Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Sold Out...INSA "LA Papers"

It started with an email blast from INSA entitled, "MISSION TO LA," and ended with me collecting one of INSA's 12 customized paintings from the trunk (boot) of his Lincoln motor in downtown Los Angeles. Hustler style!

Here's what went down  INSA's goal was to paint a huge (over 4,000 sq. ft. correction from INSA: 9,300 sq. ft. surface) arts center building in downtown LA which was organized by Daniel Lahoda of LA Freewalls. Could this be the largest mural in Los Angeles?

Before and After @ the corner of 4th and Hewitt (credit: Stevio)

The challenge and plea for help from INSA was "to raise the basic costs of flights, car hire etc."  He added, "I want to fly and paint next week!"

I have a new mission and i WANT your help!
I am a strong believer in keeping art free, or more precisely making money to re-invest in art and not just for profit. And i am always trying to involve those that follow my work (YOU GUYS) in new projects. Some good examples of this are the SWAPSHOP from last year and the recent 'SELF REFLECTION' installation, where all the work was given away.
So now i have a new experiment and it relies on 12 people getting behind it and supporting the mission!"

Mission Possible 
"Here is the mission: I want to see if I can raise all the funds for this trip and fly within the week- THIS WEEK!
I could of course just pay for the flights myself or coincide it with another trip out there- but then that would be no fun.
So here is how i hope to raise the funds:
  • Spray-paint and ink on 350mgs paper.
And NOT ONLY that, perhaps more importantly the supporters will get:
  • their names painted on the final LA wall as a thank you
  • a photo of their name and a hand written thank you letter for their support.
  • a goodie bag with t-shirt, postcards and stickers
Not bad huh?!?!" INSA email letter

INSA's car trunk stash of LA Paper paintings and t-shirts awaiting collection.

The Lucky 12  On Monday, April 23rd at 9am PST / 4pm GMT 12 lucky people got to buy one of INSA's LA Papers prints and a t-shirt online. In return, INSA got to raise the cash to travel knowing that his fans all want to pitch in and support something extraordinary. When I spoke with INSA about what he'd created literally overnight, even he was surprised: "I got messages from people who missed out, who still wanted to get involved and contribute something to my artwork projects."

Here are the pics from my visit to downtown LA on May 3rd, which was day two of INSA's painting. He was probably half way through when I left the hood and he had two more days of painting before heading home to the rain in London!

Update The final mural will feature a list of all the 12 sponsors, but rather than tags, INSA, LA Freewalls and the ARTshare organization wanted a more official "plaque." A digital vinyl stencil will add all the names to the wall. I'll try to post pics of the finished wall. That's just icing on the cake!

I'm a fan I've been a collector of INSA's work since around 2007 (when Fedex damaged my canvas somewhere between London and LA) so it was nice to catch up with him and add a new, historic piece to the collection. Thanks INSA!

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