Posts Tagged ‘ graphic design ’

Matt W. Moore Artist Feature and Interview

MWM Hex Process Detail 2010

MWM Hex Red

MWM Crystals And Lasers

MWM Brazil Rojo Nova

MWM Parallel Universe Brazil

MWM Hex Process

MWM Op Art Mandala

MWM Crystals And Lasers Paris Mural

MWM Dem Hexy Curves Detail

MWM Rorschach Posters

MWM Parallel Universe Canvas

MWM Hex Series Fulcrum

MWM Crystals And Lasers


I was turned onto Matt Moore’s work after a recent video that Ironlak put out of a track side wall he collaborated on with Jurne, Dement, Twigs and Enron. I had admired his design and mural work before, yet had no idea to the extent that it reached. A very well rounded artist, being able to walk the line between multiple mediums and actually doing it extremely well speaks volumes. I have a true respect for MWM, being primarily a design artist he is able to transition his ideas and aesthetic vision into canvases, and walls very superbly. His signature Vectorfunk style seems to be a visual soundtrack to his own mind that we get a glimpse into one piece of work at a time. I was able to catch up with MWM and ask him some questions below is the interview.


Give us a brief history of how you first started to paint walls, as compared to primarily working in design and painting? Did you paint walls first, then get into design, or was it the other way around?

Like many of your readers, the first creative outlet that I immersed myself in was traditional graffiti. I drew my name in many different ways and then painted those blueprints on walls. As my style evolved I started to put more focus on intricate fills and taking over entire surfaces with abstract funk. Then after a few solid years of that I completely abandoned letter forms and started to paint large abstract free form compositions. Around this time I was in school for Graphic Design and I was learning how to render images digitally. Geometry, Asymmetry, and Composition became my focus in the graphic work I was creating, and I cross pollinated this energy towards my graffiti, murals, and canvas paintings. I’m lucky to have been introduced to so many different art and design disciplines. If it weren’t for my experiments and discoveries in one realm I would never have evolved the way I did in the others.

You talk about energy. For me this is one of the most defining characteristics of graffiti, even without letters its hard to hide it. Some call it style, yet it is something that keeps shining through in most artists work as they cross into new mediums. I recently watched a video where you painted a production with Jurne and friends. How did that collaboration come about, and also do you have other projects coming out in the future?

The track side production in Oakland was a lot of fun. I visit the Bay Area a few times a year and always link up with Jurne for for some painting missions. Ironlak was real cool and floated up a grip of paint for the wall. Twigs was in town as well, and Enron and Dment too. So we planned out an ambitious one night jam and Lea Bruno filmed the whole thing Blair Witch Graffiti style. The video turned out great and we had a good time blending styles and techniques.

I have an exciting 2011 planned. Lots of travel, big murals, and gallery exhibitions. Heading to Amsterdam in a couple weeks to paint a cool boutique interior. Then I’ll be going to Cincinnati for a residency and exhibition at YES Gallery. Definitely going to paint some big walls while I’m there for that. Then back to Europe for the infamous OFFF Festival in Barcelona where I will be painting a huge mural and speaking about my art and design. And then in September I’m shooting back to Paris for another month long residency and exhibition at Since Gallery, where I had my Crystals & Lasers show last Winter. A busy and fun year for sure!

Wow, congrats it seems that you are definitely not wasting any time with a schedule like that. Do you have a preference when it comes to painting vs design work is there a favorite for you?

When it comes to Art and Design I don’t have a favorite. Each is challenging and satisfying in it’s own way. For me it’s all about balance and doing something different everyday. My ideal calendar would be split evenly between Graphic Design work like Logos, Posters, Apparel, Products, and more artsy stuff like Murals, Canvas Painting, and Sculpture. I live by the mantra “Range Is Conducive To Growth”.

Can you describe the difference in process of creating a mural versus a painting a canvas or design work. Your design work seems to be so complex and immense in its scope of detail it would seem such a huge task to attempt to paint. Do you have a clear separation of intent when working in a certain medium?

