Behind The Paste: Goons Interview
By Stella Suhayda a.k.a. ADDICTED Chicago
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing street artist Goons whose bright-eyed, big-lipped, quirky wheat pastings can be found in numerous spots around Chicago.
It was easy to hear the passion and energy in Goon’s voice. This is an artist who puts his whole self into the creation of his work, dedicated to staying true to his art and his beliefs.
ADDICTED Chicago: When did you get into street art? Start Goons? Where are you from?
Goons: I got into street art in 2003. I started in Vermont, tagging on trees and other such shenanigans. Then I went to college in Chicago and started Goons there in 2004. I basically failed most of my schoolwork because of my intense focus on getting up in the streets. My goal was to hit every neighborhood and big spot in Chicago, everything else was secondary.
What do you think it is about Goons/street art that fascinates/attracts people so much?
I am dedicated. Dedication speaks through all mediums. People notice dedication. I give my spirit every time I create and that’s all I have.
When you think about the images people see in a day that go unnoticed, forgotten, or simply ignored, how do you keep the image of Goons fresh in people’s minds and make it stand out?
Basically I pour out what I feel in the moment. If I am feeling it right now, it can’t be any fresher. So whatever I am in the mood for right in the moment that’s what I use as inspiration and I think that becomes timeless. A forgotten image is stuck in time. It is trying to achieve something at a later date. I make my art to create a lasting image in people’s mind because they can experience it now.
What does success for a street artist mean? More tags? More talk/buzz/thrill?
I would say the more I focus on my inner world the more the outer world gives me talk/buzz/thrill. I find no point in doing something for others. Do something fully for yourself and you will be giving your all to others. If you do it just for the outer world it’s empty. Do it for yourself and just the very process of itself fulfills you. In other words, it’s fun because it’s fun. It’s thrilling because it’s thrilling. It’s buzzing because it’s a buzz to create. No other reason.
When people ask you what message you’re trying to convey, is it simple or complex?
It’s simple, I do it because I have to. Because it’s in my heart and I have to give it outward. It has no other place to go.
What’s the hardest part about being a street artist/accomplishing your goals?
The hardest thing is not giving any energy to negativity or what other people are doing. Like I said before the outside world is totally meaningless. The act of creating is highly personal and it only has to do with one person, the creator. Therefore I release any reliance on the outside world and put full faith in myself.
What does Chicago mean to you? The people, art, architecture?
Chicago is an amazing place. It’s like no other city. It’s raw, rugged, and real.
What’s your favorite part of Chicago? Any favorite spots? Hidden ones?
My favorite spots are all in the West Loop. By the Metra tracks. Biking on the roads all-alone. So alone. So happily depressing.
I know you collaborated with Hotbox and Magic Milk. Any future stuff in the mix?
I just designed a tee-shirt for MAGIC MILK’S next tour. They are awesome awesome awesome. Everyone go check them out. And everyone needs to know about the HotBox!
In a lot of ways I think street artists are just as important if not more powerful then some of the writers of Chicago. The power of an image really sticks in people’s minds, more so than words at times and can really mean more to someone because they can interpret it how they want. How powerful do you think an image can be?
I think an image can be only as powerful as it is viewed. An image can be everything. Look at an image and ask it what it is. It will tell you everything. So an image can be all-powerful and is.
Do you go to the sites having what you’re going to a paint in mind???
No. I always paint from a blank mind. Whatever comes next is what comes next.
How do you want Goons to be remembered?
I want it to be remembered now. I want people to think about it right now. Hunt it out. Find more of me. I am everywhere. Get some art. Find a way to get your own Goons in your house. I want Goons to be like guardian angels for anyone who has one in their home/office whatever.
**Be sure to mark your calendars for October 5th, Goons will be presenting a show at Maxwell Collette Gallery in Chicago. **
Learn more about Goons here:
Photos Courtesy of Barry Burman:
© 2012. Stella Suhayda (ADDICTED Chicago). All Rights Reserved.