Tag Archives: graffiti

Life & Art: Jeremy Pape aka Konsequence, 25 – Denver

Armed with only a camera and a laptop, Jeremy Pape of Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game is ready to take the music video world by force. The Canada native levels with RFLX 5280 to talk about his art, his style, and D.O.P.E.’s next move.  By Bryanne Mitchell

Konsequence

It’s a chilly morning in the Mile High and I walk into Illegal Grounds Coffeehouse all too ready to warm my hands with a freshly brewed soy hazelnut latte. I say hello to the smiling barista who’s busy wiping milk froth from the counters  and inhale the friendly atmosphere. The air’s deliciously thick with the scent of spicy chai and earthy coffee grounds. I can’t help but order a large and foamy cup before introducing myself to the gentleman in plaid, who’s planted on a big, comfy sofa in the seating area of this quaint little café, intently working on his laptop. There’s no doubt; Jeremy Pape, aka Konsequence, is a tireless virtuoso.
WTTDG5 He works days and nights with the motley crew that embodies, “Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game”, a creative assemblage he founded alongside Turner Jackson, the late Marcus “Arilius” Hayes, and DJ Dozen. Their philosophy is simple–“Don’t Oppress Positive Energy.”–and there’s definitely a wave of cool, creative energy radiating from the burgeoning collective of positive thinkers.

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gucci mane dope gameAs Director of Photography for major projects like Turner Jackson and Sid Madrid’s video for “Malt Liquor” (which was filmed in Denver) and Gucci Mane’s video for “North Pole”, Konsequence already has his foot in the door of opportunity.

[Watch both videos at the bottom of this post!]

In January, he also colluded with Ink Monstr to produce his first art show, appropriately named, “The Brown Bag Art Show”, which showcased his photographic talents to an Invite-Only crowd of enthusiasts.

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DG1 In the words of the great Doc Brown (yes, that was a Back To The Future reference), “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”  Although Doc may be a  fictional character, Konsequence shows us that his words are pure truth.  The power of the mind is a positive energy that gives us the ability to conquer all.  Put your mind to something and welcome yourself to the D.O.P.E. game.

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How did you come up with the name “Konsequence”?

Jeremy Pape: I used to do really shitty graffiti in Colorado Springs when I was younger [and that was my alias]. I was born in Toronto, Ontario and lived there until the end of middle school. I went to high school in Colorado Springs, then moved to L.A., and went to school there for a little bit but — same story as everybody else — you run out of money and come back home to try to figure some shit out.

How would you describe your work?

JP: I’m unique. It’s pretty much just telling stories and evoking emotion. Those are two things that I like to do. So I guess [my work is] whatever that is, whether it be with photos, videos, or design. It’s definitely not nearly as polished as other people’s work. Visually, I’ve always liked a little grunge. I love it. I’m not even sure if it’s relevant anymore, but other people seem to like it, too.  I just picked up a camera maybe a year and some change ago, so my style is always evolving, but I know that it’ll always be honest and documentary.  I’m not the kind of guy that shoots studio settings  and cars draped with girls. That’s not me at all.

WTTDG6How did you get started?

JP: Akomplice clothing company is, like, my favorite clothing company ever. They really made me want to design, but I sucked at it. I’m, like, the worst artist. I’m terrible at drawing, but I graduated from UCD with a degree in Fine Arts for digital design. I just picked up directing videos when I met my friend, Turner Jackson. I did a few of his album covers and one day he said, “I’m sure we could learn how to make a music video,”  and, well, we did!

DG4How do you find inspiration?

JP: Just living my life. It’s weird as shit. Haha!

What influences your work?

JP: I am obsessed with Hype Williams–he’s mega dope–and there’s a lot of directors in Atlanta that I really appreciate, like Motion Family and Decatur Dan. I look to them for all the cool new shit.  I also really love European graffiti artists and that Basquiat-esque European swag.  They’re street artists but their work is still classy.

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What’s the connection between your work and your life?

JP: They’re one and the same, really.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

JP: My mom told me to never give up.

DG8What’s next for Welcome to the D.O.P.E. game?

JP: We’re going to be putting together a few shows in the next year. I really want to focus on pushing the art community of Denver.  Our last art show was really successful so we want to hold another one at the Jet Hotel on March 29th. I want to feature some of my favorite Denver artists.  [The theme is going to be “40 oz.” Each artist will be presenting an interpretation of 40 oz. of malt liquor.] I also hope to push some sort of cool monthly art scene that’s NOT like First Friday.  First Friday is cool, but it’s already established and  the scene really isn’t ‘me’.  I think we could get really progressive and do some cool stuff.