My process varies depending on many factors, but the raw energy remains the same regardless of the medium. I’ve never made a graphic design that I couldn’t paint on a wall. It’s all about time and resources. Sometimes I have only a day for a wall, other times I have a week. A lot can get done in a week as long as I plan properly. Sometimes I think about my work as being tiny moments in an infinite landscape of geometric optical illusions. There is always another layer that can be added to make it more complex, and there are always interesting moments within the works that could be cropped out and stand alone as their own composition. Designing things on the computer has allowed me to experiment and evolve at a rapid pace. My process has become more fluid, I’m more comfortable taking risks, and my ability to see the way something will look before I actually do it has really helped my fine art and mural concepts. Some stuff makes sense to do with vector design and other stuff is a lot more fun to make with paint and long hours on a ladder.

That makes a lot of sense many graffiti artists at times have stacked the rules against themselves by not utilizing technology or even the most basic tools. Its good to see Artists like yourself taking advantage of your design experience. It seems that there are some however recently that are willing to cross some of these taboos. Can you describe to us your style and what direction you are currently taking your current work.

Moving forward I plan to continue exploring optical illusions and asymmetrical geometry in my work. I’ve been thinking a lot about 3D design such as furniture and sculpture, so expect some cool stuff in these realms from me in the near future. My Design Studio, MWM Graphics, keeps me quite busy working on client projects across the spectrum of graphic design and illustration. And my Painting Studio has been getting a lot of attention lately in preparation for upcoming shows. My current work celebrates a more balanced ratio of Geometric VS. Organic forms, and I’ve been bringing back representational and conceptual ideas into the series I work on.

Nice, it seems like there is no stone unturned when it comes to your goals. I always admire those that instead of making excuses or keeping it safe venture into the uncomfortable process at times of new ideas. Explain a little about Vectorfunk, is this a style or a general term used for your work?

Vectorfunk is the name I gave to the abstract digital artwork that I create using Adobe Illustrator. Vector graphics are created by arranging points to create form, as opposed to raster graphics that are made up of pixels. Many years ago while I was in school learning graphic design I immersed myself in this method of rendering images. In recent years I have translated this approach and aesthetics to the canvases and murals I paint. I initially intended to only use the term for my digital graphic work but things have a life of their own and the term has been used a lot with regards to my handmade fine art endeavors as well.

I don’t know if its just me, but its an exciting time to be an artist in today’s world. With Social Media and being an insomniac like myself, I am able to talk to artists half way around the world instantly. Coming from the pen pal age of trading graffiti photos with your contemporaries, to talking over twitter and Skype Its a whole new ballgame. Is technology more of a hindrance or a positive influence when it comes to your work?

I agree! It is certainly an exciting time to be alive, and be in the business of producing and creating. I could talk all day about the pros and cons of present day web interconnectedness. There are many obvious pros to modern communication. I am able to live in Portland, Maine and work with collaborators and clients across the globe, many of whom I’ve never met in real life. It’s also really cool to tune into all the niche cultures I am interested in, and participate in, and correspond with folks all over the place. On the flip side, I take pride in being from a generation of artists and graffiti cats that came up reading black and white photocopied ‘zines and jocking ideas from our big brothers at the wall, rather than from folks we didn’t know that didn’t live in our city. The gestation period for movements and geographic specific styles has suffered. These days, if it’s dope, it’s on the web the next day, and the day after that there are dozens of cats pulling inspiration from it. This is all happening simultaneously with the originator’s efforts to further develop the ideas. This too has both pros and cons. It’s all one big yin-yang! At the end of the day, if you’re producing more than you consume, having fun, and walking a positive path… You win.

