 20 felt as if they were paying

reverence to Wu-Tang for their music over the past 20 years, both Cappadonna and Power were just as strongly affected and grateful for the art commemorating their work. When asked about how so many artists took time to create art that showcases their skills and gratitude for The Wu-Tang Clan, Cappadonna said, “That’s pandemonium… For them to show such a great appreciation for our art, there’s no other success.. other than to see people all coming together for the cause and benefit of a good thing through music, through work, through clothing and just, through fulfillment on all levels.”

Power shared the emotion, “The artwork from the artists is a testament to the Clan’s hip hop and social contribution, and the effects of its unique greatness, as well as the artists greatness or their potential for greatness, all in its own right…It’s phenomenal…There are no age limits, no nepotism. If you’ve got good work, if your work is dope, then yo, shit, you get a shot. It’s definitely a beautiful thing and it’s definitely what we encourage, it’s what this culture is all about. This is just another form of pushing and expanding the culture.” One of Wu-Tang’s most recognizable tracks, “Protect Ya Neck,” was the first single off

their first album released in 1993, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. Power felt that the exhibit mimicked this incredibly influential hip hop track. “It was one of the rarest times of them being all together on one track… they actually got to showcase their talents as individuals, that made the people choose and select who their favorite artist out of the conglomerate was but, at the end of the day, the sum of the parts is never bigger than the whole. So we took that, and put it under an umbrella and gave these kids a chance.” And that is what this year long, WU HA | 20 20 celebration is all about, the Clan



joining forces with fans and artists to create something bigger than the sum of the parts, an experience and journey paying homage to the past 20 years of The Wu-Tang Clan.

Photo Elliot Goldstein

The late Ol’ Dirty Bastard was credited for preaching that ‘Wu-Tang is for the children,’ but Power makes it a point to clarify that, “Don’t get it twisted, Wu-Tang was started for and has always been about the people. The babies are just the future.” Wu-Tang is constantly involving the people in their decision making.

120 As an extension from the Clan to their fans, Power launched WuWear in 1995. WuWear was the first hip hop based clothing line that

set a precedent for future business moguls to follow. WuWear is still being produced to this day, and worn by fans all over the world. When Power set out in this creation, he did it just as a form of expression, without realizing how revolutionary this clothing line truly was. He knew two years after their release of Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers that he had to take a different approach to make history. “To create this legacy…I had to take a different route. The reality of that became the revolution of the garment renaissance, which birthed and spawned many other predecessors. There is no one that predates WuWear.” Twenty years later, Wu-Tang is continuing to further their outreach. Cappadonna joined forces with Outbreak Boards to release “The Killa Bee” line early in 2013. The iconic Killa Bee logo that is closely intertwined with the Clan, will be a part of an entire line of skateboards and custom apparel and accessories. Even though Cappadonna is a true business man, he wants to give back to the children and ultimately the people. He feels as though hip hop and skating go hand in hand. “They both allow for freedom of expression. It’s another way of getting out your aggression and your bitter energy and changing it into something positive. Also, it’s good for socializing, networking and just all around fellowship…I’m leading by example, so they might take some of these good qualities and utilize them in their own lives, knowing I have come from the same struggles as them.” All the members of The Wu-Tang Clan came from those same struggles. They shared the same neighborhood, the same upbringing and the same desire to stay brothers. The foundation of the Clan is based off of the understanding that brotherhood is of first and foremost priority. “Our brotherhood is a brotherhood of struggle, one that was put together for us to actually try and escape the neighborhood, the slums of the Wu-Tang soil.” Power avidly explained. “So that brotherhood is actually what brought us together, and what allowed us to travel the world, and bring our message to the people.

