Interview of Interesni Kazki, AEC and Waone, gifted muralists from Ukraine, Kiev. Let's talk about street art, God, spiritualism and art love.
Interview of Interesni Kazki
FC: Where are you from Waone and AEC? Tell us about your beginnings and your discovery of graffiti.
Waone : We are from Kiev. We’ve started like everyone else with traditional writing, however in 1999 we also began with interior artworks. At that time we were out of money and couldn’t afford even our own paint. So we had to practice commercial orders. Every such job brought us a little paint. After a short time we gathered a plenty of cans and did our first production in 2001. We would rather make time-taking projects in a place no one could disturb us, than a quick bombing in public places.
A little bit later IK crew (Ingenious Kids) showed up. It was a cooperation of 2 kiev crews CBK and KGB. We joined them later. Since then we were all in train painting and city bombing. It was an active research period. By 2004 lettering pieces weren’t enough for us. So we tried to make a piece with characters only. It was very exciting, so we started to work in that direction, polishing up our skills and complicating pieces.
FC: What's the meaning of your names and your crew name "Interesni Kasky"?
Waone: Our crew name “Interesni Kazki” came up in summer 2004, when our style had finally formed. Interesni (interesting) because everything we have made was interesting first of all for ourselves. Kazki (fairytales) because we’ve done fairy things. My nickname Waone is my name due to the hip-hop graffiti tradition. It’s phonetically similar to an english pronounce of the word ВОВАН- [VAVAN], that is diminutive form of the slavic name Vladimir.
Aec: My name AEC it is a combination of letters of my real name.
FC: Who are the members of your crew?
Waone : Interesni Kazki consists of 2 members, Waone and Aec.
FC: Tell us about the Street art scene from your town and your country.
Waone : There is no Street art scene in our country. Ukrainian Street art scene is represented by less than 5 people. Only we and Kislow from Sevastopol are active artists at the time. Even the graffiti scene is low developed.
AEC: But there are more graffiti writers than street artists.
FC: How would you define your work and what inspires you?
AEC: I think that what we are doing can be called muralism. I don't know what inspires me, but i know exactly who, God.
Waone: Yes, we can define our art as street art or muralism with graffiti roots. The working process by itself inspires me. The more I create, the more ideas I get.
FC: Tell us about your show called “Paranoya & Shtrihi" in Lyon, France. What are the feedbacks?
AEC: "Paranoya & Shtrihi" is our first solo exhibition because for us the most interesting thing to paint is murals on streets.
Waone: In our opinion it had a great success. We are very pleased with the results. We’ve done everything we had planned. We’ve also got a valuable experience. And our further exhibitions will be much better! "Paranoya"- It’s how we jokingly call our narrative artworks. “Shtrihi" means characters.
During the vernissage we had got many positive feedbacks, visitors were amazed. We didn’t expect such a response. It was a huge event. I think, we’ve recommended ourselves very well.
FC: What’s your taste in movies and books?
Waone: In literature I prefer science-fiction. Herbert Wells, Clifford Simak, Harry Harrison, Ray Bradbury are my favourite writers. I read a lot of spiritual works, it may help in life. Vladimir Antonov is respectable man and autor of many books about mental education.
I’m not a big fan of modern movie and treat it like money-making and a way to manipulate people.
I hardly ever watch tv, but sometimes there are nice and useful movies
AEC: I'm not really interested in modern culture. Mayby only modern street art and mural painting.
FC: Favourite quote?
Waone: Favourite quotes are so many. I can’t choose the only one. I really esteem ancient slavic sayings and ukrainian folk wisdom. They bring us a deep sence.
“Cinema is the most important kind of art for us, because it quite intelligibly for semi-literate proletariat and completely illiterate peasantry.” Ulianov (Lenin)
“Any art is a mystery, it is bringing down supreme divine valuables to the human consciousness...”. Trehlebov.
“The major goal of art is to bring down divine frequency to human world view level.” Trehlebov.