MWM’s Blog


“Linear Empires” Group Show at White Walls Gallery

Moneyless Installation Golden Gate Park


Greg Ito

Kofie One

Richard Pearse

Mary Iverson

Diana Ruiz and Geoff Campen

Moneyless Installation


Kofie One

Mary Iverson

Greg Ito

Diana Ruiz and Geoff Campen

Diana Ruiz and Geoff Campen

Diana Ruiz and Geoff Campen

Mary Iverson

Kofie One


Greg Ito

Diana Ruiz and Geoff Campen

Diana Ruiz and Geoff Campen


Mary Iverson

I was able to catch up with Moneyless at White Walls Gallery in his first ever exhibition in America. Augustine Kofie was also featured in the show, as well as some other great artists. Many of the artists work I was seeing for the first time. The show titled “Linear Empires” focused on where art and design intersect. Moneyless had a strong showing of paintings that utilized his strength of linear compositions. His floating graffiti geometry installed floating above his work created a sense of lightness to the whole installation. Moneyless has plans after the show to do some installations around the bay area before he heads home to Italy. He has already done one install at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Kofie’s work as usual was worth the trip to see, as he continues to push deeper into his collage work with these pieces involving some great images that don’t overpower his precise and powerful line work. I really was impressed with all the artists in the show, Geoff Campen and his wife Diana Ruiz teamed up for some great collage mix media work that was very well done. Geoff is a great guy as well, really looking forward to seeing their future work. Greg Ito, Mary Iverson and Richard Pearse all had amazing paintings. As a whole a great show, and i am very glad White Walls Gallery was able to bring Moneyless to town, showing him with Kofie was a bonus. Here are some excerpts from interviews they did with the artists, you can read the full article following this link to the White Walls Gallery Blog.

Augustine Kofie

Why do you choose to depict such precise graphic elements using a wide variety of mediums within each piece? Do you feel that it’s essential to the aesthetic or the technique in any particular way?

“Because it aesthetically appeals to me. I am developing a style that envelopes all of my inspirations and loves. I am very heavy with technique and application when it comes to work on woods, a solid natural surface. Applying layers of found paper to a surface, then building a structured painting on to top helps me with my overall end result, which is the exploration of controlled layers, balance of line, space and form.”

Tell us about you interest in old-school drafting and related processes. How are you attempting to bring a fresh perspective to these processes as a fine artist/street artist?

“For some time I have found inspiration from late 50′s to late 70′s graphic design as well as music. Majority of these adverts were hand built ‘cut and pasted’ then drafted together using now outdated applications. I passionately collect various ephemera based around engineering, drafting and ‘DIY’ booklets and incorporate them out of sheer inspiration and admiration. I consider my assemblage artworks to be a sort of evolution of this same ‘cut and paste’ technique, just updated with my linear painting style. The hybrid of old and new interweaving intrigues me, the beautiful Vintage Futurism contradiction at work.”


Why do you choose to work with such pure and precise geometric forms and color blocking above any other visual devices? How did your relationship with these types of forms begin?

“I guess it’s a consequence of my graffiti period. Considering my entire artistic path, I’ve found the seeds of my actual works in the period I was experimenting the graffiti’s world. Back in 2004 I started writing “Moneyless” in a more geometric way, and while the lettering was still the protagonist, I started feeling the needing of gradually move away from it. The “type face” thus became a constriction, but mainly the writing rules were constraints for me, I found them quite outdated. The blossoming period of writing had ended already and what was left turned out in some boring verbal fights with rare authenticity.

I thought I could be able to use the wall – our medium par excellence – in a quite different way. My bond with lettering was slackening little by little. As far as I was concerned, I only cared about its shape, but being able to see it alone forced me to cut any reference to the sign itself. The world of simple and pure geometric thus became the ground of my endless investigation on shapes, which extends to the present time. Minimalism and geometry are the fundamental elements of my constructions, which heavily try to face the system of communication that traps us with information chaos. Given this, only simplicity and subtraction can give another point of view.”

When you’re working on pieces of gallery art, how is it similar or different to the work you do out in the street? What are some of the challenges you face when doing this kind of work outside of the studio? What are some of the benefits?

“What I do inside the galleries is normally the result of what I produce outside, it’s bringing my outer experience closer to somebody. I need a sort of intimate scene when I’m creating on the outside: I look for calm, nature, woods, abandoned spots… at the same time, galleries permit me to show my work to a public, as well as giving me a chance to come out of that kind of isolation that investigation on art may require.”

