Monday, May 15, 2017

Tagger Profile: Emerging Artist ‘Kruger’ Makes His Mark On The West Valley

By Charlotte Rudnick, Quilt staff

Staff photo.
UR over, UREK! Make way, ReKay! All hail the new tagger in town!

Up-and-comer ‘Kruger’ has been painting the town red...and black and blue and purple, embellishing everything from pieces of discarded furniture to alley walls, with his signature tag — the name “Kruger” — and making quite a name for himself in the process.

We met with the mysterious Kruger as he squirmed through the mud under a fence surrounding a locked construction site in Canoga Park. The tagger says he named himself after Otto Kruger (who died in nearby Woodland Hills in 1974) citing the prolific actor of the 30s and 40s as both an influence and inspiration.
Recent masterworks include this food-service trailer located in a West Hills parking lot: "No one
was around so I hit it an' shit." Kruger considers himself the namesake of actor Otto Kruger (inset).
“I really appreciate his body of work, an’ shit, particularly his earlier films. I count ‘Paris Interlude’ among my favorites, an’ shit. Pardon, there’s a portable toilet I’d like to spray paint my name on.”

Catching up with Kruger again later, as the ubiquitous artiste crawled — with the nimble agility of a lively cockroach — out of a garbage dumpster after tagging the inside, we asked him what keeps him up at night. 

“'What keeps me up at night?' Well, I drink a lot of cans of Venom Energy — watermelon-strawberry’s a delight — if I’m going out on a frolic [tagger lingo for ‘an evening of vandalism’ —ed.] and—

“...Oh! You mean if anything, like, worries me an’ shit. Sure — it's that people think I’ve named myself after either Herr Major Bernard Kruger or the accomplished Fredrich Wilhelm Kruger, two celebrated Nazi officers from World War II,” he says. “The idea, eh, sickens me — and any and all people who think I’d name myself after them should be rounded up and immediately and mercilessly exterminated like the subhuman vermin they are.”
"I feel my work transcends earthly confines," says Kruger. "There's a certain spirituality to what I do."
Here, a mural on the property of a Canoga Park church, his second there in two weeks.   Staff photo.
“He’s got an innate talent that I haven’t seen for some time, an’ shit. I’d put his stuff up there with some of GNAR’s best work or even early LeKoR, opines Canoga Park official tagger laureate DAИK, “And he works fast an' shit. One time I was taking a dump in a bathroom at Lanark Park and when I came out, the stall door had been Kruger’d. I didn’t even hear him! Though to be fair, I’m usually pretty noisy when I shit. An' shit.”

Kruger, who declined to be photographed for this article says that " work in fact speaks for itself.
It defines me. I am my artwork." Above: A pile of worthless garbage featuring the iconic 'Kruger' logo.
Even by his own estimates, Kruger has a busy future. While his immediate plans will continue to focus on defacing public and private property, Kruger’s figuring on eventually getting into the correctional industry, and, later, pursuing a career in the lucrative world of public assistance.

“But who knows,” he says, pondering the road ahead. “At some point, I may even try to get a job at Lowe’s or Home Depot in the paint department...just long enough ‘til they trust me with the keys to the spray paint cage.

“Or in the tool department. Get me some bolt cutters an’ shit — then who needs keys, right?”

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