Friday, January 09, 2009

celebrating Deuce Seven

I didn't quite know what to make of the first Deuce 7 drawing I saw, on the side of a boxcar up in Roanoke a year or so ago. With its beady eyes and menacing mandible, it looked like the head of an ant -- but with parted and wispy hair. The number "27" (which at the time I did not realize was his signature) punctuated the sketch. A month or two later I noticed another one... and then another... each sketch was different from the last, but all were drawn in the same recognizable style -- a combination of street art, fantasy art, and hobo moniker -- unlike anything else rolling out there on the rails today.

My first sighting of a Deuce 7 - Roanoke, TX on the UP

A search through a few of the flickr pages devoted to freight car graffiti and paintstik sketches revealed further insight into the art, style, and modus operandi of the enigmatic "Deuce 7". Not only is he an accomplished artist; he's also a train-hopping advocate -- one who enjoys the freedom of ticket-less travel aboard freight trains from city to city to practice his "art", which includes oilbar drawings, aerosol paintings, and other mixed media, usually -- but not always -- applied to the steel and aluminum canvases of North America's railcars.

Wizard's Gang - dated 10/08 (just two months before I saw it)

Most of his sketches and paintings depict fantasy creatures and structures, elaborately drawn with clean, crisp lines and recurring patterns, sometimes with a cubist influence. Stingray shapes and the faces and heads of insects and crustaceans appear repeatedly, as does an expressed passion for travel and transportation -- by rail in particular, but also by air and sea. The work of M.C. Escher appears to have been a source of inspiration in some of his sketches of buildings and structures.

A fairly typical "Deuce 7" oilbar sketch

"Relaxing with oilbars in Petersburg, Virginia"

Enid , Oklahoma

a rare catch? A Deuce 7 drawing on a tank car

Deuce describes his work in the video documentary "Reefr Madness" (viewable on Youtube)...

"My style of painting is geared for all types of people, mainly hippie mushroom girls trippin' in the woods."

Keep up that unique style, Deuce... I'm not a girl, I'm not into 'shrooms, I ain't trippin' in the woods... but it should suffice to say that I dig your work, man... and I'll be watching the rails, hoping to see more.

Visit Deuce 7's flickr pages here at the link below; you'll find that the scope of his work runs far beyond freight car sketches and aerosol graf.
Deuce 7 on Flickr

Or check out another Deuce 7 "fan" site here:
MD11 Forever - Deuce 7 gallery

"Reefr Madness" on Youtube (part 8 of 8, includes about 2 1/2 minutes of Deuce footage beginning at 03:00)
Reefr Madness - Part 8

Enjoy... keep an eye out on the rails... and if you a Deuce painting or drawing, send me a photo.


np: Minor Threat - "Out of Step"

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Blogger FSwift said...

Ayo man, this is Fred Swift in Albuquerque...
Just wanted to let you know that I got some really nice prints done by Deuce7 available for purchase. Let me know if you might want to check them out, I can email you some pics.

Hope all is well!

2:29 AM  

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