News CBS LAWS
News was put on my radar about 7 years ago, and I was amazed I didn’t already know who he was because his graff was so fresh. Since then he has continued to grow his style and skills, and keep his work and numbers game up! It was a pleasure to showcase this Texas writer, and I hope you all enjoy his work as much as I do, enjoy!
At this time VIVA LAS VANDAL! Is full, as the event gets closer and people possibly drop out I can try and put people into spots that open up. I can’t promise anything, and I am trying to make the event as diverse as I can with different crews and different heads from different places. If u want to be put on the waiting list please message me back and I will let u know as things change, thank u.
6. NHLV: Where there any particular reasons why in the last few years you stepped up the amount and quality of your work?
9. NHLV: Can you tell us what you have planned for the future where you see your career going, or maybe what your plans are?
As NHLV gets back in touch with the heartbeat on them streets, from the East to the West and everywhere in-between, NHLV highlights photographer Stephen Pellegrino. Stephen AKA Emptycans.NYC, shoots images of graffiti, daily life on the East Coast, and scenery of the city. Stephen sometimes shoots people in motion, with streaked or clear clarity on his subjects making them look like ghosts of the city. Enjoy!
I Had no idea what painting in London would be like, and I was given a chance to get a wall with EKTO, and it was well worth it. The guy is a wall killer, plus a good all around graft head. He’s on my radar for big things in the future and he should be on yours too!
Neighborhood Love: What neighborhood did you grow up in and what neighborhood do you represent now?
Ekto: I grew up on the outskirts of East London in a town called Dagenham. It was a pretty shitty estate but we was young and made our own fun, I still live in Dagenham, born and bred I’ve been here since day one.
NHLV: How did you get started doing Graff, and who would you say were your early influences?
Ekto: I started doing graff thru friends. I was last to start out of our group. There was ‘dose’ ‘inta’ ‘faze’ ‘lame’ ‘tobs/shiny’ (rip). They had all been doing it a while, so when i started i looked incredibly bad. While they had their handstyles on check, I was just figuring out how to hold a pen.
My influences were mostly local writers, and of course London’s DDS. I was into my dubs and tracks, so it’s natural to look up to them guys. No one’s done it as good as they did since, or ever will. An early influence of mine was ‘tel’ who later become ‘vainz’ of esk and then later awe crew. He was from my estate so all my pals latched on to him and learned a lot. He got up and crushed it locally. He was the guy for a bit. Before him was ‘binone.’ He was a bombers bomber. My later influences are simple, ‘shine’, ‘react’, ‘ster’, ‘brave1’, ‘stet,’- wildstyle painters and all rounders. Top writers who all crushed it at one point or another.
NHLV: So these days, the trends in graffiti have switched to basic or old school styles, with an emphasis on color. I consider you more of a wild style type. How do you feel you fit in to the graph seen these days?
Ekto: It seems graffiti is cyclic for most writers. I found myself stuck in a cycle of rinse wash rinse repeat, I wasn’t trying to push myself all the time. I am now. There are personal reasons for that but that’s a whole different story. Those that know- know. Nowadays I’m kinda breaking down my graffiti into 3 separate tiers: the wildstyles I save for events / big paint ups, the semi wild I keep for the average days painting, and the more styled letters for quick pieces or if I need to paint something faster than usual. I like painting all types of graff whether it’s a blockbuster a character or a wild mild or child ;). I’m not a one trick pony and people seem surprised when I drop something else, but hey- I’m that wildstyle guy! In answer to the question, I fit where I’m needed to fit. If I’m painting with writers that paint simpler styles with chunky shapes, I’ll do the same for the sake of the wall. Nothing better than a nice wall with styles that aren’t too different
NHLV: Graffiti’s growing worldwide these days. Can you tell us about some of the cities you’ve traveled to and painted and what are your favorites?
Ekto: I haven’t travelled as much as I should but for me Ireland is spot on. And if you’re looking for a place to go you won’t find a better bunch of people. No egos. Just real writers where the rules still apply. Cardiff in Wales is a hotshot too. Them guys burn!
NHLV: Do you think the city of London has had an effect on your graff or how your graff comes off?
Ekto: No. I predominantly ignore London and it’s styles. It’s got a great scene, the people are great and I love the writers, but it’s not my scene. I live on the border of Essex and East London. But I consider myself to be from Essex where everything is wildstyle. It’s what we do. London is very diverse for style. There is a lot of stencil and arty stuff that goes up. Not a lot of it is good and it dilutes the real graffiti styles.
NHLV: Can you tell me some of your favorite spots of London, like maybe food spots, drinking spots or even places to paint?
Ekto: If I hit London it’s normally Leake Street or a day out that has nothing to do with graff. I live so close, it’s a novelty you never use, if that makes sense. I’d sooner travel 500 miles to a different town as it’s not the ‘norm’
NHLV: As styles turn to old-school and basic, I noticed that your wild styles have gotten more complex. In fact, in my opinion, you’re one of the best wild style artist out there right now. Do you have any plans for your styling in your graffiti career?
