Originally published at Rize Entertainment
SHWA LAYTART - FEBRUARY 20, 2019
Not since Banksy and Shepard Fairey has there been a graffiti artist that has such a distinctive style, a mysterious persona, and ovaries to pump out some truly sick billboard murals and wall graffiti.
Sickid’s twisted sense of humor and social commentary is spreading and beginning to inflict the masses.
I first discovered Sickid’s graffiti on my morning wake-and-bake walk down Sunset Boulevard through Echo Park and Silverlake in Los Angeles. The first piece I saw of his was on a Starcrawler billboard. A shark tooth golden haired monster girl next to a ponyboy gimp. It was frightening and hilarious all at the same time.
The next piece I saw sealed the deal and I was an instant fan. On a billboard with a large face of a police officer using a radar gun, Sickid wrote “Fuck Cops” with two male cops enjoying each other with the original billboard officer now saying, “Sickid is in trouble!” Whoever this artist was I had to meet them. This person is throwing up massive graffiti pieces on billboards all down Sunset Boulevard. That’s pretty core. With the artist always on my mind, it wasn’t long before I started spotting Sickid’s work all over L.A.
With not much out there when I first started to look into who Sickid was, I discovered the artists’ Instagram and hounded them until I finally got an interview. We decided to meet in a discreet area of Echo Park.
Like many young kids, Sickid loved to draw. Being an antsy and rebellious teenager growing up in Los Angeles, tagging and graffiti came naturally. But the art of Sickid’s is now way beyond tagging and graffiti. They’re murals and installments of a surreal overcrowded world of circus freaks and mass consumption that seems to run parallel to ours. Each piece is a window into a world that however odd and out of place it seems, however disturbing and shocking it may be, it reminds us of the world we live in and the mementos of our own sick imagination.
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One of the most impressive aspects of Sickid’s graffiti billboard pieces is their scale and use of multiple colors. These aren’t wheat-pasted posters or stenciled black pieces anymore, these are full-on paintings. What looks like it should take days to create has to be finished in hours. Many of the billboard pieces are found on main streets throughout Los Angeles, so to get the job done, Sickid has to be stealth. I have to know, how do you do it and do you do it alone?
“I’m pretty much a lone wolf. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble or bore them. A lot of murals take around eight hours or all night. It can go up to something like twelve hours. That’s with not stopping.” With all that time put into the piece, how long do they stay up? “It depends, most of the murals I do I don’t have permission to paint so they end up getting painted over.”
Sickid doesn’t want to be pigeonholed into one medium. Sickid’s also a painter and has shown his work at Shepard Fairey’s gallery, Subliminal, recently having pieces in the Juxtapoz Clubhouse Miami Florida Art Basel show in 2018, and is also currently on display in Oakland at the Good Mother Gallery. “I’ve been drawing and doing art since I was a kid. I love the excitement of hitting a billboard, but I do more than just graffiti.”
Sickid isn’t worried about the future, and really shouldn’t be. Things have been nonstop and heading straight up with multiple projects in the works. When asked, if there was a company Sickid would work with for the right money, “That’s a sick question. Ummm… whose ad campaign? For like a hundred thousand dollars. Let’s see, Takis. Takis chips and let’s do… Gatorade. Only Gatorade Blue and let’s do Lush Cosmetics. And they have to give me a lifetime supply.” Well, Sickid, reach for the stars, my friend.
Look for Sickid’s work at the following galleries:
See his solo show at Super Chief Gallery in July
Also, if you’re in the area, keep your eyes open in Echo Park, Silver Lake, DTLA, East LA, South Central, Korea Town, and anywhere with few cops. Sickid’s work can also be seen in New York, Las Vegas and beyond.
Be sure to follow Sickid on Instagram and for gallery showings, Sickid can be contacted at sickidlosangeles (at) gmail (dot) com