October 8, 2013.
If you ever see a motor home with two spare tires on the back painted into the bust of a sexy lizard woman you already know who Rob Fogle is. You will never forget his style. This Wilmington, NC native made the trip in 2012 to paint in Wynwood during Art Basel.
AK: What do you write? Are you in a crew?
RF: Bear/ACT(Art Cream Truck)/Truck, with a few other names floating around. Occasionally, I'll just write my real name when it's a good spot like an idiot. I wouldn't say I'm in a crew but I definitely wouldn't say I'm not in one. Art Slab, CSC, Thrive.
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?
RF: Wilmington, North Carolina is where I began with a can in my hand man. I owned an art gallery with a friend here in Wilmington for a bit called Art Slab which I felt had a pretty positive effect on the town and in return the town has helped me stay inspired and push forward. It was weird and we did it our own way, I think people need to see that. Doing things your own way that is. We closed the doors to the Art Slab gallery and renamed it Art Slab Movement, then opened the doors to the traveling gallery Art Cream Truck. After a good deal of traveling in that thing I again realized I have a pretty close and loving relationship with the east coast in general.
AK: Did you go to school or are you self taught?
RF: My Grandpa Bob owned an art business, my Aunt Kathy owned an art business and my Mom is a high school art teacher. With that said, they gave me a strong platform to jump off in to my own style and figure out my own mediums. I cut most of my classes in school to hang out in my favorite art class (don't tell my Mom) and took one semester in college and lets just say it wasn't for me.
AK: How did you get started in the arts and why?
RF: One of my earlier memories I have is Mom painting a mural of Pandas or clouds or something. I don't think I have stopped painting on walls since. It wasn't until around my mid-twenties that I started getting real hardcore about it. I realized it's the only thing I really like doing that has the possibility of being able to support me or at least buy me a slurpee here and there. Everything else I like to do is a lot of fun but doesn't really seem to have a future, so combining painting, traveling and having a lot of fun is my business strategy.
AK: How long have you been working in the streets?
RF: My homie Leaf bitched at me for a while to pick up a spray paint can a few years ago. I was reluctant thinking an airbrush was better until I finally did it. Now I'm straight addicted. On one hand you could say I'm fairly new to painting in the streets, on the other hand I kinda have been living that life for a long time it just wasn't as focused.
AK: Who or What inspires you the most?
RF: I gotta put the brakes on for this one because I have so many shout outs for an answer. Family and friends are kinda big on that list, but I guess my inner drive is to just break free of this every day mundane bullshit life we are all getting stuck in. I'm really inspired to see anyone doing what they love and doing it their own way and equally inspired seeing people who don't so I can fight to rise above it. I think my favorite driving force I get is when I see I'm inspiring others to do what they love too. That is such a great feeling.
AK: What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?
RF: The general public should get what they get about it. It's no one's job to really explain their art, that is the point of making art. If I really wanted to explain things more I would get a job talking on the radio or writing in the paper. I want people to use their heads and figure out what they want it to mean to them. I'm not gonna cry when people hate it cause it is a reaction to the work. If they like it or not they are thinking about it and reacting but I guess if I could help it I would hope it is opening a few minds here and there.
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?
RF: I quit my "real job" a few years back because I couldn’t stand doing something else other then this. One day we are going to go pull our heads out of our asses go through a new renaissance and realize it is a real job. My way of life isn't yours. I do what I want and paint how I want to paint and that's it. I love it. It's a hard fucking life sometimes but the pay off is unexplainable. For that kid who loves to draw as a hobby, don't think you can just live it because you do some painting every once in a while. You'll get sick of doing so much work going full time art and it will ruin the joy of it. If having a job at Piggly Wiggly pays your bills and you have fun painting at night maybe you should stick to that. Going full time art doesn't mean you can't paint what and how you want and I find it offers more pressure to find an even more creative outlook.
AK: What are you working on now?
Today is a great day. I'm going out to body paint a model then do a photo shoot with her as I paint the inside of a tunnel in one of the favorite new secret local painting spots. Then I pack up tonight for a month on the road with some best friends/artists to paint bodies/canvas/etc., and vend art at different kinds of festivals on the east coast while keeping my eyes peeled for a good wall or two(or 10). I'm not sure if I am traveling in the Art Cream Truck this year though, I have new plans for her that will take some heavy work and time. Maybe I can get her to Art Basel Miami though.
AK: What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?
RF: Inspiring, teaching, opening, learning, pushing and evolving.
Check out Rob’s work. http://www.ArtCreamTruck.com