Defco is a french artist from the suburbs of Paris. Abandoned places and abstract graffiti.
FC:Where are you from Defco? Tell us about how you started…
I come from the 78 (Paris suburbs). I started Graffiti around 98 by vandalism with Reiz and Edja and others who gave up really fast. The first time I touched a paint bomb, it was thanks to an animator with whom we had organized a graff workshop for junior high school; result, we grabbed all the remaining bombs and made graffitis on the A line…
FC:How would you define your style and the way you work?
First of all, I don’t really do graffiti, literally … For me, graffiti is on the street, on trains or metro, on trucks. There is no more notion of promotion for a crew or a name but just the pleasure of painting with sprays and friends. I work freestyle, most of the time, with no idea of what I’ll do, but sometimes with drafts too.
I paint often with the same guys so we’re kind of organised, we don’t really need to talk; one begins a character, another makes a shape, the other goes with another shape and so on … Then, we back off, discuss and we go again…
FC:What are your sources of inspiration?
The mécha, the Gigger type of organic delusions, the human body, the thc, my dreams et the mister freeze!
FC:Are you part of a crew? Do you often work with other artists?
The REDK, it’s been 10 years. It is composed by Reiz, Edja, Toux and me. I was part of the “sang d’encre”. I painted many times with Anis LF, Ideka FLK and others. Connections are all about feeling. It’s important to me to get along and have fun with the people I paint with; but also seeing their work, because I don’t do letters and it reduces the possibility of connecting with others who base their art on personal lettering styles…
FC:How does your collaboration with these artists go? How do you organise yourselves to paint when you’re facing a blank surface?
For a few years now, we favour mixing and uniformity. Depending on the surface or the general atmosphere of the piece, we will consult for a rough layout, place a character or the principal component, then someone starts a small shape and each one on his turn adds small modules to each other then, it leaves the filling and effects.
FC:What are your tastes in music, movies and books?
For the music, it’s Hip hop which becomes more and more electro trip hop or soul jazz with time. For the books, a bit of everything: Science-fiction, as well as comic books, novels…
FC:If your style were a song, which one would it be?
A birdy nam nam song with a lot of change, quiet parts and others that swing.
FC:How do you address your paintings, is there any space for improvisation?
It’s impro 90% of the time, depending on the place, the people I’m with or the theme or my mood.
FC:Some of your paintings in abandoned warehouses completely merge with the decor, where do you get this taste for this kind of environment?
This is the style of paintings that I prefer…
In fact I also like photography and therefore I think of the result integrated into the room, I try to have an overview of my work and not just of a smooth flat, banal wall, I love drips, rust, the black that results from something that burned beside or the lighting that a room gives off, the tranquillity of these places, the history that lies behind these abandoned places…
FC:Do you think your creations must be something that should be maintained or do you think their purpose is precisely to be ephemeral?
It’s always nice to see one of your pieces that has still not been erased or retaken by another, but I don’t do this in order to last. For this, there are canvases or pictures that I regularly take to keep track of my work.
FC:What was your most dangerous adventure? Give us some stories
I don’t know, maybe when I was arrested for the first time. I went right after the SDK who had painted a train end to end and I was arrested just after that with Reiz… We could have been punished instead of them but it ended relatively well, just a short sermon before the judge. It’s true that we were minors at the time.
FC:What kind of reaction would you like your art to evoke in people?
To say the truth, I don’t really care. I do it mostly for myself. Although, I like seeing people who have nothing to do with Graffiti, like a father who walks with his children and just passes by and thinks it’s cool, asks questions, is interested in it without having any rear thoughts…
FC:What’s you favourite media, and why?
Blank walls, but dirty and broken.
FC:In which direction do you want your art to evolve? You make graphics, photographs; is there any other media you’d like to explore?
I do graphics for money and I paint for pleasure, I try to make my technique evolve (purity and precision). Other than that, style evolves itself through the influences and everything that surrounds me and mostly with time.
FC:Did you get to hook up with girls thanks to Graffiti? I heard that body painting works pretty well…
Noooooooooo!! When I started, it wasn’t in fashion to do Graffiti and now, I have a girlfriend, so it didn’t really help, on the opposite.
FC:Classic question: your point of view on the legal/illegal?
I like to see “illegal” pieces, I loved it for a while but with age and responsibilities, arrests and lack of motivation, I turn to semi legal sort of, since our favourite playgrounds have still prohibited access; but I still admire writers that get success with style! I have no interest at all for a guy who writes everywhere but whose letters are lame, and a guy who thinks he’s a thug because he does Graffiti, I don’t get it…
FC:On the street, are you more about quality or quantity?
Like I said: 100% quality.
FC:Describe a typical day with Defco…
Wake up, RER, speed, work, finish, RER, speed, diner, exhausted, work, sleep; hectic weeks but we catch up during the weekend
FC:What do you think of the “hype” concerning Hip Hop and Graffiti?
I think it’s bullshit. I know guys who paint with other guys just because they’re “famous”. I think it’s stupid. If I paint with someone, it’s because I know him, I appreciate his work or because there’s a connection between us, but certainly not because he was in graffit or because he’s the most reknown guy in Paris!!!!
FC:What would be the perfect Graffiti for you?
A blank wall on a beach, drinking mojitos with the people I love wahooooooo!
FC:What difference do you think there is between Street Art and Graffiti?
Graffiti is part of the street art but street art combines many techniques…
FC:What are your plans for the future?
Get rich lol !!!
FC:What’s your ultimate goal?
Be happy and enjoy life…
FC:How do you see the Graffiti of the future?
FC:Dedications or a few words to add?
To Debodga, Reiz, Edja, guitoux, Ideka, Anis, Saloper, Prema, Bruno, Apash, Perissou, Audrey and all those I’m forgetting!!
Thanks Defco !
Don’t forget to check Defco’s site