This past week I had the pleasure of catching up with long time friend Alex from Black Market Art. I wanted to share the knitty-gritty on Black Market/Lowbrow Art company. Sourpuss carries a variety of the collection of their tattoo tees.
•Sourpuss (SP): How did Black Market art develop?
•Black Market Art (BMA): Black Market Art started back in 2005. We started selling t-shirts from three different tattoo artists They were Mr. Lucky, Jake Underwood and Bucky Crispin As of today we are working with 175 different artists!
•SP:What's your role at Black Market?
•BMA: I try to focus on my role as team spirit leader, but find myself taking out the trash and handing out our daily beatings. The beatings are good for moral, you get beat if you do well and you get beat if you do badly, everybody is an equal here.
•SP:Do you personally have an artist’s background?
•BMA: Actually I do not have an artists background, I always thought of myself as a visionary, like I in vision myself doing art, it’s kind of like the same thing.
•SP:What is the difference between Black Market and Lowbrow? And do you favor one over the other?
•BMA: Black Market art is more of a tattoo inspired art style lowbrow art is an underground art movement with origins in hot-rod street culture, punk rock music, underground commix and other subcultures. The roots of lowbrow art can be traced back decades to Southern California hotrods “Kustom Kars” and surf culture. Ed “Big Daddy” Roth is frequently credited with getting the Lowbrow art movement underway by creating Rat Fink in the late 1950’s.
While Lowbrow art grew in the 1960’s as a product of its political and social times, as a revolt against academic conceptualism, it has negotiated and thrived into the 21st century. It remains an unassuming mix of possibilities open to flux and dedicated to beautifully polished works.
Lowbrow art captures our imaginations and jump starts journeys into wide eyed, candy colored and sometimes darkly disturbing worlds of artful madness.
•SP:Tell us about the art shows that you are involved with...
•BMA: We do a lot of art shows, it’s mainly an excuse for us to go out to the bar get drunk and party with our friends.
•SP:Working with so many artists do you decide ahead of time what type of artwork you are looking for or do you work with what the artists already has completed?
•BMA: We usually just work with what the artist completes, if they are backing it then so are we.
•SP:Over the last few years tattoo culture has become pretty popular, how do you feel about that?
•BMA: We think it’s great. It’s about time that these tattoo artists get the recognition that they deserve as artist. Their art form is gaining legitimacy in the main stream and we think that is down right awesome!
•SP:Is there a specific artist that you were doing flips with excitement to be working with?
•BMA: Yea three jump to my head right away : Daniel Esparza, Abril Andrade, and Dave Sanchez
•SP:If you could chose 3 things to only eat or drink for a whole year, what would those survival treats be?
•BMA: That’s easy Beer, Pizza, and broccoli.
•SP:Lastly, for fun- can you sketch us a self portrait?