Manny Romero of ‘Patrulla X’ is an American artist who brings design perfection to everything he creates: Self directed work, apparel and many many collaborations.
All of Manny’s works hints at the stark nature of our modern digitised world – clean lines, perfect textures and smooth surfaces. From sentient spray cans, to futuristic waste collectors and more.
(Picture below of the Rusty-oleum series from ‘Patrulla X’)
With the art and design worlds both paying attention, now is the perfect time to get up to date on Manny Romero of ‘Patrulla X’ by reading the Art Talk below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Emmauel Xavier Romero aka MannyX
March 31st, I just turned 27
City, State n Country you’re Repping?
La Puente/ City of IndustryCA and just moved to East LA this year
Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. Romero’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, crime… ANYTHING man.
* age 10:
The first thing that comes to mind is that at this age I was hooked on Captain Underpants comics so much so that my friend and I began creating our own fan-fiction series along with original charters.
In fact we collaborated on quite a few comics all the way till late high school. I wish I would’ve held on to them.
* age 15:
Like a lot of kids at this age I was just a shit head.
The only thing I ever thought about was hanging with friends, skating, getting high, pounding 40’s and going to backyard shows.
I could never focus in school; my heart was just never into it.
Through the debauchery my friends and I still managed to be some what creative.
We did a few short films and made a few shitty zines that would pass out during backyard shows.
* age 20:
I spent most of my early 20’s trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a career.
My parents discouraged me from going in the art field so I tried other fields for a couple of years.
I took class in business, sociology, and advertisement. I like aspects in all of them but I never could really commit until I took a beginners painting class.
I fell in love with art all over and was convinced that art was my calling. Ever since then I’ve been trying to finish school and make a living from my art.
(Picture below of Manny Romero and friend)
I wish I had a super inspirational quote or something but instead my motto is “fuck it”.
It started as an inside joke that stuck. My friends and I where supposed to get it tattooed but I was the only idiot that actually did.
I know it seems like a half assed way to look at life but it has got me through some tough times.
It’s almost synonymous to “this too shall pass” I guess that’s why I began using that idea in some of my art.
Sylvestre Revueltas, Brujeria, Yip Yip, Man Man, Tom Waits, Dystopia, Gogol Bordello, Refused, The Cardiacs, Captain Ahab, The Growlers, … the list goes on and on
Favorite TV show(s)?
I’ve been watching the X-files non stop.
I know it’s not really a “TV” show but I watch Ted Talks religiously
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
I wish I was into sports just never got into them
(Pictures below of the Brain Surgeon: Dr. Apocalypse figure from ‘Patrulla X’ )
Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino flicks are always good.
I’m a nerd at heart so I’m really into documentaries.
Favorite books and comics?
Orwell, Lovecraft, Palahniuck are some of my favorites
What are your thoughts on ‘The Sucklord’, and his role in the art scene?
Love ‘im or hate ‘im you have to give him props for creating a cult like following.
Me personally I like some of his stuff but I don’t really have an opinion on him.
Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an indication of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?
In my humble opinion yes and no…
I see most “art” toys as a form a folk art. Folk art has been around since the begging of art history so in that sense no it is not changing the nature of art.
There will always be art lovers than cant necessarily afford a $5,000 piece of art but can afford a piece for $20 perpetuating this genre of art.
Yes “art toys” are chaining the nature of art for two reasons.
The first reason is that there are some legitimate “fine” artists who are mass producing their work, making art more democratic (in the sense of being affordable to most of the public).
They are making a living selling the representation of fine art just like painters make a living selling prints along with original paintings.
I think this will somehow change the art world and probably make it in to the art history books someday.
There are also some “toy” makers that the toys themselves are fine art versus the representation of fine art. Mike Leavitt, Blamo toys, and Patient no.6 I believe are some of these “toy makers”.
(Picture below of some of the many ‘Patrulla X’ apparel designs)
Are art-toys for the kids?
I don’t see why kids cant be collectors as well.
There a few kid toy makers that are just as good as the grown ups and in some cases better. So collecting isn’t too much of a jump
What are your thoughts on the current rise of mass-production in the resin-art world, and the move away from hand made pieces? The 2012 Designer Con Suck-con figures as an example…
If you have the fan base I don’t see anything wrong with it.
It’s just like making a mass produced vinyl in my opinion.
