Interview with Czr Prz
Watch this man and his “Los Pajaros”!
Where are you from and where are you now?
I’m from Chicago, grew up between Logan Square and Stone Park which was suburb out west on the outskirts of the city. I currently reside in the Pilsen/Little Village area, but I tend to hop around a lot
What do you do? How do you describe your art practice?
I like to consider myself a “multi-disciplinary” artist, dabbling with various materials and mediums from painting to cutting acrylic plastics and vinyl.
When did you begin painting?
I’ve been drawing as far back as I can remember, maybe about 6 or 7. I really began painting though back in 93-94 and started off with Spray paint. I eventually started brush painting and airbrushing, but always kept close to the can.
You use a lot of aerosol paints… how’d you get into that business?
Bboying and hip hop was what was responsible for what happened to me. It was a part of this culture that I was just getting involved with and it was art which is what I love(d)! How could I not get into painting on shit? Hooked.
Birds feature very strongly in your work. Where does that come from?
I did a series of pieces for a small solo show I had called “City Zoo”, it featured pigeons and rats with gang tattoos, which people got into. Years later my homeboy and I would joke around about starting a street gang called “Los Pajaros” which means the birds in Spanish. So I then started painting birds again, but eventually would stick to crows, which have a deeper meaning concerning the symbolism of the animal and its actual traits, so it became a serious thing… like the Beastie Boys.
You travel a lot! How’d you get into that kind of routine? Will Chicago always be home for you?
I just realized that being stagnant was getting me nowhere. I started to connect with people from other parts of the country, from cali to nyc, and then getting to do work in Miami, from that point I was going to Virginia and D.C. down to Mississippi, Texas and so on. I would eventually link up with Addison Karl in Berlin, Marcone Pedri and Marco Mirko Nani from Cararra Italy which would help spark much of the work I was able to do I Europe. I’ve put it into consideration to leave Chicago for a little while, maybe move more west or even to another country. Montreal sounds nice.
What is your ideal scenario as an artist…where do you see yourself headed?
Of course my goal is to keep living off of my art and maintain a fulfilling life, but being able to work on large scale projects and accomplish some sort of notoriety that would allow me to stay relevent. I’d like to leave this world feeling like I’ve done something substantial and have been able to inspire like other artist\designers\people have done for me.
Tell me a story about Brooks Golden. We had the enormous fortune of meeting him last year while in Chicago, and were deeply saddened by the news of his recent passing. The last two jams we did with you had very strong reference to the man, who was obviously an important member of the community.
It’s still weird just thinking about this. he was one of few people that I can speak to on many levels and we had tons of common interests, especially when it came to the arts and music (although we didn’t always agree on hip hop haha) we were\are big Cure, Smiths, At-The-Drive-In fans. He was always honest about how he felt, and would let me know when my work was weak and when it was solid. I loved that about him. he knew exactly how I felt about stuff like that. We had just started working on a series before he had passed. I was considering finishing them and pasting them up but I feel a little different about that now, I decided to keep them since their so personal and very few of them so instead I decided to dedicate much of the work I’ll be doing this summer (and probably long after that) to him and his imagery.
What and where’s next for you?
I came back from Carrara Italy where I had my first solo show in like 5 years with EXP Gallery and also painted a building dedicated to the towns history. It’s a part of a festival called Marble Week, dedicated to the stone that this small city is known for. Michelangelo himself used the marble from these mountains to create much of his work, including the David. My solo exhibition is called Future\Primitive, and it’s small works on wood panel. The subject matter is based on ilustrative direction with a sort of fantasy-esque landscape. really weird n dreamy stuff. After, I will be painting live on July 19th at the Simple Good event City Of Big Dreams (facebook\simplegood) all while live poetry is being done by Malik Yusef, Kanye Wests ghost writer. My next set of travels will be going to Sao Paolo, Canada, NYC, Colorado and Beijing.
You can have a better look of the many projects Czr Prz has done over here.