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Chopping Block: James Haunt

Beautiful women, Red Bull, skateboarding, BMX, Ethica underwear what more could a graffiti artist ask for?  James Haunt is, without a doubt, a lucky man, but to meet him in person you would not be lost in a larger then life ego, but rather find a down to earth, humble guy.  We were able to grab a few minutes with him to talk about his real name and the story behind the eyes in his murals.

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POW:  James Haunt, pleasure to meet you. Although, we should probably ask first who we’re meeting. Can you tell us a little bit about Haunt? Did he make his debut around your emergence onto the street art scene?

Haunt:  "Haunt" was the name I painted on the street as a teen then later I merged my street style with my design style and "james haunt" was born. I learned design in high school and kept the two styles separate until my mid twenties.

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POW:  How did you get into street art? What would a usual session be like?

Haunt:  Graffiti was my introduction to painting on the street.  I usually vibe the location and concept an idea digitally then I take my shirt off and paint like there's no tomorrow or until my arm feels like it's gonna fall off. Lol!

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POW:  We’ve been browsing through your work and there’s a consistent use of the female face as the subject. Is this someone’s specifically?

Haunt:  The women I paint are my version of your "dream girl" I feel that faces, eyes and lips display emotion in subtle and not so subtle ways. It's become a theme to paint them over and over yet every piece is different and significant in its own way.

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POW:  Many of your illustrations remind us our favorite marvel comics. Any inspiration drawn from pop art?

Haunt:  As a kid I drew comic characters with my brother, we were heavily into it. I think it's definitely been a big influence on my style. I like bold lines and solid colors. The simplicity in it can be paradoxically complex a lot of the time and I like that.

POW:  If there were an epic mural you could paint, any where in the world. Where would it be and what would you paint?

Haunt:  I would love to paint a high rise mural in the heart of Mexico City. It's my roots and a goal of mine.

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POW:  Speaking of murals, you are one of the featured mural artists at the POW booth for the upcoming Shaun White's Air+Style event at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.  With a separate 20' x 8'  blank canvas set aside for each featured artist, Craola, Jeff Soto and yourself, can you give us a sneak peak into the idea of your finished canvas?  How does it feel to be working along side veteran and well respected fine art and graffiti artists?

Haunt:  I am beyond hyped to paint along side these OGs! I've been following Greg Simkins' work since I was a teen and I continue to be blown away by his work to this day. I learned of Jeff's work in my early twenties. I'm a big fan of his style and the originality/diversity of his characters. It's been a huge inspiration watching their styles evolve over the years. I am really looking forward to painting with them at Air+Style and to the event as a whole. I can't thank POW enough for having me be a part of this epic event! I haven't put too much thought into my concept yet but I've been scheming up some new versions of my style for 2015 so Id like to show some of that at Air+Style.

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For more information on James Haunt, please visit: http://jameshaunt.com/