Shriiimp Live Showcase
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Shriiimp Live Showcase

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"Shriiimp on the Barbie"

Shrimp, the edible crustaceans commonly dipped in tart, tangy cocktail sauce, don’t usually carry overtly sexual connotations. That association is saved for more aphrodisiacal mollusks, such as oysters. But Shriiimp, the Allston and Montreal–based Web site and graffiti-artists’ collective, is superabundantly sexual. By painting graffiti on women’s bodies, Shriiimp (yes, with three i’s) conceptually entwines urban art and sexuality until the two are virtually indistinguishable.

Shriiimp artists are graffiti adventurers who occasionally trade cans of spray paint and city walls (their most common canvases) for non-toxic paint markers and the (preferably naked) female form. But their work doesn’t end there. In an important development for artists who continually battle ephemerality, they’ve taken to photographing semi-nude-ladies-cum-canvases and posting the images on the Web site A meeting ground and artistic outlet, it’s become a place to offer praise, criticism, and the occasionally troubling misogynistic comment. (While you’re there, you can also purchase paint markers and underwear from the online boutique.) But Shriiimp hasn’t forsaken the streets for cyber space; it hosts live-art shows — pastiches of gallery openings, performance art, and dance parties — where artists paint volunteer models before an audience. Their most recent local show was in July. Another is tentatively scheduled for early November.

Curtis McMillan, an Allstonian, part-time art teacher, and one of Shriiimp’s four masterminds, refers to the Web site as a gallery and views the posted photos as art — a characterization with which most graffiti enthusiasts would agree. Still, not everyone who stumbles across the site will see it that way. Shriiimp photos, after all, are always at least semi-nude, often explicit, and always of women. To some, it can seem like porn for graffiti fetishists.

But the Shriiimp creators swear that’s not what it’s about. “It’s more about the artwork than it is about the girl,” says McMillan. In fact, he claims, Shriiimp can make women feel more beautiful. “No matter how you feel about your body on an everyday basis, when you’re the canvas for a beautiful piece of work, that’s got to make you feel good.”

On a recent Saturday afternoon, a group of Shriiimp artists and models gather in the back of LAB, an urban-themed clothing store/art gallery near Allston Village, to demonstrate the process of “shriiimping” (Shriiimpers also use the word as a verb). As wandering shoppers thumb through racks of sale-price shorts and tank tops, and LAB co-owner Todd MacLeod blasts remixes of ’80s pop hits from his Mac at the front of the shop, the Shriiimp crew throws down a white sheet, plastic-covered crates, and several chairs in the back. McMillan, tall and tattooed with black glasses, alternates between calling late-to-the-party artists on his cell phone and rolling cigarettes, then heading outside to smoke them. Angel Buckley of Brockton, a go-go dancer with blonde and pink hair extensions, peruses LAB’s collection of electronic music on vinyl. Lyndsey Almon, 24, a tall interior designer from Cambridge, mills around in plaid shorts, a cropped hoodie, and blood-red heels, eagerly awaiting her turn to get shriiimped. Almon has been a model in two Shriiimp shows, one in Boston and one in Connecticut. “Graffiti is such an awesome art form,” she says. “But it’s illegal to tag anything in the city. So why not tag us?”

Nearby, Diane Levy — a Milton-based mash-up DJ, and Shriiimp’s model coordinator — sits on a chair with her black skirt hiked up high enough to expose a skin canvas for artists Kenji Nakayama and Mitchell Kehe, who are seated on either side of her. “Being model coordinator means I have to model sometimes,” she says with a smile, as Nakayama paints Warhol-esque bananas on one of her kneecaps and Kehe paints a head that resembles Boris Yeltsin on the opposite thigh. Levy calls models to prep them before shows. “If a female calls the models,” she says, “it doesn’t seem so shady.”

Within an hour, a group of graffiti artists have trooped in, each accompanied by an overflowing toolbox of paint markers and brightly colored canisters of acrylic paint. An artist in a black Iron Maiden T-shirt and a backwards Sox hat, whose nom de graffiti is Turn, works on Almon’s stomach, drawing a large green-haired head. The crazy-eyed character has an agape mouth and an extended tongue that just barely grazes the top of Almon’s shorts. Nearby, Buckley has stripped to a pink and black lingerie set, and Justin, an artist from New Bedford, paints a series of pink drips seemingly connected to her bra. With his girlfriend watching nearby, Justin adds a large, swirling block-letter tag that reads “Angel,” extending from Buckley’s stomach, down the side of her leg. The overlapping artwork on the model’s body suddenly looks remarkably similar to a city wall that’s been tagged and repainted innumerable times.