FC: Name an artist (or many) whose work you respect and admire
Waone : Moebius, Salvador Dali, Ivan Bilibin, Mati Klarwein, Jean-Michelle Basquiat, Michael James Maxwell, Wyland, Alejandro Gonzales, Roberto Delgado, David Guinn, Jet Martinez, Mear, Edward Povey, Paul Santoleri, Alexandros Vasmoulakis Remed, 3ttman, Escif, Sego, Zbiok, Blu, Os Gemeos, Gualicho, Talita Hoffman, Brecht Vandenbroucke, The Mac..
Style and Flow:
FC: You got your own universe and style painting, a mix of surrealist and symbolic world. Where do you want to bring spectators with this form of art? When we see your pictures, it makes us travel in a new world, so we was thinking that you want to make people travel, you want to give a message through your paintings. Is that right ?
Waone : We just do what we really like. Seems like spectators travel in the new world with their own conscious. It’s a place, where everyone gets free from temporalty, devotions and illusions.
AEC: With the help of the symbolic language of my works I want to bring the viewer to reflect on the meaning of life, the device of the universe, God and evil. The symbolic language is the language of the root causes. Therefore we spread it to the audience.
FC: Your paintings remind us dreams and wonderful smooth fairy tales worlds but also political messages. Your murals seems to be influenced by the South American Muralism movement, but you guys created an original mix... Is it your perception of reality?
AEC: Yes, if I may say so, it is our perception of reality. Through the prism of our symbolic language.
Waone : To me it is not quite right. It’s like pure but subconscious perception of reality. Our art is what we carry to the world, it’s our contribution to evolution.
FC: How do you organize your paintings? Do you do sketches before? Do you have any “gestures", characteristics or paint habits?
AEC : Of course we draw a lot of sketches before painting on the wall. But in the process of working on the wall we often do freestyle drawing.
Waone : Yes, we always do sketches first. Before working we usually plan what each of us is going to draw and then logically connect it together. After that each of us goes to one’s part. We use all the ideas coming while we working. That is how we proceed to the end.
FC: Here's a selection of 5 pieces. Can you explain us what does it represent to you? What's the message if there's one?
Waone : I think the name of a piece speaks for itself and explains the meaning of what we’ve drawn.
The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva the destroyer or transformer". These three deities have been called "the Hindu triad" or the « Great Trinity » often addressed as "Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshvar." Freda Matchett characterizes the Trimurti system as one of "several frameworks into which various divine figures can be fitted at different levels."(wikipedia)
« Games »
AEC: The plot of this allegory lies in the fact that football is a game between two characters. Each character is symbolic. On the left we see the character of "man-hands" that simbol of businessman who cleverly "swept" all and took over the Earth. The right character, standing at the gate symbolizes the "humanity" ( in the right eye a woman in the left male). In the top, sitting in a chair character, symbolizing the various authorities and the state.
A clever businessman, which symbolizes "man's hand" wants to score a goal "humanity", which is a character, standing on the gate. And from the "humanity" depends upon whether it is to miss the ball-ground or catch it and save it.
« Grace »
AEC: People with green scales and fins symbolize humanity through fishes.
They are in the desert without water. Water flowing out of flying jugs symbolizes the grace of God, without peoples (fishes) can not live in the desert of our world.
« Urbanisation »
AEC: The plot of this work is fantastic, a fairy-tale image of the "man - house", which symbolizes the modern city. The overall theme of this work and is the individual components for a modern urban city. The city features: isolation from nature and isolation of people from each other.
The main idea of the story is that this "man - House" must choose a direction for future development: Urban (technological development and isolation of wildlife), or the harmonious development with nature and the environment.
« Infinity »
AEC: Infinity immanence of the material world is the main theme of this work. Infinite knowledge, generating even more questions, endless race for the satisfaction of desires, endless aimless existence. Inherent infinity as a false idea of truth Eternity.
FC: Do you need something particular to be creative?
Waone : Yes, a special condition is needed, when the mind is shutted down.
AEC : In order to create you need harmony with yourself first.
FC: What kind of reaction do you want your art to evoke?
AEC : No matter what kind of reaction. The important thing is whether carried to the viewer the message implicit in the work, its meaning.
Waone : It doesn’t bother us too much. Spectator’s reaction is secondary. It depends on one’s perception level and world view. We just doing our job.
FC: What’s your perfect spot for the perfect graffiti?
