PaperMonster Interview – Street Art for 2010 (old interview from the archives) – Stencil Art

PaperMonster Interview – Street Art for 2010 (old interview from the archives) – Stencil Art

PaperMonster Interview – Street Art for 2010 – Stencil Art

WG has featured PaperMonster a few times previously, about time we asked him some questions…





WG – What name do you paint as and where do you paint out of?

PaperMonster – I am PaperMonster, born in Puerto Rico, living in NJ and New York for now which you will find out more about later.

WG – How long have you been doing your art for?

PM – I have been working with stencils for over 6 years now. For every year that goes by it feels like things are evolving in such a rapid way.


WG – How do you describe your art, street art, stencil etc?

PM – My works in the street and in a gallery are two different animals. In the street I want to preserve the original decay, textures, and colors of walls and I incorporate my portraits of women. At a gallery the work is completely differently and the quality is on a whole other level. Street art has an extremely short life where you can put something up, walk down the street, and it is already gone by the time you walk back.

My art is focused on women, their emotions and stories. Each painting contains a collage which directly reflects who the girl is, what she is feeling, and what she had been through. I never create anything completely obvious like “ohh she is so happy.” Women are mysterious and powerful and my stencil art pieces tap into that in a way that no one had ever done before.

If you come to one of my openings you know that I let you touch the paintings, explore them and just take everything in to create your own impression of what I felt while making the painting. Few artists really allow you to “really” immerse yourself in a painting. Mostly everyone else just says some bullshit about what they made when in reality it had nothing to do with anything.




WG – Did you always combine the stencils with the collage stuff or did it develop over time?

PM – It was a major evolution process from the very beginning. The collage work has just become this huge chaotic mess of newspaper, textured paper, comics, money, paper from Tibet, and a bunch of other elements that I collage together.

In each painting I always put something that you can connect with immediate, whether it is you see Spiderman, Ninja Turtles, Ren and Stimpy, Robocop, etc. Once I create that connection then I develop a whole story within the painting so one you are sucked in to the painting you can explore on your own.

The goal now is to take that experience and develop it to something that is stronger and allows the audience to go through more emotions.



WG – You can only paint with 2 colours for the rest of your life. What 2?

PM – Black and teal. If I could not use black I do not know what I would do. I seriously have ordered over 100 cans of black from 2 different companies this year. It is like drinking water. I need that in my life.

WG – How long does it take you to put a new piece together?

PM – Each piece takes about 3 weeks to make. Each step has a drying time of 2-3 days because if each layer does not dry well you can make a major mistake and there is no turning back. The large street and mural pieces that I have been working on lately take about 7 hours to make and that is with no breaks.

When I paint something that large I don’t stop until it’s done. Most of us never want to leave something that we are right in the middle of finishing.

WG – Favourite shoes/sneakers?

PM – Ohh MAN!! Ok so this is a loaded answer. Top favorite sneaker type are Nike Dunk Highs. After that I love Nike RT1s, Nike Auto Flights and Dunk lows. I admit I have an extreme love for sneakers and I can name most color, styles, concepts, and limited edition releases that have come out in the past 5+ years. It is a problem.



WG – What art materials/paint do you like to use when you work?

PM – I love Belton Molotow spray paint colors. They are by far my favorite cans to buy. I have now been using the High Pressure line from the Belton series and these cans can make or break your work. If you use them wrong you will ruin 3 weeks worth of work but if you learn how to use them properly the quality of your art will shoot up 10 notches.

PaperMonster Ate That Little Boy @ Vincent Michael Gallery Time-Lapse from PaperMonster.

WG – You feature a pretty feisty looking lady in a lot of your art, where is she from?

PM – Each girl is different yet they all have similar qualities with beautiful eyes and great expressions. You may never meet these girls but hopefully you will get to know what they are about while exploring the collage work within the paintings.

WG – Where do you draw influence from?

PM – I don’t directly draw my influence from one source. I think as an artist you have to create what you want. There are pieces that I make that you will never see because I don’t think they say anything about me growing as an artists. The whole goal is to grow and push your own self yet at the same time you need to know what is going on around you and learn from people around you.

If you don’t feed off the creative vibe around you and use it in a productive way then you will never run out of ideas. REPETITION KILLS. I can NOT stand people who repeat the same image over and over and over. Always the same, no evolution, no new ideas!!! I HATE IT. People get really tired of that and it is what is killing the urban art and gallery scene. It is just bad news overall.

You see more and more galleries just use the same artists who do the same exact thing and the entire scene just needs new life. The same goes for magazines. Over and over you see the same artists and that prevents any new talent from gaining exposure and recognition that they rightfully deserve. It is super sad and one of the main reasons people are not buying magazines. Why,when I can see something new every day online since you have not for the past 2 years.

For me I see it this way; If I wanted to have a quick way out of course I could just repeat a stencil 100 times but what does that say about me and about the time I put into what I do and consider a profession.

WG – What artists you digging at the moment?

PM – Right now I am digging Dave Choe, Aj Fosik, Dalek, Tara Mcpherson, Dave Kinsey, Flying Fortress. The are some of my early inspirations. You can always count on something new from them. I will say this. There are tons of other people I have my eye on and what I can’t wait to see is how and when they become stars.

If you are a gallery and you are reading this take a chance on that kid who is craving that opportunity to prove everyone wrong. The people I listed above were in that same place a long time ago and look at them now. You never know!

WG – I saw in your latest live piece at the Electric Windows 2010 show and the collage stuff had some sick Mario and comic clippings, what do you try and include when you do new work?

PM – When I do new work it is all about topping whatever I did the last time I painted. I never hold back. I know that most of the paper in that piece is going to be destroyed by the weather but I wanted to create a whole story about the city, fear, and youth.

The Mario clippings are things you can immediately connect with but the real story is how those clippings connect with the main image of two giant snakes about to attack this beautiful girl. If you ever get a chance to see the piece look at the Double Dragon video game add inside the piece and relate them to the two giant snake heads.

double dragon computer game

(Photo from here…)

WG – What are your plans for 2010/2011?

PM – This whole rest of the year and next year are completely stacked with some secret projects and shows that are extremely well organized. The main focus and really one of the major life challenges coming up is starting my PhD in Biology.

I know….I know. Is he for real? Yes, I am just starting my 4 year long journey to get my PhD degree so right now I am trying to balance school and my urge to paint. Trust me if you are like me then not painting for weeks at a time makes you one of the angriest people around. Overall I won’t stop creating any time soon.

Thanks very much to PaperMonster for taking the time to talk, check out the PaperMonster site for loads more of his art. He has a banging flickr account too…