August 13, 2013.
AK: What do you write? Are you in a crew?
JR: I write Junk Roxxx. I am the head of the FDC family(FunkaDeliqClique).
AK: In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?
JR: I started painting in Miami. The north side area, around the hialeah penit. By the time I knew how to paint the penit was torn down unfortunately. I definitely feel there has been a connection between my work and the community. Throughout the years I’ve used my pieces as a voice throughout the community. Painting the streets of the inner city has opened my eyes to a lot of the problems that the city faces, whether it be destructive or productive, the past 15 years of painting have gotten myself and my crew to take action on several occasions to help the community as graffiti artists. We have been in the slums and painted in some of the worst neighborhoods in the city and we have given back not only by providing the colorful side of this element but also taken it as far as having food and clothing drives for the homeless in downtown Miami. We believe in giving back to the community that has given us so much.
AK: Did you go to school or are you self taught?
JR: For the most part I am a self taught artist. I love learning different mediums and styles. I did a short run with the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale after high school but quickly realized that college was not for me.
AK: How did you get started in the arts and why?
JR: As a kid my mom had a big influence in my career, we were fairly poor so we couldn’t afford many toys or the latest technology. But my mom did what she could, she always taught me to excercise my mind and imagination. Mom always kept puzzles, art supplies and plenty of books around the house for me to entertain myself. Eventually I developed into an artist and fell in love with it. Around the age of 15 I picked up graffiti and have been doing it ever since.
AK: How long have you been working in the streets?
JR: 15 years
AK: Who or What inspires you the most?
JR: I used to say other artists inspire me. These days I have a new inspiration, I’m a new father. I have a 3 month old son that has changed my life. Now I do it for him. He is my inspiration to keep creating. We aren’t promised tomorow and when my son grows up I would like him to remember me as someone to be proud of, someone that he can look at and say that his father was a style master. A great artist. Most importantly, a respected man.
AK: What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?
JR: Graffiti and street art are two different things. I don’t like merging the two. I think street art is legal. Or if you want to consider stenciling and all that into the street art category you can. But I don’t consider that stuff at all near graffiti. Graffiti is illegal. Graffiti is letters. Graffiti is style. Graffiti is stylized destruction, if you dont have good letters then you dont have good graffiti.
AK: Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?
JR: I am a full time artist. I own Junk Yard studios tattoo parlor. Everyone can do as they wish. Some people don’t like being an artist for a living. Sometimes when something becomes your job you tend to lose love for it. I personally love it. I do what I want whenever I want and make my own rules when it comes to art. I can paint graffiti one day and do some fine art the following day. Then I can come back and tattoo someone. I like having freedom.
AK: What are you working on now?
JR: Lately, I’ve been focusing a lot on paintings. I’ve been putting forth effort to finding myself artistically and experimenting with different mediums.
AK: What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?
JR: I don’t have a specific goal in mind. Different forms of art has taken me places around he world and put me in situations that I would’ve never dreamed of being in. My career as an artist has treated me well. I can only imagine what my future holds...
Check out Junk's work http://www.JunkYardStudios.net