Interview courtesy of Musa. Thanks!
‘If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water’. Ernest Hemingway
I am a graffiti writer from Barcelona, I write Rioga, and since 2006 I represent the TSK Crew, with Vino, Blue, Rocky, Amigo, Crue and Muse.
What does it mean to you to be in a crew like that?
This is the train crew that I most respected, it was an honor for me when they tell me to bet on. To my, we are the closest thing to a family, with good and, sometimes, the “not so good” things involved. I have always think of myself as the little brother, even a little bit spoiled, but time passes and you have to mature….
How would you define your style?
It comes directly from the trainwriting developed in the early new millennium in southern Europe. The extincted crew PME (Honet, Pum, Riot, Vino …) represents in many ways the concept of style, which was it’s based on the same premises as TSK: innovation and simplification in the structure of the letters. At the same time the Nordic and Poland graffiti also had an enormous impact on me, so I think I can have features to remember. Inevitably my style is also influenced in some way by the writers that I like or liked at one time, and, therefore, is a tribute to them: Blue, Vino, Taylor, Turn, Bitch, Nug, Mr. X, Kegr, Que, Hue, Angel, Chob, Cyrus, Mr.Maks, Taps from a long list …
You’re a writer who is the very up to date on what’s happening in the worldwide graffiti … Where do we go?
Not that much… In a short term, the result of the economic crisis will influence the world of Western trainwriting positively. Greece is an example and more countries will fall. In Spain is starting to show in some places, but the situation is unpredictable due to the high percentage of morons in positions of public responsibility.
As for walls, more and more graffiti is being accepted as a theme in the art world, but on the street every time there is more prohibition. The same people who does bombing will exhibit in galleries, but the masterpieces will be made only on request.
In a long term, although there are positive reviews about it, I think the graffiti will be removed from the western cities and will become a tourism activity: the writers will travel to underdeveloped countries to paint trains and subways as easy, as they did before in their cities. The tags on the street will be eradicated from the central areas of each city. Unless, the periodic crises prevent it.
Only when graffiti become extinct shall be considered a lost art of incalculable cultural value.
Where do we come?
Graffiti writing was born in New York, but had to go into exile. Europe has completely reinvented graffiti, especially on metal.Style and attitude. To a writer who has lived in New York in the 80’s will seem a superb bullshit to paint trains that will be clean the same day. The game has changed, what matters is not reaching the entire city, but do it for yourself and if you want, share it with the rest of the world through the means available (magazines and internet). And the pandemic grows: South America, Australia, Canada and even USA are plaguing people who risk their freedom by the picture of a panel.
Some people say that we have not invented anything, that everything comes from New York. I do not think so, Europe has come up in paint in backjumps to special paint from emergenzy break actions to routine surveillance or the concept of crew with unique name, not to mention countless styles. The graffiti culture in Europe is awesome as to suggest that we can not have a proper attitude…
Trains. What do to you? What is your favorite model?
The Surface for graffiti with the identity you want. It may be doubted whether a hall of fame is graffiti, or a tag with chalk or a piece without a outilne. But a painted train, whatever it is, will always be graffiti and nobody can say otherwise. In traffic or deleted, here and in Lima.
There is a single unit in the Moscow metro that is brown and bears the symbol of the hammer and sickle. But it is like a fantasy.
The truth is that my preferred model is the spanish mirror train, it seems that they did it on purpose, built for four people in each car paint without arguing.
The 12 hours scapade in the Paris Metro with Hawk and Jers (Blow Crew) in 2004. Surely they are also etched, although I know that they go around saying I was the only one who fell asleep on the roof of the subway … a greeting for them if they are reading me!
There was also a good one in Barcelona in which a security broke his back trying to catch me and another slammed a car into the tracks trying to run over Rocky… God, I though I was going to die. When I got to college full of wounds, colleagues did not want to ask what the hell had happened…
How do you handle stress? Is it an addiction to adrenaline of the action or …?
When the pigs are on the heels you, the most important thing to do is to have a cold head and confidence in oneself. Not always obtained in 100% of the problems.
From colors to prepare the coffee break or beer later, everything has its point. Perhaps the best time is when you start to fill the piece or when you go and you turn around one last time to see the finished piece …
It must be said that one of the greatest feelings that anyone can feel is to find a piece by chance.
Violence in illegal graffiti?
Violence, now monopolized by the state, is part of life itself, and human. In graffiti, because it’s outside the law, it is quite legitimate, especially against the security, but in my opinion is not advisable: it is better that the charges are only for damages… if there is violence in between it will be very harmful to all writers. It is more logical that among the writers themselves, but from my experience any Saturday night brawl can be much worse…
How would your life be without graffiti?
If he had never painted… I may even have become an architect!
It is a very difficult question… maybe I would have devoted to the world of art, tattoo design… or all those things that people is dedicated when they stop painting. (Let no one be offended, is a joke and a way to encourage painting).
How do you managed to grow up and keep painting?
The key is not having a girlfriend and sleep less. The first thing is harder than it looks. The second too.
Apologies for the long interview and a huge greeting to TSK my family, my kids with his elbow on the bar 24/7, the turtle 4.0 and all who shared good times with me or ever felt something positive from me.