Monday, June 19, 2006


Artist Interview: DECOY

Q. How did you get started putting works out in public space?

i had started making t-shirts for two local bands, people chasing people and the monorail. back then i would make my own stencils for the shirts. at the same time i also made a few stencils to put up around town.


Q. Where does the moniker "decoy" root from?

decoy began with a shirt too. the whole thing started out as a project. i had made myself a shirt that read DECOY on the back. i got a lot of feedback form that one shirt. more than most. so i started making DECOY shirts and giving them out to people. i wanted to create a name or label that didn't really exist. a decoy shirt like a gap shirt, but there was no decoy store that you could get it at. i've probably made and given out at least 4-5 hundred shirts over the past two years. i've mailed them to strangers, given them out to friends, given them as gifts to people...etc.

exactly how it began:

one day my friend and i were making shirts with cut out iron on letters. we didn't have many left and we didn't know what to spell on the shirt. she opened the dictionary and pointed to a word. the word she pointed to was way too long. she looked down at the rest of the page. she said what about DECOY. i thought it was a hot word. we made the shirt. that's how it bagan.

Q. I think your characters really connect with the city. Are you trying to interface them with the people who live here?

yes and no. my work is about who i'm with and where i'm at. it's about me and my surroundings and my life. and i live in washington dc. this is my home. i hope my work connects with the city. and some pieces do more than others. i think when the environment and the art really work together that's when you get an amazing piece.



Q. I saw one of your drawings, a small two-headed character, on U St. almost a
year ago and then recently a larger version of it. Is there a story behind this character?

when i had first moved here i had met this amazing group of people that were my age and pursuing something similar to what i was searching for at the time.

my best friend and i had gotten really close to one person in particular. until one day we recieved a letter in the mail saying that we were selfish people and together we were a two headed monster. it was a very confusing time.

the two headed monster image is one that i feel very close to. i usually draw from a model or from another image of some kind. there are only a few drawing that i've done where i didn't use a model, this is one of them. the actual painting has more to it. it's yellow and red and large. it reminds me of a flag. that painting is a reminder of a very specific time in my life.

i like this painting because i think it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
despite the specific meaning behind the painting for me, i find this image to be very universal.

Q. How do you feel about showing your works in galleries vs. public space. Do the two relate for you or are they separate?

the two relate for me. one's inside and one's outside. i love doing both. i love to see my
paintings hanging in a gallery where the room and the space work together with my paintings. i love to see a great artshow. but i equally love to walk down the street and come across an amazing piece of art. art is art. i'm not really sure if there's one place where art is suppose to be. if i come across a piece of art and it effects me in some way, if it alters my day, good or bad, if i remember it and tell others about it, then it's done it's job as a piece of art. it doesn't matter to me if i find it at the national gallery of art or walking to work.