Waone : The perfect spot for the prefect graffiti is any public space. On the street it is facade of a building, neither small, nor too big.
AEC : To me, perfect place and the perfect graffiti does not exist
FC: How's the collaboration with other artists going?
AEC: We rarely and very carefully do collaborations with other artists. For us it is important in collaboration agreement styles and ideology.
Waone : We are very cantankerous to all companions. Kislow was the only one we used to collaborate without any discords. Sometimes we had to work with other artists, it wasn’t very satisfactorily.
FC: What was your most adventurous and dangerous graffiti?
AEC: Dont know. Not engaged in adventures.
Waone : We don’t risk too much now, that’s not our style. We used to paint on trains, that was quite dangerous. The most adventurous action we took part at was painting on a drawned submarine in Sevastopol.
FC: What was your best Street art experience?
Waone : We get a lot of experience from our trips. But the most outstanding result was at the mural art festival "Poliniza 2009" in Valencia. That time we did a very big piece only for 4 days in spite of everything.
AEC : It is difficult to make something separate. All work made it an experience. And every single work like a a step.
FC: In which way do you want your art to evolve?
AEC : Evolve is not quite the right word for art. The most relevant to me is that what I create has been a part of me. Evolve is a relative thing.
Waone : There are 3 directions: technique, content, and dimension.
FC: What makes a good piece?
AEC : Dont know. A matter of taste.
Waone : Self efforts, experience, skills.
FC: Does Street art make you free?
Waone : Yes
AEC : Streetart or art can not make a person free. It only be made to understand what is freedom.
FC: What do you like in creating Street art?
AEC : The availability of art for the viewers.
Waone : First of all the process, and the satisfaction by the result.
FC: How do you see street-art in 10 years?
Waone : World is changing so quickly. It’s hard to foresee. We live in the present and create the future right now.
AEC : I don’t know, time will tell.
FC: Who’s the owner of the street?
Waone : The owner or the street is the one, who created the universe, that includes the Earth, that has many cities, that consist of streets.
About Interesni Kazki:
FC: What are your worst and best habits?
Waone : Let the people say about my best habits. And what about the worst one, it’s definitely laziness.
FC: Do you practice other forms of art? (graphism, canvas paintings, sculpture ?)
AEC: Yes, we practice canvas painting.
FC: Your favorite time to graff?
AEC : All day.
Waone : Early in the morning
FC: Your favorite colour ?
I love all colors and shades. But especially like some of the combinations of colors.
Waone : I don’t have any favorite colour, it’s rather a favourite combination or a colour scale like AEC. I prefer warm colour-grades, green and orange tints.
FC: Can you give us a list of words that represent Graffiti and street art (unlimited).
Waone : mural, art, freedom, influence, interaction, development, impression, cans, rollers, paint, spraypaint, stancil-cap, fat-cap, hip-hop, letters, message.
FC: Word Association : I’ll give you a word and you give me the first thought that comes to mind.
- Kiev : Hometown
- Lyon : Paranoya&Shtrihi
- Salvador Dali : Genius
- Kislow : Friend
- Music : background
- Canvas : restriction
- God : Love & Perfection
- Kiev : home
- Lyon : exhibition
- Salvador Dali : crazy genius
- Kislow : friend and just a good guy
- Music : language of the universe
- Canvas : Creativity
- God : LOVE
FC: 3 things to do before you die ?
3-Make mural. :-)
1- Make a mural on facade in Kiev
2- Make second mural on facade in Kiev
3- Make third mural on facade in Kiev :)
FC: With who would you like to paint?
FC: What are your plans for the future?
Waone : At the time we have no certain plans for the future. Everything’s happening spontaneously.
AEC: In plans to draw a lot in Kiev and travel around the world to draw.
Waone : Yes, Probably in the next few month, we’ll do some facades in Kiev. Also we’re going to take part in some European mural art festivals soon.
FC: Any favourite story about your graffiti adventures?
AEC: To stand on the rocks near a military base. Then swim to a boat and drew on it.
FC: What's your real goal?
AEC: Run to the end our mission on earth through art.
FC: Any words of wisdom?
AEC : enjoy your life :-)
Thank you Waone, thank you AEC.