If you are familiar with the game, it isn’t necessary to explain to you who this guy is, or anything about his crew. Besides, we will tell you about his latest trip to Moscow. We have the photos… (you can find them at the end of this interview) so we thought it was a good idea to get to know him a little more.
How did you get your start writing graffiti?
I started when I used to skate. The kids in the neighborhood and I used to go rack markers from the store, so that when one of us landed a sick nose slide we could outline the nose on the curb or whatever, and inside we would write “nose-pick by Vincent” or something like that. So from there we started using aliases and then began bombing everywhere we went.
What do you get out of graffiti these days?
That’s easy. I enjoy it and I´m having a lot of fun with it.
So… you don’t really have an expiration date coming up anytime soon!?
Well, I guess when the time comes when I´m not enjoying it and not really feeling it, I´ll stop painting. Until then, if nothing gets in the way… I´ll keep on doing what I´m doing.
What do you admire or respect about other writers?
I’ve got respect for a lot of people that have helped me out. They’ve provided me with meals a home, graffiti and everything they could without even knowing me, in cities super far away from where I’m from.
The type of graffiti you do sounds kinda dangerous. Could you tell us a story or two?
Man… there’s one when we got caught red handed in the Moscow subway, or the time in Naples when they were shooting at us in the tunnel. Another time in the Bucharest subway, we went there to paint with some friends of ours who are locals. (We wanted to paint) while the trains were still running. When you finish painting, there´s always this situation where you need to get out, and you have to do it right when two trains are coming at the same time. When the trains cross, you run through the tunnel towards the platform, and then all of a sudden you see the subway car coming your way; there’s no where to jump out of the way… you don’t know whether to turn back around and run the same way the train is going, or just stay there and try to signal them so they see you…
But really, the worst trouble is when it happens in your city, because you know the consequences are going to be much worse. When you are abroad, stuff MIGHT SEEM crazier, but in Valencia you know the worst is gonna happen when you get caught.
Has there every been one episode of trouble that made you want to give it all up?
I think that every time you find yourself hiding out, braving the cold weather, or hearing rumors about how they are looking for you, you always feel like you could be warm right now, sitting at home watching a movie, or reading just like anybody would be doing on any given day of the week.
On many occasions you feel like you´re not going to get away, and in the worst cases you think “if I get out of this one, it’ll be a miracle.”
Are you aware that most people aren’t used to that level of stress? Do you think that being in situations like that makes you deal with fear in a different way?
I’ve seen some people just freeze up when they get busted and have obviously fell off after that.
I think one of the things graffiti gives you is being able to put things in perspective in a logical sense, like some problems life brings, those that people think are so important.
On that same note, we are amazed at how you guys are able to stretch out time and paint something so fast, and so quality…. in your case. Does this play into your life at all?
Well, you learn to not waste time and use it wisely. If we´re talking about painting quick, I know that I’m not the only one who likes it better when it’s done fast. Sometimes we go paint somewhere you know you’re going to have time. You bring plenty of paint, and when you finish something in thirty minutes, you look around and see that others haven’t finished yet. You’ve got paint left so you do another piece in ten minutes. Well, I always end up liking the second piece.
Can you explain that?
I guess it’s because you think about it less and forget about the importance of it. It’s more natural and you can see it.
Do you have any challenges or goals?
Mmmm… let’s see… I don’t have goals like I need to hit up however many subway systems, or “I need to paint 1000 subway cars before I die.” I paint in spots that I feel are interesting, and that have a good feeling, or because I like the model of the train or simply for an excuse to see friends from others cities and have a good time.
Everything influences me. Right now I like Bigott, awhile back I was feeling Velvet. I like comics like Miguel Ángel Martín because he’s simple and clean. But I also like and listen to things that are very different from that scene, like Bambino (ed. Flamenco singer), for example.
While in Buenos Aires I discovered El Eternauta (ed. Comic book). I read it while I was there. Music wise, I discovered Cumbia Villera. I always try to dig deep into the local stuff, all good.
When “guiris” (ed. Foreigners) come here we play them Los Chichos when we go out to paint. Our designated driver has all their records.
What would your life be like if you weren’t painting?
I guess it would be more relaxed. I wouldn’t see it as something necessarily bad, I mean… I think it’s very important to remain active and to not stop doing things, whether it be graffiti or whatever. I believe the worst times are when you get put in jail, or when you have to go to court because those are always things that the family can’t understand. It’s hard for your family or girlfriend to understand the whole thing about painting in subways; they understand you paint, but not that you travel to paint, and that you spend nights in jail in your city as well as in other countries, and that you go out in the middle of the wintertime in the middle of the week and travel miles just to paint, having to wake up early the next day for work…. and all those things. Because nobody pays you to do it! I feel rewarded by it… so when the day comes when that all changes, I’ll give it up.
Why does photography play such an important role in your relationship with graffiti?
After all, photographs are memories of the mood, details of what happened that, if hadn´t taken a photo, I’d forget about them or distort the memories as the years go by. There are so many missions where it’s all about how you got into the spot, something which can be just as important or more than what you end up painting. For the same reason you take a photo of the piece, I try and captivate the sensation of the spot. A lot of the time you feel content by just being able to have gotten inside the yard or wherever, even though you didn’t get to finish.
We’d like to say good-bye but not before you give a shout out…
Big ups to my Royals crew, Boing, Lol, my people in Baires, the 13 Rue, Bies, fixed Cobras, Hurto, Erpes, Pren, Lose, Tsk’s, Tactel, Mwar, Mser, Gmm…