3 Questions to Datachump


By Lindsayt |  Published on Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

Datachump is a FatCap Official Photographer living in Brighton (England). 3 years of passion for photographing murals, bombs and other tags has resulted in an obsession we can all admire.

Are you a professional photographer ? what kind ? If not, what do you do for a living?

I am not a professional although I do aspire to being one. I have been part of a collective exhibition in May 2010 in Nottingham called Stop Robbing the Rich and would love to do more of that. I used to work for an American corporation. I got chewed up and spat out by the machine. Graffiti has been my salvation.

When and how did you start taking graffiti pictures?

Getting Subway Art for Christmas back in 1986 ignited the spark. I was away from graffiti for many years but when I moved to Brighton I started seeing it regularly again. What started off as checking out the odd walls every now and again turned into a daily compulsion. I’ve been documenting it seriously for 3 years or so.

What do you like about graffiti?

What do I like about graffiti? I could spend hours on that question. I like its transience, its unwritten rules, its anonymity, its history, the fact that it transcends international borders and language.

To me it represents freedom, rebellion, individuality and expression, qualities which are all too often quashed by the homogeneity of modern society. In centuries there is no doubt that it will simultaneously be heralded and chastised by historians who think they know what it meant. It’s an incredibly deep culture rife with conflict and contradiction. Whats not to like? But at the end of the day it’s about seeing a fresh wall of burners, or a tag in an impossible-to-reach spot. And that feeling of respect for the writer that felt compelled to leave their mark in the way they did.

We asked Datachump to choose 2 or 3 pictures and to comment on them. Here they are:

This piece was painted [last Saturday] in my home town of Brighton. Big ups to Ders & Daze (RT) Rels (Parkers) who ignited the boards in New England Quarter. I didnt know they had been in town so when I visited the boards to get flicks of another piece and saw this wall I was blown away. And that’s what I mean, that’s the feeling, seeing a fresh wall by a favourite writer, unexpectedly. It’s such a good feeling. And it’s free.

I took this shot of a Carl & Cry production last week, up in Lakeside, Essex. It’s an incredible wall, almost 2 miles long by the River Thames. It’s one of my favourite walls to photograph because of the big skies you get.

Both of those flicks use HDR processing for different reasons. It seems to really divide opinion. Some people hate it, some go nuts for it. I’m not crazy about it myself. It’s really useful and can look good but done badly it is the pits and I’ve done plenty of wrong uns.

I end up hating my HDR flicks eventually so here is a real one with no gimmicks. Just for the fuck of it.

Since Datachump's a FatCap Official Photographer, we've been picking our favorites from his stash for a while now. Here they are:

10Foot - July 2010

Os Gemeos - Bronx (NYC) - December 2010

Banksy - May 2008

Brighton - April 2009

Aroe (HA, MSK) - Brighton - February 2010

Brighton - February 2010

Chum101 - Brighton - January 2011

Brighton - October 2010

Fusi - Brighton - May 2011

Creeps - Brighton - January 2011

Speaking of tags in impossible-to-reach places... One of Datachump’s favorite

PK - Bronx (NYC) - December 2010

Interview by Sophia Aït Kaci

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