Interview with Pone.INC of Amsterdam

Susan Farrell 1995

Pone is a very well respected old-school Dutch writer from the Netherlands. I met him this spring during a visit to Amsterdam. He was kind enough to show me the yards and hall of fame while I was there. Here are some of his pieces from the Amsterdam section of Art Crimes.

AC: When did you start doing graffiti?

I started tagging in 1979 and started doing pieces in 1984. Between 1986 and 1988 I did a lot of national trains (as Cat 22). From 1990 to 1992 I bombed our subway system.

AC: When did you stop writing Cat 22 and start writing Pone?

I stopped (not really) writing Cat 22 in 1991 because of the fact that Cat 22 doesn't write so nice, so I stared with Pone (because it writes way better).

AC: Does Pone have a special meaning, and is there a story about you changing names?

Pone, the word itself, doesn't mean anything. It's just nice to draw that word.

AC: What really got you started writing?

I really got into graffiti because of an article in the papers about New York graffiti. I got stoked by "They do whole cars". I remembered the picture of the Merry Christmas whole car from Seen and Jason.

AC: What excites you and what frustrates you most about graf?

Stuff that excites me is the illegal aspect of writing, getting chased by the cops. Climbing over walls to get to your trains at 2 at night. Doing a burner and then the most exciting moment of all when you see the flashing colors of your train pass by in bright daylight. When I had that I shook all over my whole body and screamed LOUD!!

Negative things are stoopid guys who are wannabees, who claim to do everything. Getting caught by the cops ain't such a good idea either. Coming home at 6 in the morning and your girlfrend is still awake ain't that fresh either.

AC: Where have you traveled?

I traveled to do graffiti in: Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, England, and the United States.

AC: Was your trip to NYC a big influence on you as a writer?

My trip to New York has been and will always be the biggest influence of graffiti on me. New York rules!! ... T-kid, Shame, Mack, Pure and Noah.

AC: Some people say European writers paint alone more than writers in the US do. Do you ever collaborate on pieces?

When I did my stuff I mostly did it alone (more thrills!!!), but later I worked a lot with Gasp, Delta, Ces, Cece and Say.

AC: What crews are you in besides INC?

I am in the INCrew and am also in MSN, GVB, CTK, LOD, TSF, and some more crews.

AC: Does INC stand for anything else besides "IN Control"?

INC also means that we are INtens corrupt.

AC: How does the graf scene in A'dam differ from other places you know about?

A'dam graffiti (excuse me but graff as a word is dumb!!! it's graffiti) rules because we don't give a shit about how everybody thinks about us. We are just ourselves!!

AC: What trends have you seen in A'dam graffiti in the time you've been writing?

In A'dam the style started with imitation New York style and then came the invasion of Bando (from Paris--Bando is a true genius) and after that it was the best style, and that was train style.

AC: I noticed that hip hop isn't very popular now in A'dam. Is another kind of music associated with graffiti there? What are you listening to these days?

Hip hop sucks!!! Because nowadays they don't know where they talk about--just guns, shooting, fuck this fuck that. Hey come on I want to relax and not hear all these filthy lyrics. Me myself, I like the lyricless hip hop and jazzrock (Weather Report).

AC: What do you think about local original styles? What are they?

The only guys in Holland that know what graffiti is all about are: Delta, Gasp, Reazer, and Mellie. They rule!

AC: I noticed a lot of 3D bubble-like elements in your work and that of others in A'dam. Who started it?

I started here the bubble-style and Delta started 3D style.

AC: Which writers were your biggest influences, and who do you admire most now?

The writers I admire the most are: Ghost, JA, Reas, T-Kid, Sent, Blade, Mich 77, Lee, Dondi and the old school New York.

AC: What do you think about the relationship of graffiti to the traditional art world?

Graffiti has in my eyes no link with the traditional art world. Art sucks!

AC: What's the local prosecution for graffiti like? Have you ever been arrested?

I have been arrested a few times. That was no trouble at all.

AC: Does A'dam have any legal walls where the city lets writers paint? I noticed a lot of what look like comissioned pieces in town. Is graffiti pretty much accepted by the citizens there?

About legal painting I say this: Guys that do legal walls SUCK!!!! Legal is not graffiti anymore. Graffiti itself in its original form IS graffiti, and nothing else.

AC: Is commercializing okay, If so, by whom? (In the US we have clothing companies selling t-shirts with outlines and such on them, for instance, and companies paying writers to do billboard ads, etc.)

No clothes, no bullshit fab five freddyshit -- just the action -- that's graffiti.

AC: What do you think about old-school styles?

Old style graffiti is just a style, some is good, some is not, just like the new styles.

AC: Where do you think styles are going?

I think that nowadays nobody knows what to do anymore so there is no good style and there never will be anymore.

AC: Is any freight-train painting going on in the Netherlands?

Freight trains suck!!! No fear, no danger, no nothing!!

AC: How do you feel about "destructive" tagging and scribing glass?

Destructive tagging is OK. But scribing glass is for toys.

AC: Tell us about your favorite own piece.

My own favorite piece is a piece nobody knows. I made it in 30 minutes with all kinds of paint I found in the yard. I had no sketch and no idea what I was doing. I was too high for that. It turned out to be my best piece ever!!!

AC: How do you think graffiti has influenced your life?

Graffiti created me as the person I am now. It made me feel secure and in control about my own life and environment.

AC: Are you interested in doing other kinds of art?

I never ever made art in my life and I never will. I just make stuff for fun and it's OK if people like it or not. I just strictly work for myself and nobody (that really means nobody) else's opinion does affect me, really.

AC: Do you have any advice to give younger writers?

My advice to the younger generation is this: Stop writing graffiti because that road of life has been done before. Be creative. Try something new. Do what you want as long as you don't hurt anyone.

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