White Walls Gallery

New Walls From Graphic Surgery

Detail Sweden 2010

Sweden 2010

Sweden 2010

Sweden 2010

Sweden 2010

Detail Amsterdam 2010

Amsterdam 2010

Amsterdam 2010 Freight

Unknown Area Netherlands 2010

Unknown Area Netherlands 2010

Breda at hAI 2010

Breda hAI 2010

Gotherburg Sweden 2010

NDSM Amsterdam 2010

Improvise Diptych 2010

Trouw Amsterdam Graphic Surgery, Erosie, Late, Staynice

It seems The Dynamic Duo Graphic Surgery has been keeping itself busy putting out some very impressive new walls and paintings. I was lucky enough to get some new pictures from Graphic surgery to share with the site. I would watch out for some big things in 2011 coming from Graphic Surgery. There are some secret projects in the works and Graphic Surgery I’m sure will be pushing the limits as usual. Stay Tuned. If you haven’t checked out the interview we did with Graphic Surgery or want to see more of there work check the links below.

Graphic Surgery Flickr

Graffuturism Interview with Graphic Surgery

Graphic Surgery Website

Joker Transcend BA Video MTN Colors

Joker Detail Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Kofie & Remi Rough Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Joker Painting Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Codak Detail Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Poesia Painting Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Diel Charachter Detail Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Kema Detail Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Joker Remi Poesia Detail Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Kofie Detail Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Rough Detail Photo courtesy of Scott La Rock

Whole Wall Finished

Here is the Video of the wall Joker painted earlier this year, this video was recently released by MTN Colors. I posted the wall while back from a meeting of writers that included myself, Kofie, Joker, Rough, Kema,Codak and Diel. Kofie and Remi were showing some work at White Walls Gallery in SF, Joker Flew in to see the Show. This was the perfect opportunity to get a bunch of like minded artists together on a wall. Thanks to Mr toads in SF we secured a nice spot. After painting this wall the idea of Graffuturism was born and basically pushed me to get out there and show artists with similar mindsets.

The guys at MTN Colors in SF came through and filmed Joker painting for there series of videos they are putting out. Here is the Video they just released of that Day.

Also Photographer Scott La Rock stopped by and was able to shoot some photo’s as well. All Pictures Copyright of Scott La Rock.

More Links

MTN Colors Vimeo Page

Scott La Rock’s Flickr Page

Artist Feature NAWER

I don’t know what it is about Poland and Great abstract artists, but it seems like the country is a breeding ground for these great artists. We introduce to you Nawer another very talented Polish Artist whose aesthetic and abstract approach to architecture is very impressive. His use of color as well as his compositions work well with the walls and environments he paints them in. It seems that more and more as we run across these other artists from around the world that share this common aesthetic and overall similarities that i am starting to get the feeling that there might just be something to Jung’s Archetype theory. Here is a brief Bio, you can also see more Nawer’s his work in the links below.

“NAWER Architect, designer, street artist, graduate of Architecture and Urbanism program in Krakow. Has been involved with street art since the mid 90’s. In 2003, began to devote time between painting and freelancing in interior design. Created Artde7 Studio in 2006, with a focus on interior and graphic design, along with scenography. Creativity stems toward isometric graphics as extant of public and functional spaces. Interior spatiality is described as a blend of objects within space, while painting by perspective and axonometry using aerosol as a main medium. The combination of these two approaches allows a fresh take on the design of arrangement and creativity of an interior space. As his own style evolves, the goal is to always strive forward in an effort to connect painting with architecture.”

Here is his Streetfiles Profile

Here is his Behance Profile

PREYS UPS Interviewed By Joker

Preys UPS probably one of the most unique and original Graff artists painting right now in my opinion. Coming from the states he has become one of my favorite writers who’s work I always look forward to seeing. There is an air of uncomfortability in his work that draws me too it, just when you think you have seen everything and every style. Then you see an artist like Preys and it reminds you that there is something left to find out there, and just maybe everything hasn’t been done already. I have been trying to get more Artist’s on the site from the states and Preys was gracious enough to take the time and answer some questions for us. When I mentioned it to some of the guys behind the scenes I was going to interview Preys and if they had any questions for him, Joker stepped up and actually put together some great questions for him. So here is the interview make sure to check out his flickr also. Like I said before if you haven’t had the privilege of seeing Preys recent walls you have been missing out.

