Graffiti is not simply an artistic expression, graffiti is a protest, a scream of anger which has always claimed the right to the city through (re)appropriation of the commons and the public spaces, including streets, walls, and vehicles of transportation. Streets are in the hands of all and through graffiti, I aim to claim both the gratuity and access to my production. The streets are the main support of my protest and the biggest free art gallery.
The successive reappropriation of graffiti by these brands leads me to fight them back. This battle is perpetually evolving by displacements and adaptations to the constraints of our society.
At the core of this struggle lies the brutal opposition of two different visions of graffiti, the commercial graffiti and the free graffiti that I defend.
The cities are the theater of a battle for space, a battle in which I try to expose my vision of the world, and destroy theirs. My extinguishers, paint and spray cans are my weapons of mass destruction. They may have all the money in the world; they will never win in the streets because we are the streets!
The army is growing and the struggle is global.
I am not the one who declared the war, I just responded to defend my vision of what graffiti and society should be, free.
My work is a battle against commercialism and a way of actively rejecting materialism and society’s hyper consumption. It is a game of action and reaction, I strongly react to the (re)appropriation of both the graffiti aesthetics but also to the hijacking of graffiti and graffiti artists by luxury brands for profit-making.
Many will say that the recuperation of graffiti has legitimized graffiti, raising its profile as an art form. I, however, insist that this kind of legitimation deprives the graffiti of its essence, which at its core values the “free,”
both in freedom of expression and freedom from pay, or non-profit making. Luxury brands appropriate graffiti for publicity, thereby pushing me to react by vandalizing their stores with real graffiti. These brands are usurpers, and they are, in their enterprise of stealing our culture, helped by the institutions that rule our society.
The main concept that sets me against the brands and the governing institutions is the commercialization and the market value of graffiti. Following this logic, the brands are creating an abyssal gap between the value of graffiti and the price that they sell it for, making profits out of something they do not and will never own. The hijacking happens in both senses; I take over the brand’s marketing strategies in order to pirate their image. I use the same techniques they do to advertise for my cause, to be seen and heard by all.
I use their notoriety. By using the same media, I use their tool to dismantle their system.
With the storefronts it was never about beauty or esthetics, the goal was efficiency: the right spot at the the right time, making as much damage as possible, shocking people, this is what my graffiti is all about. The principle is very simple, they pretend to love graffiti, and then I am giving it to them. If they use and love graffiti that much then the brands
should agree entirely to the codes and principles that rule graffiti. Real graffiti is free, it is illegal and it happens when and where you do not expect it. Brands are using graffiti so they have to deal with me, the blowback.
Institutions support brands, the legal arsenal and police repression are their main tools. I am legitimate and illegal, they are illegitimate and legal. This is how our society works, whenever you are perceived as deviant, out of the frame or subversive, you are hunted and the governing bodies are trying to shut you down. The neoliberalization of our society tends to the generalization of this functioning pattern.
The vision of the neoliberal city, supporting the development of capital through private investment, dominates today. One way for the governing bodies and the companies to make this a reality is to enhance their control of the space and its use. My work, because it affects the relations of capital between the states and the private sector is thus marginalized, repressed and sanctioned. The paradox is that the same institutions that are trying to shut me down are at the same time promoting the idea of a legal graffiti.
They can try as hard as they want, they will never kill authentic graffiti. Restructured, reshaped and transformed, graffiti, through the decades, has always adapted to the morphing of society but it has never broken down, using innovations and strategies to survive and affirm itself as a free practice.
Our capitalist society is driven by the creative destruction. In order to grow and develop itself, the capitalist city needs to destroy to be able to create. Following the same pattern, my work is ephemeral just like our society.
I create the present by destroying the past; the reign of these brands belongs to the past.As a response to that paradox of the ephemeral and to spread my message and leave a durable trace on society I started working on various supports. I do not use graffiti on canvas, because graffiti belongs to the streets. The message remains the same while the techniques are different. This way, I claim the right to write my own history as a graffiti artist, in opposition to the institutional street art.
« Until the lion has his own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story »
My message is addressed to all, without any exceptions. I want to reach people and open their eyes to what is happening to our society, to wake them up from that capitalist coma they are in. As worse comes to worst today, we need to make our voices heard, graffiti is my megaphone. I do not pretend to teach the truth to anyone, but I know that everywhere on the planet people understand my struggle and share my opinions. Spread the word and grab your spray cans, your extinguishers, wherever you are.
From New York to Paris, Tokyo to London in every cities,this culture belongs to us. Join the army!
Making it work unfortunately, outside of you could check here culinary classes and the occasional foreign language class, food is rarely utilized as an arts activity