Ekto: Thank you. But I feel I’m far far far from a word like ‘best.’ I know where I’m going it’s just taking a little while. I’m building up to it. I’m personally looking to pull off some of the wildest pieces ever painted but still keep it readable. That’s the trick. If the letters are too wild then it’s a mess. There’s a balance and it’s easy to overcook a piece. I’ve done it many times! Haha that’s the future. It’s wild. Really wild.
NHLV: Do you have any upcoming painting our projects that you’d like to put some shine on?
Ekto: That would be telling. There’s a video dropping in the United States for a paint company hopefully sometime soon but that’s all you’re getting 😉
NHLV: I definitely would like to see you out in the United States painting. Are there any cities that you would like to hit or people you’d like to paint with?
Ekto: I plan to hit the US at some point not sure when but it will happen. Maybe a few of us. Definitely swing out West and hook with the CBS guys, they are doing it, ‘saute’, ‘elser’, ‘apexer’, etc etc. And of course NYC, hit up some cool guys there. It’s on my list for sure! It will happen maybe next year.
NHLV: Thanks for everything. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re looking really fresh. Last would you like to give me shout outs?
Ekto: Thank you bud ✌. Shouts to everyone I paint with and who have pushed me along the way. Especially the past two years, Kanz, and the 4D crew, ster, rask, react, and everyone along the way. Respect to all.
Love it or hate it, there is no place on earth like Vegas. I was in the Arts District recently and found plenty to get involved in, outside the usual fan fair. I shopped at many stores specializing in 60s antiques and old relics of Vegas casinos. I bought postcards, playing cards and tumbler glasses of vanished casinos. The city makes a considerable effort to preserve the signs that have become an iconic part of Las Vegas. I appreciate the nostalgia of the 50s and 60s. And while tacky as hell, it was pretty fabulous.
If you have the time, I suggest leaving the strip and visiting the Neon Museum. It is all the retired lights that have found a home in the Neon Boneyard. I took the day tour, but there is a lighted night tour available as well. Use the link at the bottom of the article if you are so inclined
I find interesting how Vegas “reinvents itself” while still maintaining its core Vegas values of excess, debauchery and fantasy. In the 40s, the casinos took on images of the old west with hotels named Frontier, The Golden Nugget and El Rancho. In the 50s, when Vegas hit its stride, the themes acknowledged the fact that you were sitting in the middle of the desert. Casinos named Sundance, Sahara, Sands Dunes, and Desert Inn promoted the desert as an exotic oasis. Not many hotels have continued on with this theme, the only one I can think of is The Mirage.
After that, in the 90s, it seemed people went to Vegas to be anywhere BUT Vegas. The Venetian, Caesars Palace, Paris, New York New York, and Rio opened. I think this was time period we officially lost the cheap buffets Vegas was notorious for.
Today, Dunes has been replaced by Bellagio, Sands replaced by Venetian, The Desert Inn is The Wynn; and Aladdin replaced by Planet Hollywood. We have all seen the demolition videos of the buildings. My favorite story is how they unearthed the old vintage Sands casino chips when they demolished the New Frontier (pictured below). It is also rumored that casinos used to dispose of their obsolete chips by tossing them overboard into Lake Mead, or dumping them in the concrete foundation of a new casino. I guess this shouldn’t be surprising with mobsters running the city.
Those hotels must have been an experience back in the day.
Places to Visit:
Neon Museum: http://www.neonmuseum.org/about/the-collection/neon-boneyard
Viva Las Vandal was a great event with 25-30 people enjoying Las Vegas, painting and laughing the whole time with no beef or stress!
I had the idea for “Viva Las Vandal” from a couple of things, and I’m glad it all came together. I felt really lucky to be a part of the first couple of “Colorado Crush” Events out in Denver Colorado, to help them grow and bring both coasts of the USA to paint at that event. Also, in the past, I had painted the “Meeting of Styles” and the “Cobras VS Lords” events in Las Vegas. Ras One was a great host both times. He is a chill easygoing guy who has put in a ton of work to make the old downtown area of Las Vegas, a real painters paradise and an art district respected by the city.
So I decided to ask Ras if he would help host an event that would grow year by year, and he said “yes”. “Viva Las Vandal” was born! I had bug plans for the first event, but had to readjust – having just moved into a house with my wife. So I let everyone know, if you still wanted to come through and paint, that I couldn’t cover paint the first year, but that it would still be a great time. I’m thankful to all that came through. And I know next year will be bigger and better! Next year, I look forward to getting paint sponsors on board, selling paint at the event, getting food trucks, and vendor booths to help support the event.
