Uncapped: Out of the Ground with Black Irish Rob

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 at 10:00 am by
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Welcome back to our weekly Uncapped series. Black Irish Rob, originally from Rosedale, Queens in the cyberhouse! Get ready for a lil’ history in the name.

BOWERY BOOGIE: Let’s talk Black Irish. I’m geeking because it is a historical term to describe dark haired Irish (a.k.a Rob). His family came over during the Irish Potato Famine of 1847. Therefore, Black Irish Rob draws potatoes. Oh, the irony. Guess where his family ended up? That’s right folks, our very own Lower East Side. Gateway to America, stepping stone, first stop, back where it all began.

Alas, I am not supposed to be writing a historical piece on the potato famine (which I am now inspired to do), but to interview Rob, a highly intelligent and well-spoken gentlemen with a penchant for family history and Harleys. We love Harleys, too. Check out a piece we did on Harleys and the Hells Angels a while back that Rob read and enjoyed, right?

BIR: Thank you! Yep. Very well written and researched.

BB: Black Irish and potatoes … it’s actually genius. The way you’ve turned a devastating part of Ireland’s history – a blight due to the blight – into something light-hearted and hilarious.

BIR: Thank you, again! I started the Potato Life around February of this year. I was just doing the usual sticker graff thing and a friend of mine PHEO (@lazyassdestroyer) on Instagram is a hell of an artist. I saw some of his stuff and just started drawing a potato cause of the whole Black Irish thing. I didn’t think much of it at first, but it got me doing some brush on canvas work again and between the two, it’s been a lot of fun. Graff was always the focus, but this potato is starting to take over. I work on motorcycles and ride with a group called the Black Irish and my whole family is Irish; that’s another reason. Stereotypical, but I like potatoes, I drink, I like a good fight so fuck it! It works. POTATO LIFE! BLACK IRISH 4 LIFE!

BB: In other situations it might be considered stereotypical, but to me this just seems brilliant. Does your potato have a name?

BIR: His name is Potato. He doesn’t talk.

BB: Ha! Good to know. Original. So where do you find those old advertisements that Potato shows up in?

BIR: My wife has a bunch of magazines lying around. The school I work at throws out magazines from the ’50s ’60s and ’70s. The Smithsonian Magazine is fun. I love messing with famous people.

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BB: Nice. Poor Jennifer Aniston. She and Potato seem to have a lot of interactions, but she can stay seated right there because this is my absolute favorite (below).

Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas meets Potato also known as Potato time travelling to 1656! 

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BIR: That’s awesome you recognized it. That’s the Smithsonian Mag again!

BB: Love it. On a more serious note, though, you’re very open about health issues that affect your family. Will Potato be taking those on as well?

BIR: Yep. You will see more with Potato taking on diabetes.

BB: You could really do something with that. As pamphlets at doctors’ offices for kids trying to understand diabetes…

BIR: This is true.

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BB: Except maybe without the guns (for the kids). You used to write ‘KLINE’ and have stopped that completely. Do you miss that form of graffiti?

BIR: The graff thing in my life is great and it’s horrible (i.e. getting arrested, being screwed over).
Bombing is the true form of graffiti. The bombers, we are in our 40s now. Hand-style is everything. My idol was Mode. Dude just had style. You can have a million ups. If it’s ugly, it’s ugly but if your hand style is dope, that’s what I like to see and appreciate. Illegal shit is illegal; it’s great and I love it. What some people are doing now isn’t illegal, but I still respect it. You came up hard? Fine. You doing well now? Good. We need to stop bagging on each other. Legal walls to illegal … do you and Gd bless ya.

BB: Gd Bless ya back. Thank you so much for joining us this week. If Potato rocks a Boogie shirt one day, we won’t be mad. ;-) Follow @BlackIrishRob on IG.  Peace, y’all.

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