I received the nickname Jocelyn Superstar while working as a bicycle courier in Chicago between the years 1993 and 1996 because I like glittery things and because one of my coworkers kept confusing my real name with Jocelyn. When I moved to San Francisco in 1996, I first became interested in graffiti due to a lecture that Barry McGee gave at the San Francisco Art Institute. I used my bike messenger name to establish myself in the graffiti world. I didn’t know too many “writers” back then, so I went out alone and learned. In the beginning, I was not aware of their unspoken rules: 1. No Side busting and addressing people you do not know. 2. Not cool to choose tag names more than 3-5 letters. If I saw someone’s piece that I liked, I would write curly Q sparkly letters telling them that I liked it. This is called “side busting.” I also liked doing my entire name which broke rule #2. The fact that I like pink and glittery paints made me an easy target in the mostly male dominated graffiti community. I became a menace overnight and was heavily criticized by the graffiti community.
I classify my own creative efforts as “mixed-media-process-oriented-femme-glam-gangster-rockstar-graffiti-installative/performance-punk-rock” art. I like “writing” on things in sequential and repetitive forms over documents, flyers, letters, and other found paper. My choices are for personal and political reasons. For example, I was recently working on mixed media painting/collage work on wood, featuring such original documents as my first arrest ticket from 1997 (for graffiti I wrote at Mariposa and Florida Streets), a flyer from a required school lecture held at SFAI in 1996 (which was a lecture given by Twist), a letter from Isis Rodriguez from 1998, urging me to call her because we NEEDED to get together and shake up the art world. Also included in the show, was a mockery (yet the original copy) of my “Graduate Review Student Assessment Form” in which I was rated as average/poor, and consequently was required to retake my review and pass, lest I fail out of school. Although, at the time, I was perhaps one of the most achieving and hard working of my peers, the graduate review committee did not feel that my graffiti explorations particularly belonged in the SFAI graduate painting/sculpture department.
I am working on a series called “I Write Jocelyn Superstar” (“All-American Graffiti”) begun in 1997 and still in progress. When the series is complete, it will take the form of a grand installation. “I write Jocelyn Superstar” chronicles my history in Graffiti Art, as a non-traditional graffiti artist, and with it, an important chunk of Bay Area Graffiti and Art History.
Photos and press release for this artist.
Residency: February 2003 - May 2003
Art Exhibition: Friday, May 23