For his first print release ever, New York City’s BlusterOne turns his attention to the sights and sounds of years past with his Nostalgic Items series available now on 1xRUN. A hypnotic mash up of letter forms, classic speaker and cassette iconography, along with a healthy dose of graffiti, Bluster’s mandalas pull your eyes in and take you gently through the audio years gone by. Read on as Bluster gives us the background on his first release with 1xRUN including his very first limited edition letter press along with new works on paper. . .
1x: Tell us a little bit about this piece? Is there anything immediate you would like to highlight?
BlusterOne: Nostalgic Items Vol.2 is an intense construction of letterforms and audio electronic equipment – icons of communication, compacted and piled on top of one another in a sweet fitting puzzle. At first glance the piece may remind you of a Mayan Calendar or maybe the Death Star alluding to the density and complex structure and mass of both of those images, sharing in those characteristics you are drawn in for closer scrutiny. Immediately, I want the viewer to scan the detail of the drawing, this is the therapeutic reward you get from really looking.
1x: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?
BlusterOne: For the past 5 years I have been diligently working on a body of letterform constructions I have called “LETTERISMS”, the root of the letter manipulations come from the school of Graffiti writing with add-ons from my own drive of pushing the envelope by pulling from childhood educational shows and horror movies. Nostalgic Items Vol.2 is part of a series under the Letterisms umbrella labeled Nostalgic Items where audio electronics interact with the letterforms.
1x: What materials were used to create this piece?
BlusterOne: To get that kind of black I mixed black gesso and India ink together to get the viscosity that I feel comfortable with. Cotton rag is the paper stock.
1x: When was these piece created and how long did it take to complete?
BlusterOne: The Nostalgic Items series were begun in the late summer of 2016. I usually work on 3 or 4 simultaneously. Each probably warrant 5 or 6 hours.
1x: Tell us a bit about how the idea and execution came about?
BlusterOne: I have always wanted to force myself to sit down and focus on focusing; to pay mind to details and breathe. You can say that I may have initially started this series as a step towards meditation – perhaps in the style of Mandala image making. Execution was to be clean, was to make the viewer say, “damn how did he do that?”
1x: Does this piece differ at all from work you’ve done in the past. If so, what do you feel is unique about it?
BlusterOne: Like I said above my approach to making this series was totally different from my other work. I was focused… my other work is built with loud music and mess of paint and colors, sketches, roughs and whatever else is on my drawing table. This series is a complete 180 of my other work – no initial sketch, just faith in my skill and experience.
1x: Why should people buy this print?
BlusterOne: I think people should buy this print as an investment in an artist who has been prolific over the past 40 years, who has a story, who grinds hard and has more work to show and share with the world.
1x: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
BlusterOne: To quote the great Black Rob… “Whenever you see something ill that’s ‘WHOA!’……. so I would describe this piece as: WHOA!
1x: When did you first start making art?
BlusterOne: I have been making art since the age of 5 when I was in DeWitt Headstart… I was young, the art making gets mature as I do.
1x: Do you remember what your first piece was?
BlusterOne: My first piece, the door that opened it all up for me was a combination of the “JAMES” bubble letter my father showed me at the dinner table and that classic pointed “S” that every one of us have drawn on notebooks and desks in the public school system.
1x: Which artists did you draw inspiration from early on?
BlusterOne: My early artist inspirations were Lee Quinoñes, Lenny “Futura 2000” McGurr, Erni “PAZE” Vales, Todd “Reas” James, and Robert Rauschenberg.
1x: Which artists inspire you now?
BlusterOne: A few artists that I draw from are Louise Nevelson and Lee Bontecou for their genius of construction and sculpture. Then there’s Ben Shahn, Ralph Steadman, and Doze Green for their knowledge of controlling the line.
1x: What would you say is your ideal environment like when working? Do you listen to music, watch movies etc.
BlusterOne: My ideal environment to work is just a little bit all over the place… it’s never the same. It varies from working late night when everything is quiet on the outside and everyone is asleep, but in my headphones is Howard Stern or the Michael Rapaport podcast. There are times when the TV is on playing Werner Herzog documentaries and I’m working and bugging out on his accent taking down notes.
1x: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
BlusterOne: I would really like to collaborate with Kevin Lyons. I dig how he handles space, letterforms and composition. I think we could have some real interesting street coverage.
1x: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
BlusterOne: I think it’s safe to say that I would want to watch Picasso work, I would be playing myself to say that I would want to collaborate with him. Why? Why not, he laid it down for all of us who make art.
1x: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
BlusterOne: I have never had the finances to actually buy work, but I have had the blessings to barter and exchange work with artists that I have respect for. I still have them.
1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
BlusterOne: I have a few projects that are in the works, and respect to the clients I can’t really talk about them, but I am appreciative and grateful how things are unfolding. Shout to 1XRUN for including me in their roster of great artists!
1x: Where else can people find you?
BlusterOne: Instagram @BLUSTERONE