You will see the people resonate with our brotherhood just as much as we do. Wu-Tang is a brotherhood, it started as a brotherhood, it’s always going to be a brotherhood.” Cappadonna believes in the law of brotherhood, “Without the brotherhood, there’s nothing because the brotherhood is the foundation of the things that we do and the bridges we attempt to build to connect us to another. Word alone isn’t good anymore, you have to act upon your word with faith and action…That was our foundation of how we came in, that was our principle, to stand on those principles of brotherhood.” As for the future of this brotherhood…they’re not stopping. Power had hoped to have their long anticipated album, A Better Tomorrow, released on their 20th anniversary this past November. RZA has spoken out to the press revealing that certain members have been slowing down the process, and Power explained that, “RZA still made time to have everything laid out as a last supper plate for the brothers to eat off of. That’s my brother in the struggle… He put his work in, as far as whoever ain’t living up to what it is, they know who they are.” He went on to explain that he has a problem with how the album hasn’t come together. “One of the low points for me is a low point right now. Having considered November 9th being our anniversary, 20 years to the date of releasing Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers, I just have a problem with the way things came together as far as The Wu-Tang Clan is concerned, with respect to doing their work fully and paying homage to not only themselves and all of the people that worked for them and with them, but their fans.” He even went as far to say that, “To not have an album out on November 9th was despicable.” The latest update from the Clan is that the album is, “Coming Soon.” Fans are faithfully standing by to hear what is going to be delivered on this highly anticipated album. With the current rap game being completely different than when the Clan was coming up, it will be interesting to see what type of approach they take to A Better Tomorrow.



When asked about the new album, Cappadonna felt that there was nothing they could do to top what they did in the past, which is fair considering the history they have made these past twenty years. But, Wu-Tang is forever.


“The future of Wu-Tang is that Wu-Tang is always going to be the witty, unpredictable talent and natural gift, and for that, we are always going to lay down a gift for you,” Power reassures, “Wu-Tang is always going to continue to exist. Wu-Tang is like the new Def Jam to the fifth power, and it ain’t just records.” This 20th anniversary is simply a stepping stone in the continuing legacy of The Wu-Tang

saga, and this year is a year of celebration and homage to the Clan’s journey. Power believes that, “There’s nothing better than to break bread, celebrate, laugh, enjoy and at the same time suffer with the people you came up with,” and that is the Wu-Tang brotherhood. They will forever go on to create a culture laced with original music and beats, a culture born from struggle with the desire to grow beyond one’s surroundings. Cappadonna said that if Ol’ Dirty Bastard could say anything to the group, “He would say ‘Yo man, I want my spot back,’” and that’s because the legacy of Wu-Tang is the strongest in hip hop history, and will only continue to grow stronger.

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CAETANO CALOMINO Can you imagine trying to learn a trade of any type, with no professional, or anyone from that trade to apprentice under? How about learning a trade and having no local access to the necessary tools and supplies? Or what about learning a trade that few people in your home country are even aware exists? Those are the odds Caetano Calomino has had stacked against him as he perfects sign painting in his native country of Brasil. Despite the difficulties he’s faced, Caetano has managed to persevere. On top of that, he’s got some pretty damn good work to show for a short amount of time too.


Interviewed By AB Photos Caetano Calomino



Where are you from and how did you get started with sign painting? I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, in 1981, but I moved around a lot. Most of my teenage years were spent in a small town a couple of hours away from Rio called Nova Friburgo. I spent one year as an exchange student in the U.S. in St. Augustine, Florida, then came back to Rio, and now S達o Paulo where I am currently living.


I was working as a lettering artist when, during some research on vintage lettering, I came across a video of a guy loading a lettering brush and painting a glass sign. I was perplexed by the

way the brush hair was moving and making the letters with no more than four or five strokes. The sharpness of the edges, the corners, it all seemed like magic to me at the time. It was right then and there that I decided to learn what ever that was called. I started researching all over the internet for more information since I already knew that traditional sign painting was long gone in Brasil, and there would be no one here to learn from. It took me a few months to figure out what the materials were and a little bit about the techniques, and then a few more months to buy

I CAN S A Y SK ATEBOARDING IS ONE OF THE B I G G E S T INFLUENCES IN M Y L I F E them online since you can’t get them anywhere around here. After all this, I finally started practicing and posting some paintings on social media, and from then on started making contact with other sign painters around the world. One of these sign painters was Mike Meyer from Minnesota, he invited me to visit his studio and offered to teach me the fundamentals and proper techniques that you can’t learn from a book or an article on the internet. He made a big impact in my work, and I will always be grateful.

