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LTRHDS Interview – Greg (SP.One) Lamarche – i.

One of the 26 interviews going up with uncanny regularity on the LTRHDS exhibition blog.

www.LTRHDS.com/blog

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The 4th interview in the LTRHDS mini interview series is with New York typographic artists Greg Lamarche, who began writing graffiti in 81 as SP.One and working as a designer and artist since 2000.

Greg’s style reflects the fonts, lettering and graphical noise of the NYC street. Working with collages, bold colors and applying the aesthetic approach of graffiti and street signage to artwork Greg’s swirling lettering is both familiar and truly unique.

More artwork and info on Greg Lamarches’ site.

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Was your move away from being SP.One partly due to a feeling of dissatisfaction of boredom with what graffiti has become? Is it still the progressive medium it once was? Or had the time just come for you to do something fresh and new?

SP is only one aspect of what I do and branding my tag was never something I really wanted to do. I am a purist when it comes to graffiti. For me graffiti is in the streets, highways, tunnels and yards and has nothing to do with the art world. My artwork is directly informed by my experience and the energy that was once used for bombing is now put into my work to create, in your words, something fresh and new. But for me they are two different things.

That said, I try and paint whenever I have an opportunity.

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word-associationWhen did you develop an interest in collage? What is it about collage that fascinates you?

I have been making collages since about 1980-81 around the time I started to write graffiti. I used to pick up old fireworks wrappers and empty rolling paper packs in the schoolyard near my house. I’d rummage through the desks in the classrooms to find scraps of papers and wrinkled-up love letters to make collages.

There are many things that fascinate me about collage primarily the unique nature of old worn paper and that sense of time that each piece evokes.

Creating a new collage must be a painstaking process… tell us how a piece typically comes together.

My process goes in cycles. I sketch and draw all the time and constantly take photos for ideas and reference. I am always digging for materials and amass boxes of papers, wooden letters, books and all sorts of ephemera I use in my work. Then I spend several months sorting and cutting and cutting and cutting.

gregLamarcheLogoThen I begin the process of laying works out and creating compositions. Usually there are anywhere from fifteen to twenty different works in various states of completion. This process varies, sometimes I make pieces right away and other times I will play with a composition for months till it is finally right.

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oWhat does your current style represent? Your works seem like a viral swarm of letters, all splitting apart and swarming across a neutral space… there’s a slight (albeit orderly) menace to it. Is there a reoccurring theme or mood that you like to explore in your works?

For the most part I take elements of graffiti like movement, booming colors, repetition and spatial relations and utilize them in my work. It’s like how we use only a small percent of our brains – I feel with graffiti it’s the same thing. There is so much to explore and create beyond and into other mediums using graffiti as your base for inspiration.

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greg-lamarche-hustleWhat’s your most fertile source of inspiration? Of all the print you scavenge to create these works, where do you find the most striking typography?

I have bagged materials from all over the States and in other countries but for me my biggest source of inspiration and materials is NY.

Because I am a native and have lived here most of my life I have my spots. As time goes on it becomes harder and harder to find good collage stuff.

Most mom and pop operations are long gone and there are only a few thrifty junk stores left, so it is always a challenge.

It’s not like I can just go to the art store.

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Greg Lamarche is represented by Anonymous Gallery in NYC

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"Outflow blue" Paper collage 10.5" x 8"

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City Code, (Bar Code series), 2007 Paper collage, 6 x 9 inches

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The I's Have It, 2008 Paper collage, 10 x 14 inches

lamarche_roach

La Cucaracha, 2008 Paper collage, 12 x 6 inches

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Diamond Jubilee , 2007 Paper collage, 9 x 6 inches

o-flow

O Flow. Collage on paper, 11.5" x 11.5"

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