The Graffiti Artists GESER and RATH received loads of attention the past months here at our blog. So we decided to interview both 3A Crewmembers in New Jersey. We caught up with Geser first to talk a bit about several things, have a nice read after the jump! The second interview part with Rath and the final wall will follow the next days!
Please introduce yourself, where you from and what do you write? When you´ve started writing your name?
I write GES, GESER of 3A Crew from the East coast of the United States. I started painting in the summer of 1993, and was initially exposed to graffiti through the skateboarding and punk-rock subcultures. From there I obtained a copy of spraycan and subway art (like so many others at the time) and the rest is history. To this day, I think my first few pieces were the most fun. I didn’t know what a piece was “supposed to look like”, or that drips were bad, or who was who in the scene… I was just a teenager with a can at night having a lot of fun.
And now, today, what does it mean to you to be a graffiti writer?
Being a writer for me means having fun with friends, traveling to new places, meeting cool people, & pushing yourself and your style in hopes of creating something that you can call your own. Part of being a writer when I started meant being resourceful and discovering things on your own. We didn’t know anything, and information was extremely limited. Graffiti was like a mystery you had to solve one piece at a time, and it was that discovery and ingenuity that made things exciting. Today there is no mystery, no unanswered questions… just a simple click of a button and everything is answered instantly requiring no thought or action on your part… you miss out on the personal experience of learning something yourself and the satisfaction that comes from it.
How are things in your neighborhood? Is graffiti kind of accepted in the public or is there a graffiti tolerance?
The public here (and in most of America) is generally scared to death of graffiti due to ignorance. The media only portrays graffiti as a criminal element… Graffiti in their eyes is a symptom of an area in decline. After all, what is the public supposed to think if they have never seen a mural being created in person and actually conversed with the artists? Their only knowledge of the subject is the negative propaganda they see and hear in the media… It is unfortunate, but that’s just how it is, and has always been.
How do you feel about Graffiti and it´s development these days? Do you feel a big difference to back in the days and also between Graffiti in Europe and Graffiti in the states for instance?
The interesting thing is how graffiti is able to both evolve at the hand of some participants, yet remain traditional and classic by others. The newest and latest form or style doesn’t render the previous form obsolete which is really cool. Europe seems to have many diverse styles originating from different countries, and I feel still maintain a sense of regionalism when it comes to styles (as much as is possible with the internet). Europe also seems to have many more organized jams and events than we do in the states. I have travelled to Europe to paint about a dozen times to paint, and one of the most enjoyable things is just how different the graffiti scenes are from country to country. I would have to say that Barcelona is one of my favorite Graffiti cities of all time!
What´s your favourite color?
This is a tough question (especially since the relaunch)! The truth is I don’t really have a single favorite color, But over the years I have used tons of Pear, Hemp, Lobster, Crazy Plum, Loomit’s Aubergine (best outline color), traffic red…But when it comes down to it, I have to go with Black and burner chrome! 600ml chrome is absolute king!
Do you believe in a carrier as a graffiti writer? I mean, you want to earn money with what do you do on walls?
I don’t mind doing occasional jobs/walls for money, but I must say that turn down quite a bit of commission work due to the frustration of dealing with low-ball clients who can’t articulate what they are looking for. It usually results in a frustrating experience that leaves me thinking: ” Why the hell didn’t I just go paint a tunnel spot for fun?” I have bills to pay just like the next guy, so if the money is right I’ll do the job. However, that being said I have never wanted to make graffiti my main source of income. Painting for me is a fun thing I do to relax… if I now rely on that to pay my bills, it becomes a “job” and strips the enjoyment out of it. I prefer to paint for fun, and have the option of accepting or declining paid work if I feel it doesn’t interest me.
What´s your vision, is there a dream that have to come true one day?
I really enjoy travelling the world to paint, and have been to many different countries, but adult life has really put travel to paint on hold for now… I have a list of places I would like to visit and hope that it becomes a reality one day. Other than that, I am fairly happy with my position in life and there is no major “dream” that remains unfulfilled for me. I guess you can say that my dream is to remain healthy and strong throughout my lifetime… health is a blessing and is the most important thing in life!
Sponsoring and support by Brands is a big thing these days, do you think that helps the artist?
No question! I feel that brand-support of artists is a mutually-beneficial relationship where both parties help each other. The artist is free to produce more art due to having paint supply on-hand, while the paint company benefits from the publicity of the artist using their skills and name-recognition to draw positive attention to the brand. It is really good to see writers who have contributed to the scene for years and years receive support!
Anything that we can expect from you in the near future?
I have a few projects in the works which I will keep quiet until they are a bit further developed, however I will say that I need to start thinking about my 20th anniversary wall, since 2013 will mark 20 years of painting. I don’t want to over-think it though, since in the past I have noticed that sometimes it’s the spontaneous “from-the-gut” freestyle pieces that end up being the best… time will tell, so stay tuned.
Good luck and we look forward to receive much more footage! Anything to add? last Words?
Stay positive and have fun with it! Many thanks to Molotow for their continued support. Peace and respect to my friends, family, crew mates, and everyone I have met along the way over the years!