We first met up with David Brunning back in 2009 – a gloriously prolific graffiti artist that Calgary was proud to call its own. Known for his raw and natural art pieces, David’s latest works continue to push the boundaries – leading the viewer to both admire and question at the same time. His More or Less Project is an initiative to wipe the slate clean with the goal of wearing the same outfit every single day for the next year. It’s like the ultimate endurance test – with all of your friends, family, neighbors and strangers watching you. It’s more than just the clothes though as David tells us. We catch up with “The Kid” to find out how his style is faring, what’s going on with his latest collections and other awesome things.
Q: You started the More or Less Project this year as a way to simplify your life and gain new awareness outside of your exterior image. How has it been going?
A: This project had a lot of opinions circling about it before it launched. A lot of people were in favor and yet many were wondering why this choice, citing many homeless or lower-income individuals who have no option but to wear the same thing each day. The lowlight has been the lack of options each day in wanting to look a certain way. I sense it sometimes when I go out to some place that may or may not accept a hoodie as appropriate wear. Often this is part of my own thought pattern, as I may feel underdressed for some places or occasions.
On the plus side, my denim looks great as it’s worn in everyday. My days have become way less focused on what I am to wear and instead have become much more about what I am to do or who I am to be. Life has simplified quite a bit and I find my thoughts toward time, image and clothing, changing.
Q: Do you find people treat you differently because you don’t change your clothes?
It is quite funny actually, as I have some friends who are real particular and make comments about the project as it unfolds. They tend to keep me in line. They make sure I am sticking to the commitment I have made. When a discrepancy arises, or what they think may be one (shorts or button up), they call me out and keep me accountable (thx Jane Trash). I end up pointing them in the direction of the website to remind them of the attire and specifics of this project. It is also somewhat hilarious as many of my friends do not know about the project and just think I am not changing my clothing. That amazes me, as there have been many promotions for the site and project.
I am finding that the greatest part of this project is that I am actually using my clothing and not just standing out like some GQ ad or fashion marketing victim. My clothing suits my lifestyle; the black tees are classic for semi-formal looking wear or everyday situations, the denim is cut slim enough to look great yet wide enough to fit over my boots (for riding), the hoodies are simple and clean looking, as are the button ups, and the Vans are classic. Everything fits well and holds a great function. In all honesty, it is a great outfit.
Q: What art projects have you been working on lately?
I have been working on two large outdoor murals and an installation for a film festival. I will soon be working on a series of paintings in which I will release prints as well. I have never done prints of my canvas work and so this will be new for my clients and collectors. The prints will be very limited in their run. I am excited to do this for both my career and for those who desire to own my work and yet cannot pay the price of an original.
Q: Since we last talked to you in 2009, how has the arts scene in Calgary changed? Stayed the same?
Calgary and the arts continue to grow. There have been numerous changes in the fabric of the city and its landscape, both physically and mentally. It seems we are driving toward a greater future, with wonderful potential. We still lose some of our most talented to other cities and personal endeavors, but this is natural and will happen. Individuals need growth and travel; they need inspiration from abroad to weave into our culture at home. In many ways, we are growing in great strides and yet in others, we are still witnessing stagnant thought and flaccid attempts at creating change. Overall, Calgary has a vibrant art scene, which I am proud to contribute to, help direct, inspire and enjoy.
Q: Do you prefer being David or The Kid Belo? What’s the difference?
A: I prefer either or. David is very much my given name, as is TheKidBelo(ved). David in Hebrew means Beloved, so the alias is actually short for TheKidBeloved. TheKidBelo is very much my name and persona. I guess it made sense to me as a younger man to keep close to roots (birth name).
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I really enjoy my Harley, the open road and building/wrenching on bikes. I get out as much as I can, as our season is so short. I spend a lot of time with my crew on those bikes. I enjoy a variety of things and so my very eclectic life sees many fabulous adventures, people and things to do in my spare time. I do not live a boring life and I greatly encourage living a life of creativity, honesty, generosity, involvement and service. Live that true YOLO, not that rubbish of partying your face off and living for the selfishness of the moment. Live to give back, be your truest self and enjoy those around you.
Q: What makes Calgary awesome?
A: Calgary is awesome because of the scenery, the people and the fact that it’s my city. It’s home. No matter how much I travel or head out, I always find it beautiful, known and enjoyable. We have a great city and its full of some amazing people. There are a ton of things that make this city ridiculous, close-minded and annoying, but it’s like any city – and I would rather be making waves, causing change than being in the bitching section. Okay, fair enough, you’ll hear me complain from time to time but it usually will be accompanied by a course-of-action after the fact. I love my city and my people. Calgary, you’re quite a lovely place; awesome even.
Photo credit: Brendan Klem