“Greatness, creativity, and dedication. Shout out Lil’ Wayne!”
Gabriel Isaac Kasor
A Love Supreme
It did not take much for me to become interested in the work of Gabriel Isaac Kasor.
Upon his initial offerings via social media, Kasor had a clear vision for what his work was to be - rough sketches of crude faces, couples kissing, and bright Basquiat-like splashes of color. These early canvases were bold, striking, and invited me into a world of space, lightness, and the unknown.
The vagueness of these early works was compelling. The figures sat alone, inhabiting an unclear space; not a room, but a fortress of color, as if they resided in a dream, or a frame of mind. There was a sense of unclarity, of symbol, figure, and color, that had something to say, but I wasn’t sure what . . .
Then, out of the blue, meaning cascaded over the canvases like jewelry. I began to recognize the sombre, contemplative, stone cold faces of Kasor’s figures. The fortress of color had unexpectedly let it’s guard down, and in it’s place, invited intuition, expressiveness, and surprise. The figures of women were now poised, assured, and passionate; tempting me into a world beyond closed doors.
When I arrived, I felt the coolness of a spacious room. I caught the equanimous gaze of a wise gentleman, and the inviting eyes of a beautiful woman. I spun the knob of a transitor radio, and I heard the music of a different era. I took a sip of a smooth drink, and wandered down the forbidden hallways of an artist’s mind; one of authenticity, of impression, and life, baby, life.
This is Gabriel Isaac Kasor.
Tell me briefly about your painting process.
I look through magazines for reference. I look at objects. I do an observation of color, and my surroundings. I reference art books. I bottle up everything and then spill it out. I attack it. I don’t sketch. I go out, one go.
“I bottle up everything and then spill it out. I attack it. I don’t sketch. I go out, one go.”
When you sit down to paint, what’s happening?
This is going to sound cliché, but it’s like I’m in my own world. That’s why you’re here, to watch me. I can’t explain it. I’m by myself. I don’t really pay attention to what’s happening. I just be, just paint.
What materials do you use?
I use acrylic paint, pigment sticks, and a scraper. And for the canvases, I go to thrift stores. When I started painting I was broke. I couldn't afford Michales canvas. Laughs. So I thought, I’m going to go to thrift stores and buy five dollar canvases with a buttery frame, a gold renaissance frame, and that would give me energy. I’m a very competitive person. To know that there was an artist who painted that painting and didn't make it, I think to myself, I’m conquering this painting now.
What’s your ideal setting?
I love loud music bouncing in my ears. I’ll have a beer or two, loosen up. I’ll start dancing, getting jiggy, feeling free. It’s not like I’m trying to make a masterpiece. I’m trying to let things out. When you play guitar, you don’t know when you’re going to stop. You just go, it’s the same with painting.
Comparing it to writing, do you find yourself hitting a certain tone or idea that you like and channeling that? Do you hit things you don’t like and retract? Try and find something different?
For sure. It’s like math. You add and subtract. I go back and forth during the process. If it’s something I don’t like I go over it, and then redo whatever I was doing. But for the most part, I can see what I want to paint. It’s not literally what it is, but when I put everything on the canvas it’s what I wanted. It’s the first go. I don’t make a lot of mistakes, even if the whole thing is a mistake. Laughs. There is an intentional accident that happens.
“I’m searching for greatness, how far I can hit my peak of creativity. I’m not that deep. I’m trying to show off my creativity, and I’m trying to inspire people.”
What does painting mean to you?
What does painting mean to me? Life, baby, life! To me, it’s how the canvas makes me feel. That’s why I do figurative paintings, with women typically. The body is incredible. How I see the canvas, is as a beautiful woman. It makes me feel good, as a woman does. Shout out to my lover!
I used to be intimidated by the size of the canvas. I would only work with small canvases, but I can’t do that any more. I want to go big. I need room. Before, I was so intimidated. I didn’t know what to do. I admire Picasso, the freedom of his style. I know that I’m a creative individual, and I want to keep exploring my creativity. I’m not a depressed person who is trying to find the answer. I’m searching for greatness, how far I can hit my peak of creativity. I’m not that deep. I’m trying to show off my creativity, and I’m trying to inspire people. Especially minorities. I want black and brown, whatever, to know that they can achieve greatness. And my self-destructiveness, I have found a way to substitute it, and for me that is painting.
I notice there are Latin motifs in your work, Playboy type imagery, and gangsters. What about those things are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by the old days, classic mobsters like John Dillinger. Right now, I’m watching the Sopranos, and I think it’s my personality that makes me attracted to it. It’s authentic, original. They're doing what they want to do. I get my inspiration from black and white films. I don’t know the names, but I’ll go on AMC, and just watch whatever is going on.
“Greatness, creativity, and dedication. Shout out Lil’ Wayne!”
Back in the day, I had this woman who was like a Grandma to me. We weren’t related, but she would always make me bagels with a glass of milk, and she would have her show on. It was always black and white films, and something from those stuck with me. They definitely helped me with finding who I am. There are other paintings with macho men, wearing suits, and I’ve always liked that. I like old school shit.
Where does the Playboy inspiration come from?
It’s just a lifestyle. It’s about being cool and collected.
What do you find important in painting?
I never went to art school. I’m being me. I’m not the smartest dude around, but I’m pretty street smart. I know a lot about humanity. More than what they’ll teach you in school. Do it because you want to do it. Be yourself with it. Don’t pick it up because you see people flocking over the next man. People need leaders, people to inspire them, and they need to realize that they can find that in themselves.
What themes are at work in your paintings?
Greatness, creativity, and dedication. Shout out Lil’ Wayne!
What about those early paintings, when you were placing them around town. I remember you put a painting up at the bus stop. And that painting was there for a while. What was it about that renegade approach that inspired you?
I have two friends in L.A. who are graffiti artists, and do wheat paste work, and I wanted to do my version of that. But I wasn’t going to go to a print store and print a bunch of artwork and paste those up. I wanted to give a full authentic painting. I did that for George Floyd, too. That was a little run, but I still plan on doing that.
Any last words?
I want people to find their passion. Find something you love to do and be great. If I ever have a family, I’m not going to be that dad where the team loses and everyone gets a trophy. Nah. I’m going to tell my kid, do better. I’m not going to lie. Laughs.
“If I ever have a family, I’m not going to be that dad where the team loses and everyone gets a trophy. Nah. I’m going to tell my kid, do better.”
What advice would you give to younger, aspiring artists?
Study your great peers. If you’re really serious about it, keep on working. Always find your true self doing it. Don’t do it because you know you can get clout. Always study the craft you’re doing. Study and work!
Thank you Gabe. You definitly made that clear to me when I came to you with this magaizine idea. We wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for you.
That’s right! And thank you my G.
View the work of Gabriel Isaac Kasor here ︎︎︎