However I don’t agree with people trying to pass off mass produced resin as hand made resin. It’s misleading and just plain wrong.
Favorite toy/figure? (I’ll allow self promotion)
So many so so many.
I’m a big Ferg collector so probably something Playge as far as vinyl goes.
Most things Wilkowski, Motorbot, and double parlor for resin and Topheroy for customs.
With that being said there are so many great artist out there that its really hard to choose. These are just a few that popped into my head.
(Picture below of two Squadt’s, customed by Manny)
What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/Peter Pan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?
Do you think once an artist has re-used a piece of pop-culture, it becomes harem for another artist to use it/spoof too? …I am thinking of ‘The Sucklord’ + ‘Boba Fett’; ‘The Mark Ultra’ + the hangman mask head; ‘Buff Monster’ and ice-cream etc.
Again this is just my humble opinion; there are many calibers of artists, the highest quality of artists take unique aspects of culture/pop-culture/subculture personal to them and incorporates them into their art.
The lowest quality of artist straight rips off the style + content of another artist to pass of as their own.
So yes you can but the work will not be as strong as the artist that finds their own visual voice.
Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?
Again so many to choose from and these are just the ones that pop into my head first…
Living: Chuck Close, Chris Burden, Sally Mann, Greg Simkins, Germs, Dave MacDowell, Casey Weldon, aghh so many…
Dead: Dali, Duchamp, Manet, Remedios Varo, Toulouse Lautrec…so many!
(Pictures below of The Watchers figure by ‘Patrulla X’)
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
It’s a hustle; I have to think like a salesman and artist at the same time.
These are two polar opposite mindsets but some how you have to embrace both.
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
I have met so many awesome artists along the way.
It’s always great to feel like your part of a small community.
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
A little of all the above. I don’t feel like I have shown my “art” yet. It’s more like hints at it.
I want to start showing what I’m about but I don’t know what the response will be.
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, anything)?
I think this is the case for most artist/designers its just something you do.
Like a lion hunts and dogs bark its engraved in me.
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
I just finished my gen eds and starting to take art courses.
I suggest anyone that serious about anything to get proper training in what they do.
It will only improve your skills and save you a hell of a lot of hours.
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
I fell into it. I’m addicted and can’t stop.
Describe the method of making a ‘Patrulla X’ piece? (dot point all o.k.)
Depends on what the actual piece is but I love to collaborate.
It’s always fun to mesh two minds into one piece.
You are currently working on a sculptural collaboration with Adil Muschelewicz of ‘I Am Scumbag’ – care to elaborate more for those at home about this project?
He is awesome! I come up with and idea and he knocks out of the part in a day or two.
The quality and speed is insane!
(In-Progress Picture of the ‘Patrulla X’ x ‘I Am Scumbag’ collaboration)
How did you and ‘Crummy Gummy‘ come to team up?
I first saw his stickers on Melrose blvd and it cracked me up!
Later that year I got an IG and somehow came across him. During this time I just started getting into resin making.
My gf had mentioned that resin reminded her of gummies and it just clicked.
I emailed him if he wanted to collab and the rest is history.
(Picture below of some ‘Patrulla X’ x ‘Crummy Gummy’ resin works)
What was it like collaborating with ‘Broke 1’ aka ‘Broken Pigeon’ on your Waste Management carded figure?
It was really cool. Me and him grew up around the same area and have similar influences.
He’s a cool dude.
Were still planning on making a line or bootleg figures. Waste Management is the first in the series.
We came up with this idea that as the series develops it will be telling a story.
(Picture below of the ‘Patrulla X’ x ‘Broke 1‘ City of Industry: Waste Management figure)
Does your self-directed work all exist in its own ‘universe’? (Yes; I am basically asking if you see your characters all interacting in your head.) IF so, what do they get up to?
Most of them don’t but once in a while they do interact.
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Always… I love collabs.
I have the “city of industry” series with Broke1.
Bigger and better Crummy Gummys.
Sick Kid with W.A.R. a really talented up and coming artist, just a few among many.
Any major projects you want to hype man?
I’m excited for “The Eyeball Kid”, “This Too Shall Pass”, and “Omni-Mouse”
These toys are next level toys for me.
I’m also looking forward to painting more and starting a book series that is something between zine and coffee table picture book.