The - The Phoenix

"CTC Interview"

Shriiimp - Interview 2007/2008

We found Shriiimp from endless hours of work dedicated to us from our Entertainment correspondent Tim Carter. How he found them, only the Devil knows. He has his sources and we don’t ask. If you knew half of what Tim knows you would have already killed yourself or been killed. What I do know is that Shriiimp is a website that showcases graffiti art in a form that every man can enjoy. Naked chicks meet graffiti, graffiti meet naked chicks. Check out this interview as our own Tim Carter rubs elbows with the Shriiimp kids:

CTCM- Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you grew up.

iii - My name is Curt and I am the co-owner of Shriiimp. I grew up in Greeley, Colorado, about an hour outside of Denver. I moved to Boston when I was 18. At that time in my life I was a rave promoter, and did fine art on the side. I went to college in Vermont at this super hippie school called Goddard. Trust me if you want to go to college stay the fuck out of Vermont. That shit was wack as fuck. I got my love of graffiti from my boss at the first nightclub I helped run called the Asylum in Springfield, Massachusetts. He use to write Gil-T and he was more like a father figure then a boss. After I got back from college, and was 100% burnt out on fine art. I linked up with a crew in Boston called Rekloos, from that I meet Mise and then later my 3 business partners at Shriiimp. From their I have traveled most of the Untied States doing graffiti and "Shriiimp’ing" girls. Now I paint most weekends, with my boys from BLT and I roll with one of the illest crews in the West.

CTCM - What does Shriiimp mean?

iii - We get this question all the time. If you asked my boys in Montreal they would say it was just something funny. So it’s not about anything. It’s just an inside joke with the French members.

CTCM - Who and what are some of your inspirations?

iii - I have to say my biggest inspiration in Graff has to be Smith NYC. That fool is 100% my hero and when my mind thinks about how big to get up, he is my standard.

CTCM - Well I have to ask this because it is the most obvious question that comes to my mind. What made you choose the medium that you do? We see a lot of walls, canvas, and freights, you use gorgeous women. How did you come up with this idea?

iii - Well from me, I use to fuck off in school and it still shocks me that I passed high school with as much fucking around as I did. Shriiimp’ing came from free block. All the girls in my class wanted to be bad ass bitches, and asked me to draw on them with pen and build them tattoos. So when my boys from Montreal hit me up and I saw them bombing girls it was like going back to that point in my life when I was young and it become second nature.

CTCM - Why do you think so many people look at Graffitti as crime and not a form of art? I know there are toys out there that make the best graff cats look bad. Whats up with all the haters?

iii - Well graffiti by nature is a crime. I mean in Eqypt it was the way they kept track of culutre, like a history book and a bible. But our society feels the need to own everything. Nothing is free, everything has an owner. You turn over a rock and someone has a name on it. It's wrong for people to feel that culutre is not important. I see a world where graffiti can be the voice of a people more then a newspaper. And that fear of freedom is only open in Europe it seems. Like of the free and home of the censored.

CTCM - Have you ever fucked Paris Hilton?

iii - (laughing) Shit, oh about the girlfriend thing, I was with a girl for about a year, but we just split up a few months ago, so I am single - famous - sweet like a pitbull.

CTCM - Out of any city you’ve worked in, which city has the best looking models?

iii - To be real with the girls question, I have seen West coast girls and painted a ton and painted a life time worth of East coast girls. But we are fucked, the girls in Brazil are the best.

CTCM - Who has been your favorite artist to work with?

iii - I do a lot of work with a girl from New York City that writes Exotic. She is one of my down ass girls, and I love to Shriiimp with her, when it comes to walls and Graff my boy Abuse is a top dog. CTCM - Have you had any famous people sign up to model and be used in any show?

iii - Our LA showcase was full of famous girls, like one of the girls that runs BET TV came to get painted.

CTCM - What is the craziest thing you have ever seen or done at an event? When we first started talking about the interview I believe you said, "I’ve been around the block like a dirty hooker."

iii - After our CT me and my Boston crew DBM went to a nightclub, the guy I paint with is NUTS. We got wild and drank way to much and they kicked us out, but he refused to go so the bouncer stun gunned him 3 times. Any normal person would have pissed their pants and been done, but he looked the guard in the face and told him he w - CTC Magazine.


We have done shows in Boston, Hartford, Los Angeles, New York City, and now we are doing the first of our tour in Boston.

We have covers in Boink Magazine, and Hustler for 08



What started as a small fun website grew into over one million unique visitors a month, is the most visited graffiti sites in the world and our live event presents a unique opportunity to associate your night club or venue with this rapidly growing and influential cultural movement. This will give you a chance to draw a unique patron into your establishment. Graffiti transcends the computer C.E.O and the rock band front man. It’s hip hop and beautiful women mixed the most admired stars of the trade. It’s the Beastie Boys and Playboy magazine. The live showcase has toured for the last 6 months with 3 sold out coast to coast shows.