For more than 20 years, graffiti artist Dr. Dax has called Atlanta home and has covered the city with his emblazoned moniker and style. Whether it’s railroad trains in the night, club interiors or buildings on Edgewood Avenue, the doctor has surgically implanted his unique visual style into the fabric of Atlanta’s art scene and hip-hop culture as a member of the eclectic collective that spawned the likes of OutKast and Goodie Mob, the Dungeon Family. We caught up with the indelible artist for a quick-fire Q&A about Atlanta, art, culture and beyond.
From Southwest Atlanta and East Atlanta Village to Buckhead and more, vibrant graffiti art Dr. Dax leaves his unmistakable mark on the city’s art scene.
What does Atlanta mean to you?
Atlanta is the center of my universe as it applies to Earth.
What were you like in high school?
I was like what I'm like now, except in child form.
If you could paint any building in ATL, what would it be and what would you paint?
I'd paint the whole outside of the High Museum. I'd paint subliminal messages of love in one continuous, hypnotizing abstract portal pattern.
What are your go-to eats in the A?
Tassili's Raw Reality. Ria’s Bluebird. El Ponce.
If you had a Ph.D., what would it be in?
It would be in graffiti.
How would you describe ATL's art/graffiti scene? What would you change?
The Atlanta graffiti scene has, is and will always be dear to my heart. There are some Atlanta-bred bad asses, like Save, Totem2 and HENSE, and we have graffiti transplants, visitors that have all helped keep it fresh and interesting. The art scene is blooming slowly but surely, and I'm glad I'm here to witness and participate in it. I wouldn't change anything. Everything happens for a reason.
What was the first thing you ever painted?
My Hot Wheels when I was about 7 years old. Used to tape off the windows and wheels, too. As far as art, in the late '80s, early '90s I used to paint my friends in the punk scenes, leather jackets and graffiti walls under the bridge at Piedmont Park where the trains used to run through. They're under the dirt now.
The most dangerous place you’ve ever painted?
Simpson Street in the early '90s.
Lastly, how many tattoos do you have? Select one and share the story behind it?
Lost count on the tattoos. It’s pretty much one big one now. I got one that says "Mom.” I got it from my mom.
Chris Watkins is an Atlanta-based writer and photographer and serves as the voice of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (@DiscoverAtlanta) on social media. You can follow him on Instagram @christopherbw.
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