Interview with 2SHAE

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Born in West Los Angeles in 1977, 2SHAE attended Laguna College of Art and Design and worked as the Lead Art Director for West Coast Customs for over a decade. In 2012, he set out on his own to concentrate on his personal work. 2SHAE’s characteristic style of dynamic patterns and compositions along with bold gesture give the work an alluring energy. 2SHAE now works full times in the studio on his personal artwork and commissions – as well as recently finalizing a residency at The Seventh Letter.

Music On Walls had the chance to discuss with 2SHAE about his newest works highlighting the hold addiction has over some of the musicians that inspires his art. His new solo show “Pill POP’n CULTURE” will be opening at Ewkuks Gallery in Los Angeles from October 13th.

Can you tell Music On Walls why you chose to create artworks inspired by music?

The reason I chose the musicians for these paintings is because of their addiction. Whether they’ve passed from not being able to stop using and/or abusing drugs or it’s because they still are or have had a history with it and are open to the public about it. Some of them are newly deceased. I know that this can be controversial to a lot of people. Nonetheless, I feel like with artwork as well as music, controversy is something people don’t like to deal with. When produced in the correct form you can actually get through to somebody in a different way than you can by just telling them directly.

Addiction is something I’ve dealt with my whole life. Both of my parents being addicted for many years, drugs were actually a common thing in my house. It wasn’t a touchy subject at all. It was actually as common as having groceries in your refrigerator, it was just part of my life. When I found out me and my wife were expecting a child I immediately stopped using drugs. In the beginning it was a battle, but as with anything in life if you love someone or something you’ll do anything for that person. Honestly, between my wife, my artwork and God, those three things carry me throughout the day. My son is the light that shines through and keeps me smiling.

I feel like as far as my art goes, I love where it’s at right now. I love that I’m able to tap into a subject that I am emotionally involved in and I can understand it as good if not better than all the musicians I use as a canvas. I hope this opens doors to me being able to speak and tell my story to other addicts, artists, musicians, etc... I understand the struggle, I understand the pain, the neglect and I feel like musically when a musician sits down, digs in and creates a song that is actually an event or a place and time that has occurred or that he or she’s been involved in personally. It taps into peoples emotions and they definitely connect more than just a bunch of catchy words.

Why is music important to you, in your life and in your art?

Music and art go hand-in-hand they both are ways of communication and ways for people especially creative people to get stuff out of their system. It’s like therapy! It’s beautiful, it’s sad, it’s up, it’s down, it’s controversial, it’s easy, it’s soft, it’s hard… At the end it’s all just a beautiful thing that only the chosen few were gifted with and we should embrace the few and the many.

Do you have a favourite piece ?

If I had to pick a favorite piece and I’ve done about 30 to 40 of these it would be between the newest Jimi Hendrix and the Kurt Cobain entitled “Monkey on My Back”(which my good friend Tal Cooperman owns).

Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by musicians ?

Yes, I am planning on doing at least 10 to 13 new pieces for my new solo show '“Pill POP’n CULTURE” (my third one) surrounding this addiction and abuse problem. Always using celebrities, musician and actors who have passed away or are known as drug abusers to show the toll it’s taking on everybody’s life.

What kind of music do you listen to when your creating ?

As far as music, I listen to a variety of genres, I grew up on classic rock and early hip-hop and have since open my ears to all sorts of other music. I love storytelling music and I definitely love controversial music. I would have to say that hip-hop and rap are basically the main anthem in the background while I’m painting but I definitely love 70s and 80s rock - it just brings me back to being a kid when everything was so simple.

What have you been listening to lately?

I’m actually listening to the Beatles as we speak. The new “Kamikaze” album by Eminem is pretty good as well, definitely a lot of anger and energy behind that.

Listen to 2SHAE’s playlist made for Music On Walls ->

What was the last gig you went to ?

We just got back from doing a gallery at Kaaboo festival in Delmar where a ton of random musicians from all different genres were playing

Are you a musician yourself?

As far as being a musician myself I played the drums when I was in fifth grade at this magnet school for art but that was because I had to I don’t think I have a musical bone in my body besides my ears.