Way to be Aspen, it’s safe to say that Hunter S. Thompson would be proud that you decided to bring back the” Freak Power” vibe with the boys from “The Global Mural Project.” Having Shepard Fairey at the helm of this righteous movement has generated epic amounts of press —so if you need a lesson on what exactly’s going down, The Aspen Times has you covered. We here at Messenger, thought you might want see what kind of folks are making this movement live and breathe, and as the universe would have it, we came into contact with Rob Zagula.
This gentleman has been working his ass off in the art world for quite some time; and now, here he is in Aspen, right where fate would have him. When we ran into him after the unveiling of the mural last Thursday we couldn’t help but notice the “Gonzo” emblem around his neck. Turns out, Anita Thompson had taken it off, and passed it to Rob earlier that same day. The culmination of circumstances that lead to this gift has been a long time coming for Rob, a life-long HST fan. Come to find out, you don’t just wake up one day to find yourself part of Shepard Fairey’s team by chance. Rob started on the path by taking risks, following his passion and, changing his relationship to fear of the unknown. For a guy who majored in electrical engineering, you would suspect his life would look a little different. Rob was the first to point out the fact that he did take the path of least resistance for a time, getting a 9-to-5 near his home in Jersey—quickly adding, “Doing that for seven years, I was ready to hang myself.” We are sure some of you can relate. After experiencing the purgatory of the regular work arena he said, “fuck it,” and began to follow his passion for film at that time.
(Photo Credit: Zack Hooper)
Here’s where the snowball effect of doing what you love started to happen for him. Rob moved to Brooklyn and began to establish a network of artistic cohorts. He and some like-minded badasses founded an art collective called Trusto Corp, a crew that would soon be known for their guerrilla street art. Placing street signs up around Brooklyn with phrases like, “ You are not Cool,” it wasn’t long before he and his anonymous crew started to get noticed. “Then a bunch of galleries started to approach some of us, asking us to do straight-up art, so we did.” The journey continued for Rob where some small fortunes were won and lost along the way, but our man kept truckin’. Then go figure…a little company named Disney came knocking on his and his close friend Tristan’s door, and it was off to L.A. There they worked on a cartoon of their making called “Ninja Boombox,” but soon after Disney decided live action was were it’s at and canned our friends. Now here’s where the powers that be started to steer Rob in the direction of Aspen, all the way back in 2012. Tristan put Rob in touch with Shepard, and BAM!—he was a part of “The Global Mural Project”.
It’s been five years and the fact that he has a job where he gets to listen to Public Enemy and Led Zeppelin while working with a group of guys that he basically has telepathic tendencies with, is not lost for a moment on Mr. Zagula. “Holy shit, I can’t believe I get to do this for a living,” Rob said to us towards the end of our talk. We can understand his sentiments considering the fact he is bringing thought-provoking art into people’s everyday lives. “Painting brings self-gratification.” And that right there goes to show that the old saying, “if you have a job you love, you’ll never have to work another day in your life” is nothing but true. Guess it’s time to sack up and take some leaps of faith. Yo, Rob, thanks for the inspiration. Cheers everybody.