Text by Alberto F.
For us who live far away from Denmark and don’t have any direct relation to the danish graffiti scene might only relate the pieces made by BEA crew to the extra ordinary work of artist and illustrator Husk Mit Navn. Well we couldn’t be more wrong. The writers behind these three letters is a list of artists with many years on the scene, and with very personal and characteristic styles: Dasl, Duek, Kegr, Mart, Nutroe, Stem, Tele, Reb, Reim and… the person we will focus this article on: Pheo.
Born and raised in Copenhagen, Pheo started his activities in the world of graffiti about 24 years ago, inspired by the legendary danish two-man crew CMPSPIN. The capital of Denmark has always been a city which has raised many big names in graffiti culture, and most of them with high quality, characteristic styles and good taste combined with simplicity and elegance. “I studied these writers, I was inspired by their styles and techniques to be able to grow as a writer. Personally I look for pieces with a lot of energy, where the writer’s personality and engagement shines through. I think Rens and Sabe are good examples of this” he tells us. Neverthless his influences come from more great writers as Smart and Reas AOK, Cesar FMK and Pure TFP.
ASS and Click are two other crews which he represents as well as BEA, a collective of veteran writers which shares the taste for traditional graffiti: “simple writing with classic elements like readable letters, few colors, splat and bubbles” as he says.
Maturity has reached the BEA crew, and many of its members has regular family lives which makes graffiti a sort of creative entertainment based on liberty ask having fun: “graffiti becomes kind of a ‘time out’ where we can chill, meet each other, laugh and be creative without any obligations”.
To feel free and creative is the main reason for Pheo to keep his painting up. Many times he has a strict plan for the next piece he is going to make, but he is still a fan of improvisation. At these moments of “leaving the comfort zone” is an experience which gives him new fresh ideas for future pieces: “Graffiti is also just letting go, spending time with both old and new friends, seeing my work from sketches transform into pieces out in the open, it makes me feel calm and confident”.
The will of evolving and the search of progress is very important to Pheo. He is very aware of his personal skills and getting better is always an objective, but he always stays faithful to his own style: “All this above, reminds me of what I can do in life in general; I can succeed and learn everyday, as long as I am true to myself, it simply boosts me with energy! This life lesson I owe to graffiti, and I am very thankful for that”.