Urban street artist extraordinaire Free Humanity is blowing up the streets of Los Angeles and it’s hard not to take notice. And he is proud to be human! He spreads his political commentary – he is known for his radical integration of Che with Obama called Chebama – in an effort to keep people informed about the social manipulation of humanity that occurs on a daily basis. He’s a super spiritual artist, and his messages are meant to spread positivity to the everyday man.
He works largely with stencils and adds hand-finished color, incorporating a distinct pixelated effect, which he then wheat-pastes on the streets at night. If you happen to come across one of his pieces in the streets, stop and take a moment to admire! We had a moment to sit down with Free Humanity to chat with him about his work, his inspiration and his street-wise lifestyle. Here is what he had to say:
LF: What is social manipulation to you?
FH: Social manipulation is the insecurities that have been pushed on us by living in this highly advertised world, that have made people believe they need plastic surgery or a nice car to fit a confined box we call social status.
LF: Why is the statement “Proud to be human” so important, and can you give any words of advice for the souls out there who don’t feel this way?
FH: I think we lost the human aspect to life, it’s all about the numbers & statistics. That’s why I feel that is an important statement to be proud to be human. I believe we all have our own journey to find our way. I believe if one searches inside you will find all the answers to all the riddles of life.
LF: Do you feel as if you have reached a balance in your life?
FH: I try to practice living balanced every day. It’s an hourly practice, sometimes minute by minute, most the time, second by second.
LF: Why the streets?
FH: The streets are for the people. It’s the biggest canvas and largest gallery.
LF: What does L.A. offer you as a city in terms of your work?
FH: L.A. is a big flat city. NY, SF, London you have to fight for space. L.A. seems infinite.
LF: Although L.A. can be a competitive city for street artists… do you feel any pressure in that area?
FH: Art comes from inspiration. I feel inspired by other artists work. People like Alec Monopoly, Cryptik, Dog Byte.
LF: If you would bring back one wise quote that you were told as a kid, what would it be?
FH: The Miracle is Not to Walk on Water but to Walk on the Green Earth.
LF: Can you talk a little bit about your Chebama piece, why Che vs. some other revolutionary?
FH: CheBama is actually a commentary on two overplayed images. Both have killed woman & children. Both are war mongers. I made it when Obama was given the Noble Peace Prize, as he sent more children of the poor to be slaughtered to feed the War Machine that all our taxes dollars fund.
LF: You’ve been getting into Buddhist teachings… has this changed you in any way?
FH: I have and try to still read many religious books to the Sutras the Koran and Bible. They all have one goal. My lil bruv said to me the other day “Fishes swim in schools to reach their species maximum potential, humans haven’t reached that yet” – MLK
LF: You have adopted the “pixelated” style in some of your pieces … this is kind of a commentary on the way our lives are digitally engineered. Can you talk about this?
FH: The pixels represent a lot to me, I like to let the viewer to contemplate these things rather than dictate my thoughts about it.
LF: In the LSD interview, You listed influential legends suh as Guru, Biggie and Dennis Hopper. From a hip hop standpoint why and Guru and Biggie? From an art standpoint, why Dennis Hopper?
FH: Damn! Music is life for me from Guru, Skinny Man to Nina Simone, I love good music, it’s very inspiring for me. I was raised in the ghetto and live in the ghetto so hip hop resonates with me deeply. Dennis Hopper was a huge collector of art which I have always been, that’s one reason. A person’s art collection reflects their spiritual growth.
LF: So that said, are you hip-hop or rock n’ roll?
FH: Good music is good music I love it all.
LF: How do you LIVE FAST?
FH: I actually don’t live fast at all. I live very slow but I work fast LOL.
LF: Art Talk: What inspires you? Favorite art or work?
FH: Life and its many hurdles inspires most my art, but got to mention Brandon M Case and Dave A Soto. Super underground artist but so so much talent. Those guys inspire me.
LF: Sex Talk: What gets you off? Literally or figuratively?
FH: A gentleman never kisses and tells.
LF: Travel Talk: Favorite destination or travel stories (besides this epic journey) that you want to share?
FH: It’s all about the BCN. You can catch me having a damn estrella outside Monollo Bar if you don’t know…