Graffiti writer RISK & artist Nathan Ota have been collaborating since their formative high school years. We’re excited to debut the first of a series of collaborations from the Californian duo, the first of which highlights a trouble laden period of time in the graffiti career of RISK. Read on for the exclusive 1xRUN Thru Interview with RISK as he discusses his upcoming print with Nathan Ota.
1xRUN Thru Interview
Crucify by RISK & Nathan Ota
1xRun: Tell us a little about the original, is it still for sale?
1xRun: When was the piece drawn/created
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
RISK: It was from the first collaboration show with Nathan Ota. Nathan and I have been painting together since high school and we do one collaboration show a year. This piece was a classic, it is classic Risk with the R, and it is from our first body of work
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
RISK: At the time I was going through a lot of drama with the city officials. Nathan and I were talking about how they were crucifying me. We were making jokes and then we thought of how we could translate that with out being to blatant and corny. This is the image we came up with. It is an abstract urban representation of me being crucified by the city officials.
1xRun: How long did this piece take?
RISK: 45 years.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
RISK: It is a collaboration between myself and Nathan Ota, and it is our first body of work.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
RISK: I believe you should only buy art you love, if it strikes you, evokes emotion or you just really like looking at it, you should buy.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
1xRun: When did you first start making art?
RISK Since before I can remember. My grandmother told me about all the things I made. She gave me things like buttons, and empty spools, etc. as toys. I had to be creative to occupy my time.
1xRun: What was your first piece?
RISK My first graffiti piece was a “Surf” piece on the side of UNI hi in Los Angeles.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
RISK The Los Angeles Fine Art Squad did a piece on the side of the West LA police station. It was a freeway falling off into the Ocean….This was the first Mural that blew me away! just look at it!
1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
RISK There are too many to list, every one in MSK is truly inspirational.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
RISK I listen to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Classic Rock, Funk, and Blues. Especially when I’m doing graffiti pieces, I lie to imagine my letters dancing or fighting.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
RISK Zeppelin. I know they are musicians but that’s who I’d like to collaborate with.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
RISK Michelangelo.. He is the best-documented artist of the 16th century, and considered one of the best artists of all times, yet he had a very low opinion of painting. Some of his work among the most famous pieces of all times. There is too much to say about him and his work, he had so many mediums and attributions. He was considered the greatest living artist of his time and he pioneered Western Art. I don’t think you could get any better than that!
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
RISK A Robert Williams print and I still have it.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
RISK I’m currently trading Seen for a piece. I consider him to be one of the all time best graffiti artists!
1xRun: What else have you been up to? What else do you have in the works?
RISK: I’m working on a show in London happening in conjunction with the Olympics next month.
1xRun: Where can people find you on the internette?