I wrote about Victor Gastelum several months back when I first starting writing for Amoeba.com. Victor’s iconic art has been used by Calexico, Culture Clash, Greg Ginn, just to name a few. Victor is currently showing in a group show called ALEX STEINWEISS: CREATOR OF THE ALBUM COVER at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica. Victor is one to show his appreciation for any artist that inspires him. I got him to share his thoughts on Morrissey, his Mexican following and Morrissey's supposed anti-immigrant remakes he made last November.
What makes you a fan of Morrissey? How did you become one?
I started liking the Smith's right when they were breaking up. I was starting to make my own art and I found Morrissey’s lyrics inspiring. Not that I wanted to draw what he was describing but that he was telling his own stories. You got the feeling that he was talking about what he knew. He along with other artists that I admire made me look at myself, and draw from what I knew about, what I had to offer. The music was the first attraction to the band though. I like pop music, especially with clever lyrics and hooks. The band was tight and at the time there didn’t seem to be anything like them.
Why do you feel that Mexicanos identify with him?
For me I think it might have to do with his outsider, nerdy loser
image. He made being square and dorky really cool. He is into all these obscure English pop artists, television shows, and movies that he would make references to. I think it made you place a little more value to the things you liked that most people didn’t know about or thought were lame. Also the Manchester bands seem to have this thing where they are all homeboys. Not so much pride or shame, but just an acknowledgement of where they are from. He put a lot reference to where he was from, places and buildings. I like seeing that, (for instance) like when an artist is from San Pedro or Long Beach and they throw that influence into their work.