Location: Philadelphia, PA
Type of street art: stickers
# of years doing it: 4
I first caught wind of Curly—as a matter of fact—I have no idea where. I saw one of his stickers and appreciated the wittiness of it. Then I saw another one. It caused me to seek out this artist by the name of Curly. That was a few years ago—I think. I found him on Instagram and followed him.
Today, Curly seems the same. His stickers show off his sense of humor as well as his random thoughts.
His style is a breath of fresh air. It’s more on the comical side but with a touch of seriousness at times. At the very least, his stickers should put a smirk on your face.
I thought the Curly character would shine through the interview, giving us a glimpse of what’s in his mind but instead he came off as a well-spoken, intelligent man, who only portrays the character of Curly during random(?), creative times.
*NOTE – I wanted to do this interview using 228s for the questions but figured it would take long.
Where have you been? I remember you posted something on your Instagram bio that you were taking a break. Or was/am I tripping?
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
What made you pick up a sharpie and a 228?
Boredom is counterrevolutionary.
Where did your trademark logo come from?
I have existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Great artists steal. A lot of what I say has been lifted off of men’s room walls.
Do your surroundings influence what you put on the sticker? What about your emotions? If you’re depressed versus if you’re ecstatic.
Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do.
A Katie Couric/serious journalist moment. You say you’re mom calls you a character but who is exactly is Curly? Is he an adult letting his inner child out? Is he a bong-ripping jobless adult? Is he comical genius? Is he the second coming? People want the answers!
There’s no way to describe what I do. It’s just me. I just want real reactions. Pure entertainment is not an egotistical lady singing boring songs onstage for two hours and people in tuxes clapping whether they like it or not. It’s the real performers on the street who can hold people’s attention and keep them from walking away. My only promise is that I will try to entertain you as best I can.
I can manipulate people’s reactions. People criticize you for trying new things. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
When artists make art, they shouldn’t question whether it is permissible to do one thing or another. Also, since art is a vehicle for the transmission of ideas through form, the reproduction of the form only reinforces the concept. It is the idea that is being reproduced. Anyone who understands the work of art owns it. We all own the Mona Lisa.
What are your thoughts on these ideas for future Curly stickers?
- If the pen is mightier than the sword, what is the sharpie?
- This sticker is actually a .gif!
- This sticker will get you likes on Instagram.
- Eh, I’ve done worse
The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued. If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it.
I thought this was brilliant. How did you come up with it?
I don’t think conceptual art and traditional art are all that different. A sculpture is just a painting cut out and stood up somewhere.
Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them. I’m obsessed with being different. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I don’t play favorites with people. My basic philosophy is that the only way to make the world a better place is by bringing something beautiful to every single person you run into at every moment of the day, so how can you play favorites with somebody?
Here are some more photos of Curly’s artwork.
(Photos credit: Curly’s Instagram page)