El Peezo: 2014 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Visual Art (VIDEO)
You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives, and the results are in. Introducing our 2014 Big Brain finalists.
Janessa Hilliard El Peezo's version of Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas at Phoenix Public Market in downtown Phoenix.
For a guy who craves anonymity, El Peezo certainly is on a lot of street corners.
And walls of abandoned buildings, as well as occupied ones. And in parking lots and alongside bustling restaurants.
Since first surfacing on the street art scene by appearing on the concrete of downtown Phoenix, El Peezo has brought an increasingly popular and accessible form of public art to the Valley: wheat paste.
See also: "Urban Legend" Award Celebrates Creative Phoenix Pioneers in Honor of New Times' Fifth Big Brain Awards
El Peezo: Inside the Big Brain 2014 Finalist's Creative Space from Voice Media Group on Vimeo. Video by Evie Carpenter.
The urban art form was first used by guerilla artists and protestors to adhere posters and fliers and has since been re-appropriated by artists like Nether and Banksy. The mixture, which consists of simply wheat flour or starch and water, doesn't permanently deface anything but also struggles to withstand the elements -- which is why many of El Peezo's paste people are missing half a head or have shredded feet.
He seems to emulate Banksy when it comes to more than just his chosen medium. Throughout his career, the hyper-popular and now commercial, yet still controversial, artist has chosen to remain anonymous -- which, of course, has only made him infamous. Phoenix's El Peezo, it would seem, hopes for a similar approach, explicitly and repeatedly declining to be interviewed by anyone.
Courtesy instagram.com/jorgeignaciotorres El Peezo posted this to his Instagram account with the caption, "Perfect example of why I do what I do [...] some folks don't think it's art or original, but the fact that I bring joy to others makes it all worth it!"
"I began my work as El Peezo in hopes of bringing fun and lightheartedness to my life and my environment through satirical street art," he writes in an e-mail to New Times.
"The content and placement of my work is done exclusively without permission. To preserve the essence of El Peezo, I choose to remain anonymous in the Phoenix art scene. Continuing to maintain complete anonymity is of utmost importance."