After his recent cover shot on Juxtapoz magazine, artist Jeff Soto chops it up with the Civil family. Soto is world renowned for his immense art skills, and imagination. In the wee hours of the night till early morning, painting walls and bombing trains was something of a close to heart for Jeff Soto. After a decade of destruction and beauty his art can now be found in galleries, homes, and store fronts across the globe…Take a trip into the world of Jeff Soto… For more on the interview please Check out:Civil After his recent cover shot on Juxtapoz magazine, artist Jeff Soto chops it up with the Civil family. Soto is world renowned for his immense art skills, and imagination. In the wee hours of the night till early morning, painting walls and bombing trains was something of a close to heart for Jeff Soto. After a decade of destruction and beauty his art can now be found in galleries, homes, and store fronts across the globe…Take a trip into the world of Jeff Soto… First things first before I ask you a question…I would like to congratulate you on your new born baby!! Soto: Thanks! We now have two girls, a newborn and the other is almost 4 years old. I am scared to think about when they are teenagers. What exactly is a typical day for Jeff Soto…? Soto: Well lately with our new baby we are up for a while at weird hours, last night we were up from 4am to 5:30, then I was up with my older daughter a couple hours later. I think I slept like 5 hours total which is okay for a night or two but week after week, it starts to jack you up. So lately I have been staying home with the family, trying to help out. I am just letting all my responsibilities slide lately, my emails are piling up, opportunities are passing but I don’t care. It is nice to be home with my girls. Today I shopped for groceries, did housework, and hung out with my kids. _________________________________________________ “But overall, I’m glad I did what I did. I think writers look at the world a little differently” -Jeff Soto What do you think are the pros and cons of graffiti…? Soto: I was a writer for a decade but haven’t been active for a while now. Pros- it was empowering as a poor kid to put up some art or a statement in the early morning hours and have everyone see it the next day. It was nice to get respect from your peers. Cons- We did a lot of stupid shit that could have got us killed. Now that I have two kids I am wary about staying alive and out of jail so I can be there for them. Sometimes late at night when I hear a far off train whistle my mind goes back and I cringe when I think about the danger we could have been in. But overall, I’m glad I did what I did. I think writers look at the world a little differently. Do you have a favorite artist…? Soto: No, there are too many to pick from. One of my favorite pieces you have done recently is “The Corruption of Mankind”..can you shed some light on what this piece is about and what it means to you..? Soto: I painted it during the big stock market crash in October. I was thinking about the greed of corporate America, and how it’s easy to blame them, but the people in our country are just as much to blame. The big houses, SUV’s, designer purses, all these expensive status symbols that regular people cannot afford, are also one of the factors that brought our economy down. I jokingly blame Mtv shows from ten years ago- Pimp My Ride, Cribs, and all these reality shows made my generation and younger think it normal to live like the rich. People tried that and overextended themselves which is one of the reasons we’re in this mess. What ever happened to being smart with your money? That’s one of the things I was exploring with that piece. What is your favorite time period in art…Renaissance, Medieval, ect., and why…? Soto: I like what’s going on nowadays, whatever this period will be called. This movement of representational art that is edging it’s way into all genres of art making. There’s some good excitement in the air. I’m going to throw some random words out there…respond in one word the best way you can. Jeff Soto- Jeffifer Life- Death God- Is dead Colors- Ice T Gallery- Swine Flu Street- hype Dali- ’stache Economy- is kinda fucked Fear- failure Civil- disobedience How would you like to be remembered? Soto: I guess just as someone who tried to do the right things. A hard worker. Nothing I have has ever been handed to me, I take a bit of pride in that. Hopefully some of my art will be remembered too…. Any future projects we should be looking out for…? Soto: My solo show, “The Inland Empire” opens at Stolenspace in London on May 14th. After that I’m gonna take some time off, release a print or two and work on some projects that have been pushed aside for a while. I have been working so feverishly the past two years that I need a break. Shout outs..family..homies..lovers..? Soto: Shout outs to my wife Jennifer, and girls Shannon and Natalie!!