The street artist Eine, in town for MOCA's “Art in the Streets” show, was looking for a place to paint, and, well, LA Weekly answered the call. The piece, which occupies the outside of our Sepulveda Blvd.-facing wall, took almost a week to complete, as challenges included painting around windows and an uninvited visit from TMZ.
In July 2010, President Obama received Eine's Twenty First Century City as an official gift from British Prime Minister David Cameron, so LA Weekly is in good company.
Eine had a minute to tell us a little bit about his concept for Graffiti Crossword and how it's a personal tribute to the graffiti scene. Read our interview below, and see more photos at “Eine and Invader Hit LA Weekly.”
What was your concept for piece on the LA Weekly building?
A lot of what I paint on the street, it has to fit and it has to suit the space that I'm painting on. So, the windows, the grids, the fact it's a newspaper, I just thought, “Yeah, graffiti crossword.” It made sense. If the windows weren't there, I would have just done a big word or big letters, but the windows…The shape and the size of the building eliminates certain options. But Graffiti Crossword's kinda cool, yeah?
What inspired the typeface?
It's a kind of font I play around with and use a lot. But because we're traveling, I didn't have a computer or a projector and so one morning at the hotel I just drew it out free hand and cut it out in stencils.
A 2.0 version of your vandalism font?
Yeah, kind of a circus font, vandal font, mish-mash. (Laughs.) But it's nice because I don't have a font book when I do it. So I kind of look at the “M” and say, does it start now, or does it start back? I never went to art school or anything, I didn't study typography, it's just something I'm into. I like the fact that its stencil and hand cut. The font's handmade and it unique. It's wrong, but it works. It's good.
You added your name to this piece — not something you usually do.
No, never! It was just a space that needed a word. (Laughs.) I don't usually do that.
Were there any particular challenges — besides windows — that you ran into while you were painting?
I drew it out imagining words to fit one panel. And I couldn't get a stencil card or any card big enough for the size of the panel. So I had to make the letters smaller so I drew it out so the words link together and it flowed. So yeah, the challenge was kind of getting it to match and bits of it don't, but I like it.
I like the fact that you went old school flat black, with no embellishments.
It works with the color of the building, the style of the building, and its not loads of colors, obnoxious. It's kind of understated.
Definitely makes a subliminal statement in regards to the subject matter.
Yeah, and the fact that its not just one word. Everyone who drives past, they're going to stop at the lights, read a couple of words, and the next day they'll find another couple of words. It'll keep people's interest going a little bit longer than a big “Wow.”
How long do you hope the piece will stay?
It's weird, kind of everything I ever paint has been painted over, so I've definitely seen it for the last time! I'm not precious about my artwork. If some other graffiti artist comes by and they're looking for something to paint, I wouldn't care. I've got my photo. That's what lives forever.