CISPEO is a graffiti writer from Paris. He started taking graff seriously in the early 90's & since then has done some serious bombing, painted countless panels and mastered his style. He has traveled extensively and lived in many different countries, now calling Australia home. We caught up to find out a bit more about him and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. What got u into graffiti?
Growing up in Paris in the 80s-90s you had to be writer. Its was a bit like the NBA or breakdancing, playing football etc… everybody was into it. The immense majority of people dropped out after 5 minutes, but I always loved this shit. As a kid, seeing big colourful complicated pieces had a real big impact.
It looked so dope, yet so difficult and out of reach. The process seemed mysterious. I was 9 or 10 years old and I was exposed to a real intense era of writing in Paris. So, older writers from my immediate surroundings, they re the ones that got me into it.
2. How would you describe your style?
Classic, I guess… i don't know… certainly not very modern. I was very influenced by the 88-94 era in Paris. Paris Tonkar, 1Tox magazines, the sort of styles you find in there. From then, it evolved in different ways, influenced by places I visited and people I met along the way… I don't like the purposely whacky shit you see nowadays, what the fuck is that, i like people that look at this craft with a bit of pride and love.
3. Do you have a good chase story?
There are a few, yes, certainly… one christmas night, me and Deks went to paint a station in Paris on the 6, it s on an elevated viaduct… Half way through the piece, we heard the doors of the station opening, and people running up the stairs, there was nowhere to go, we ran on the viaduct, with those behind us… as we got to the next station, we saw the police with dogs waiting on the platform… a car was also following our escapade from the street.
We jumped from the viaduct, a good 4-5 meters high, Deks smashed his ankle but we managed to leg it to a nearby park, scaled the fence and collapsed behind a wall. It was the luckiest and most unlikely escape ever, whodini style. They looked for us for hours on, in the cold night, by the time I got home my hands were fucking frozen.
4. Which do you prefer piecing or bombing, and why?
I guess it depends, both can be really enjoyable; I have to say tho, I don't really have the patience for big walls anymore, and I am even worse with planning anything ahead, I really enjoy the spontaneous and intuitive energy of bombing. I have always loved throw ups, and I think thats what I probably enjoy the most.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
Undoubtedly my love for this thing, this movement, art form, whatever you want to call it. It impressed me as a kid, it left an everlasting impact on me, it has shaped my personality also I guess, so, yes it s a passion, and I am a great fan of graffiti, I don't think you ever stop being a writer, you slow down sometimes, sometimes it flares up again, but it never really leaves you. It s a bit like genital herpes in that respect.