presence 4.0 Style Mixer will bring together the artistic, stylish and dynamic including our featured creative. August 16, 2013 in Santa Fe, NM at El Paseo Bar & Grill. More here. This post is part of the CREATIVES series.
“The ability to create is a universal skill, need,” shares Thomas “Breeze” Marcus. He describes the power of art to transcend boundaries of the present time and place. Art “is the highest form of language and it challenges people to decipher its layers…it challenges to be questioned.” It also connects us.
Marcus is dressed in jeans and a t-shirt featuring the work of Apache Skateboards owner/creative and friend Doug Miles. Marcus’s hair is wrapped by plain black bandana, concealing his long hair wrapped tightly underneath.
Marcus calls his style unassuming, “I don’t have a pair of jeans or shoes without paint on them…It’s not something I obsess about,” noting quickly, “but I am select about what I support and really try to avoid wearing labels. It’s simple – I dress and feel I can move from museums to freight (train) to do my work.”
Marcus notes the difference between style and fashion is the latter is “more temporary, short lived. Style is more permanent…something that stays the course of a lifetime.” As the interview in a Phoenix restaurant continues, he cautions even style can be bad as it creates a “pigeon-hole and crystallization.”
The concept of crystallization is a reoccurring theme in the conversation. Thomas’s background, artwork and style oppose this idea of crystallization because it would hinder the freedom to adapt. “We are surrounded by beauty and chaos so we need to think beyond boundaries…even when the boundary is a canvas.”
A multi-media artist, Marcus’s life as a teen in the Phoenix’s streets showed him the world of graffiti but “people don’t realize my line work isn’t just from graffiti, it comes from being O’odham too.” He is a student of the world with an interest in the eastern philosophies of Lao Tzu and Confucius.
Growing up between his community of Salt River and Phoenix neighborhoods, Marcus was “always surrounded by people from different backgrounds.” Part Tohono O’odham, Akimel O’otham, Ponca, Otoe and Hopi, he reflects a true understanding of power of interconnectivity between all people and cultures. His collaborations have included some of the most talented people in Phoenix, the southwest and across the country.
Marcus is skilled at surveying the scene, taking in the moment and determining what he needs to be – who he needs to be. Having just wrapped a 12-week art class is partnership with co-teacher Dwayne Manuel in Salt River, he taught a class of twelve students who learned the history of art including graffiti. The students were able to paint and eventually put their skills to use in their final paint session creating an epic mural (pictured above) in their community.
“Being a teacher you have to quickly figure out what a student wants from you and how you can help.” This passion to teach and give back runs deep. Talking about the Hethuska-Warrrior Society in Ponca culture, “Every culture is a warrior society – we should be. It means to keep things close, to take care of our families and children, to be honorable…but you can be honorable and still be a fighter.”
Thomas “Breeze” Marcus will be featured in a show at Blue Rain Gallery. Opening artist reception Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 5-8pm. More here.
Check out Marcus’s blog.
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