Street art can elicit such a range of reactions and emotions. As fun as it sometimes is to try to guess the motivation and drive behind a piece of art and its artist, it is even more fun to talk to the artist themselves. Today in our latest series of interviews with artists, we get to know more about street artist Chris Riggs.
Q. How did you get into street art?
I always loved the bright color graffiti on the walls and trains in New York City. I would draw it when I was very little. Then at about 12 years old I started spray painting. I went to a inner city junior high and high school and all my friends were doing graffiti. It’s all we did. We didn’t really like school so much. We would sit in class and draw graffiti, and not listen to the teachers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be making a living from it. It’s amazing the most expensive painting ever sold in America now is a painting by a graffiti writer. We have come a long way.
Q. Why is street art important?
Street art AKA graffiti original comes from ancient Greece and Italy. People would scratch their complaints about the government and other things on the walls. Then in the 1970s kids in NYC were painting it everywhere. Then it went worldwide. Its important because its a form of protest. You can get your message out there.
Q. Who is your favorite street artist & why?
My favorite street artist is myself of course. Just like any other street artist. We love to see our names on the walls. That’s why we do it. I love going around the world and painting peace and love murals. I feel like I’m changing the world in my little way. People see the murals and maybe some of them go and find someone to love instead of joining the army or something like that. In a world where depression is going through the roof, I don’t think its bad to have a big ego. Its better than sitting at home and taking some pills with a million side effects to try and feel good. Exercise makes you feel great and making art makes you feel great. Street art is both put together. It really makes you feel great.
There is so much negativity in the world today. So many wars and conflict, people want peace and love. The most important thing people have to give is love. Nothing gives me more pleasure than promoting love around the world. Of course, I’m forever in love my wife, Kristina, who is originally a journalist from Moscow. I love her more than anything in the world. Love always wins. Peace is the only solution for all countries and people.
Q. What is your favorite piece & why, it can be your own or someone else’s? If you know the meaning of the piece please explain.
My favorite artist is Pablo Picasso because his art looked very different than the artists before him.
Picasso Art – photo www.PabloPicasso.org
Q. Where is your favorite place in the world for street art ? Also where would you like to create art next?
I love going around the world and painting Peace and Love murals, especially in London, New York, Paris, Moscow, Seoul, Los Angeles and Miami. My next art will be made in Europe. I’m going to Greece to paint murals for Street Art Festival in Patras and Thessaloniki. I’m excited to spread the message of Love and Peace. US Embassy in Athens supporting my ideas and trip. One of my murals will be created at the TIF Helexpo grounds, celebrating the U.S. at the Honored Country at the Thessaloniki International Fair. I will also do a workshop there by teaching people how to make their own art.
Q. BONUS. Speaking about projects I’m working now:
Right now I’m working on series of Love and Peace paintings for an exhibition at the brand new $4m townhouse one at OOSTEN in Williamsburg Brooklyn. I always loved to paint in Brooklyn, New York.
Also, I just signed a contract with Gabriel Fine Arts gallery that will show and sell my paintings in London England. I’m excited to do a solo exhibition with them this Fall.
FIND OUT MORE FROM Chris
Be sure to go to Chris Riggs’ website to see more of his work and keep updated on all his upcoming projects.
*All photos and videos provided by Chris Riggs unless noted otherwise *
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