Pyramid Oracle Divining Messages on the Street

On the scene for a couple of years on New York streets is the mystical portraitist of some secret order known only to the Pyramid Oracle. Many street artists use their tag or street name as a cover. This one uses it as a theatrical character ambiguously imparting truths and insights, rather hoping you will fill in the missing patches with your imagination.

Here we have some recent additions to the street that are at once sage and sorcerous, cryptic and calming, plump with symbols and harbingers of good or evil, or not.

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Pyramid Oracle. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After all, an oracle is merely a vessel through which divine understanding may flow, a tool of the gods and goddesses to communicate about the future and the past, guiding you to something greater. And if you don’t buy that, at least you may admire a three-eyed lady who greets you on your way home from school or your job or the laundromat.

We had occasion to talk with this mystical medium of monochromatic hand-made wheatpastes and while his answers were sometimes murky and he likes to speak in the third person (or fourth, or fifth), we found that we could divine some greater truths and insights about the spirit of this street medium named Pyramid Oracle.

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes your images appear to be quite labor-intensive hand paintings, while others look like linotype prints, or even commercially printed replicas. Can you talk about your thought process for deciding which method you use?
Pyramid Oracle: Most of the work is primarily hand painted, and depending on the paper used the techniques will vary. On white paper the lines tend to be made in a relief printing style and with butchers paper – which is now mostly used, its possible to utilize the mid tone to build washes and highlights. There are far more layer involved when using this craft paper. This way the paintings take 3 times as long to paint but the product is far superior. In general the intention demonstrates a laborious commitment to the work, which sets itself apart.

 

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: For the hand painted pieces, for example – does it begin with a sketch in a notebook while you are traveling on a bus or something? What steps are involved that lead up to producing a piece that appears on the street.
PO: There are several categories or subjects in which the content is derived. You could look at Pyramid Oracle as the illustrations of an evolving independent study. Sometimes the images are the culminations of concepts and ideas already discovered that now serve as cornerstone achievements of understanding. Other times the ambiguous nature of esoteric wisdom has seeded itself deep within the subconscious. Like a subliminal intuition, it slowly influences the vessel, piece by piece until another puzzle is complete. Either the image is imagined in full to convey its message, or the concept is stitched together through the sketches painted over time, slowly adding up.

 

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: What qualities are you looking for when selecting a model for your portraits? Should they be particularly wise, or perhaps spiritual?
PO: Most of the works are inherently existential and spiritual in nature, having allegorical qualities to serve as more than the powerful image that initially draws you in. With the characters chosen, each expression is in words…immeasurable. So much of what is sought to be captured cannot be easily contained in one explanation, that multiplicity is the essence of why visual communications are so powerful and valuable. The intention is to remain cryptic without limiting any audiences ability to have there own interpretation, and in this way I suppose they should be particularly wise.

 

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Pyramid Oracle. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Mysticism is referenced in the geometric patterns you combine with your portraits, as well as the inclusion of a third eye or entire third visage. Are your parents bankers or hippies?
PO: The parents of Pyramid oracle are neither bankers nor hippies, but are the ancient mysteries and their architecture. Through the examination and re-purposing of archaic patterns, we are creating the new mythology for our current pilgrimage.

We are the parents of the future!!! lol

 

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: When a person is describing your work to their Aunt Marlene, which three adjectives are going to help her appreciate it better?
PO: Recently was hash tagging a piece with the word #kingdom, and #kingdomhall popped up. After using this tag, a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses started to comment on the picture of 5 crowned kings skulls roped together into an ornamental trophy: “It is a shame that sick Satanic so called art is shown on a site with such name bringing SHAME! Satan go away from us. Praise Jehowa!”

Hopefully not everyone’s Aunt is so easily terrorized by the images created for Pyramid Oracle. Even if they are seemingly dark eccentric representations, they stem from the root of all other ancient knowledge…

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Is the street a place for finished work always, or is it also a laboratory?
PO: The street is both gallery and laboratory. Its obvious that a finished image will find its way to be displayed on the street. But its interesting how a painting grows into itself when it is made for this purpose. Since the canvas is not limited by size or shape, the possibilities are the ones to experiment with. Unfortunately this is often limited by how efficiently something can be installed in a timely fashion. And the amount of work one is willing to invest in something that is all too often destroyed faster than it was created. Most importantly the street provides a place to purge ideas and thus continue to create new things. This has always been a huge motivating factor and a valuable reason to put up work.

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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