All text and images copyright © 1997 Art Crimes and Kasino. This interview was conducted over a long period of time in 1996 via E-mail.
I tagged my first passenger train when I was 13 or 14. That was in 1984.
I had stolen two cans of the super small TESTOR model paints the day
before and I was on my way to school. The trains in Brisbane were still
made of wood back then and no one had really seen much graf except for
television. I dropped two tags on the inside, one on the side and one on a
seat. A business man not thinking about it being wet sat on it. I was
still in the car and I freaked. I messed around for a few years tagging
copying stuff that I had seen in BEAT STREET and BREAKDANCE the movie. My
first panel was in 1986. So I got serious from then.
I started because I was a bored anti-social creep who dreamt of bigger and better things.
There have been writers [in Australia] and by this I meant those who follow the New
York style since the early 1980's. It is impossible to pinpoint an exact
date [that writing started in Australia], history is never like that. There was a famous tagger in Sydney that
was writing in the 40's and 50's. He wasn't on the style trip, more of a
mission from God. He wrote the word ETERNITY after a vision. You could even
consider the Aboriginal painting as part of an Australian tradition.
The greatest influence on the various lettering styles found in Australia is New York. This is true of every country that has writers. Each particular region has its own nuance. Perhaps the best example of the tribal influence can be seen in the work of PRINS (HARO) from Sydney. He is of Maori descent and motifs and letterstyles that he uses come from that tradition. A friend of mine paints traditional Aboriginal designs with spray enamels. I think that each region develops its own feel even if they don't want to. Although most writers, myself included, cling to heavily to the NY formulae. Regional styles such as color choices in Australia have been enforced for the first few years to poor quality paints with limited color ranges. This is due to our remote location, and for a while the only paint we could get was shit that was locally produced.
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