By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Graffiti is everywhere. Most people despise it, especially the costs racked up in building and city structure damages. Our take: We're not saying it's a good thing, we're not condoning vandalism, we just want 600 words to fill this space. So we talked to Soler, a local tagger who is branching out into non-illegal art.
How did you get started?
I've been drawing since I was a little kid, I guess. In the margins of my paper mainly and then it kind of developed through reading Calvin and Hobbes and Shel Silverstein--that was a big one. I went off the paper and onto the desk, then to the bathroom wall and it evolved into graffiti.
You've said before you leave everything at home to avoid being robbed. Is the fear of violence or of being caught?
It's pretty much everything you could imagine, from falling off a rooftop, getting eaten by some guard dog, getting stabbed by a hobo. Or being arrested.
Do you take your girlfriend or is it strictly alone time?
I've taken her before just because I've seen a good spot and I'm like, "Here, wait in the car." And she's happy to; she enjoys it. So she'll wait.
Do your parents know that you paint graffiti?
Yeah. My dad hates it, and my mom doesn't really like it.
Would they bail you out if you got caught?
I don't know if they have the money to, but my parents definitely wouldn't abandon me.
What about artists who damage things?
There are buddies of mine that do that. That's definitely not for me, and I don't condone the things that they do. Some of the more "fuck you" in-your-face things are funny, but I draw a line for myself.
As far as acid etch and the like, do you think the lure of those products is the permanence or the damage itself?
It depends on who you talk to, really. Probably both. I've done it before, but I'm not going to use it anymore, at least not in Dallas. There aren't enough old abandoned warehouse windows. What's your favorite color to paint with?
Black, because it's the darkest and it shows up on everything, and for canvases, this pukey green color that I have. You can see it on 95 percent of the canvases I paint. Also, I've come back to canvases. I've been doing a lot more, and I had an art show recently.
Where do you get your inspiration for the canvas or for graffiti?
A lot of times it's kind of like the frustration inside me. That sounds really cheesy, and it's not really frustration, just like...I've got little monsters inside of me that I let loose on the city.
So now painting is a career.
It's great. The show was for the DSVC [Dallas Society of Visual Communications]. It was supposed to be a release party for this publication I was in, and it ended up being an art show where I sold my work.
Where did that name come from?
I just liked it. It didn't really have any significance. I just picked a name and started writing it everywhere. There's this lawyer apparently in town [named] Soler.
If you ever get into trouble, you should call him.
Yeah, "Hey buddy, you gotta bail me out." --Merritt MartinSummer Reading List
Once more, Full Frontal wonders: Who has time to read? Not you, and certainly not us, so we offer the first and last lines of time-wasting tomes, would-be best sellers and other things with words and stuff we got in the mail.
Villa Incognito, Tom Robbins"It has been reported that Tanuki fell from the sky using his scrotum as a parachute...Could it be, do you suppose, that despite her unfortunate vocabulary, Bootsey was on to something all along?"
Bangkok 8, John Burdett"The African American Marine in the gray Mercedes will soon die of bites from the Naja siamensis, but we don't know that yet, Pichai and I (the future is impenetrable, says the Buddha)...Inside, our live entertainment is singing 'Bye Bye Blackbird.'"
What Every Person Should Know About War, Chris Hedges"What is a war?...When disposing of an old uniform, you are to make sure no nonveteran acquires it."
30 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do Before Turning 30, Siobhan Adcock"A great present wrapped badly or not wrapped at all is a great present, yes...Your job interview thank-you is nowhere near as important as your résumé or the interview itself, and in fact, your note will almost certainly be chucked in the trash the minute it's read--unlike your résumé, of course."
Dad, Dames, Demons, and a Dwarf, Mancow Miller"'Girls in Berlin no fuck'...A different kind of being in the world, a new kind of life, a whole new level of exploration began with my dad's funeral."
Rumble Young Man Rumble, Benjamin Cavell"On Thursday, a man comes into the store and asks me how to kill his wife...But, really, it didn't matter."
Fantazius Mallare, Ben Hecht"Fantazius Mallare considered himself mad because he was unable to behold in the meaningless gesturings of time, space and evolution a dramatic little pantomime adroitly centered about the routine of his existence...'This is the cross.'"