Art Gypsy Tales featured interview

1) Home or Away?
2) Who are you + What is your message through creation?
I'm Dustin Spagnola. I make large scale political portraiture.
My message is make the world better; there are other ways to exist. I express my own beliefs through what I do. It is possible to positively influence the outside world with imagery. You can teach people + ask them to question ideas.

3) Your first artistic encounter?
I've drawn for as long as I can remember. My mother always encouraged me to draw. I remember drawing on the walls in the stairway of my grandmother's house + sketching cartoons (Heman, Thundercats, G.I Joe...). I later moved to comic books. When most children stop drawing, I found myself doing it more + more. I didn't get in trouble for painting or drawing. I was quiet, staying inside. My mom didn't have to worry about me.

4) Where is your most inspirational place?
Inspiration might be the top of a mountain in a cow pasture in North Carolina or a beach in Florida.

5) What is the first step in your creative process?
The first step in my creative process is painting my surface white. Turning whatever environment into a blank + clean canvas.  I use walls as my primary medium. 
Currently the intent of my work is to affect the viewing audience. I'm not really interested in being considered by people who want to look at artwork + judge it on its artistic merit. I am much more interested in reaching the general public. I consider what I do to be the middle ground between corporate advertising + graffiti. I like to work legally. I like to reach people + influence them to consider my point of view.   

6) What are you working on at the moment? Any exciting future projects?
Recently I've been painting pictures of dead pigs. About to get new panels for upcoming body of work.

7) Your favorite work? Why? 
Most likely my Bush holding Obama mask in front of American flag (above). I've made a few different versions of this image. When I got to Miami this past Art Basel (Dec.2011), I ended up with this 22 foot tall wall, so decided to make a huge American flag. I feel like it was the missing piece to bring the image together.

8) Your fantasized collaboration (dead or alive)?
Ishmael was a collaboration I never thought I would get to do. But then met him, he ended up being the coolest + most humble person.

9) What is success for you?
Success is making art + having other people consider it. Affecting the outside world with imagery is amazing.

10) If you could pack only one thing in your suitcase, what would it be?
My jacket.

11) What would you imagine your last words to be?
 I don't have to do anything except breathe until I die. Everything else is my choice.