Were you always interested in art or did it develop later?
I was always interested in drawing and my interest in graffiti developed when I was in my early teens wandering the streets of my hometown. My eyes were drawn to the tags and soon after I discovered a wall in a hidden tunnel next to the trackside. This place opened up a whole new world for me. In 1997 I did my first piece at this very wall. My two best friends were patrolling for me.
This was when I was about 15 and I had just signed my first contract as a soccer player. Signing a contract at that age and entering the world of professional soccer was a big deal. I had to grow up very quickly. So looking back it wasn’t a coincidence that I started tagging in these days. I think I needed an outlet or some sort of relief from all the routine and discipline.
What was your influence to start doing graffiti?
Tags and a Nash piece. Nash painted a complete tunnel in our hometown and that was just amazing to me. I must have visited that tunnel a dozen times to stare at the pieces. I would leave the tunnel inspired by all the colours and I just started sketching in the hope of ever becoming that good.
You recently traveled to several cities to paint canvases incorporated into large murals. What inspired the project?
In March 2012 I started thinking about my work and what I take away from it. I realized that only a handful of the walls that I had done so far were still in tact and the only thing remaining was a picture and a memory. It’s interesting that as a writer you spend a lot of time and effort on a wall, while you know it could be gone within a day without even having any say in it. I then came up with a concept that would put me in control over my own work. I decided to paint one wall in various cities, incorporate canvasses in each wall – so that I could capture some parts of the wall – and to paint the wall back to black once everything had been photographed and documented. In this project, the only thing that remains is a memory, a photo and a movie of the work.
The title ‘Endless Perspectives’ signifies the infinite interpretations and unlimited ways in which art and experiences can be perceived. I named the project ‘Endless Perspectives’ as during the project my perspective evolved continuously. I had to adapt to changes and to new elements that were added to the project. There were quite a few unanticipated hurdles to overcome and I found that these challenges always added something interesting to the project as long as I kept an open mind and a positive attitude. It’s all just a matter of perspective: the viewers’ included.
What cities did you visit during your project? Did you have a favourite city?
I visited Amsterdam, London, Basel, Paris, Melbourne and Sydney. Favourite city was Basel because of Dare’s history and legacy in that city. Sydney and Melbourne helped me get started on a new beginning.
During the project how long did you spend in each city?
I spent two to three days in each city to paint and film.
How would you describe your style of graffiti?
I think my work and style is best known for the bright colour combinations, the details, the clean and strong lines and the balance in the letters.
If you could only paint with 3 colors, what cans would you choose?
I would probably choose black, white and dark orange – specifically Ironlak Dieci Does, my personal colour.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen or experienced while you were out painting?
A few things come to mind. My top 3: 1. Glue sniffing kids who trying to steal my bags and cans in Bogota, Colombia. 2. Painting next to a big tigersnake in Tasmania, Australia. 3. Painting under a bridge in the Bronx in NYC – I was standing on piles of dirt and hundreds of serringes and I came across the people who lived under this bridge.
Another experience that I’ll never forget because it was so terrifying, is the earthquake in Christchurch New Zeeland. My girl and I were there when a 6.8 and a 5.4 aftershock hit the city and 60 little aftershocks followed during the next few hours.
Do you have any funny or embarrassing stories that have to do with painting?
When I first came to Australia I was a bit afraid of all the deadly animals that live in Australia. The Ironlak guys knew this and played me from time to time. When we were doing a wall in Byron Bay one day, there was sudden hysteria when one of the guys jumped on the ground to catch something. I was watching this and all of a sudden a fake snake was thrown at me. That was a funny moment.
What is it like to be part of “Ironlak Family”?
It is great to be a part of this family as they really look after you. I admire the Ironlak team for being so devoted to the writer scene. It hasn’t been easy for them, the competition can be pretty nasty. The guys behind Ironlak try to stay away from all of that negativity and focus on their own goal: make good paint available at low cost for writers all over the world.
What motivates you to keep on writing?
It’s become a way of life, I wouldn’t know any better now. Every year I am challenged by new opportunities.
What is your least favourite aspect of graffiti?
The fact that spray cans aren’t very good for my health.
What would your advice to a new writer be?
The best advice I can give a new writer is to draw and practice a lot. Success doesn’t come overnight, it takes time and you need to put in a lot of effort.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I am creating new work for several upcoming shows and I hope to be able to continue the Endless Perspectives project and visit and document more cities around the globe.
Do you have any last words you’d like to share with the Senses Lost readers?