The Stussy Holiday 2012 collection includes a series of t-shirts by Jayson Musson, a fine artist from New York City. Musson is known for his popular “ART THOUGHTZ” YouTube video series, as well the alter-ego he created for it, Hennessy Youngman.
How old are you?
I am 34 years old.
Where did you grow up?
Childhood growing up in Spring Valley, New York, late teen/young adult/ perpetually making the wrong decisions growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Describe the art you make for someone who is unfamiliar with your work?
Hmm… a lot of my work features humor as its biggest component, but the humor is a tool to talk about other things, whether that thing may be political in nature or something that is culturally absurd.
What are some of your favorite things that has influenced your work since childhood? (artists? music? comic books? films? TV shows? Sports?)
My influences have been pretty disparate over the years, comic books of all strata from Matt Wagner’s epic Grendel to Matt Groening’s Life in Hell series (an epic in its own right), my dad was a graphic designer and seeing him work at a drafting table as a child was a big factor, the writings of Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, the writings of Donald Barthelme and Kurt Vonnegut, comedians like Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy.
How has Hip Hop culture played a role in your work?
Hip-hop offered me my first lens in which to view my world when I was growing up. Its lent me a ‘By Any Means’ sort of mentality to producing art, which means accomplishing what I set out to do no matter the obstacle present in a task.
What were the concepts behind your Stussy designs?
The two characters I created for the T-shirt designs were a dolphin and a cartoon skateboard. The skateboard character is out to humiliate people, like putting humans through what he’s been put through by them. And the dolphin, another innocuous creature, embodies the ‘Fuck You’ credo in the presence of oppressive systems and their representatives. Hence him pepper spraying a cop versus the cop being the one to administer.