Anyone that is a fan of American graffiti art knows about the legacy of TEMPT ONE. His iconic hand style, taking from his Chinese and Mexican roots, is believed by a lot of fellow graffiti artists to have helped put Los Angeles on the map. He is known for harmonizing the precision of Chinese calligraphic lines with the boldness of classic serif Los Angeles "cholo" letters.
|TEMPT ONE's 3D graffiti sculpture in 2011 at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, a collaboration with ANGST, EYEONE, DEFER, PRIME and SLICK|
TEMPT ONE was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease in 2004 and became fully paralyzed, except for his eye movements. But he can draw and talk thanks to an open-source DIY device called The EyeWriter, which tracks his eye movements. It was developed through an unlikely friendship with a stranger, Mick Ebeling, founder of the Not Impossible Foundation, with a lot of help by the Graffiti Research Lab.
A fundraiser auction and screening of a documentary about him, Getting Up: The TEMPT ONE Story, was held on Saturday night at the Downtown Independent theater, organized by his lifelong graffiti crew-mate and close friend, ANGST. The proceeds went towards funding his 24-hour upgraded care. A handful of TEMPT supporters showed up and took home some original works by featured artists that donated their time, such as Shepard Fairey and DUKE, and photos from graffiti historian Steve Grody. An original piece by CHAZ sold for a mere $550, when they normally go for $2,400. All for the love of TEMPT ONE.
We reached out to TEMPT ONE and asked him a few questions about life and graffiti, and how it feels to have the support of fellow highly-admired graffiti artists.More »