BEAU AND JESSICA POPE
Chimera Art Mag Exclusive
STRICTLY STENCILS is an annual art show that takes place in Houston, Texas, curated by the husband and wife duo, Popes with Paint. The purpose of the show is to exhibit the work of local and other stencil artists and call attention to the artform.
Chimera Mag met with the artists to discuss the upcoming show, as well as their work
Beau Pope, one half of the Popes with Paint duo, explained the fascinating history of stencil art. “Stencils were on trains even before graffiti was,” he says, referring to the way trains were labeled and numbered from the earliest days, long before aerosol artists began using them as canvases. ”It can be understood as the origin of graphic design,” he says of stencils, the use of which extends back to official organizations as a way of labeling their objects, vehicles, and so on.
The Houston native’s first stencil work was made years ago, when he designed a poster to promote a friend’s music. The product could be mounted and replicated all over the streets. “It’s like a virus – once you get caught up in it and do a couple, you just can’t stop,” Beau says. He’d inadvertently found a new passion.
The techniques Popes with Paint use to make stencils are constantly evolving. As the husband and wife team research methods and apply them, they develop their own tricks to achieve certain products. On the process of hand-cutting the materials, often regarded as the most tedious aspect of stencil making, Beau replies with a smile, “You gotta make that the fun part. The more you enjoy it, the better your finished piece looks.”
It can take the Popes anywhere from six hours to an entire week to complete a stencil, each working independently. Their subject matter often features icons of Houston culture such as athletes, rappers, or landmarks, but broader popular culture plays a role as well.
STRICTLY STENCILS 3: A Cut Above will take place this year at East End Gallery in Houston, Texas, on September 26th. RSVP to the event by clicking here.