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Why did Taki 183, Cornbread and all these American guys write like that? Because it was a natural evolution of their culture, of what they had seen on TV, what they had read in magazines, the music listened to and the complex cultural context that brought them to that point. Back then I thought it just didn’t work. I mean even if an American came up in a Parisian metro and put beautiful letters there, it wouldn’t work either. I thought I had to find something from our culture and I thought stencil were perfect. In a way it always existed here, during the Renaissance, they used stencils for their frescos when they were decorating walls. Stencils have always been a very European technique and I thought stencils worked better in France and in Paris than trying to do American style graffiti.

Is that part of the reason you worked in monochrome? Perhaps – but ultimately, it was a matter of security - it was faster. When you work in the street, it’s illegal so you have to be very

fast. Let’s say if one guy holds the stencil and the other sprays it, it takes just 2 minutes to paint a stencil. The reason why I chose to paint monochrome stencils is that I was very paranoid when I was painting in the streets, I was very afraid, especially in the beginning. For me it was always a massive effort to go do things in the street. I have always been more introverted than extroverted, so for me to go out and do things in the street was always a bit of a struggle. It wasn’t a pleasure; I never enjoyed the actual process though I know a lot of people who do graffiti have a lot of fun doing it, it’s a real thrill for them. But because the danger elements always preyed on my mind, I wanted to be in and out as fast as possible – but equally – it developed a distinct aesthetic. How much does street art owe to pop art In my opinion we are a continuation and an evolution of pop art and I think Andy Warhol pre-empted that very well when he worked with Keith Haring and Basquiat. He understood something was going on. Sadly, Andy Warhol died a bit too young.

Profile for LSD Magazine

LSD Magazine - Issue 9 - Chasing Dragons  

Issue 9 of LSD Magazine is out now. Bursting at the digital seams with sizzling art, searching interviews, slamming music, a dash of politi...

LSD Magazine - Issue 9 - Chasing Dragons  

Issue 9 of LSD Magazine is out now. Bursting at the digital seams with sizzling art, searching interviews, slamming music, a dash of politi...

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