What is one thing you wish you’d done when you first started out?

JP: I wish I would have believed that my career was going to be successful.  That would have informed a lot of my decisions better.

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What are you reading right now?

JP: Just Do Something [ by Kevin DeYoung]. I’m not a thinker, I’m a doer.  I like to meditate while I’m in action, so I probably don’t need to be reading this book; it’s only fueling the fire. But it’s cool because it’s shown me how to be confident in the decisions I’m making and how not to worry about fortune cookie quotes and other bullshit.  I really only read self-help books.

What can’t you start a day without?

JP: Coffee and weed.

What do you wish you could spend more time on?

JP: Selfishly and honestly, I wish I could just spend more time on myself. I’m actually going to South America in May because I really need that right now.

Must have accessory?

JP: This wooden rosary. I have to have this, always.  The first video I ever did outside of Colorado was Gucci Mane’s “North Pole” video. We shot it in the trap and that’s also where I stayed.  I had to sleep with my laptop in my arms and my camera as a pillow because I didn’t know if it was gonna get jacked! I got this rosary right before I stayed there and nothing bad happened. I know He was holding me down.

Memorable and regrettable splurge?

JP: I don’t really splurge on anything except plane tickets. You should always treat yourself to travel. If you don’t buy clothes, buy plane tickets.

How would you describe your style?

JP: Dirty. I try to be tasteful. My only thing is, no holes in the jeans… my mom would never like that.

What clothing trend do you really hate?

JP: I just can’t get behind the men’s dress thing.  But at the same time, my dad can’t get behind the saggy skinny jeans thing, so I’m sure when I’m 40 and I have 17 year olds wearing dresses, I’ll just be like “I don’t get it,” no matter how much they explain to me why it’s cool to them.

“If you looked in my closet right now, you’d mostly find…”

JP: Flannel and Vans. I probably have 20-25 pairs of Vans shoes.

Favorite song of the moment?

JP: Oh. My. Gosh. Right now my favorite song is “Work’ by Young Scooter and Gucci Mane.

Guilty pleasure?

JP: Everyone knows that I love drugs and alcohol, so probably that, but if you ask the girls, they’ll say the girls.

Hidden talent?

JP: My brothers and I are actually really good at synchronized swimming. Ha! We had a lot of time together while we were growing up.

Favorite TV show?

JP: I don’t really watch TV but I watched Sons of Anarchy on Netflix and went through all of it ridiculously fast.

Favorite Movie?

JP: In the Land of Women, starring Adrien Brody. My ex stole it, but I love that movie.

Favorite Meal?

JP: Breakfast Burritos, hands down. I used to run a breakfast burrito blog where I would review the joints that I liked. Illegal Pete’s floats my boat right now.

Bronco Gang?

JP: I’m from Canada so we don’t really get into football, but, of course, I’ll cheer for the home team.

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Denver Street Art #2

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Life & Art: Denver Street Art #1 (Downtown)

Life & Art: The Coolest Cat

As a retail manager by day and mixed-media artist by night, Lindsay Berry balances the new life she began in the Mile High with the reflexes of a street-wise alley feline.

“Does it smell like kitty litter in here?” Lindsay Berry asks when I arrive at her mellow Aurora Southlands apartment. Her grey tabby cat, RuPaw, meets us at the door with a hiss. “Oh, Ru, quit bein’ an asshole!” she scolds. The candy-sweet charm in her voice amends the candor.

She sniffs the air and snickers at my puzzled look. “I just cleaned Ru’s litter box, but if you smell kitty litter, tell me.” It actually smells very clean inside, which is a surprise, considering how the 23-year-old mixed media artist is a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady“.

Berry’s a fan of chunky rings.

What does she like most about living in Metro Denver? “The BEER SELECTION!” she cheers, stretching her arms and fingers as high and wide as she can. I should have anticipated that answer, given the seriously hi-tech wine chiller in the kitchen, a pretty awesome collection of beer bottle caps, and other drink-related decor. The woman obviously loves her beer.

Lindsay Berry

“Does it smell like kitty litter in here?”

The modern and cozy  living room of her  luxury, one bedroom flat  has just enough warm light to notice the offbeat collection of cat figurines on every bookshelf.  A contemporary dark-wood Chinese screen casually leans against the wall behind a collage-obscured computer desk.   Back issues of Vogue, Cat Fancy, and fitness magazines cover a fashionably slender coffee table.  Matchbox 20 plays softly in the background and Berry’s   gone back to her bedroom to finish dressing. She’s cheerful and talkative, occasionally  yelling about Marilyn Manson tickets for October or the  Back-2-School fashion show she organized for her  retail employer.

