I was drawn into hip-hop music around grade 6-7. I was simply curious about the whole thing. I would get tapes out of the library like Ice Cube – Death Certificate. My dad would travel to Edmonton often and he would go to a music shop and get advice from a sales guy on what new tapes to get me. The first one was Boogie Down Productions – Edutainment, which was graphic and raw storytelling.
We used to listen it in the car together, hahaha. As I grew more and more into the music, I learned about DJing, breaking and in 1996 I got into graffiti. I did a trip to Los Angeles in 1996 with my parents and went to Venice Beach where I came across the Venice Pavilion. While looking for music at Tower Records I would also find it a gem for graffiti magazines.
My interest in documenting graffiti started and as I would travel with my parents, I would search out graffiti to photograph. I learned about trading hardcopy photographs where I would send 20-25 pictures to someone in another city/country and they would mail me some of theirs. In 1998 I was encouraged by a friend to start a website to show off my collection. At the age of 18 of course I went with Visual Orgasm: The Canadian Climax.
In 2011 with Frontenac House Media Ltd and a Canada Council for the Arts grant I was able to have my first book published. It was a culmination of over 7 years of collecting photographs, doing interviews, and learning as much as possible. The focus of the book was the history of Canadian graffiti and featured artists who did graffiti in the 1980’s throughout Canada. Since graffiti has a limited amount of time in its existence it was important to tell the story of the early years of the culture in Canada.
I loved meeting every artist, hearing their stories, perusing their photos and see where they were now. Sadly, a few of the artists passed away while the book was being made or since its release.
In 1998 I threw my first hip-hop show, Elemental Junktion #2 at the Multicultural Centre in the EastVillage. I remember being worried about the cost of $150 to rent the space and it ended up being a jam-packed event with over 400 people showing up! I threw a few more rap/dj shows over the years but turned more to doing local art shows.
2019 – Quake of the Cans
2012 – Graffilthy, Calgary, AB
2009 – Out of Context #3, with Sled Island
2006 – Art Gallery, Zephyr
2005 – Out of Context #2
2003 – Out of Context #1
2014 – SummerFling
We have sponsored a lot of events over the years but the annual one is always SummerFling in Saskatoon.