The Mile High region often times gets looked over as a graffiti epicenter, but truth be told, Denver has produced some of the most notable talent in the realm of graffiti. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pulp is now pushing his art-form on the streets of the big D and you’d have to be blind to have not noticed the work he’s put in. Bringing that old school, traditional funk with a new school twist, his style is the type that garners props from O.G.’s and new school writers alike. Pulp was kind enough to take a few moments to discuss his story and his views with us.
Can you tell us a little bit about what drew you to graffiti and how you got started in it? I was in and out of lock up as a teenager.
My first encounter with graffiti was a kid in the same juvenile detention (center) as me. I saw him drawing these dope letters on a school folder. I pretty much started drawing letters immediately.
What do you do to maintain a healthy graff life/regular life balance? Does graff ever get in the way?
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to make a living from art so graff doesn’t really conflict much with my lifestyle.
Where did you come up and how was/is the scene there different from anywhere else? What makes it dope/unique?
I grew up in and around Pittsburgh. That city is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. The landscape, the architecture, the rivers, the bridges, the smell, the people. The scene is dope and has a long history in graffiti that I think a lot of people forget about, which kind of makes it a secret spray-cay spot for those who know what’s what.
How did you come up with Pulps as your name and is there any deeper meaning behind it?
I got the name Pulp from the novel PULP by Charles Bukowski. I suppose the deeper meaning is somewhere in the pages of that book.
What do you think it takes to really make an impact as a writer aside from quality and quantity? What other things do you think it takes?
Beyond graffiti, it’s how you behave on and off the field. Ur actions always speak louder than words. So even when you’re painting words it’s definitely about how you carry yourself as a person.
How did you get down with a legendary LA crew like ICR and what do you think it takes to keep a crew tight and connected?
I got into ICR thru the homies Dread and Niets. Everyone from the crew has been coming out to Denver for Colorado Crush since the beginning, so I had the chance to meet the crew and paint and party over the years and it was a good fit for all of us.
So ICR is my fam. I think it’s important to communicate and have expectations of each other that keep us all on the same page.
What has graff taught you that you can use in other areas of your life?
Word is Bond.
What inspires you creatively and if you had to describe your style to someone who had never seen it, what would you say?
Everything inspires me. Art, music, anger, drunkenness, weather, people, the list goes on. I’d have to say my style is classic, traditional American graffiti, a little funk, structure, and mad color. Keep it clean and crispy.
How do you feel about the drug culture within graffiti these days?
I don’t think there’s a way to answer that without pointing the finger or sounding like a hypocrite. There will always be kids that write graffiti, and there will always be kids that party. Those two worlds will always exist.
In terms of how graff has evolved over the last decade or so, what do you think is good or bad? What would you change to make it better in your opinion?
Things usually evolve out of necessity and one thing that stands out to me is writer activity. Nowadays it’s pretty standard to travel more frequently and build presence in other cities, which is really dope because I see the graffiti community growing and being more connected.At the same time this is also exposing society to more and more graffiti, which I kind of feel has a lot to do with all this “street art” nonsense.
Who do you think is doing it right these days?
Skuba. Konqr. Werst.
Who do you think is slept on/deserves more shine and why?
Duble. Isrek. They’re both phenomenal artists. their discipline and dedication to art is unmatched.
How do you feel about beef on metal/trains? What advice would you give younger cats when faced with potential conflict or beef?
I don’t know. Realistically, beef is just whack. People, handle your shit.
How has graffiti affected your family dynamic/home-life?
It’s been a mess at times. I’ve been in hella trouble, It’s pissed off every girlfriend, but it’s also been the best thing I’ve got too.
Do you think older cats who have paid their dues and gotten some shine in the graff game have a duty to pass knowledge down to the younger generation to keep them from ruining the culture?
What do you do to constantly keep things interesting with your letters?
I Try to make those letters dance.
How do you feel about the inherent narcissism and ego involved in graffiti culture and how important do you think it is to cultivate humility within yourself and your inner circle?
I think it can be a bit of a nuisance at times. We’re all guilty of having an ego, and being aware of that is important.
Do you have any unique painting stories you could tell us about?
Unique? Hmmm. Funny, for sure. Me and 2Buck are at the bar with Doher And Niets out in Detroit one night. Buck points out the window to this tall ass billboard: CrimeStoppers (laughs). So we get up there a little drunk, knock out some straight letters. Buck’s climbing down first and I didn’t realize it, but by the time he was headed down the pigs had already rolled up on us.Niets and Doh are standing across the street watching. I’m like, “oh fuck, we’re done!” But Buck yells up to me and says, “c’mon Pulp it’s all good.” So I come down, these cops yell at us and tell us what terrible people we are for vandalizing their billboard, give us our paint back and bounce! So we rolled right back into the bar for last call. Still laughing about it to this day.
If you could paint any city, what city would it be and why?
I’m looking to get out to Berlin as soon as I can. A good friend of mine was just there over the summer and assures me it will be the time of my life.
Any last shout outs?
Trigz, Betor, 2Buck, Bits. All my crew mates in TAF and RTD. Ausk, Noise, Tast, Fumoh, Dinar, Fleks and Mesr.
To see more of PULP’s work head to his instagram
By Paul Lukes