How do you feel right now?
Other than needing a strong cup of coffee, things are pretty good.
Why do you paint?
We create art, paint , or whatever, partly for ourselves and partly for the viewer. It is such a great feeling when you’re making art and you get on a roll, one of the best feelings. It’s kind of like learning something new. Discovering “Oh, that’s how you do it,” or realizing “that’s what I’m trying to say.” That’s where the viewer comes in. If the art is good, you will speak to the viewer. If the viewer gets something from the piece, even if it’s not what you intended, that’s cool.
What are you currently obsessed with?
You mean other than NOMADE?
How/does your past career influence your work?
In every possible way. We have been working creatively for a long time. But we could say that everything we have done so far in our careers, has been preparing us for the work we are doing with NOMADE. For example, 10 years ago, each of us might not have been able to offer the group the skill-set we’ve individually developed during that time. Much more valuable now, to the cause. That could be said for all of us.
How would you say your art has progressed over the years?
We are still babies, so it is very hard to say. Nomade has a lot of wandering yet to do, many places to visit, many incarnations still to explore.
Name one street artist you can’t get enough of and explain why.
Since there are four of us, it’s next to impossible to narrow it down to one.
How much thought goes into your work?
Way too much. We find ourselves contemplating about the work all the time…That’s the only way to insure that it really means something. It’s important not to overlook anything. As we said earlier…we are obsessed. We owe it to the viewer.
How would you define “street art?” And how do you view its connection with ‘graffiti’?
The definition is in the name…it is art displayed in a public space. Street art is definitely one incarnation of graffiti. While fans of street art are growing in number, many still view the practice as vandalism.
What does it mean to sell-out?
The answer will depend on the artist you ask. Financially speaking, if you accept payment for your art which you believe in, that should not be considered selling out. If you accept payment for something you don’t completely stand behind, maybe. In today’s culture If you don’t profit from your own art, you can be sure that somebody else will. Especially if the work resonates with people.
What is authenticity? What does it mean to keep it real?
This kind of brings us back to the selling out question. Make art for the same honest reason you have always done it. If you do that and stay true, it will always be authentic. Push it, ride it, see where things take you. Try new things, try weird things, even if they don’t end up working. Don’t ever forget how you got here in the first place.
Describe your process.
Our process? Extremely informal. A lot of creative ideas exchanged, mixed in with a little bit of arguing.
Is there such a thing as ‘bad’ art? What is it? Name names.
We don’t like to point fingers. Not everything is visually pleasing or sophisticated or even worth a second look. But all art exist in a cultural context. As time goes on, that context changes, and what you may have thought was not worthy at one point in time, may all of a sudden click. It can work the other way too…one may discover something that he or she liked all along, well, really sucked all along.
Do street artists make ethical choices in what they do, where they do it and how?
Of course. If you’re etching on windows or painting on storefronts, the owner has to replace his windows or repaint. And if he’s scraping by, he’s going to be pissed and rightly so. No need to intentionally upset people. In the end you want people to enjoy the work.
Everything is about fear or desire. Which one interests you more?
For us, desire. That is what brought us together. That is what keeps the ideas flowing. Fear is for the masses…we’ve got no time for fear. Plus, you can get way more done when fear is taken out of the equation.
The last great piece of work you saw was what, by whom and how did it make you feel?
Have you ever opened up a Joel Peter Wikin book? Wow. Francis Bacon’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X is pretty impressive.
Can good art be political? Can political art be good?
The more meaning infused in any art, the better it makes it. If its good, its good. That goes for any creation, even one that makes a political statement. So, yes to both.
What is good art? What is good street-art?
Completely subjective. There is something for everybody, right? Just because more people may think one way or another about one piece, that doesn’t define it. The most appealing art takes you in a new direction and articulates its meaning in a new way.
Who has got completely the wrong end of the stick recently?
So difficult to name one person. Listen, everybody gets the stick at one point or another in their life. Shit could happen to anyone – someone you know, a politician, your neighbor, anybody.
Where is it all going?
If we knew where it was all going, it would take all the meaning away. It isn’t the destination, it’s the journey.
Where are you going?
Same answer…We could speculate and say, “All the way,” or until “All of our dreams come true.” That would be great, but really…It’s the journey.
Is street-art a social activity?
For sure…Aside from the fact that we work as a group, we are communicating with other street artists indirectly. We put up work next to theirs, and theirs next to ours. We overlap each other’s work at times as street artists do. There is that constant dialogue between the art and the artists. When pieces deteriorate and new stuff layers over, the piece grows. It is definitely social in that way. We have a lot of fun doing it.
What albums are you listening to at the moment?
Each member seems to listen to different shit…
In a world without limits you would create…
A 36 hour day, and the need to only sleep one hour…that about covers it. In terms of art…don’t know yet.
How fucked are we on a scale of one to ten? What can we do about it?
Yeah, not so sure we’re fucked…think the world always seems fucked up. The perception of “no hope” only generates hope in the end. So a 6. Plus, what make you think that being fucked up is a bad thing….everything in moderation, yeah?
The ancient greeks reckoned that art and science should bridge the gap between nature and perfection. What’s your thoughts?
People as a whole strive for “perfection,” as you put it. We all wish to live the ideal life. And that idealism can be attained through advance science as well as art. Science and technology definitely play significant roles in simplifying our lives, giving us everything we want – from transportation to the way we communicate with each other! But art is a wonderful showcase of the imagination. The possibilities of a perfect world are endless.