MarcoArt: “Art for the people!”
MarcoArt is a unique character.
Based in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, MarcoArt has been creating pop art pieces for the likes of Russell Simmons, Arnold Schwarznegger and Quentin Tarantino. Aside from his flamboyant designs, Marco is a budding philanthropist who organizes charitable events for many causes, such as cerebal palsy charities.
In the interview, I talk to Marco about how he got started in art , his opinions on the art world and a little story behind the famous Diplomats logo.
Harlem World: When did you decide you wanted to be an artist?
MarcoArt: 2nd Grade Art Class! By then they were already giving us homework and it was the ONLY class where they gave us a blank piece of paper and let us do WHATEVER we want! That was my only formal instruction.
What were your biggest influences on you, into breaking into the world of art ?
Just to clarify, I neither nor dispute the existance of an institutionalized “ART WORLD” per se, I just do what I do and if people like it I’m happy. I have no time for the snobby exclusivity of the “Art World” headed by self-appointed “experts” who illegitimatly claim to be tastemakers and have the gaul to atempt to dictate, influence, and define what is considered “Art” and what isn’t in order to justify the hefty 50% of the Artist’s selling price and artificially inflate the market. Real Art in my view is not something to be traded by brokers like a stock option and if there is any selling and valueing to be done it needs to be done by the artist directly to the consumer, neither of whom benefits! My entire philospophy can be summed up by saying “Art for the People!”
I understand, because art is such a loose term to define. Thats why I fell in love with hip hop music, because in its rawest form its an amalgamation of different genres rolled into one. That brings me to my next question…
Basically, I feel like creativity is being ironed out of society.
Music seems mundane, film & theatre is recycling the same plot over and over again.
What would be a good way of getting people (young people in particular) to use their imagination and creative minds?
I would say that each person, as a member of any society on earth has an obligation to themselves as an individual to actualize their own personal inner potential for themselves and consequently for the good of the whole. Anyone who is led astray or unquestioningly follows prescribed dictates of any governing body or other individual is allowing their own inner light to be diminished and consequently and negates the collective power of the whole whose true strength lies in the sum of it’s diverse parts. So my advice to anyone young or old, is to let your light shine.
Just like musicians have their favorite records, do you have any specific designs that you would call your favorite – or hold special meaning to you?
I would have to say one of my favorites is my mascot is Ollie the Octopus, he’s my friend and gives me hope and inspiration with his wit, his upbeat manner, his offbeat sense of humor and his boundless energy.
A lot of people believe that the “illin eagle” is one the greatest hip hop logos ever – I know people who have it tattooed on them. What was it like working with Dipset, did they have much input on the design?
I must say for the record that I did NOT come up with the design, which of course already existed, I meerly added my Marco touch which they seemed to appreciate, they’re very talented and Jim Jones’s Ballin is and has been my phones ringtone for quiet some time-I just can’t get enough of that hook!
Where can we next find the MarcoArt truck!
It’s hard to predict exactly where the Marcoart truck will appear next or what will be on it though rumor has it there will be a lot of very cool limited edition RUN DMC prints available for sale on it in the near future so the best bet is for everyone to friend it up on FACEBOOK or TWITTER to get updates on its current location in real time.