Joker: How do you approach your construction? Meaning… when you put paint to wall, what is the plan? Do you go in knowing where it’s going to go (colors chosen, layout planned, aesthetics…) and how it’s going to finish or do you show up and stare blankly at the wall waiting for “it” to hit you?

Preys: I laughed out loud when I read your question, because it sums up exactly what I think my biggest problem is when it comes to painting. So I would say that 90% of the time I have a pretty good idea in my head of what I am gonna paint. I have a few outlines, and doodles stuffed in my bag as well as some reference material (print outs, photos, whatever I think might work their way into the piece). I also email a lot of these visual ideas to myself, so I can peep at them on the phone when I am feeling lost. So there is almost always a lose plan. Colors, I usually think about them while I am gathering / drawing stuff. Sometimes I write down what colors go where etc, then I either get the colors I need for that or pull my supplies. That being said, the colors situation never really goes that smoothly. Unfortunately I am super attracted to certain colors or color combinations and they always find their way into whatever I am painting, so that is always something to struggle with. The other problem is that I am never that dedicated to (have confidence in) my original scheme so that often changes along the way. I very often reduce the amount of colors I use just because I am struggling with something else, mainly the outline. Or because they looked better on the can than they do on the wall. Then there is the “it” factor. More times than I would like to admit, my original plan has a meltdown, things are not going right, proportions are off, color combinations are shit, caps are clogging, etc. That is when the “it” factor either decides to show up or not. When it does, it’s a fucking party. I know what goes where, it is all worked out in my head and all I have to do is follow the directions that are laying themselves down. When ” it” doesn’t show up, it’s a fucking struggle to get through it. More often than not, “it” shows up in little ways so a few details are cool, but when “it” shows up for the overall, it’s a good day.

Joker: Your actual letters are fairly simple in their design, something I admire and strive for all the time myself, but it’s how you build the letters together and play with the lines that really abstracts them. This idea is really evident in the last year. Is this natural progression?

Preys: Yeah I think that after the first few straight up simple pieces, I just started overlapping letters and playing with negative shapes to try to get some more complex combinations from the original simple letter forms. My natural tendency is to fill up the space, make more lines, etc. So I try to remember to keep the letters simple. So it can be deceptively complex based on simple parts.

Joker: Outside of writing, what do you find inspirational that you find gives you ideas for your paintings?

Preys: Films, videos, animation, and really anything. Unfortunately right now I feel like I’m in a little bit of a creative rut. So I’m looking for some real inspiration. One of the little tricks I used to do (and I am not condoning this to anyone else but me) is sometimes smoke a little weed, just enough to dilate my pupils slightly and just enough to let my mind wander. Then I go look at images that I have either saved on my computer or favorites on a site, watch tv, listen to music whatever etc. The combination of slightly blurred vision and my mind making random connections is often a good place to look for inspiration, new ideas and concepts. At least for me it is. I need to do this tonight.

Joker: Do you consider yourself an abstract writer or just a writer?

Preys: I would consider myself just a writer. My opinion on graffiti is kind of simple. You use spray paint or not, you write a name, you’re a writer. How you want to write it is up to you.

Joker: I see your work as having an almost ‘outsider’ graphic design aesthetic. you absolutely have the sensibility, but it’s so radically unique that I’m not sure if ‘typography’ from the straight laced side of the tracks is even part of your intent. any insight as to graphic design being a motivation to your work?

Preys: I fear I will get shit for this, but the honest answer is this. I’m a designer in the 9-5 world. However it wasn’t what I went to school for, so one of the biggest holes in my design knowledge / education is the proper lessons on typography that one gets from being a graphic design major. I used to think that graffiti was the my ticket to teaching myself the rules of typography. However the rules of type in the print and web world are way different than in the graffiti world. Graffiti is more over all design than straight up typography. In the graffiti world we don’t spend a lot of time on multiple words and their relationship to each other. Just multiple letters and their relationship to each other. All that shit being said, the graffiti I like and strive to do does interesting things with letters.
What I try to do is turn letters into feelings / moods. Try to create a world that the letters live in. Recently it has been a kind of laser future 80’s world. And just writing this makes me want to go way deeper into that world.

