BAILER is a graffiti writer from Melbourne. He started painting in the late 90's and since then has been experimenting with different styles and methods to create pieces. He has done everything from painting panels, bombing and now creating huge murals using only buff paint, rollers and a paint brush. We caught up to find out a bit more about him and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. How and where did you get into graffiti?
When I was a kid I used to ride my bike through the drains near my primary school to go exploring. We would go underground with torches and follow cave clan directions written on the walls.
The drains are layered with years and years of artwork so it was only natural for me to progress into painting after spending so much time down there.
This piece is painted with buff/house paint using rollers and brushes that I have cut to get repeated lines. I really enjoy this technique and I think it works well with one of my old favourite colour combos red/blue.
2. How would you describe your style and who were your influences?
I have a few different styles but the backbone of my lettering has a very Melbourne, sharp, tech, semi-wild style steez to it.
I learned a lot from looking at the work of letter architects who are much better at painting than I am; Dskyzer, Puzle, Dash, Trance, Jorz, Inpak, Giro, Marine, Ocupy, Denz, Nasty, Wasp, Grate, Dmote, there are so many dope Australian writers. I think absorbing as much work from as many people as you can especially when you are young and forming an understanding of form, flow, spacing is important.
Even looking at work that isn't so good and trying to understand why can be helpful. Now that I have been painting for so long I don't draw as much inspiration from graffiti itself, I really only like to look at stuff by people I know or new work that is outstanding or really different as much of graffiti is an act of repetition and a practice of borrowed ideas that is more about the act/the mission/the model/the city more so than the progression of style.
There are def many heads pushing the boundaries and doing crazy shit like Taps and Moses. These days my influences come from elsewhere. For a while H R Giger, George Hull, James Gleason and other surrealists inspired my work to be a bit matrix like; sharp evil, dark. Now I am probably influenced more by podcasts, audio books, movies life experiences, nature etc.
I need to find some new inspiration tbh. Stanislav Szukalski's sculptural work is pretty amazing and makes me want to do some sculpture.
Part of this process of painting was making a change to my approach so that I could take a pastime that had become painful (the fumes were fucking me up and my shoulder was cooked) and make it playful/fun again. I am able to paint quickly on a large scale with minimal paint and still maximum amount of physical expression/movement.
3. It looks like you get pretty experimental with the roller and paint brush, do you have a plan for pieces like that or do you just freestyle it?
20 years of Spray paint made me really sick and depressed so I had to start thinking outside the box hence the rollers. Much of my painting over the years has just been done to satiate my addiction so much of it has been freestyled as a form of release or art therapy ha ha.
I sometimes sketch stuff and put the time in, but often it is more like dadaism; just creating and letting it happen. I think a combo of planning and freestyling works best, say if I plan the colours and how it will fit onto the wall then freestyle the artwork itself. That way you have a good scheme, good negative space, yet still get to express natural curves and shapes that flow from muscle memory with out looking at a sketch every 20 seconds.
You can tell the pieces where I didn't plan at all and I just kept painting for the fun of it and over cooked the piece.
This piece is done entirely with some white and black buff in under an hour.
The fill and squirt effects were done with a graco airless spray gun and the outline was done with a paintbrush. Free styling yet controlling the colour pallette, it was fun to paint and I think that is the most important thing (why bother if it is tedious and frustrating)
4. Do you have a good chase story?
I have heaps of chase stories....But the book I have been working on for years "Wall Stories" will have them in it. The text for the book is getting edited now then I am getting some help with design so hopefully it will be out this year.
I think this was the last wall with 100% spray paint, obvs some other situations require you to use only spray paint due to the surface/time/legality etc. In this piece there are still similar painterly expressions and flowing curvature of movement than in my brush/roller work so I may as well transition, I wore a full face mask when painting it and still felt like shit afterwards so it helped push me towards a new direction.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
Being addicted to painting was my motivation for years. I used it as a form of escapism to avoid the chaos inside my head, it seems nice and peaceful when painting. I have had a bit of a break from painting for the first time in 21 years I have only done three paintings this year, so I have broken the addiction and need to find new motivation.
I wish I had the energy and motivation to go smash out a bunch of galves and walls, maybe I'll start injecting a steroid, rhino blood, meth combo into my balls each morning to give me a bit more pep in my step.
I included this painting in here just because it's massive and I think it goes alright. All rollers and brushes on an 8 or 9 story building.
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