Karlos "Odessy3" Carcamo is one of the original b-boys and graff artists who is now a successful gallery artist. His story inspired us, tales of everything from running with the crew to tangles with the cops. And his art is kick-ass, no denying it. For more photos of what Karlos is up to these days, check out his cool site.
1. How did you get into street art?
Karlos: Since my earliest memories I was always making art. Up to about the age of 11 or 12, my friends and I would get together to draw and make our own comic books. Graffiti art was in the air by the time I got to Junior High School. As was breakdancing, rapping and DJ’ing. This was 1980/81, the heyday of graffiti culture and hip hop even though it all had been moving along for at least 10 years. I guess it was a natural progression for me to be influenced towards graffiti but the actual trigger that set me off was a newspaper article on graffiti writer Mitch77. It included images of his pieces which I then used as a template to study from. As I remember, Mitch 77’s piece was done in a very simple bubble letter style. I took that and applied the style to my own name as best I could, trying different combinations.
I didn't know what I was doing so the pieces looked pretty raw in the beginning. I wasn’t familiar with the proper tools of the trade either like designer markers. I just used what was laying around including highlighters. I also didn’t have a graffiti tag name yet. That took another year to figure out for many reasons including other writers having the same name. I went through a bunch including CCSupreme, Legend, and Mirage. Eventually I settled on Odessy3 or OD3 shortened. The name came from a magazine article on some dance club called Club Odyssey but I misspelled the name changing the y to e and dropping the e before the y. I kept it that way since it flowed well when I wrote it.
2. What's your favorite marker/paint/medium?
Karlos: In the early days some of the tools I used were custom made. To draw in black books I used designer, prisma color, and enamel markers. On walls I created my own through a combination of india ink, chalkboard erasers, and anti deodorants. The spray paint I used then and now continues to be Krylon. My favorite medium today, of course, is painting on canvas over wood panels. Too old for the streets and legal walls don’t really interest me.
3. Who else should we look at?
Karlos: That would be Smurfy GLK (Get Loose Krew) We go way back.…
Thank you, Karlos, for such great answers! (all pics courtesy of KC)
Street art, gallery art, comic art, artists doing their own thing
September - Julie Chibbaro
August - JM Superville Sovak
August - Bilrock
July - Deb Lucke
July - Sari Wilson & Josh Neufeld
June - Risa 'boogie' Tochigi
June - Urban1
May - Eugene 'Mr. E' Stetz
April - Karlos 'Odessy3' Carcamo
March - Jay 'Braze One' Sayers