I noticed a lot of your work is written in English? Most of my personal projects are written in English. I’ve always been heavily influenced by American culture, and me being an exchange student in the U.S. made that even more obvious. I also think that since I work with letters, and letters depend on the language to effectively communicate, I decided to use English. As far as I know it is the most common second language in the world. What’s the business like in Brasil for a sign painter? Are traditional sign painters still sought after? It has been getting better. When I first started to offer my work as a professional sign painter, people were very suspicious about it. They didn’t believe that you could do what they needed to get done by hand, and that it would look a lot better than if they used computer graphics and a vinyl cutter. Yet, every time I convinced a client to let me do the job by hand they would notice the difference right away, and so would their customers. There is no better PR than a happy client. Traditional sign painters haven’t been sought after for decades around here. The only remaining guys that can be called a sign painter in Brasil are in small towns or poor communities, and they’ve only survived in those places because computers and vinyl are not around yet. Most of them only know one or maybe two alphabets that they were taught by an older man or a family member. From May until today, I noticed that clients have been looking a lot more; not just for sign painting, but for all types of handmade crafts. I have many friends in calligraphy that have been asked more and more to paint windows and walls for businesses. What’s the hardest part of your job? The hardest part of my job is to be away from everything and everyone that has something to do with it. That makes even the smallest things a lot harder sometimes. For example, you can’t buy good lettering enamel out at a store here. The only way to get it is to travel abroad, buy it, and take it back with you. If you need a new brush you need to order it online,




wait for a couple of months, and hope that the Brasilian IRS doesn’t charge you a tax fee of about 60%. I remember having this nightmare where I opened my cans of paint and they were all empty! Not to mention that I don’t have an older and more experienced sign painter that I can see working and learn from.


You’ve done some hand painted skate decks, do you skate or is it just a cool surface to work on? Here in Brasil, we say that when a boy is born the first gift he gets is a soccer ball. Well, I did

get my soccer ball but, I never really liked it that much. When I was old enough to ask for things I asked my parents for a skateboard, I was about five years old. I used to love going to the skate shop near my house to look at the board graphics. Even if I was shopping for wheels I had to spend a good amount of time looking at the boards. After awhile I started copying them at home and I never stopped drawing or skating to this day. I can say skateboarding is one of the biggest influences in my life. So, when I paint a skate deck, I go back to being the kid staring intently at the deck wall, and imagining how cool it would be to make one of those.

Tell me about the project you did for MTV Brasil? That was a fun project to do even though it was their last. After that another TV company was going to buy them out, and all the VJ’s and directors were to be fired. So, they decided to go out in style, they made wooden boxes (the kind people use in photo shoots), painted in the same green you use in Chroma keying, and asked me to hand letter and stripe the names of all the VJ’s and directors that worked there since the beginning on each box. There were 50 boxes in total, by the time I was done I never wanted to see that kind of green ever again, but



I had developed a new script alphabet. I know you also teach sign painting, have you found the younger generations to be as receptive to the art/trade? Definitely! Since I started teaching the sign painting classes in May, I’ve gotten in contact with more than 180 students of all kinds of backgrounds. Most of them were looking for a way to leave the big companies and advertising agencies, and work with something more artistic, something that had real meaning for them. Even the students that were very happy with their jobs were there because clients are asking more and more for a natural look, especially in the lettering department. Hopefully we will continue to see craftsmanship appreciation increase, and be given the value it is really worth. Is it hard to make a living as a sign painter in Brasil? I can’t say it is easy, but it is not impossible. The hard part, especially here in Brasil, is that you have to educate the clients before the job starts, and that sometimes can take a lot of time and a lot of patience.


Where do you get your inspiration? I get my inspiration style-wise from the American traditional sign painting and the Filetiado Portenõ from Argentina. But I like to mix all sorts

of influences, especially calligraphy. I believe that in order to keep sign painting relevant, we must widen our scope to bring new looks and influences to the plate, otherwise it is going to become repetitive and a self indulgent trade. We must respect the past but, always look to the future. When you’re asked to do a commission, do people expect it’s going to be cheap, or do they understand how much time goes into a job? Nowadays, most of the clients that look for my work understand that the idea is not to get something fast or cheap. It’s to get something that they will appreciate, that was made just for them, and that will say something about their personality to their clients and friends. Still, every now and then I do work for advertising agencies and their work flow is very different than mine. What’s next? Next I am going to spend a couple of months in the U.S., in early 2014, and try to work alongside more experienced sign painters, so I can learn from them and improve my work. I also plan to teach as much as I can, it’s a very good way to keep myself in check, and help bring sign painting to life again in Brasil.




