Local slap tag artist CRUDCITY is dirty, debatably legal, and awe-inspiring

by | Jul 16, 2015 | STREET ART

On infrastructure, in restaurant bathrooms, on street signs and dumpsters, it’s everywhere.


On infrastructure, in restaurant bathrooms, on street signs and dumpsters, it’s everywhere.

Does street art hold more over our heads than we think? And what about the seemingly random stickers that pop up at the above locations and more?

“Sticker bombing,” or slap tag art, is a quick and brilliant way for a artists to nonchalantly influence the public and leave their creative imprint on society. As slap taggers all over the nation transform city structures into mini canvases, artists are slowly gaining recognition and turning this often-frowned upon hobby into a legitimate artform.

You may have seen the Pabst Blue Ribbon logo (top image) scattered about Richmond, but those who have taken a closer look have seen that this iconic logo has embodied a new label, CRUDCITY.

#wip @sinkswimpress

A video posted by Chase Beasley (@chasebeaz) on

”The name “CRUDCITY” just sort of happened,” says Editor in Chief, Designer, and Creative Director of CRUDCITY in an interview. He asked that we keep him anonymous as to the debatably legal nature of his work.

“It’s a place where people do whatever they like doing whether they’re getting paid for it or not. It’s sort of an alternative lifestyle. It’s part of an active subculture of creation, freedom and community tucked beneath the surface of everyday 9-5 jobs and consumerism.”

#cruddy #skull #illustration

A photo posted by Chase Beasley (@chasebeaz) on

CRUDCITY is a Richmond born company, where every item is hand-drawn, hand-sewn, and/or hand-printed right out of the frontman’s apartment. These homespun items include stickers, patches, stamps, t-shirts, and more.

“My inspiration comes from experiences I’ve had in this dirty paradise of a city, the flourishing street art culture, and from my friends and family,” said Crud. “I’ve always been into art. Making and viewing it. When I was really young I would get into trouble for writing on walls and furniture all the time. I remember getting my paint taken away for painting the tv screen.”

The art may be mistaken for glorified doodles, but CRUDCITY has a recognizable look that compliments the punk persona that Richmond, as a city, has adopted. “I do art for myself and the homies, but mostly just to create and to see a project get finished. There’s nothing like finally seeing the completed product after investing so much time and energy into it,” said Crud.

But stickers aren’t the extent of Crud’s work, he’s already printed hats and shirts, and he’s working on a video project he’s hoping to release in the next year.

I'll be selling some handmade cruddy goods this friday @ circle thrift shop! #firstfriday #broadst #rva #crudcity

A photo posted by Chase Beasley (@chasebeaz) on

“I would love to do start messing around with large scale murals,” he said. “There are a lot of other things that I would like to ‘dip my toes into,’ so to speak.”

Along with the expansion of its merchandise and projects to come, CRUDCITY acts as a backbone company, featuring other Richmond artists in its publications and giving them the spotlight when possible.

“I have a lot of talented friends that contributed to the zine. CCZINE is basically my way of centralizing artists and photographers from Richmond and surrounding areas,” he said. “It captures some aspects of the city you don’t see everyday on your commute to and from work. I think it helps to build a community that keeps art alive and hopefully inspire others to create.”

Dads

A photo posted by Chase Beasley (@chasebeaz) on

“I don’t have any “street art rivals” that I know of. I don’t think anyone is really competing with anyone else. I think were all just sort of doing our own thing. If anything, I would like to come together and collaborate with as many creators/eclectics as possible…there have been some cool opportunities to connect and collaborate with a lot of talented people. Everyone has been real supportive. I think, really, we all like to see each other grow and prosper and just have a good time.”

CRUDCITY assures that Richmond artists are supportive of one another, considering each unique idea/contribution a beneficial element to the urban art scene. It may be excessive sticker-bombing provides a grunge factor, but when the stickers are hand-crafted by individuals who have a genuine love for the art form and for promoting creative expression, what harm is really being done?

“Cops should have better things to do than to worry about some kids putting up a few stickers,” said Crud. “I personally love seeing stickers collected on signs and dumpsters and in shitty bathrooms. There’s a lot of really cool diverse art out there made by the same people you walk by everyday on the street. It’s great.”

18×24 Slimey dingus #acrylic #paint #slime #cartoon #cruddy #goopy #drippy #dingus #painting

A photo posted by Chase Beasley (@chasebeaz) on

Richmond is for sure a city centralized on creative expression, but local creativity continues to escape the city’s boundaries and onto new locations, which is the easiest way for resident artists to gain recognition in far places.

“Most of the stickers have gone up just from handing them out to friends. They slap some and give some out to other people, and before you know it, they’re everywhere,” said Crud. “I’ve got a few friends in other cities that are holding on to some of my work. The stickers have definitely got around more than I would have ever imagined.”

#crudcity

A photo posted by Chase Beasley (@chasebeaz) on

“I’ve sold some things online and done a few pop-up shops here and there, but my stuff primarily gets around by word of mouth,” said Crud. “The most successful merch is probably the stickers. Not in a monetary way at all, but they have done a lot more traveling than I have been able to do.”

Becky Ingram

Becky Ingram

Becky Ingram was with RVA Mag in the Summer of 2015 and has continued writing for RVAMag.com and GayRVA.com ever since, mainly submitting festival coverage. She has recently relocated to Berlin, Germany where she works as a photo-journalist for a fashion photographer. She hopes that her B.S. in Economics from VCU and her international journalism experience will help her acquire a content manager position for VICE Video some day. Her interests include surf cinematography, gonzo journalism, and funky bass lines.




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