Interviews

The Krah interview

       

By Wessame Benahcene |  Published on Monday, January 27, 2014.

Meet the London based artist The Krah. Let´s talk about his art in the street and his next exhibition.

Interview by Karen for FatCap and Jester Jacques Gallery

FatCap : Hey there ! First thing’s first : how did it all come about, your street art ? What came first, the traditional drawing/painting or the street art work ?

The Krah : Since I was child I loved drawing. My parents where very supportive and everyone encouraged me to become an artist. As a kid I wanted to become a comic artist and just do graphic novels. My main influences where European comics and underground alternative comics artists such as Möbius, Milo Manara, Geof Darrow, Tank Girl and Japanese manga.


© The Krah


When I started doing graffiti murals with spray paint (in 1997) it was all so different. Graffiti was still an underground sub culture. Graffiti was an explosion of colour, adrenalin and it was a statement : we felt that the city belong to us the youth and we wanted to give it a makeover legal or not we where deterrent to funk it up !


© The Krah


As a teenager I was hard core, bombing the streets in central Athens, joined one of the top graff crews in Greece and made a name for my self. We where painting trains that where running back and forth throughout the city, we hit the most central spots and got up everywhere. It felt grate and have lots of crazy storeys to tell. All the top crews from all over the world such as (SDK from Paris, Bandits from Spain, DDS from London and many more) would come to Athens and we would take them and show them the underground train guards. We also did graff tours around Europe painting trains in all the capital citys.


© The Krah


So I started as an old school traditional writer, as the years went passed I got more experimental and used different ways to get up so now I just don’t care I just break all then rules and do whatever I feel like.


© The Krah


FC : Tell us a bit about your style in the beginning and how it has evolved into the style we currently recognize in Brick Lane, East London, etc.

TK : I was always more into painting characters in the streets than letters. I evolved my character design making it new school, I just wanted to be different and unique. So just free styled it !


© The Krah


FC : You have done some pretty cool collaborations over the past few years. Which artists do you work with ? Who are your favourites ?

Back in the day I use to paint a lot with the NT crew from Brighton mostly with Aroe doing lots of trains in the south of England. Other traditional style graff collaborations I have painted with Dibo, Bonzai and mainly my crew. Since I swapped to my new school style I have been painting with mates I did a few streets with the burning candy crew (Cyclopes, Sweet Toff, Rudy and Discreet ), Milo Chais from Brasil and Inkfetish. But most of the best street collaborations I painted with my mate back in Athens, with B. Little and Spit. We just work so well together and have the same kind of idea of what streetart is.


© The Krah


© The Krah


FC : When did you get onto the street art scene ? How has it changed since you began ?

TK : I got into it in the 90s as a teenager, I thing it made me more confident, experimental and respected. It also gave me lots of job opportunity’s, working with big clients such as Nokia, River Island, Arctic Monkeys also because of my street-art I got to exhibit is gallerys world wide including : Brooklynite in New York, ATM Gallery in Berlin, Art Basel at Miami Beach, in both of the Mutate Britain shows, Black Rat Press, the Pure Evil Gallery and Art-Republic in London, Whinos Gallery Washington and Art Athina art fair in Athens, Underdog gallery London, WeastBank gallery London. Additionally I was one of the artist's that painted at Banksy´s Cans Festival in London. I have had my work published in lots of books and my work has been featured in a new book published by the V&A Museum called : Street Art Contemporary prints.


© The Krah


© The Krah


FC : What is your opinion on street art right now ? Who inspires you and where do you think it’s headed ?

I think street-art is very commercial at the moment and its loosing its spark. It seems that everyone is a street-artist these days ! And there is to many wannabes. Its become too fashionable and trendy. I still paint the streets and will do so because that's what I enjoy the most, but it feels like the hype is over now it looks like the new trend is taxidermy and tattoo art !

Most people that buy my work buy it because they like it not because its street art or fashionable. I don’t look up to other street-artists any more, I find inspiration in other fields of Art.


© The Krah


FC : What is your way of working ? Do you approach people for wall space/shutters ? And once you have the space, how do you begin ? Do you pre plan designs ?

TK : I never plan a wall I always freestyle it its more fun that way, I feel like if I do a sketch and then do it again on a wall I am just doing the same thing twice. Some times I will go ask for permission to paint a wall or I will just go and paint it dependants on the situation. If you have a cool wall that you want me to paint just send me an email I still get terned on by blank walls !


© The Krah


FC : What do you have planned this year ?

TK : I moved back to London after a year in Bristol, so you will see more of my work in the streets of London and will be doing more pop up shows. I am working on some childrens books for Ransom publishing and working on more porcelain mugs for Fableware. I will be curating more shows and have some super cool prints coming soon.


© The Krah


FC : Where do you sell your artwork and which art galleries do you work with ?

TK : I have some of my limited edition prints on-line at Jester Jacques website. I sell my original artwork on-line at artfinder, at the moment I have a 40% discount on selected paintings that you can see here. I designed some cool fine bone china that you can buy here.


© The Krah


Most of my work can be bought directly from me on my website I also exhibit my work in lots of gallerys such as : Pure Evil gallery London, Westbank gallery London, Underdog gallery London, Lava gallery London, Brick Lane gallery London, ArtAZ Athens, Stigma Athens, Co-Lab Bristol, Weapon of Choice gallery Bristol, Brooklynite New York, ATM Gallery Berlin and many more.

 

© The Krah


FC : Any The Krah-isms you can leave us with ?

TK : I still have love for the streets :)

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