ONE Eyeone is an artist and graphic designer. He describes his work as “rooted in graffiti, printmaking, photography, and punk rock.� Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Eyeone now lives and works in Los Angeles. He took a moment to chat about his artistic endeavors and how his Grandmother is happy to occasionally be a lookout.

Interviewed By Johnny Hodgson Photos Eyeone



What did you have for breakfast today? I had a croissant and some coffee. In the About page on your blog, there is a black and white photo. Who is in that photo? It’s me and my Grandma, and one of my favorite toys when I was a kid. What toy? It’s from the series Kamen Rider, and it’s part of the Jumbo Machinder line, which in the U.S. was known as Shogun Warriors, like the big, almost 2 foot tall size robots. 134 Your name stems from a traumatic experience you had as a child where you nearly

went blind in one eye. What is it about a traumatic childhood experience that can push someone into the art world? I think part of it was just the fear of not being able to see and when I was able to see I was like, you know what, I always liked to doodle. I did these visual exercises to I guess, restrengthen my eye out, and part of that was looking at color shapes. So, I think that really pushed me to mess around with art a little bit more. Color shapes? There were these sets of cards with different color shapes that I had to sort of blend with my vision. Basically, the exercise consisted of

YOU CAN HAVE IT AND I HOPE YOU DO SOMETHING GOOD, BUT IF YOU GET IN TROUBLE DON’T COME LOOKING FOR ME” crossing your eyes. So I think that gave me like, a sensitive appreciation towards colors and shapes. Can you take us back to the first time you ever wrote graffiti, specifically how you asked your Grandmother for permission to borrow her can of spray paint? (Laughs) So, I used to hang out in the LA River, which was basically by my Grandma’s house and near where I live now. I would always see graffiti down there and it didn’t seem like it would be that much of an issue to paint because there was so much of it, so I went to my Grandma and I was like, ‘Hey, I kinda wanna go draw on the LA River, can I have a spray can?’, because she

used to have a bunch of different ones to paint random household things. She answered, ‘Well, you can have it and I hope you do something good, but if you get in trouble don’t come looking for me,’ and I was like ‘Alright,’ so I just took the can and me and my friends went down there and started scribbling stuff. Have you ever reminisced with your Grandmother on how her decision impacted your life? Yea, she loves it. Like, she really loves it. She has actually collaborated with me on some installations for some gallery stuff I’ve done where like, she’ll spray paint on the walls or like, she’s gone out with me too. I’ve done a series



of bus stop shelters, and she would kind of be my lookout and hang out at the bus stop while I did those. Usually we have walls that we paint, she’s really into it. You are well known for your Zapatista characters, which are mistakenly perceived as ninjas by some. Can you describe the significance of the ski mask these characters don? Well, the Zapatistas, the way they explain the use of the ski mask is, they have been a social organization for like, decades, asking for official means for the government to provide education, housing, healthcare, and they felt like that was kind of getting them nowhere. The minute they put on the ski mask was when they actually decided to declare war against the Mexican Government. It was more of a symbolic war because, obviously, they were such a small group. It’s not like they were going to overthrow the government, they just wanted to make their point that they were there. Yet, they found it ironic that once they put on the ski masks, people noticed, and listened to them a lot more, so that just became a part of what they did. As well as the obvious, they live in the mountains which get really, really cold, so that was like a normal piece of clothing you’d wear to protect yourself from the cold weather. Then also came the anonymity which makes it harder for individuals to get targeted. So that’s where they adopted the ski mask as a symbol.


