Back Talk: A Conversation with Other

Juxtapoz // Monday, 25 Jul 2011


A Canadian pied piper of disjointed fellars and femmes in pied-colored hose and Cosby family sweaters, Street Artist Troy Lovegates AKA Other works tiny and large with a free-wheeling style that tramples over boundaries.  One of the new mashup mixers, Lovegates has been hopping freights cross country with a paint stick and wanderlust since the late 80s.  Whether with straight-up aerosol on the wall or hand painted multi-media wheat-pastes, the always experimental and voracious nature of Lovegates’ imagination pops with rich color and pattern, balanced by an often somber countenance to calm it all down, people. —Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo


1. One reason you make art:

It just happened...I don’t feel I have a choice.

2. The last good movie you saw:

I prefer riding a train and looking out the window and thinking.

3. Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to:

Make music


4. Favorite country or city visited:

Can I say favorite planet? I like the whole Earth.

5. A few words that sum up your philosophy on life:

Drink...fuck...fight... or just moderate drinking, love and scribbling on things....or sleep ...or bike across the country. It changes every day..I am philosophically A.D.D.

6. Something you want the world to know about you:


7. Something that annoys or frustrates you about people:

That there are too many of them. 

8. Something that concerns you:

I feel a bit guilty about being alive because inevitably I am contributing to destroying the world by doing so...which makes me kinda suicidal.


9. Artists you admire:

I am Canadian we admire hockey players, not artists.

10. Favorite quote(s):

“It is not down in any map; true places never are” – Herman Melville

11. The first record or CD you ever bought? The last album you downloaded?

The first record I ever bought was "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by AC/DC.  I have yet to download an album. I don’t have the patience to listen to whole albums. I am more of a shuffle song type.

12. Something you do when you’re procrastinating?

Respond to interviews.

13. What is your most defining characteristic?

Naked or clothed?


14. What is your greatest fear?

Flying...I have just flown from Buenos Aires to Bucharest and I am super worn out from 20 hours of fear.

15. The moment you realized you were an ‘artist’:

I immediately went out and bought a beret and a bottle of cheap wine and got drunk, smashed my whole apartment and went to my girlfriends place but she was sleeping with another man.  So I went down to the docks and cried...then made a real good painting about it.

16. Your greatest quality:

I do not stand out .. I think after 23 years of doing graffiti I have almost become invisible.


17. Something you wish you could change or alter about yourself:

My underwear more often...other than that I am happy appearing as myself.

18. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it?

I was rolling through Montreal with my dog on a one eyed bandit (boxcar) - a quick ride to across town to another yard to paint in.  The train went onto the mainline and started picking up speed.  All I had was a t-shirt and maybe five bucks on me and I didn’t feel like ending up hours out of the city. So I jumped with my dog in my hands ...the train was going way too fast and I smashed up my face good and almost rolled under the train and almost killed my dog, but I ended up getting invited to a Hell's Angels party on the way home because they though I was a rough ass with my face all smashed up and got a shitload of free beer out of it from them...while making up stories about my streetmeat face being because of a big fight. It wasn’t worth it.


19. Something you wish you had known five years ago:

That life is pretty easy... I used to be so stressed about everything.

20. What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years of your life?

I dont even know where I am this morning really...I mean I know it’s Bucharest but the area of town I’m in or which direction it is to downtown I don’t know.  But I am ready to explore. I hope in five years I am lost and wandering and not trapped in one city with one repetitive job; from home to work to bar to bed to home to work to bar to bed.  I hope I am on a mountain or next to a lake or biking across India or something and taking in everything I can while I can.

All photos © Jaime Rojo


You can see Troy Lovegate AKA Other’s work in the new group show, “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories”

Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, founders of Brooklyn Street Art

In collaboration with ThinkSpace Gallery

Opens at C.A.V.E. Gallery, Friday August 12th 6-10pm

Runs until September 4th

C.A.V.E. Gallery



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