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. Here you can read the interview with GESER and a few interesting Q&A´s with RATH about several things after the jump!
Please introduce yourself
Im Hev, and I write RathOne UPS COD 3A, Im from all over the North Eastern US. I started Writing Rath in the late 80s after a few years with other temporary names.
What does it mean to you to be a graffiti writer?
Being a Writer to means being in a perpetual state of scheming on your surroundings. Beyond the glamour of, ‘yeah I did that’, there is a lot of commitment and dedication.
How´s things in your neighborhood? Is graffiti kind of accepted in the public or is there a graffiti tolerance?
In my specific area there is a city ordinance against murals, so there are no opportunities to get legal or permission walls. I think the public generally is supportive of pieces and production style walls, as it ads color and energy to generally otherwise bland or blighted areas; I’m hard pressed to find a lot of public support for wanton (?) bombing, but in an other wise ordered society most people lean away from the chaos rampant street bombing implies.
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?
There are a few schools of though on this… but love it or hate it here we are, so I try and embrace it. I look back, on what I had to do in my early years to get the job done, fondly. But I recognize its not that way anymore. I kind of detest the whole, ‘well back in the day…’ rants. The web has made a lot of shit infinitely easier to access, but it cant replace smarts and natural ability. All the research in the world cant replace a touch of individual soul.
and compared to Europe?
In many ways America is the least artist supportive place ive been. America supports art, once it has a proven value. Graffiti’s value is in pop culture marketing and that industry feeds on itself and relies on fresh meet to sustain itself. In contrast my general impression is Europe is more tolerant and supportive of the arts.
What´s your favourite color?
RedderRath- Red is my favorite color, just a pinch punchier then ‘Traffic Red’, and has not yet been produced ; ). Molotow has such a deep palette its hard to nail down one fav. I wont leave the house with out traffic red, Toast Black (yeah it’s a basic but a good black cant be beat.), I need a chance to use some of the new expanded line of colors and I may have some new favorites.
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 am all for making money, you gotta eat and if you can do so by doing by something you already love all the better. I personally am a horrid sales man and am very uncomfortable asking for money for art. I hate it. Shit makes me feel queasy. IF telling people how great I think I am didn’t make me feel like a complete douche I’d try it more.
What´s your vision, is there a dream that have to come true one day?
My flavor vision aint blurry, but im not working towards a grand scheme. I started this with out any real expectations, and that hasn’t really changed. I think my over all vision is longevity.
Sponsoring and support by Brands is a big thing these days, do you tink that helps the artist?
There is no question brand sponsorship can help an artist. And visa versa. I can travel to Canada, Europe, anywhere really and be provided with paint support. Traveling is an adventure always but its great to have the basics taken care off so the adventure is more then just trying to survive.The last few years Molotow has been fantastic about supporting Our 3A crew efforts in Miami for Art Basel, North Americas Largest and most diverse Arts Gathering. There is always a large other brand presence there so on the lighter side working with Belton is like rocking some fresh kicks you know no one else is holding. For some reason cans and can arrangements on the ground by a piece, have become a hot photo op. While in Miami there literally hundreds of people equally flicking the walls and the cans strewn around the walls.
The only real downside is branding in general demands some product exposure, which inevitably, in the case of writing, is connected to artists using those products. This can cause a bit of a clash, even though I do a lot of legal walls at this point, I still believe style writing is a solitary event, meant to be witnessed as a finished thing divorced from its creator. Id always rather it be about the piece and not about the goof ball in a funny hat whos painting it. I should have said my dream was to have a gigantic set of walls that are vacant of other people that I could just paint alone, or in small numbers in.
Anything that we can expect from you in the near future?
Even if the future is written, im not snitchin…. I will say im excited about Molotows line of inks and markers and I look forward getting to do some canvases with the full range of inks at my finger tips. Im also already getting excited for Art Basel in Miami this December.
Thanks a lot for your kind words and the interview!