It isn’t news to you that I love everything about Jersey City…. I also love the street art that is becoming more and more prevalent…. Every day on my way home from work, going to the park with my kid, or just strolling around town…I see new murals, artwork and posters. As I mentioned in previous posts, I am not a food critic nor am I an art critic. This blog is about learning about my home; the fashion, the people, the talents and what makes our city unique.
I came across Sean’s work and I was really intrigued to know more about him and his art form. I reached out to him and we met at Barcade the other day for a beer.
How did you start street art? “I wouldn’t say that I started street art…. in a way… I’ve been an artist since 99 … and my art evolved into doing things in the street”
What’s with the whole animal head on human bodies theme of your work? “Every time you meet someone…. no one really shows you their true side. So my whole concept of people wearing a mask is that’s how you meet people in this world … half the people you meet are two-faced . I wanted to portray images and let the people seeing these things put their own interpretation to it. Its like the mindfuck of it all….”
So the animal heads are masks basically? “Yeah”
Your obviously a big sports fan? What are your favorite teams? “I love sports. World cup is coming so I would say spain, Football Giants, basketball Oklahoma City… I am still crying over that one.”
I noticed in some of your pieces your characters are giving the finger. Who are you giving the finger to? “Its not anyone giving anyone the finger really…..For all my pieces I do photo shoots, thats how I get my references. My friend who was posing decided to flip me the bird when I was taking photos of him and I felt like that portrayed us tri-state area folks… that mindset of not giving a fuck and I thought it was perfect”
Your work is all over the place can you tell us the process , do you choose a wall or is it commissioned? “My work right now in the street is all for fun. I am just doing this because I love doing art in the street…. I got arrested when I was 20 for graffiti. So I stopped doing letters. As I got older I just practiced and tried to do all different styles to explore what I was comfortable with and now I finally know what Im comfortable with….”
What’s your creative process? “My whole thing is drawing, I love to draw. All I am doing is drawing on a bigger scale. I know too many artists that are doing murals and I leave the mural game to them”
How do you choose your spots? “I don’t know its one of those things. Sometimes you pass by a wall and just think to yourself that would be nice if there was something on it. Other times.. you are just drunk and you put something on the wall!
I create everything in my studio…. and then put it up”
Can you tell us about the art you have up in Jersey City? “In Jersey City I try not to get raunchy with it. I work for a company that does a murals project. I wouldn’t want to do anything negative in Jersey city. I am trying to relay positive messages. There are so many families down here so I am not trying to do anything disrespectful….”
What are your ties to Jersey City? “I started showing my artwork in Jersey City about 6 years ago. Ever since then Jersey City has been very welcoming to me…. They’ve been very open to my artwork. I am very happy for that….”
Favorite JC hangout spot? “I have to say LITM. Just because Andrea is awesome and she’s probably given me the most love out of everyone in Jersey City”
Do you collaborate with any other street artists? “I’ve only done 3 murals my entire life and one of them was with LNY (Lunar New Year)”
Do you have any messages you want to convey through your work? “Its all fun to me…. I was always a street kid growing up …. I was probably in the street the majority of my youth so to me my home is the street. I feel like when I am out interacting with people that is the joy I get of it all”
Whats a fun fact about you? “I enjoy taking pictures of road kill…. and I also have conversations with my cat Noodles”
Why is your artist name Sean 9 Lugo? “I was tripping on acid one day with my good friend and was listening to the Beatles song #9. When we left my crib I started writing 9 everywhere…. My friend said nine watches over us, it made no sense at the time. A couple of months later he fell from the 9th floor of an apartment building . I write 9 now in memory of him”