I’m not an Artist. I’m a Hustler

On September 2nd, 2015, Art is Power’s Executive Director, Patrice Milillo, visited KGB Studios in Los Angeles, California to sit down with long time LA Graffiti Artist, Galo Canote, otherwise known as Love Galo and Make One.

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Galo has been active since the early days of LA graffiti, associated with pioneering crews LOD, WCA, and STN. Galo was also a regular at the world famous Radiotron, a community youth center where the youth of Los Angeles developed their skills at break dancing, graffiti art, emceeing, and DJing. Radiotron was an important node of LA Hip Hop Culture until it was closed down and demolished in 1985. For many, Radiotron was one of the only alternatives to gang life, and when it was gone, many turned to the streets.

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After experiencing this destructive lifestyle, Galo launched the Love Galo project,

“to spread love in an effort to substitute negativity with positive messages.”

Through positivity, resourcefulness, and creativity, Galo has developed himself, his craft, and has created many unique opportunities. These include navigating the corporate world, education, extensive travel, and even teaching himself to speak Japanese.

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Galo is talented at noticing resources that are sometimes hard to see and possesses a knack for creating new opportunities. This came out in his response to my asking what he feels is his role as an artist. Galo answered,

“I don’t consider myself an artist. I’m a hustler.”

A question to ponder is whether this is simply his personality or did the arts cultivate some of that?

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