"Kon Would Rather Eat A Palm Frond On Slater's Birthday Than Drink Muddy Water"

Pablo Power merges text, photography and painting to echo the ephemeral life of the unseen. Passionate about documenting not only the lives but also the lifestyles found just outside city limits, Power submerses himself in grimy subculture and finds that it isn’t so bad. Rather than criticizing his surroundings, Power focuses on capturing moments and regenerating their energy. As a teenager in Miami he experimented with a myriad of disparate offerings to the street. Exploring a range between public subversion and permanent collaborative commissions for Miami Dade Transåit, Power eventually settled on what would be his focus and obsession for years to come: spontaneous bombardment of all accessible space, stationary or mobile, with his “visual mantra.”

"Gang Signs And Other Enigmatic Puffmutterings"

Power began taking photographs of friends such as the “Inkheads” crew, and quickly began incorporating these photographs into studio work, experimenting with texture and medium. Thick acrylic paint strokes are juxtaposed with finely-printed marker lines which become incidental to the photograph. Each facet of the picture melds into the surface, collapsing upon one another to form an interwoven image. Finally applying the last layer to his works, Power attaches found objects, a physical, literal record of his travels. His current work is a culmination of his extensive photographic efforts and bears similarities to his work as a young street artist. Today, Power’s message is as raw and powerful as ever. Pablo’s work was recently exhibited in Re:Form School produced by The Hole Gallery and will be showing with 800lb. Artists at Splashlight Studios from November 1st to December 31st.

"Half A Face Brings Alex Full Circle"

Carissa Pelleteri: What did you begin first? Photographing or Painting?

Pablo Power: I started out with painting. Originally, in the street, but as time went on I began painting on canvas in a style that was influenced by the work in the street, but was more of an experimentation with color and texture. My first photography came later, and in the beginning was strictly a way to document the work in the street. Over time I start noticing that a lot of what I had first considered background in those photos was actually much more interesting than what I had painted on the walls and became the subject of the photos. I was also very fortunate to have spent those years around a very colorful group of friends, who were all very entertaining to document.

CP: How did your process of combining painting and photography come about?

PP: Mostly as a way to objectify the imagery that I was seeing in my head and provide myself the ability to reach out and touch things I was imagining. Over time I’ve experimented with a lot of different media and never been totally satisfied with the direction any one of them were heading, so I finally started wondering what they all would look like together.

"South Carolina Sex Offenders And San Franciscan Toilet Paper Vesture"

"Goodbye Goldsmith/Hello Goodthings/You Helped Me While You Hurt Me"

CP: Why do you think you are drawn and intrigued by the grimy subculture of your subjects?

PP: The subject matter of my work is really just concomitant to me not only being drawn to, but from a grimy subculture. The photographs and other work came after the fact of me already being in the margins of civilization, then bringing a camera out there. Later on, I did dream up some projects that had more concept and ambition behind them, the time I spent in Reno for instance, but even that stuff was really just pictures of places I’d be if left to my own devices.

CP: To become fully immersed in the scene you were making these photos of, did you change your appearance or lifestyle to blend in and relate to them?

PP: Not really. I did a series of photos in Miami with some pretty tough characters at a time when I would usually wear T shirts with cartoon bunny rabbits and was giving myself the stupidest haircuts in the world. On the other hand, I more recently did a similar project in Reno, but wasn’t shaving, bathing, or changing my clothes for weeks at a time. It did help me to blend in with the paranoid vagrom that I was photographing, but I actually would have done it out of laziness anyway.

"I was born screaming and I'm still screaming" (detail)

"I was born screaming and I'm still screaming" (detail)

CP: Has anything crazy or life threatening happened to you during any of your photo making adventures?

PP: I can’t say that I’ve ever really felt that my life was threatened, but have definitely had many crazy experiences. Best of all though, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some very nice folks who have been kind enough to show around a stratum of society that few people outside of it get to see.

"I Am A Highwayman. Along East Fifth Street I Did Ride"

CP: Is there anything you wish you did differently during the making of this series?

PP: I guess that’s an impetus behind continuing to experiment with these pieces and seeing how they evolve. Each time I finish one I see something that I’d like to do differently and try to make it happen in the next piece.

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