All We Need is Love + Peace

Interview with Chris Riggs

Chris Riggs- Moscow Mural

Image Credit: Chris Riggs

Expose: Jerry Saltz said that “this is art because the artist says it is art. It is up to the viewer to decide if that is bad or good.”

Riggs: You make a painting and show it to a hundred people. Fifty people will like it, fifty won’t. If seventy-five like it, that’s a good thing. I worked really hard on it and it does really well. People like my style and they collect it. My work is about peace and love. I’m happy that whole idea is booming. That’s what we need on earth.

Expose: Did you go to art school?

Riggs: I was mostly self-taught.  My grandfather’s paintings taught me to love art, but I never really liked the idea of art school. I don’t really like being told what to do. I just wanted to work on my own style.  I wanted to expand on my own work.

Expose: You started in Brooklyn, with graffiti and tagging, would you tell us about your early work?

Riggs: I started drawing when I was really little.  My first paintings were in abandoned buildings and train tunnels.  I was about 14. And then, I stopped at 17.

Chris Riggs, Street Art, Love, Peace, NYC                                     

Expose: Why did you stop?

Riggs: We were out painting murals on a roof and I fell off. It was a big mess. I was in the hospital. I couldn’t walk for a while. After that, I started painting canvases and then murals again. I did some under different names.

Expose: So, the accident is why you started painting on canvases, because you couldn’t walk?

Riggs: Well, after I could walk again, I just didn’t want to get in trouble again. I was going to college for business to work on Wall Street. I didn’t want any arrests on my record so I had to just paint canvases. Later, I was working on wall street and I’d be on the phone with clients and I would draw at the same time.  I would draw and work at the same time. It was the first time I made money while drawing, by drawing and talking at the same time.

Expose: You moved from New York to Miami. Can you tell us about that?

Riggs: I moved there about five years ago. The scene was just developing then and is still growing. I can paint faster there because the paint dries faster. New York has so many people with so many scenes. Miami, there’s not as many people. New York has so many scenes; it’s never ending. Miami is more like a big family.

Chris Riggs, Love, Peace, Street Art

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