This girl, layered in colorful tattoos and piercings, isn’t the kind of girl who you’d expect to hear fawning and mewing over freakishly cute cat pictures. I can’t help but comment on the figurines and a detailed, close-up drawing of a cat that hangs on the wall.

“Catwalk”, Digital Photography, 2012

I hear her laugh from the bedroom when I ask about the obvious feline infatuation. “We lived in a trailer park in Louisiana and my babysitter’s cat had a litter of kittens.” The day after the litter was born, the babysitter’s daughter took one of the kittens outside to ‘give it a bath’ in a wagon full of rainwater. “She was drowning the little thing!” Berry  remembers.

At 3-years-old, she realized the kitten was in trouble and  ran to get the babysitter before anything happened. “The next day, I came home and there was a gift bag on my bed with the kitten I saved inside!” Since then, Berry’s curated an extensive collection of cat paraphernalia, to include several kitten-emblazoned shirts and a few kitty-themed tattoos. “Chloe was

A graffiti collage, varnished onto Berry’s computer desk.

with us for 16 years; She’s really the reason I’m such a crazy cat lady!”  You’d have to be crazy about “woman’s best friend” to deal with Ru Paw’s bipolarity everyday. He springs from under the armchair I’m sitting in and successfully bites me on the back of the calf.

Was it something I said?

When she emerges, Berry brings some of her artwork to the living room. She’s changed into a tailored pair of distressed, straight-leg  jeans, a white T-

Shirt, and studded combat boots. She’s tousled her hair in that perfectly meticulous, just-got-out-of-bed-because-I’ve-been-partying-all-night fashion and  wears a sly smile. Kate Moss, circa Johnny Depp comes to mind…

A work in progress Berry began in August.

“My work is very abstract,” she says. “There’s never really a plan. If I find something I really want to use, like a cool stencil, I’ll base the rest of the piece off that. My personal style is sorta unplanned, in that sense.” Ru walks into the living room and lets outs a startling hiss. She pushes him away and continues, chuckling at her grumpy old man of a cat. “I might pick one piece that I really like, and go from there. It never seems to stay the same.”   Each piece of her artwork is outrageously different from the next, ranging from in-camera photography to graffiti art and colorful 3-Dimensional collages. Unpredictable Mr. Ru Paw is a fitting, occasional subject of Berry’s work, as he seems to have changed his mind about me and snuggles up to my feet. Maybe it’s the lighting. I’m feeling a little bit more comfortable, myself.

Berry’s stencils and spray paint

She tells me about her family who visit her often and how close they are. After dealing with a major break-up in 2009 she picked up and moved out of her parents house near Salt Lake City, Utah to live in San Antonio, Texas as a retail management trainee. Once hired as a full-time retail manager, her company transferred her to a local store in Aurora. “I was really young and my heart was completely broken. I really just  wanted to move on  and then here’s this awesome career opportunity.”

Berry shows off her tattooed sleeve.

It’s a gorgeous day so we decide to hang out in the city. The sun hangs high over Denver and its nearly 95 degrees out. The 25 minute drive to 16th Street Plaza seems like an hour. Of course, when Berry moved to Colorado in 2010, she didn’t realize how far her apartment would be from her favorite parts of town (the one thing she dislikes about her new home). “I live all the way out in Botswana! Everything’s far away from me.” This doesn’t stop her from finding her way all around the Mile High. She explores the city at every chance. “I don’t like to just sit in the house. There’s a lot to do here.”

Downtown traffic is slow, pedestrians throng the sidewalks and there are detour signs on almost every corner.  Berry looks out the window at the chaos. “Oh, my God, this is ridiculous–wait, isn’t Taste of Colorado still going on today?” She laughs at our ill-preparation.

“Self-Portrait”, Mixed Media, 2012

We park somewhere in Capitol Hill and walk toward no particular destination. She makes it easy to just laugh and talk about everything from ex-boyfriends to horrible bosses. By the time we circle back to my car, 3 hours have passed and it starts to rain. Berry rides with the window rolled down, appreciating the coolness of the water after such a long day in the sun. “When I get home, I’m gonna find a place to just lay out in a field and get rained on,” she says. I can’t tell if she’s joking or not.

She runs her hands through her damp hair as she gets out of the car and we say goodbye.  She trudges up the steps to her apartment. The crazy cat lady manages to still look effortlessly cool, even drenched in rain. She must have missed the “floral print tent dress and orthopedic shoes ” memo at the last cat lady convention. We’re not complaining.