Joker: What is your position on technique and special effects as contributors to a person’s style?

Preys: I had a big debate with my friends Jimboe and Kems about this just the other day. We were talking about the differences between design, style, and technique in the world of graffiti. A few years ago I found this poem by Charles Bukowski called Style. Not to sound too much like a douche bag, but this one section pretty much summed up what I think style is all about.
“Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art”
-Charles Bukowski

There are writers that have amazing technique and know all the tricks and special effects, but they lack style. They lack that special hand that makes it look like some other creature from another planet created it. Style seems to be a really hard thing to obtain, especially for myself. I know that some people think my shit lacks style because it seems semi technical, I kind of agree. But really I know I’m on to something good when I feel slightly uncomfortable about what I am painting. That’s the dangerous part of trying to make something new and interesting with style. When a line seems awkward, or a shape wrong, sometimes those are the most successful parts of a piece for me. I have a theory on art / design which is that really groundbreaking stuff should confuse you at first. If you feel comfortable right away with a new piece that means you didn’t push it far enough. It means the visual vocabulary you used is comfortable to the viewer, which means it contains just enough things they have seen before so they can understand it. Real break through shit should make you slightly confused between whether that thing is the newest best thing you have ever seen, or the worst thing you have ever seen. If you have nothing to compare that piece to, then it is something new, something innovative. I am not saying I do this, but I would like to think it is my goal.

Remi Rough: Are you in any way religious? Being that you chose tthe name Preys, or does it have hunting connotations?

Preys: Not religious at all. However I did go to Catholic elementary school and always got into the weird power religious icons had. I thought Preys was a witty play on the word PRAY / PRAISE / PREY. When I started writing for real I wrote Juan, a nickname some kids in school gave me cause they thought I was Spanish. Then I got caught up in some personal and legal shit and ended up trying to make a new start. After desperately trying to come up with a cool name I settled on Preys. All I can say is that it sounded cool at the time. The weird thing about what you write is even though the word’s meaning might be lost to the person writing it, the audience often reads into it – along with how you write it. I don’t think about the meaning of the word as much as I should. In fact, I need to step my shit up and one of the ways I need to do that is by using the literal meanings of my tag more in the concepts for my pieces.

GF: Any final Thoughts or shout outs?

Preys: I just wanted to thank you for contacting me about sharing my work, I sincerely appreciate it and it reminds me that maybe all this painting shit is not in vain.

Catch more of Preys Work at the Links below

His Flickr Page

Zedz Interview and Artist Feature

Gdansk chairs 2009

Defining negative space (green), Canvas 100x 100, spray and marker, 2010

Milaan 2009

Netherlands Vlissingen 2007

Zedz at Jeroen and Linda's House Amsterdam 2009

Praha 2008

The ball 2010 80x80 acrylics on canvas

Praha 2008 landscape

Bergamo 2010

MIxed media 2006 - 3 D graffiti

Zedz - D6 - Gekido -Super A (from left to right)

Praha amesfest 2008

Thalys 2009 Foto BY Pierre Tjerdman

high velocity (high speed train) that runs between Amsterdam and Paris. the concept was to paint it in 3hrs15 mins. the time it takes the train to connect between the cities

Thalys Zedz 2009

Zedz Manchaster 2010

Ingolstad RGB 2006

Usually i will have a big introduction to an interview, well in this case I’ll keep it Short, as the interview covers a lot of information as we dive into many subjects on the Artist Zedz. Ill say this, Zedz is one of the most talented and inspiring artists out right now pushing graffiti into new mediums, as well as dimensions. If you haven’t ran across any of Zedz work i suggest you get caught up now, and pay attention. Im sure there will be some great new projects coming from Zedz in the future and we will continue to showcase new works from him. It was a pleasure to talk and get answers from an artist who’s attention to detail is not lost in his answers to all our questions as well. Enjoy.

GF: So i guess the first thing i would ask you, as i am familiar with your work but i apologize as i am not very educated on the history of ZEDZ. So for me as well as those out in the world that want to get to know who ZEDZ is what would you tell them?

