Pop artist and videographer, Mr. Brainwash, the alias for Thierry Guetta, is a known name on the international street art scene. His graffiti and contemporary pieces are highly valued by art collectors. From an event planner, vintage clothing seller to a renowned film and street artist, Mr Brainwash is intent on making a name for himself. He is famously remembered for his role in the Oscar nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010), a collaborative effort with Banksy that details life in the secretive Graffiti art scene. Mr. Brainwash has been adorning walls and canvases for over a decade now. His latest project is a commemorative 9/11 mural in New York on the wall of the Century 21 Department Store across from the Freedom Tower. Mr Brainwash was born in Garges-lès-Gonesse, Paris, France. At the age of 15, he arrived in Los Angeles with his father and siblings and attended Fairfax High school for about a year. Soon thereafter, he dropped out and began organizing events around Hollywood. Later, he got into the business of selling vintage clothing in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.
The first piece I saw of Seattle based artist Kyler Martz was a Whaleboat piece he did with such precision and detail that you can’t help but fall in love with it. After further searching into his art, I couldn’t get enough of the lines that amount of lines he produced that turn into amazing works of art. Most of Martz’ time is spent between commissioned design and illustration work as well as the passion that fell into his lap, tattooing at Super Genius Tattoo in Seattle, WA. After leaving an advertising agency in 2012 to pursue design and illustration full time, Kyler was acknowledged for larger scaled pieces he was taking on locally and was consistently being commissioned for tattoo design. After seeing the demand for his talent, he accepted a tattoo artist position in January of 2014. By taking away the freedom to create in your own time and space, tattooing holds the challenging task of having to create within a structure while maintaining an on the spot, open stream of communication with your client.
Crooks and Castles, a Los Angeles-based clothing brand, is rapidly becoming a household name. Premised on a crook-castle dichotomy, the origin of the brand is novel and engaging and clearly sets it apart from the mélange of clothing competition floating about. The founders, Dennis Calvero and Robert Panlilio grew up in L.A. in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s and by virtue of hailing from that time period, became a part of the villainous lifestyle. Gangs were a pervasive phenomenon; they were found in the city, the ghettos and even the middle suburbs. Thereafter, most gangs had little choice but to adapt to the environment; some were able to escape and even channel the craft mastered on the street to apply in some other lucrative endeavor. Thus, the name of the brand was born of the founders’ love of crooks- notorious robbers, pimps, hustlers, thieves and other criminals and the appreciation of the transition of crooks into rich barons. In this story, crooks are those who adhere to the ‘villainous’ lifestyle and the ‘castles’, as the returns for embracing that lifestyle, are the prize every crook is out to get.
“Behind every Castle stands a Crook. Meaning behind every Empire, someone did something crooked to achieve their goal. Castles represents our goal, for every street hustler, entrepreneur, or mogul. We are all crooks in some way; some just choose not to show their true colors.”
In the mid 90’s, independent fashion/graphic brands caught the attention of the brand owners. Thereafter, after years of gaining knowledge about business dynamics, in 2002, the founders churned out ‘Crooks and Castles’ -a street wear line influenced by the independent fashion and bold graphic looks popular in the skate and hip hop subcultures. Crooks and Castles clothing has ascertained use of the highest quality materials each time. Add the brand’s distinct designs- merging underworld swagger with an elite fashion sense- the brand continues to expand and cater to, in some sense or the other, the tastes of everyone.
Living up to the origin of its name, Crooks and Castles often “steals” ideas from other brands and gives them a unique spin to conjure a new look. Similar to the robber barons of the early times such as Vanderbilts, the Rockerfellers, the Carnegies, to the modern day billionaires-Bill Gates & Microsoft, ‘Crooks and Castles’ also aims to stop at nothing to join the line of ‘rich crooks’.
Embrace your inner villain. Check out more Crooks and Castles at http://shop.crooksncastles.com/.
Growing up in a low income neighborhood of Berkeley California, producer, songwriter and rapper G-Eazy, also known as Gerald Earl Gillum, was introduced to hip-hop and the Bay Area hyphy sound at a young age. G-Eazy is among the new class of musicians; the kind who study music business and network MBA-style. He studied at Loyola University’s music industry program in New Orleans and started to cultivate his craft while still in college. Long hours spent in his dorm room culminated in the release of Endless Summer in 2011. Thereafter, G-Eazy started to garner attention. In 2012, he produced, wrote, and recorded what would become his full-length debut, Must Be Nice – an album that landed, totally independent of a label, the #3 spot on the iTunes Hip Hop Chart.