When I did the characters, I thought that was the most iconic thing that would identify them, my characters, to the Zapatistas. But, I was thinking that yeah, especially in the U.S. and in L.A., and pop culture, that look could appear to be a ninja. So, it’s strange because when they got created they were within the context of the Zapatista movement, so people immediately knew they were Zapatistas. When I started painting them on the wall I would get people like, ‘Oh, cool ninjas,’ and I would have to kind of explain what they were. One of the rad things about the Zapatistas themselves is they’re comprised of different ethnic groups from Chiapas, and one of them, their own history and their own tradition, has them calling themselves like ‘the people of the bats’ in their language because they can like, be in the dark and move around at night; especially their war-

I WOULDN’T WANT TO DO IT ANYMORE IF I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE I COULD CONTINUE TO DEVELOP AND GROW. riors, like the Mayans. And so that for me that sort of melds with peoples impressions of what ninjas do as well. I kind of don’t mind the confusion but, if people ask, I’ll explain it. You often title your work after song lyrics which inspire that particular piece. What albums are in heavy rotation for you currently? Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Pretty much all of their stuff. I listen to so much, like I listened to Pink Flag, by Wire, today. I grew up on a lot of Hardcore, so I was listening to Fugazi and Uniform Choice earlier. I’m kind of all over the place but, I think my heaviest rotation would be The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. You’ve described Michio Kaku as a superhero before. What areas of science interest you the most? I’d have to say, cosmology and astronomy are the two things that make me wonder and think about like, you know, the larger scheme of things.

What was your input and experience like with the developers of the EyeWriter and Tempt One? In the documentary called, Getting Up: The Tempt One Story, it talks about the development of the EyeWriter, the system, and how Tempt has worked with it. My input early on was more consulting of the aesthetic like, what his eye movements would look like if he was writing with his hands, but I’m not a programmer or hacker or anything like that so, I basically just gave input to the guys who were doing the tech work. When it came to telling the story I did a bunch of graphics for the opening sequence of the movie, I did some logo developments, I participated in screening events where they’ll be showing the

movie, and we’ll also have a fundraiser with artwork. I’ve also done a zine that delves more into Tempt’s lettering style, with other graffiti writers and typographers analyzing his lettering, and that was used for a kickstarter campaign that was intended to raise money for the EyeWriter project and the documentary. Would you agree your work in public space is largely improvisational while your gallery work is more calculated and introverted? Yeah, I would agree. What advantages do you see in both methods? I think the outdoors stuff, the most planning that we do, especially when I’m collaborating with other



EYEONE people, I sort of figure out a basic color scheme and some ideas of what we want to be painting our characters to be. When it comes to letters it’s always the thing that like, either I’ll do my name or my crews name, or someone’s name, but that idea is kind of restyled when we’re at the place we’re going to be painting. The advantage of that is it’s kind of free-flowing, you can be bouncing ideas off of people and sort of reacting to what they’re doing, and be improvising a lot when you get that done. Also, part of the planning would be the location and that does take some thinking out, like which spot and the logistics, and all that. When I’m working on my own, I kind of call it my interior stuff or my more introspective work that I have total control over, and one piece can take me months to get done. It starts with a photograph. Then, I have to compose it which takes a lot longer, and I think the advantage of that is now I can speak more to internal things that are going on with me, things in my mind, and how I’m reacting to my environment. When I’m doing walls outside, the obvious advantage is that a lot of people see it, and I also get to collaborate with other people. That’s always been part of the type of work I like to do.


As an artist that takes on many hybrid forms of media, do you have a theme in your selection of a medium? I think I’ve actually been trying to figure out how all the different things I do coincide. I think everything sort of stems from more of a gut instinct of what I want to do at that moment. For example, right now I’m doing a lot of sketchbook work, like very traditional graffiti but, at the same time, I’m working on some features for a solo show, and I just kind of bounce back and forth because, a letter I draw in the sketchbook might lead me to think, ‘Hey I want to use this photograph that I have in my archives from when I was painting this letter somewhere else,’ it’s really fluid. I think, maybe, documentation is one of the overarching themes, but the way I apply that to the walls I’m doing outdoors is just

