Marcos Lafarga, No Typos

I went out to see Marcos at his Concord studio the other day. If you don’t know where Concord is, suffice it to say it is deep in the East Bay. We shared some really beautiful beer (Marcos drinks beers that are defined as being beautiful) and talked about where his paintings are going. We thought they were coming to Levende as part of my curatorial program there, but alas, sometimes, god laughs at your plans. So now Marcos has some brilliant work lying around, waiting for love. Lucky you though, you can catch Marcos as he debuts a skate ramp piece in Concord on Thursday, August 4th. Metro Skateshop, 1120 Contra Costa Blvd. 8:30 to 11:30 pm. show up and support.

Obi: In the past couple of years your work has really taken on text in an almost poetic way. Where is the poetry for you, in the subtle phrase or the font you illustrate?

Marcos: In both. I’m very turned on by typography and lettering, I always have been, so I am mindful of the way the letters are crafted. The words or phrases accompany my paintings in an illustrative way. In my drawings they are meant to be humorous, serious, or inspiring. It’s very interesting to me that words on thier own, or out of context, can take on other meanings and are open to interpretation.

Obi: You use a lot of printing techniques in your gallery-picture making. As one who has identified so heavily with Street Art, do you find any discrepancy between your mode of working and some of your inspiration sources? When did you give up the rattle can?

Marcos: I took some really great printmaking classes during my time at CCA and learned a lot of neat tricks, some of which I still use in my art. I decided a while back that I would try to keep my gallery work and my graffiti separate. My graffiti is mostly for self gratification and is more of a hobby these days. I don’t believe graffiti belongs in a gallery. Graffiti and Street Art is how I came up and I don’t think I’ll ever give up the spray. I’m actually really excited that they’re now making acrylic spray paint and I’ve recently been experimenting with it.

Obi: What is happening over there in the East side of the East Bay? I know you get shows at Spoon and Tonic but where do you continue to find your inspiration?

Marcos: Living in Concord is good for me because it’s good for my family. It’s quiet and I can get a lot done. I’m very close to BART, so I can jump on the train and head in to the City or Oakland anytime. Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek is a great gallery. They’ve had some really amazing exhibits and they recently commissioned me to do this tote bag.  Spoontonic is my local bar, the people there are cool as hell and I’ve had my work on display there a few times. I’m currently finishing up a mural project at METRO skate shop in Concord. They are really rad folks and have always been supportive of my work.

To be honest most of my inspiration comes when I’m driving. I commute a lot and I listen to music in the car, so my mind wanders when I’m driving or sitting in traffic. Other than that I’m fortunate to know some amazing artists who continue to inspire me.

Obi: Despite being a gifted gallery artist, I know you are a brilliant graphic artist too. What projects are online for you right now?

Marcos: Gifted?! Wow, thanks Obi! Brilliant?! Wooh, thanks again! Yeah, I am also a graphic designer and it’s how I pay my bills. I’ve worked on a few book projects recently, most notably Alex Pardee’s Awful/Resilient published by Ginko Press. I’ve had discussions about future book projects, but can’t let any cats out the bag yet. You can view some of my design work here. Although, I’ve recently been focusing more on my art and trying to push that instead of my design work.

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