Baso Fibonacci, photographed in his studio in Pioneer Square. His next show opens at Zeitgeist Coffee in October.
PHOTO BY KELLY O / QUESTIONS BY SEAN NELSON
Baso Fibonacci is a pseudonym. Did you choose it because you're a math enthusiast?
You could say that. Baso was an old Zen Buddhist from China. He was known for using illogical means to bring his disciples to enlightenment, like shouting at them or kicking them for asking questions. Fibonacci was the mathematician who brought numbers from India to the West. When I was growing up, I was really good at math, and later on I became an artist, so it seemed like the two go good together.
Your large-scale pieces, like the screaming mural behind Cal Anderson Park, are really striking and high-visibility. Do you make things like that without permission anymore?
Definitely. I try to find spots on the street where it's not too illegal, kind of like a gray area. And then sometimes I get a commission. I like doing them both. Galleries and museums are elitist in a way, where people have to choose to go inside. Whereas work in the street, anyone can see it. They don't have to make that choice. It's more accessible. A little kid will see it. A little kid's not necessarily going to want to go in a museum.
Do you have your eye on any spots for new pieces?
I have some spots downtown. I like to put work where I think it fits, I want it to last, and I want people to see it. With my street work, if I'm doing something illegal, I don't want it to be somewhere it's going to get me in trouble. I'm easy to find.