ZEDZ- Basically I would refer to my website and invite people to have a look at my work there. I finished high school (while painting graffiti) and after that went to the art academy. I stayed in there for many years and when finished I had decided that graffiti is my main source and binding fact with art. I make typography and graffiti both for art’s sake. I started doing graffiti at an early age. After a while I found myself mostly interested in doing easy read-able pieces, styles that where easy to read and for me equally easy to execute. I realized pretty soon that its important to have a marked style and worked on that so to accomplish a trade mark. My graffiti is pure typography based and that is the starting point for my work: the letters of my name. I have a natural-born interest in dimensionality and that is always to be found somewhere in my works, either by creating 3D as well by denying its existence by for example making plane and plan-matic works. My work is influenced by a legacy of writers, visual artists, musicians, architects and friends (a.o.). I don’t like to think I am very unique I rather think I am a calculation, a total sum of adding and subtracting which might have some rare outcome sometimes. My work comes to existence as being the result of researching and experimenting. I like to think of paintings and drawings as being representations of a 3 dimensional reality/things that really exist. A canvas is a window, a painting is a drawing.

GF: I think that your analogy to your work being a calculation is very direct and analytical way of looking at things, i myself can see that same thought process when i look at your work. You also talk about typography as an influence for your graffiti which to me is very refreshing, many artists close themselves off to so much. This has been a question that i really wanted to ask other artists around the world that had an abstract or just totally different style than most other graffiti. How did they get there, meaning how did their style evolve to a point where it was OK to break from tradition. Better yet was there ever a tradition to break from in their particular situation? As an artist you are very recognized for your design work, gallery shows, and street pieces. What is left for you to do, what do you want to accomplish at this point in your career?

ZEDZ-1. I am indeed coming from a tradition of lettering and name writing. My interest in Lettering is not only in graffiti but more broad. I think its through graffiti that I am interested in letters and visa versa. For me it’s not only the tradition but its the challenge that keeps me on the topic. At the same time I don’t think I have to be read anymore and it’s not important to me to make understandable type. Lettering is an integral part of my work, for me that’s the context of my work sometimes that’s the only connection there is to graffiti ~ the part of name ‘writing’. The letters are the backbone and the load. Perhaps its just a game I play, though from a typographic point of view it must be exciting to see this crossover without crossing over. Its like the newspaper vs the theater (readable letters vs expressive display typography), one is having a more direct conversation and communication the other is perhaps more for experience and elevation. 2. For me the question is not so much ‘what is left to do’. There are many goals to achieve and some of the goals set are not set to be achieved, but are rather starting points or vanishing points.. For me it s not so much about the goal as it is about the journey.
Over the last few years I have been researching and playing with 3D objects relating to the human size and I feel there is a lot of potential in that. I really like to experience those pieces myself. There are many challenges ahead and many things to do, no worries about that, its more the question ‘can I do what I really would like to do’..

GF:”I have seen these 3D pieces that you have been making and am really inspired that an artist can take the great design and letter work they do and take it into another medium or add another dimension to it. I think your work translates well into the 3rd dimension and i hope to see where you take this further. Ideas are the first and foremost to creativity and i admire when artists like yourself have clear thought out directions in their work, I’m not saying other artists don’t but i think a lot of graffiti artists tend to leave there graffiti separate from their artwork. They do really interesting canvases or gallery work, but when they paint a wall the creative process seems to get stalled. How do you approach different mediums when deciding what to paint or create?”

