There’s a certain vibe at the Peel Here shows. It’s a combination of all the great art posted all over the walls, artist meeting each other for the first time and seeing the faces behind the stickers and of course the tacos and alcohol. Above all the commotion, music and food the heart of Peel Here shows itself in the comradeship between veterans and newcomers as well as first time admirers. When I asked host Sticky Rick to explain the meaning of the show, now in its third year, he said, “It’s not about who you are and I stressed that. ‘Why am I not on the flier?’ Well the same reason you’re not in the show. It’s not about YOU so get the fuck over yourself. It’s about culture. I’m not in this for the money and that’s the God honest truth. There’s history and diversity and that’s what I love about Peel Here. [People] are putting art on something that’s temporary, but it’s still art. This is what I like. Once like minded people get together, you can do anything.”
When asked about why the vibe of the show and the comradery between everyone is the way it is he described the nature of the artwork, “There’s nothing in here that’s threatening to each other.” He said that in the sticker community there’s no competition to be better than anyone else or to cross someone out because you don’t like their work. Kids who grew up admiring their favorite artist have a chance to be on the same level as them at the show. Artist MAS, said it’s all about “Respect. In this community, it’s all love. You meet other artist and you tell them ‘Hey I dig what your doing. Let me have some of your stuff and I’ll give you some of mine.’ It’s all love because everyone wants to expand. It’s a community.” MAS also thanked Rick for hosting the event. “Big ups to Rick. He has people in the show who are big names next to guys who are coming up. And he’s giving them a place where everyone is the same and equal.” Throughout the night the Ghetto Mansion was packed wall to wall with adhesive art lovers and artist from all over L.A. and the U.S.
Artist like NOMAD, Tiki Jay One, Restitution Press, Yo! What Happened to Peace?, Monk, Justin Kees and many more from all over the globe sent in their best work to be on display. The show kicked of at six o’clock and by seven the place was teeming with people trading, drinking, eating, talking and having a good ‘old time. Situated in the middle of the parking lot were a bench, street signs and mailboxes, which were plastered in a matter of minutes. Portapotties, inside and out, also became spots in which people posted their work. Next to said bathrooms was an amazing combo/mural of wheat paste that had work from everyone featured at the show. Parked next to the wall was the pink “Hearts Challenger” ice cream truck doing what they do best and that’s giving out stickers, selling candy and ice cream. Right next to the truck was the Hit and Run crew along side “You! What Happened To Peace?” silk screening shirts on the spot for anyone willing to wait in line.
Once inside your senses are bombarded by the smells, sounds and sights that make up the Ghetto Mansion. Stepping through that front door is like going into another dimension in which everything you know has been twisted and made into a sticker. Just walking through the door and seeing the workspace, tools and materials that abound allow you to feel the power and presence of all the artist that have come through and have yet to come. Rubbernecking and traffic inside the mansion were problems at times because Tacos own 455er was on hand working on his black and white sticker combo for the show. People couldn’t help but stop and witness the man at work. Throughout the night he kept a slow and steady pace building on it as the night continued on. Before even walking up to the second floor, stickers and artwork were all ready posted up. Between people coming and going the mansion was filled with a calm and serene energy through out the night.
The second floor featured the majority of the submitted artwork all over the walls, doors and everywhere in between. However the main attraction that caught everyone’s immediate attention was the colossal combo compiled of nothing but submitted work. The combo, which took three weeks to complete, was composed by Sticky Rick’s wife, mother in law, and sisters in law, along with stickers, envelopes and letters from contributing artist were posted up. Each of the letters thanked Rick for his work on putting on the show and his contributions to the sticker art world. There was live music through out the night with Dj sets in between bands. The show was a success by the amount of work that was on display and the number of people who came to the show. It seems that Peel Here gets bigger every year and artist keep challenging themselves and each other in creating stickers and art that make people question their surroundings.