Graffiti artist AMIT 2.0 continues his NAMEDROPPING project with another nice exchange work, where he takes the challenge to spray the paint partner´s name and the other way around.
This time the guest is graffiti artist RAW from Hanover, Germany.
Together they painted another wall for AMIT´s ongoing exchange project „namedropping“, here is the obligatory interview and photos below:
How did it all started??
I first came into contact with hip-hop and graffiti around 1994/1995. In my village it all took a while and I didn’t have many role models. But then I concentrated on breaking and did that continuously for 16 years. Graff was always there on the side, because it was hip-hop ;)During that phase I traveled a lot and often exchanged ideas with other writers who were related to breaking. It wasn’t until I moved to Hanover in 2000 that I started painting more regularly. We were there, as the “Ready to Rock” breakin’ crew, often on jams with the “FCK crew”. We got along well, so “Dast” accepted me, that was a great motivation to live up to the quality standard of the group. If you want to hear the whole story in detail, listen to the “Walls don’t Lie” podcast, I’ll go into more detail
How relevant is stylewriting for you?
For me, style writing was always graffiti, whether on the wall or on trains. Style writing nowadays is more of a sub-category of this phenomenon graffiti has only developed in the last few years, at least in my perception. So it was more surprising that people from the younger generation don’t have any access at all to the original idea that defined everything for me.
For me, this version of graffiti, the “style writing”, is still what fascinates me. I’ve been socialized with the “Overkill”, “Fullmoon”, “Backjumps” and “Power of Style”, I’ve learned a lot from these media and have found myself in the claim. That was in the late 90s / early 2000s. After that, I think the idea of ”style writing” got a little watered down and forgotten. Since then, there has not been a debate on a “theoretical” level. Much of what was published at the time is still being retold today. Instagram (and other media) has changed graffiti, it has become more illustrative, more striking and more pleasing.
Digital graffiti and the development of canning techniques have also contributed to the fact that clean images with great photorealistic effects and horizontal color gradients can be quickly implemented even by beginners. People who started without the confrontation, e.g. from the media mentioned above or access to writers from older generations, grew up with this popular aesthetic and have thus found access and perceive it as “the graffiti” and reproduce this aesthetic and profile it itself to its own target group in which this resonates. Often only the same aesthetics, views and ideas of graffiti are reproduced. It is particularly paradoxical that many emphasize that “creativity” and “own style” are the most important things and that “fame” is secondary – if you then look at the pictures, there are painted and modified works by others and the number of followers and likes are then decisive for how “good” someone is.
For me, my graffiti, my definition of style writing, is first and foremost developing its letters. It’s not about perfecting a “style”, but about developing an idea and implementing it on your behalf. I like the idea of developing different directions that are different when viewed from above (over time) but still have a line, a handwriting, a style. Perfection only in a style or evolution only over time always bored me. I’m not patient and disciplined enough. The downside is that I never reach a high level of perfection that way, but that’s okay, I’m about the process, it can also be – raw. If the quality of my entire work, “Ubergraff – Aesthetics of Stylewriting”, is reflected in a broad spectrum, and I stand for this variance, that is more valuable to me than a perfect style.
My connection to style writing has been intensified once again through my admission to “The Nasty Boys”. I’m part of the crew that I mean come together after many greats of the style writing evolution. It’s a responsibility I’d like to live up to, to face up to this legacy and pass on an idea of ”graffiti” that has fascinated me, both then and now.
From my perspective, I am currently experiencing a kind of “renaissance of (classic) style writing”, which has to do with the fact that several people from the 90s are painting again and are visible in the media. But here, too, many old “rules” and “dogmas” are replicated. It would be exciting to rethink the term “style writing”, sharpen it to reflect the zeitgeist and integrate the development of the last 20 years as a basis for further development.
I find it particularly exciting how “style writing” is found more and more in different forms of expression today. Works that are designed with a “style writing mindset” but are e.g. B. express completely without a spray can. The limitation of the “spray can” tool (are we actually on a spray can manufacturer blog here?) is often questioned and new forms of expression are explored. Exciting projects happen that then have an effect on sprayed works.
I’m working on a series myself, which I’m doing with programmed letters and a pen plotter. There are new ways. I have constructed 60 different R.A.W.s each, which are all combined with one another by an algorithm. So I have 216,000 different RAW styles, each one unique. I’m getting a lot of inspiration from these generated forms, dealing with the dynamics of the generated styles shapes my feeling for my sprayed works.
What do you think of the namedropping project?
In general I’m a fan of such projects, it challenges you to rethink your own process, with your own letters, to test new interpretations, new combinations. For me that is a big part of what I do. I’m always more interested in the process than the finished image. Furthermore, I like the chronological level of the project itself, there are few projects that run over such a long period of time and are therefore a complete work that stands for itself/you. I like to watch the individual productions and read the interviews. This gives me a good insight into how other people talk about their work. It’s just not interview number X with the same questions. It’s a good challenge that is rewarding. Thank you for your commitment!
How important is Hanover to you?