ZEDZ: The approach for painting pieces differs throughout the years. Most of the times I will work from a sketch, though I also really like to start from blank with no sketch at all, and go along with the process. Doing 3D I actually didn’t take the liberty yet, to just cut and create.. I almost always had to keep in mind that the work has to be transported, or their is a limitation in time and budget (material), so for this I have to calculate and think a bit more on forehand. Where I take a lot of freedom when painting in for example the picking of the colors, I plan the colors for a 3D piece on forehand but also have to think of the amount of wood and screws, construction and so on… The process is way longer

GF: That is an interesting dilemma i guess the farther you go with the 3D objects the more engineering gets involved. This process would seem to be a whole new level of creating art far from the origins of painting a quick graffiti piece, yet it still contains that essence. To me that is what i really like about your work that you are pushing these new directions yet still have one foot in where your work originated from. Ever since graffiti’s birth there have been artists as far back as you can think that have transitioned their work into galleries and into in some cases museums. It seems with the new influx of street artists in the last decade that there seems to be a whole new genre of artists emerging almost graffiti/street art hybrids. Do you pay much attention to any of what is going in the current scene, if so what is your take on this new breed of street artists?

ZEDZ: Yes I do look around at what’s going on and it seems more easy for me to keep track of whats going on in graffiti and the so-called ‘street art’ or the ‘street art-scene’ then whats going on in the much broader art-scene. Honestly, I really enjoy whats going on in the streets and what is connected to it beyond (the gallery, magazines, the internet, the fashion scene, etc), which doesn’t mean that I think it is all good and that its all quality output but I enjoy it all and regard it as a whole lot of pleasure. I enjoy art being a public thing. The unexpected appearance of a piece of work in an unexpected place where it might be available to the broadest possible public. I don’t like to criticize and really am in favor of experiment and progression, so in that sense I am almost always pleasantly surprised by new directions and ways of presenting work.. I can see there is a lot of inspiration in street art .. If you ask me the quality is in adding and in putting things in different perspective that makes the art really interesting. The ‘cross bread’ and the straight liner, I respect it both. It’s sometimes like the one cannot exist without the other. I don’t really like the concept of the gallery artist. I like the more romantic idea that work is there to be discovered piece by piece. Though the working or playing with media for promotional purposes or as platform for art is to me as a finding or creating a good piece on the streets. The way I like to see art is in transit or in transition…

GF: I can see that, i have a similar perspective on the new street artists i don’t live in a city so i don’t see much of it in person i only see it on the internet or in pictures. So for me my experience is skewed in a way, if i were to see more work in its natural context i think i can make a more genuine critique of the actual artists. It seems in a lot of major cities there is a huge influx of artists deciding to paint on the streets, i am curious to see how Banksy’s new film will encourage or inspire a new wave of street artists. This could be the street artists version of style wars. Being that you have been around awhile and have a deeper understanding of the scene as a whole, what advice would you have for a new artist coming into this hybrid graffiti/street art scene?

ZEDZ: To the new artist entering the hybrid scene..: I don’t think I am in a position to give advice… even though you might consider me having some expertise (which is needed to give advice to start with) I don’t think its wise to start telling anybody in this art what to do.. I think.. Besides I am not into doing street art so much as I am into “doing my own thing” or something that you might consider coming from graffiti and thus being street art.. I would like to see these kind of labels being removed and just focus on doing what you got to do ../ on what has got to be done…what we (you) feel is right… perhaps by stating this i gave some practical insight in my way of understanding that might be interpreted being advice after all.. but perhaps less from experience and more from the heart without getting too precise or too specific.. 2 About the street art movie that you are speaking about.. I don’t know if you should compare it with style wars….. maybe that’s where the whole comparison with graffiti ends .. perhaps it makes clear its different worlds.. of course there is some spin-off.. Realize the time frame is different.. When graffiti started we barely had VHS (video) and graffiti developed through an era in which at the same time mass media developed into an almost personal tool.. the Graff mag came into existence and the Graff mag again embraced street art and turned lifestyle…or opposed and rejected it.. the photo of the graffiti became more important than the actual piece.. now there is internet instead of TV.. .. Lets wait and see what happens.. the future is now (non fiction) but actually it is still to come isn’t it..?

GF: I can understand that, although giving labels might help us identify certain aspects or a specific genre, it doesn’t need to define any artist or there work. The work and execution are far more important than any label or paragraph i could write. It has been great hearing your thoughts on your art and we appreciate you taking the it took to do this interview. Any last words or shout outs?

No last words. its not that time.. Shout outs.. to all that reach this line after reading the interview.

Peace, Zedz

Zedz Website

Zedz Contact