It is one of the greatest Globe painter, he travels the world in search of new inspiration for our best pleasure : Seth is a "new explorer"!
With Neuzz (Mexico)
FatCap : Where does "Seth" come from?
Seth : Seth was the name of a dark egyptian God. He's also the third son of Adam and Eve. A common name to the three monotheist religion, and in french, we pronounce it like my favorite number.
FC : How were your beginnings and how did you discover graffiti?
S : I discovered it with my first tags in the '80s, with the arrise of hip-hop in France. I remember taking them in pictures with my first camera. I discovered the book Subway Art during a trip to Amsterdam. I also discovered, wastelands like the one PCP had on the old train path around Paris. So many photos, meeting with Bischoff Gautier, a graffiti photographer since many years, who showed me places (with whom I made Kapital a few years later). And then my first paintings with Disco CMP in 1996. At this time I was in the school of Decorative Arts in Paris, I could draw. I became the specialist of backgrounds and characters.
FC : Why graffiti?
S : Because the first graffiti I saw gave me a slap I have never had thereafter. It was fresh, colorful, new, rebel. It seemed to shake all the rules. Mode2's characters, the incredible compositions of Skki and Lokiss and BBC, the Subway Art undergrounds ... How could I miss that? But in my case, I didn't practice graffiti a lot, such as lettering and tag. I was quickly more attracted by the illustration side, and this is what I spent my time doing.
FC : What made you decide to become a Globe painter?
S : First, a simple desire to travel and explore the world. Not necessarily to paint. And when I traveled, I realized that painting was for me the best way to meet, interact and finally really know a country.
FC : When you are going on a trip, what do you take in your suitcase?
S : Besides my spare clothes and my toothbrush, two, three outline bombs, a book, things to draw, a camera, canon G1X today. For three years, I travel with a documentary director and stock video gear weighs a ton ...
With Saner (Mexico)
FC : How was the collaboration with Canal Plus?
S : A producer read an article about my book "Globe-Painter" . He contacted me through Myspace at that time. We wrote a project and when we offered it to Canal Plus, they immediately joined. Everything was done very naturally, I think that's why it worked; I had no TV experience, and was rather the kind to hide from a camera turned on, whether for birthdays or weddings.
FC : You met many artists in South America, Asia ... what did you learned from it in the end? What is the encounter that moved you the most?
S : Hard to say. Each trip impressed me and changed my way of painting. Each artist whom the feeling passed with brought me something, either aesthetically, conceptually or even spiritually. I learn every day by traveling. I would say that the most significant encounters have been with the Brazilian street art as a whole, which helped me to find my language, and popular Indian religious painting, which really brought down some personal wals and this great man Mono Gonzales, a Chilean muralist painter, whose philosophy and simplicity impressed me forever. I consider him today a bit like a spiritual father.
FC : What is the best city to paint?
S : There is no best city. The South America provides the best playground I think. For instance Sao Paulo, Valparaiso or Buenos Aires. But what I like most is paint in blank places. Where street-art and graffiti doesn't exist, and where it seems to be lacking or where there is no art. I'll never paint in a historically preserved place.
FC : How would you define today's society?
S : Which society? They are very different all around the world. If you want to talk about France, I'll say sick, complexed, and quite aggressive. But anything is possible, it can only change.
(Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam)
FC : If we compare the vision of graffiti in France and those you have seen in other countries, what conclusions would you do?
S : If the vision of graffiti is the image of our society, so it's not great. I can speak about galleries and agents who make the idea of painting in the street itself ugly, of zero tolerance, those who covers everything, narrow-minded people, but if I do so, I will quickly be treated as an embittered. So I'll just say that it seems better elsewhere and that is a shame.
FC : How do you see the evolution of graffiti within 10 years?
S : The graffiti in it's strict sense (original lettering from New York), I don't know. I think it will continue to be a rebel and funny to say things in a stifling society. As for paintings and creations in public spaces, they will multiply. It already is the case. Allowed, as commissioned works or still so wild and spontaneous. This is only the beginning ...
FC : Does graffiti make you free?
S : It depends. If you talk about personal freedom in the intellectual way, I think it's curiosity, knowledge and personal performance that makes free. If you mean that graffiti is able to convey messages of freedom and change, perhaps before but not anymore. If you mean that making graffiti gives a feeling of freedom, for the one who does it, of course, for the person looking at it, it depends.
FC : Your visual world revolves around your trips and you mostly realise characters. How would you define your style?
S : My style is mostly figurative, and attempts to address the beholder by leaving a certain freedom of interpretation. My paintings always tell something. Today I give a great importance to respect and try to keep a balance between form and substance.
FC : What reaction would you want your graffiti provoke?
S : To keep our child's soul. To make someone remember his culture. That imagination is a priceless treasure.
FC : In which direction do you want to change your style?
S : Travels and meetings will tell me.
FC : Does your vision of graffiti changed over time?
S : Yes, I open myself to others. Graffiti speaks first to other writers. I'm not doing graffiti in a straight way (although I like it!), I try to do painting that tries to talk to everyone, to a grandmother or a small boy, to a French as an Indonesian.
FC : Your disk?
S : Elis & Tom
FC : Your book?
S : The Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger
FC : Your film?
S : Spirited away
FC : Your artist?
S : Hugo Pratt
FC : Your latest craziness?
S : Go wandering in Pripyat, the abandoned city next to the Chernobyl's central. A crazy thing!
(Santiago de Chile)
(Santiago de Chile)
(Tel aviv, Israel)
With Unga (Paris, France)
FC: What makes you go further in life?
S : Always the same thing, meetings, travels, friends and my permanent dissatisfaction.
FC : What question would you have liked to ask you?
S : Why do you always paint characters turned face to the wall?
FC : You came in many countries to share your art and learn from others. The day you get to heaven, what would you like God to say to you?
S : I waited for you, you have so many clouds to paint.
FC : Ha ha! Finally, have you an exclusive for FatCap?
S : I just published a book , which summarise my recent travels, India, China, Mexico, Chile, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Sénagal, Palestine, it's called : Extra Muros.
FC : Thanks Seth!