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Tex Moton: A Life of Art, Fashion and Flavor

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Art is defined as “the activity in which the human being recreates, with an aesthetic purpose, an aspect of reality or a feeling in beautiful forms using matter, image or sound.”

In the case of Tex Moton, legendary street artist, food has been the inspiration through which he has created great works that connect with people, through a unique material: sneakers.

With the YUMS (You Understan My Style) brand, Moton has managed to combine two of his great passions: graffiti and food.

His beginnings and the place where he was born marked Tex that, from his youth, art took a leading role.

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Q&A with Tex Moton

 

What are the roots of Tex Moton?

“Well I grew up in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood of Dallas in a single parent house with my mom and brother. We had limited means, but I always found inexpensive outlets for entertaining me and my brother through my art. Art became the center for me, creating just brought happiness! Dallas plays a huge part in my style as an artist. It is a very fashionable and artistically visible city. I’ve always found and had creative people around me. My love of hip hop, skate and streetwear culture, my love of bold colors, set the table early in life for my vision for YUMS.”

As a teenager, Tex co-founded an elite graffiti artist collective called the Infinite Crew (aka IC). Since its incorporation in 1991, IC has pushed the boundaries and culture of artistic street art in Dallas, TX with innovative styles and techniques.

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What was the first thing you painted?

“The first thing I ever painted also served as a valuable lesson in the graffiti art culture. I had just watched Beat Street I believe and found myself inspired (lol) so I ran to the garage, found a few old random cans of well-aged spray paint, and made my way outside. I walked a few feet across the street from our house and decided it would be a great idea to add my legal name to the fence of the business on the other side of the road. So, great first time, and I didn’t go to jail (that time) lol”

What are your influences in the world of urban art?

“I find great inspiration in my city and all the up-and-coming artists here in Dallas, Texas. Being a founder of the street art culture of my city, through the formation of the first All-City graffiti collective Infinity Crew “IC” in the early ’90s. It has been extremely cool to have so many artists here tell us that we were the guys that influenced their art styles and motivated them to choose this art form. That’s pretty humbling to me.”

His love for sneakers led him to expand his artistic range, including fashion, when designing and conceptualizing the YUMS brand.

What are your favorite sneakers of all life?

“One of my all-time favorite YUMS sneakers was the “Blockstar” collaboration with Dallas Rap legend TUM TUM of DSR. The process of us working together on the design and materials, to the color story itself, and then seeing the boldness of the completed shoe in hand, super fresh! That sneaker really spoke to the whole city of Dallas at that time. Yeah, Doe!”

What is the design for Yums that you liked the most?

“In all honesty, I tweak each design, sample, and production piece to the point where I’m extremely happy with every item we release. I love operating from a future point of view because to me my next creation has to be even better than the one before it!”

With YUMS, Tex was able to combine his unique art, making his love of food, snacks and treats around the world earn him an instant following and love.

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What do you prefer? Sweet or salty food

I prefer salty, before sweet. Meaning it’s the meal than a dessert. That’s it, that’s the recipe for a happy life. Trust me!

What is your favorite snack?

Too many to name one! I do this snacking thing professionally. Lol

Its most recent collection, “Elote”, is inspired by a traditional Mexican snack, based on corn kernels, cooked and served with sour cream, fresh cheese, and hot chili powder.

How was the moment that inspired you to design “Elote”?

That flavor just translates so well in my head to a YUMS sneaker. From the moment it crossed my mind I saw how it would look done, it also made me hungry too! The colors of an Elote are so vivid, the bright yellow corn, to the cream, and the rich fiery red chile, all perfectly layered in that iconic white foam cup with that plastic spoon! Can’t you just see it? You Understand My Style?

Where did you taste Elote for the first time?

I had a job as a bag boy in PG at Elrod’s Cost Plus my junior year in H.S. That’s when a work buddy of mine put me up on game lol. There was an older lady who ran a cart in front of the store and I had never tried it before. My buddy was like today you gone learn. He bought 2 cups, and 2 bags of Doritos (to crush up and mix in) and that’s the way I love to eat them to this day. Fire!

With which Chile do you prefer an Elote? “Del que pica” (spicy) or “del que no pica” (not spicy)

No question, it has to have pica!

Photography by: Tom Fox