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Othelo Gervacio, photography Ryan Pfluger

Othelo Gervacio on punk jackets

The New Yorker, who spent four years working with Scott Campbell, tells us about his biker jacket fixation and DILLIGAF, the group show it spawned

Othelo Gervacio grew up in a small beach town where he skated with friends, listened to everything from hip hop to metal to hardcore and got into graffiti, teaching himself how to draw and paint. In 2006 he moved to New York and landed a job working with revered tattooist/artist Scott Campbell for four years – "quite the wizard if you've ever had the pleasure" – until the urge to paint again was too strong, recalling the feeling of a teenager discovering Black Sabbath for the first time. Over the weekend and ahead of Hurricane Sandy showing up, Gervacio put together a show catalysed by grass-roots passion which payed homage to homemade punk jackets and biker vests, featuring pieces by Gervacio, Burn Books Records' Alexander Heir and London's own Claire Barrow, who, in the slipstream of her Fashion East SS13 debut, created a white paper perfecto with hand-drawn imagery for the 48-hour show. Gervacio talks to Dazed Digital about his passion.

"I was first introduced to punk subculture when I was in middle school, so around the age of 12 or 13. The raw energy and DIY nature of the scene drew me in. I hung out with a lot of older kids, going to shows and copying what they were doing. So naturally, making everything your own and personalising articles of clothing came early. Later on I started to look into tattoo and biker culture which are other significant places that I take inspiration from – my favourite type of custom jacket nowadays, as I'm into biker gang vests and the meanings behind the colours and patches.

I've been wanting to do this show for a while, I was just was waiting for the right time and opportunity. At first I thought DILLIGAF was just going to be a few people showing, but once the space was presented by ALLDAYEVERYDAY, I figured I needed to fill it with a few more jackets; so I called on more of my talented peers and ended up with a great line-up and amazing set of jackets to show."

Portrait Photography Ryan Pfluger
Exhibition Photography Todd Jordan and Alex di Suvero