documenting by portraying my characters doing different things that are going on. I mean, we did a wall about Occupy and that was sort of an attempt to document what was going on in L.A., and I would say my work probably is encompassed by that as a theme like, documenting. How have you grown as an artist over the past 5 years? Graffiti-wise, I’ve been pushed to go a lot bigger and to do walls that have more of a message. Part of that is my own strive but, part of that is collaborative muscle of the people I’m painting with. In that, I think I’ve grown a lot. For my personal work I’ve grown with the different types of media I’m exploring. I think for a while I tended to document a certain type of thing, and now I’m trying to see more of a broader sampling of what’s going on around me. For a long time I was not focusing on people at all, and now I’m incorporating a lot of figures in my work. I think that’s part of exploring what people are doing in this context of the city. I don’t feel like I’m at a point where I can say ‘Oh I’ve maxed out,’ I want to be constantly growing, and I think I wouldn’t want to do it anymore if I didn’t feel like I could continue to develop and grow. What’s on the horizon for you as an artist and as a social activist? As an artist, we just wrapped up a project with the Getty Research Institute, but like, literally wrapped it up a month ago and then they started to roll out a web presence for the project. There was a book that selected a bunch of blackbook drawings from Los Angeles based graffiti artists. And people that those artists brought on that thought they were significant to their work. So, we have some tattoo writers, some photographers, some illustrators. The next thing is trying to figure out where we are going to go from that book. There are things on the horizon that would be amazing to do like show it to the public, have it become published, but all that is currently getting worked out. I think that’s going to take me through at least the middle of next year. Currently, I’m working on a new body of work for a solo show next year. Also, like I said, I’m doing a lot of sketching because I want to get the creativity kind of remixed again for what I want to do on walls. And so, sketching always brings you back to, ‘OK. What can I do next?’



GRAMATIK Gramatik is a busy, busy man. He’s a producer from Slovenia who got his start in hip-hop, sampling and looping tracks to create his own beats for an MC. Over the years, he has mastered the art of mixing — relying on no formula for the perfect track, instead just listening to what he says, ‘feels right’. He recently left Pretty Lights’ label to start his own, has collaborated with other major artists including GRiZ, and has been recording a ton of music with the guys in Exmag. His new album, The Age of Reason, expected to drop early in 2014, has a little hint of everything — some blues and funk, mixes of EDM and dubstep… the list goes on.

By Sydney Lindberg Photos Elli Lauren and Courtesy of Gramatik



This album is going to be a little bit of everything. There’s going to be a track that resembles any Gramatik era that has existed thus far. There’s something for Street Bangerz fans, No Shortcuts fans, and #digitalfreedom fans. It’s going to be 13 or 14 tracks with the most outrageous clashes of genres that I’ve ever done before. All the jazz and blues, and funk and soul, the elements that I’ve been incorporating since day one, they’ll be incorporated with all types of EDM genres that you can think of. The only tempo I don’t think I have on this album is Drum and Bass, I think everything else is accounted for.


What’s wrong with Drum and Bass? Nothing, just no drum and bass tracks made it on this album.

Gramatik started the night off with some oldies reminiscent of his Beatz & Pieces days before he dove into some of his more recent tracks that incorporate more EDM. I think the audience was surprised when Eric, the guitarist from Exmag, joined Denis on stage to jam along with the produced beats. You could see the two of them feeding off each other, and off the energy of the crowd, to create a dynamic live music experience. Of course, the whompy drops mixed in with the funky and soulful riffs did seem more intense thanks to the strobing blue and green lights. The whole EDM scene is kind of in a weird and interesting stage where a lot of things are happening on both fronts — the musical side, and the electronic side of EDM. It’s going to be interesting to see how it develops in the next couple of years.

When I was growing up and electronic music was coming out, it was enough to have a completely electronic track with no real music in it. It was something that was of interest, something that was new and innovative, but now it’s reached a point where that’s become really sterile and clinical. I think people just aren’t as impressed anymore as they used to be. So now, a bunch of artists out there are trying to bridge the gap with the old school vibe and the new school sound. That’s what I’m doing, and Exmag is doing, and Griz. We’re really trying to find the right balance between the music side and the electronic side of EDM. I think that’s what’s going to be happening over the next couple of years.

Once you find that right balance, mixing live instrumentation with EDM for crowds that understand and enjoy the old school vibe of music, the way it was in the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s, it’s hard to go back from that. It has been for me at least. Ever since I successfully blended my favorite part of electronic music with my favorite part of soul or blues from the 60’s, now I just can’t stop doing it. It just feels so... right, you know? For the first time ever, it feels like we’re combining it right in the golden middle. In my eyes, I hope that’s how EDM is going to develop over the next couple of years. We’ll see what happens.




The music scene is all about developing progression and incorporating live instrumentation right now… but how do you find that perfect balance? I have no fucking idea. I’m just a vessel. I just do whatever feels right at the moment. Sometimes it doesn’t feel right, sometimes it feels right, and it’s up to us to capture those moments because we’re a slave to our own creative impulses.

