Alex Ramirez Interview

Alex Ramirez featured image

I’ve known Alex longer than any other muralist painting in Oak Street this year. I think its been about 25 years now… We met when most of us lived and partied in Tempe. He was hanging with Lalo when we all lived on Don Carlos and hung out at Sub Society. During that era they (Kaper, El Mac, 21Rak, Equis, Fyse, Ower, Pez, Anker, and more) were doing Nitty Gritty graffiti shows on top of painting anything and everywhere, and basically handling most of the artwork for Drunken Immortals, Mob Action, as well as other bands and street labels. Alex had left Phoenix like a decade ago and has been living in SF and NY but recently moved back… I felt it was a good time to reach out and ask a few questions…

    It seems like a decent amount of graffiti artists transition from graffiti to tattooing (especially from NG)… Why do you think that is and how was it for you?

It was an easy move into tattooing for myself because of all my friends from NG that had become Tattooer’s.  Mando Rascon,  Isaac Fainkujen and Angel Diaz helped all help get my start into tattooing. Looking back it was the perfect situation for a lot of writers “graff artists” to move into tattooing. It was the the next step, and tattooing was coming into a new era itself. Here you had all these rad artists that didn’t give a fuck that needed to fund an addiction to paint, ink and whatever else we could get are hands on that we could write on shit with. 

Did tattooing make it easier to move where you want?
Tattooing definitely made it easy for me to go anywhere anytime. All I needed was my gear and as long as I could get there I’d be able to make a living.

Alex Abracadabra tattoo

What was your experience in SF? Got any highs or lows, or just a basic run down on the daily?
As far as SF, There are so many highs and lows  

  The highs; In its simplest form living there. It’s such a radical area of the country. I got to meet and become friends with some very interesting AMAZING artists Tattoo, graffiti, musicians, painters, Artists. Becoming part of SF is one of the highs for sure. 

Alex Art
Alex Art

   The lows;

  It’s cliche, the cost of living hahaha that in combination with how grimy and dangerous it had become was what did it for me.

What about New York? Why did you end up going there? How was that?
I went to NYC because shit, why not?! I had friends there NYC BABY😎

I feel like you do a lot of outline work and lettering for tattooing… Is that the work you like to do or what ppl ask for?

Flapper girl
Flapper girl

These days the simple random outline ironic sweet cute tattoo is trending, I love doing lettering. Made a name for myself doing a lot of lettering up in SF.

Also it seems like you lean into the horror or Halloween aesthetic… whats up with that?

I’m into the macabre. Dark. Hesh. Metal. Spooky. I dunno I’ve always been into mysterious odd poetic type stuff 🤷🏽‍♂️

The papercraft work you do it really interesting. I remember seeing a piece at Jonas’ house and tripping on it… Thats letterform as well yeah? Is that time consuming? It seems fragile and temporary… you got plans to do more of that?

Alex Paper black
Alex Paper black

I’m glad you mentioned that piece at Jonas’s, I forgot about that piece. My paper sculptures are my imagining of an infinite amount of letters numbers and symbols all chopped up, Then I take them and arranged to make letters numbers and symbols. Maybe It’s redundant but it’s fun Hahaha. It’s time-consuming for sure. I’m working on the new series of paper sculpture right now. They can be fragile but they’re inside shadow boxes so they’re well protected.

Whats next for you?
The next thing for me is making more paper sculpture and painting more murals.
Follow Alex on insta @3extrapens

Alex Paper gold
Alex Paper gold

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *