CANLOVE is run by DJ NEFF and Paul Ramirez in Venice California.
DJ NEFF_ Street Artist and Designer neffink.com
Neff was a particularly wild child at times, always curious about the world around him. His mother would pull her hair out in frustration from the numerous appliances and things she would find dismantled, or sometimes combined with other items in the house, often with colorful instructions of how to use it scribbled on the wall next to it. This destructive yet pure spirit would find it’s place years later in the form of a fat tip marker or a can of Krylon when he turned his sights to becoming a graffiti artist. As the years went by he studied different disciplines, design, illustration, and always tried to incorporate his favorite tool with them, the spray can.
One day in an experimental painting class, taught by an artist named Daniel Steppe, DJ decided to cut open the spray cans he had lying around to create a new type of canvas, aptly titled CAN-VAS. Upon finally figuring out how to open the can successfully he stared inside at what could have been the most perfect combination of texture and color that he had ever seen in a 5×7 inch format. The residual paint drying inside, tracked with lines and flecks from the rolling marble, glistening and smelling so very toxic was his genesis, thus CANLOVE was born. Upon assembling the cans he had cut, he stared at the aluminum mosaic and could not bring himself to mark on the piece as he had originally intended. It was perfect as is. From this point on, his beloved tool had transcended from a partner in crime into a torrid love affair, in which each can became a sacred treasure, begging to be opened.
Paul once lived in New York. He used to make a living by offering his soul as food to the hungry advertising machine, but after years of the churn and burn he was worn thin. His mind was elsewhere and his heart was yearned for something more. One fateful weekend, his brother from another mother, DJ Neff, paid him a visit. Their conversations and philosophical deliberations led to a few epiphanies. With a growing fire burning in their bellies, both took to the streets in search of an outlet to express what was in their hearts. After getting busted for attempting to put up his first stencil in Brooklyn, a friendly neighborhood officer offered Paul some parting advice. “Paul Ramirez, you’re thirty years old. Find something better to do with your life.” Ramirez agreed. So, he packed up his belongings in Williamsburg, quit his job in advertising, and moved to the West Coast to run CANLOVE alongside DJ Neff. In Venice, working out of their new gallery and design studio, Paul and the rest of the CANLOVE crew continue their mission of creating fine art through their global graffiti recycling program.