Weed. We go nowhere without weed.

You’d have to be crazy to want to give it all up. I had met up with Denis in the green room before his show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. Muddy Waters was playing on the stereo, a beautiful girl was sprawled out across an oversized armchair (who I later learned to be Larissa, also from Slovenia), and a blunt was already in rotation.

How so? It’s important that all twelve people that are on the bus actually care about personal hygiene. It makes it a lot easier to travel like that. If you have a bunch of people that don’t give a shit in those situations — it’s pretty intense. Some people don’t give a fuck about personal hygiene, and they’re just used to living in filth.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. It’s the one thing he always carries with him on tour.

It’s a crazy lifestyle living on a bus with twelve people traveling around the world. You’ve definitely got to be relaxed. We’re like vampires. We sleep in like, coffin bunks during the night and drive to another state. It’s an interesting dynamic.

It may get dirty, but at least you’re living with twelve of your best friends (I hope). Right now, Gramatik is traveling with HeRobust and Exmag.

Exmag was started by Eric Mendelson and Tyler Dondero while Eric was playing guitar with Denis at Gramatik shows. They were all living together in Brooklyn at the time. Along with Mike Iannatto and ILLUMNTR, the five producers of Exmag plan to take over the universe one space babe at a time (according to their Facebook page). I just tagged along on the project as the guy that’s going to make everything sound well, and make sure everything is recorded properly. We recorded something like 40 songs in a matter of two months, so now we’re going to release like 2 or 3 albums gradually over time.

If all goes well, the Exmag album is going to come out in December on Lowtemp, a label started and managed by Gramatik with the sole purpose to release his own music and the music of his friends. They’re not accepting demos because he said he wants to still have a life… or whatever is left of it anyways. When you’re focused on a solo career, a label, a friend’s side project and a supergroup collab with GRiZ, a musical pioneer incorporating his love of the saxophone with his embellished jazz melodies and pounding bass. Together, they’ve come to be known as Grizmatik.



We’re still trying to figure out what to do with Grizmatik. We’ve only made two tracks so far. We’re talking about making an EP sometime in the near future when we each have some time off from our own careers. So, we’ll see what happens with that. We don’t have any specific plans because it just kind of... happened. We didn’t even plan on making this project; people made it for us. When we made that first track we started getting offers for Grizmatik shows, like, immediately. So, we were like, we’re doing this now? It just happened like it was meant to be. Yeah, and so now we want to keep it an exclusive thing, like four or five times a year at festivals or other special occasions. We just did that Halloween run at First Bank, and Denver and Milwaukee.


Dude, the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee was really insane, I couldn’t believe that show. People love supergroups. For some reason when people get together and form supergroups it creates a lot of hype, especially in the EDM scene.

That Halloween run was a really cool experience. We had so much fun. Glad to hear it. If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow it would be in... I don’t know… it’s hard to decide… Fiji? I’d have to take the whole crew with me. It would just be us on a private island. Did you know that you can actually buy an island in Fiji for 100 years? It’s a lease for 100 years for $450,000. It’s pretty awesome. A private island with friends where you can smoke all the weed you want and watch hours upon hours of TV. By the way, I had to ask what Gramatik thought about the end of Breaking Bad. It was awesome. That’s it? It was awesome? There’s nothing else to be said. It was everything that I imagined. And so goes my night with Gramatik. It was awesome. It was everything that I imagined.



Worship The Sun Words Taylor Kendall

I HAVE A QUESTION... Who Are You? No really, like, who are you? Your responses could be along the lines of, I am a human being, I am a girl or boy, I am a skateboarder, I am a loner, I am my dad’s son, an American, an earthling. I am a punk rocker, a photographer, a scientist. But these are just things. Lots of other people are those things too. What are these things? Some are ‘professions’, some are passions, some are personality traits, some are just facts of events past, or a statement of what you do.

space, galaxies form, and these elements become the building blocks by which our planet, our atmosphere, and consequently, our Lives, come into existence. That is just WHAT you are, physically. WHO you are is a complete individual, yet, you are just a partial representation of everything that makes up this life; all of these elements, as well as all the possible ideas that could ever be conceived. To be simple, you can call yourself a Soul, transmitted through your physical brain, living in a ‘Mind’, as this ‘Consciousness’, which all together, You identify as You. You are the same as everyone else, just this collection of stardust, which houses this magical, unseen presence called a Conscience. Scientists are still learning more about consciousness everyday.