Well, how should one answer such a question? I have lived here for 22 years and it has become my home. A sense of home is created by the emotional experiences that you associate with a place, that you share with other people. Hanover is a good place to live with great people, but also good transport connections so that I can go somewhere else quickly. It’s always about closeness and distance, a balance.
If you focus on graffiti, Hanover has always been an underdog, there have always been actors who were very good and sometimes ahead of their time. One of the best graffiti magazines, the “Fullmoon” Mag, also came from Hanover. Unfortunately, few of these actors are still visible and active today that there is a generational gap. The scene is developing well, but there is still a long way to go before the “Glory Days”, there is still time and I am excited to see what will happen in the next few years.
How did you prepare for today?
Since it took us a long time to find a common date, I mentally got involved from time to time and made drafts in different directions. I found it exciting to deal with “Amit” as a painter personality and with the letters. Your motivation to understand what influenced the process and shaped the outcome. In the end I came to the conclusion to make a contrast to your work. I assumed that your draft would be “simple” letters, so you had to position yourself, maybe even counter it a little more aggressively – it’s still a battle somewhere.
An exciting moment was when I suggested black and white, because AMIT is very present in black and white and you were rather irritated because “name dropping” is always colored. But colors are not my thing. In the end, I ended up with simple letters that were inspired by your works – but I then broke them open and created a kind of symbiont that breaks out of AMIT and breaks out of the old norms/forms – that’s also my interpretation of “Name Dropping”: developing the old further, questioning everything and embarking on an experiment to create something new, to be a richer experience.
Did the “new” combination of letters go well for you?
Pf! No combination of letters is easy for me. And honestly, an I is my personal final opponent. Either it has character or it’s just a line – and I’m not good at character. So integrating the I was a bit tricky. But here too: I wouldn’t get involved in “Name Dropping” if I wanted to do what I can and always do.
It’s not that easy for me to put such complex designs on the wall, because I don’t have enough routine and we only started late in the afternoon and had a very limited time window. Since I was alone for the first hour, I was able to deepen my knowledge and invest a lot more time than usual in the first lines. Well, when you came, the calm was over, you just chatter too much – okay, we both don’t take anything. But the worst part of the process was: someone took a shit on the Hall – who does that???? – and when the wind changed it was a bit uncomfortable. But shit happens….
How long have you known the pieces from Amit2.0?
I’ve always liked PND Bombings, always good letters, beautifully painted and always something special. As a result, I noticed the individual crew painters more and more. AZET and IHME lived in Hanover and in their pictures “AMIT” was often noticed as a shout-out. And I thought “AMIT”, sounds like DYNAMIT – I like the metaphor, that’s how the name stuck. I only got to know the punker in 2020 at “Urban Nature” and the story about it can be found in the podcast: see above 😉
What do you think when you see the finished wall and your name “by someone else’s hand”?
Dropped names, had fun and smells like poop! For the short time I like the production. It’s reduced to the essentials, fits together well despite the differences. I think it fits in well with the series and is still something of its own, so the best – fun…
Your Opinion about Graff an Social-Media?
Well, let’s delete the “social” in your question and go to the media as a whole: I sometimes don’t understand the trouble of where people get angry, who has how many followers and likes and who sticks their ass in the picture and then predicts that “the whole scene” of it breaks. Media criticism is always appropriate, always has been, not only with Graff or Instagram. Using it as an output and communication channel is wonderful, but as soon as policy debates, generalizations or actors are celebrated as superstars and it is accepted (and carried forward) as absolute truth, it gets on my nerves. Personally, I use it every day and I’m always surprised at the work I discover by people that I didn’t even have on my radar before. But I like the fast consumption in these media. At the same time, I started buying books more, I like holding a product in my hand, reading the texts in peace and letting the printed images work on me. It’s obviously a privileged attitude, because I can afford these books. I also see this as an evolution in our culture, we are also becoming more professional in this area. I like to spend my pocket money to support people who publish their own media and maybe make a living from it. This is how a development works, from my perspective, and we make our content, our media ourselves, instead of leaving it to outsiders (companies) to interpret what graffiti is and how it is published – and let’s be honest: the quality has increased so much in the last few years!
You take a journey back in time to NY in the 80s. Which of the writers would you most like to paint with? (Why)
If I had the chance I would love to meet and paint with Rammellzee in the 80’s and I don’t think I need to explain why. The guy was one of the most innovative of his time, his work was formative until the day after tomorrow. Otherwise, I’m glad I only got to know some New Yorkers now and not in the 1980s, I think I get along better with today’s people than with the respective person in 1980. But hey, NYC in the 1980s, that would be a dream anyway !
Any fun facts?
It takes two to make it right:
Ammit (also Ammut) has been documented as an ancient Egyptian afterlife goddess since the 18th dynasty (New Kingdom). In ancient Egyptian mythology, their role is closely associated with protecting the king (pharaoh). She was considered the “companion of Osiris” who wards off his enemies and those of the king.
Ra(w) occupies the highest place in the Egyptian pantheon. God of the sun disk, he was also considered the creator of the universe. He is often called Horus and depicted with the head of a falcon. Mythology makes him the father of all pharaohs and consequently the rulers are the living incarnation of him.
Anything to ad?
DON’T TAKE A SHIT THE HALL!