As word of the event grows, I plan on bringing in graffiti painters from both the East and West coast. Plus I have my eyes on Europe, to bring in some dope painters from over seas! I have no doubt that this will be an event enjoyed by many people and will grow to be a staple in the graffiti community. See you there in the future and stay painting.
a HUGE thank you again to all the businesses and heads that came through and helped roll walls, keep a great vibe and help out. I look forward to Viva Las Vegas 2017!
Every ending a new beginning. Fall time is here. Time shed our skin.
This is the N. Broadway playlist. Come past.
1) “No Time to Burn” Black Heat
2) “Feel Like Making Love” Gene Lawrence
3) “Entrance Theme” Igbo
4) “Well Well, Don’t Worry About Me” The Como Mamas
5) “The Truth” Moonchild
6) “Sly” Jesse Fischer & Sly5thAve
7) “War Is Coming! War Is Coming!” War
8) “Forever Mine” Andra Day
9) “Make Some Room” The Suffers
10) “Anthem” Groove Collective
11) “Respect (feat. Mara Hruby & Van Hunt)” The Decoders
12) “Wild Cookie” Jill Scott
13) “Family Affair (Re-Recorded)” Sly & The Family Stone
14) “25 Miles” Edwin Starr
Neighborhood Love interviews an artist who I’m sure, will become more and more of a well-known name in both graffiti and the art world in general. Very humble and very talented. Sril is easy to talk to and well…just an amazing artist. I have to say that NHLV has been a blessing to me, because it has given me the chance to get to know many artists I admire and see great things for in the future. And Sril is def one of those. Read on and check him out. And PLEASE, click on the images to enlarge, and see the amazing detail. Thanks and enjoy.
1. What neighborhood did you grow up in and what neighborhood do you represent now? If you want to keep your identity unknown, just tell us what part of the country, but if you want to get specific feel free.
Aside from a year or so that I lived in Philly, I’ve been in Salt Lake City, Utah my whole life.
2. How did you get started in graff and what were your influences in the early years?
I started like most I’m sure, seeing illegal pieces and characters in my neighborhood… Although I was pretty young when I first started ( 10 or 11 probably ), I tried to learn from the locals as much as I could. I spent a lot of time taking solo bus trips to the local hip hop shop and asking questions to whoever would give me the time.
My first few magazines were my biggest inspirations, some of which I’ve had the fortune to actually meet or paint with recently. BLES, EAST, TYKE and KATCH are a few names that come to mind.
3. How would you describe the style that you paint these days?
I’m primarily focused on realism, pushing myself to paint larger, more detailed or just cleaner walls. Although, I always have, and still love letters…I know that’s not really where my skill is at, so a piece for me is a rare occasion.
4. Can you tell us about some of the history of SLC graffiti for you?
SLC surprisingly enough has a pretty rich history. For me AOD / SADK were huge. They were the heavy hitters. The guys who traveled, innovated spots, and brought some knowledge to the city. From the late 90’s to early 2000’s KUHR has been a staple here as well, doing his part to pick up where the early guys left off.
As with most cities, it’s also packed with politics and bullshit beef as well.
5. Can you tell NHLV about some of the cities you’ve painted over the years and some of your favorite spots?
I just started traveling not too long ago. I’ve been fortunate to paint in Miami during Art Basel, LA, Denver and New Mexico so far.
Each place is a favorite in its own way. The experience of traveling and meeting people, even though it beats you up mentally and physically.. it’s always worth the price of admission. I’d really like to stamp the passport soon, we’ll see if it’s in the cards.
6. You have an amazing character ability, but you aren’t as well-known for your letters, ya? I think you have fresh letters also, how come you don’t push them more?
Thank you, I really do love letters. I’ve been fortunate to have some real style masters kinda show me the ropes, and critique my letters. It’s helped me develop a lot over the years… but even so, I know that my strengths are in the character work. So I’m happy to give up the piece spots for a good character spot.
7. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming projects you have planned or projects that are in the works?
I’m in the planning phases of my biggest solo wall to date. It’s about 24ft tall by 100ft long. I’m devoting most, if not all, of my energy to that project right now. For me, it’s a defining wall.
Beyond that, I’ve got a solo art show (my first) in February, and hopefully some traveling in between.
8. Do you like painting big walls?
Painting big walls for me is huge. It’s not only a test of your own skill, but of your drive. The larger the wall, the bigger the test. Mentally and physically. It’s one of the best ways I know to push yourself forward.
For me, it’s is all about progression. Progression of style, skill, technical abilities and progression of yourself and what you can handle.
9. Is there a certain style or writer you are feeling these days, who or what has caught your eye?
I’m a big fan of the pieces loosing outlines or creating contrast with depth rather than solid lines. With the style I paint, there are no outlines, no really hard edges. I’m really enjoying that developing in the letter world. It opens up a whole new world of what can be done.
10. And last, a huge thank you from NHLV for taking the time to chop it up with us! Is there anyone or anything you want to put some shine on or give a shout out to?
Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to listen!.
Huge thanks to the guys at MTN USA, KUHR, my wife, friends and family for dealing with my chaos!
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