Who. Are. You? You are stardust. Every (non man-made) element in the periodic table is created in the core of every gigantic star in space, within the last few seconds of its life right before it bursts. The temperature gets so hot from the pressure, and the star’s core consumes so much energy that it burns through all the smaller elements like Carbon and Helium, and they react together to create bigger, more complex elements. This is when the most precious of metals are created like Silver, Gold and Platinum.


This is why those metals are in fact so valued, and rare, because initially they can only come into existence during the last few microseconds in the life of a star. When the star dies, it erupts, and all these elements that were created within the core of the star are shot out into space at an incredible rate. As debris and gas collect in

Who you are is the same as Who they are. You and I are the same. We are all made of the same things, in the same place, operating in the same fashion, with the same choices, and the same goals. You can’t be everywhere at once, but together, WE are everywhere at once. We are the Collective Conscience. We are the Dreamers who Create Reality by our Presence, and we Grow through Love. We Have A Dream, to Live, Individually, Together. Admit to What You Don’t Know. Open Up to Learning. Find What You Love. Be Good at What You Do. It’s the purpose of Being, Who You Are. Choose Wisely. You Are Loved. (Good or Evil * Truth or Lie * Positive or Negative * Love or Fear * Grow or Decay)


41695 ELM ST. MURRIETA, STE 102 CA 92562 149


Ten percent of the Russian Government’s income comes from the sale of vodka. You share your birthday with at least 9 million other people in the world. The purpose of the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle is to strengthen the structure of the bottle and to trap the sediments in the wine.

Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can. When he passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in one. Truman Show Delusion is a mental condition marked by a patient’s belief that he or she is the star of an imaginary reality show. There really was a Captain Morgan. He was a Welsh pirate who later became the Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica.


40% of all people who come to a party in your home snoop in your medicine cabinet. All of the clocks in “Pulp Fiction” are stuck on 4:20.

Dougie B. say’s that 30 Issues ain’t shit.

The original Space Jam website still exists.



EDGE OF THE WORLD Hours Monday-Saturday: 10am-7pm Sun: 11pm-5pm (406) 721-7774 618 S. Higgins Ave. Missoula, MT 59801 Best Local Food Biga Pizza, Saw Wa Dee (Thai) Closest Park/Resort MOBASH Skatepark, Montana Snowbowl Points of Interest Amazing rivers, mountains and tons of open space. Public Transportation Mountain Line Bus, (big bike town too) Off Days Float the river, hiking, camping, tons of outdoor events all year long.


Local Night Life Great concerts, dance parties, local breweries and plenty of good bars.

Up in the great white north of Western Montana, there resides one of the best snow/skate shops the world has ever seen; Edge of the World. Specializing in all things über-awesome, Edge of the World has the friendliest staff this side of the Crab Nebula and an atmosphere to die for. Come skate our amazing mini ramp, say “Hi!” to “The Boss” or just chill in our lounge and catch up on your favorite new shred flick. EOW is also home to B.O.M.B. (Board of Missoula Brand) Skateboards; Montana’s longest running skateboard company featuring amazing artwork from Montana skate artists as well as the MSA (Montana Skatepark Association), a Non-Profit group focusing on bringing quality skateparks to Montana communities. Don’t be shy, stop on by!




Team Marley kicking it in NYC; Luis Tolentino, Danny Supa, Pat Hoblin, Karl Watson

#LIVEMARLEY BOB MARLEY™ MARLEY™ ©Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd., 2014. Right of Publicity and Persona Rights – Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd.

© 2014 One Love Foundation.™ Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. All Right Reserved. Used Under Authorization.




Steez Magazine Issue 30  

Steez Magazine Winter Issue 30 2014. Featuring an Argentina Checking In, Aleksandra Derikonja Show & Tell, Winter Product Review, Silver an...

Steez Magazine Issue 30  

Steez Magazine Winter Issue 30 2014. Featuring an Argentina Checking In, Aleksandra Derikonja Show & Tell, Winter Product Review, Silver an...