Ëvelina Bonell Feb 2015
Taylor & Co.’s Art department had the pleasure to work with Montreal’s most renowned street artist Stikki Peaches. He has been taking over Montreal as well as the urban cities of Paris, Berlin, London, Stockholm and of course my home, NYC. The incognito street artist is strongly determined by pop culture, street culture and lowbrow.
Stikki Peaches famous tagline “What if art ruled the world?” Has caught our attention her at Taylor & Co. So what if art really did rule the world? This is the perfect question and is intensely important in these rambunctious times. Sticky Peaches answered with such a passion, which you will discover in my interview.
We feel here at Taylor & Co., Art is an amalgamate potency that can either unite humanity or maybe even change our society. Art can be healing and that’s why our slogan here at Taylor & Co is Speak Art! Speak Loud!
Stikki taking much risk to proclaim his message directly to the world is leaving an unbelievable impact on society. His art will leave some kind of impact, whether it's good or bad, but it will definitely give some kind of ambience.
Stikki Peaches work is often pop culture-based, using well-familiar images that we all know. His "Bat Bond" piece, the integrated Caped Crusader's head with James Bond's body, fitted out with spiked shoulder pads, leather jacket and a gun with a flower in it. This piece is sometimes set by his tagline "What if art ruled the world?"
You'll find out that he also has a fondness for Star Wars. His piece includes Darth Vader's helmet, and the Storm-trooper helmet that is also intricate pieces of Stikki.
Read his interview and find our more of what this interesting international wall-killer has to say… Enjoy
A beauty by the fashionable Wall-Killer STIKKI PEACHES.
Lina: Do you have certain icons that have influenced your art style?
Stikki: Absolutely! Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, giants of the pop culture movement. Their souls and spirits still alive and well today, continuously influencing our world in many shapes and forms.
Lina: What's your take on street art today??
Stikki: Street art today is forever changing. It seems like the past couple of years, street art has become somewhat of a trend. For years it was considered an act of vandalism, as graffiti. Now more than ever, people seem to want a piece of art on their wall or doors, encouraging street artists and graffiti artists to add some life or color to their neighborhood. Although still very much illegal, it seems to be more socially accepted. Of course it all depends what type of statement you are trying to put out there. Keeping it positive and engaging is what works for me. Everyone has something to say, using the streets, as a canvas and art as a voice, can be just as powerful as any other medium out there.
Lina: How do you find places to post your art, do you choose random locations?
Stikki: I like to plan out a lot of my pieces before they are pasted on the streets. Scouting out certain areas in whatever city I may be in, is definitely something that is important. There is nothing like finding that perfect wall, with cracking paint, or crumbling bricks, as a background which is already laid out while adding texture to the pieces I will choose to put up. That depth of the final work, not only being about the subject I pasted up, but rather the whole picture telling a story. Using the surroundings and elements that were already there to make it that much more special. At the same time, often enough, I can be roaming around without a plan and stumble upon that perfect door for a certain piece which seems like it was meant to be. It usually all comes together quite nicely.
Lina: What if art ruled the world, what effect do you think it would have?
Stikki: When using the tagline ''What if Art ruled the World?'' ...it is something that stems from a time in my life where my art was born and used to help me through certain difficulties I was going through. It literally became my therapy, my voice, and my release of anything negative surrounding me! Art has ''ruled'' MY world for all the right reasons, and for the longest time. When I put the question out into society, it can be interpreted in many different ways to many different people, with many different answers. A lot of people already know that art rules their world, but how? And why? What moves you when thinking about art? Whether it is dance, film, painting, any other form of artistic expression, what motivates and drives you to the point that it consumes your everyday life, with that energy and vision taking you further than you ever imagined, testing your limits and patience, while creating something so special to you that it just keeps you wanting more. Pushing away all that is wrong and opening doors to all that is right in your life. It seemed up until recently, all we had was freedom of speech, and even that is being questioned with recent events in the world, but making yourself be heard, loud and clear, however you chose to express yourself is always better than conforming to something that you don't believe in and are expected to do. I choose art as my weapon of choice, and in today's society, where we are ruled by governments, political parties, religious beliefs, etc., letting ART rule my world, where there are no rules, just freedom of creation, that’s a world I’d rather live in.
Lina: My daughter Retro is an artist and she feels that art heals, do you agree?
Stikki: Without a doubt, I’m living proof of it, and as mentioned above, it truly is a therapy and release. Especially with all the everyday media coverage we get these days, which seems to be nothing but glorified bad news and tragedies shaping the face and structure of the entire world. I'd rather disconnect and enter my own world where my art and imagination is something no one can take away from me.
Lina: Do you have any intense stories while doing street art?
Stikki: There are so many stories, some I’d rather not get into and some that are part of the game while getting up. It's always interesting though, there's never a dull moment, and the excitement and adrenaline you feel while out there, makes it all worth it. So as for intense, I’ll give you a quick visual. While pasting an alley way in Paris in the early hours of the morning, an all out brawl between Russian gang members broke out literally 20 feet from me. I decided to bail when bottles and broke shards of glass started flying my way. I did finish putting the piece up which i was happy about. ;)
Lina: How do you like blessing the streets of my home, NYC?
Stikki: NYC is like a second home to me. I travel there often; have some close friends that live in and around the city. It's truly one of my favorite places in the world to do my work. It's forever changing when it comes to street art, with so many great artists from new york, that I admire myself, I’m just glad I can get to participate in adding to the streets as I do, however often I can. It’s truly a blessing.
Lina: Can you give me some insight on some of your pieces- Ex: Fugetaboutit, Batbond, Star War fellas?
Stikki: The Star Wars characters are based off of a few things from my childhood, as is most of my work. These 2 fellas take me back to when I was a kid living in a part of town where 90% of the people were of European decent. So often times I’d see these men wearing tailored suits, always dressed to impress, even when going to the corner deli store, walking up and down the streets, having conversations among themselves, sometimes covering their mouths (as if to muffle what they were talking about) kind of how we've seen it depicted in mob related movies in the past 2 decades or so. Today, I’m sure most of these guys aren't around, and as an adult I have a pretty good understanding of what may have been said in those conversations, but one thing that always stood out was how respectful they always were to the people in their community, always well mannered and ready to help.
In my piece hiding their identities with the Star Wars masks in helping them keep their business private. With Vader being the ''Boss'' figure, cause there's always a boss. This piece entitled "Fugetaboutit" the universal slang used in many different ways, meaning many different things. A word I heard used way too many times.
The ''BatBond'' my first ever piece, is basically a mash up of probably my 2 favorite characters growing up. Batman the Dark Knight, and Mr. 007 James Bond both having access to the most impressive array of gadgets, secret lifestyles, snazzy suits, while fighting crime. I mean what boy didn’t want to be either of these heroes? Or Both? In a world of make believe, I’m definitely the ''BatBond''
Ëvelina's last thoughts ...
I've been treated to a world class interview with Stikki Peaches.
What can I say... Not only can you sense his passion through his work, but also through his energetic fervid words. He is a passionate energetic, humble and very social person. It was a pleasure to chat with him.
... And that's why we here at Taylor & Co love to spotlight artist like him.... The passion and love for the arts and the fire they have in everything they do.
Thank you Stikki ! It's definitely going to be a #StikkiKindaYear !