FROST 45 is a graffiti writer from Auckland, New Zealand. He has been painting since the late 90's and is a true master of style. He paints according to the situation and can rock sharp burners to a quick full colour panel with loads of flavour. We caught up to find out more about him and what It's like living and painting in Auckland.
1. How and where did you get into graffiti?
Uno, Asen and I used to kick it together back in the late 90s to 2000 in Auckland. We were all into hip hop and did pen tags and shit, but it was Uno that stepped us up from tagging street signs with vivid's to piecing walls with tins. He was already lightyears ahead of us artistically and mentally in regards to graffiti. We played around with crew names for a couple years but was in 2001 when we locked in IK.
2. How would you describe your style & who were your influences?
I think my style is diverse. I don't always know where we are going to paint so I often end up doing a style based on how long I have. Time is a luxury in Auckland. Influences style wise I'm unsure of, but my motivation is influenced by cats like Nekst, Geser, Bates, 1UP....cats with endless styles and endless energy.
3. Could you tell us about a memorable mission good or bad while out painting?
Painting my first panels will always be memorable. Too young to really understand how cool it was what I was doing, and probably too naïve to even look around to make sure we hadn't been seen. Uno, Asen and I 1999-2000...we didn't smash them back then but I wish we did, it was so easy compared to these days.
4. What is it like living and painting in Auckland?
Auckland seems to go through its phases. 80, 90s - early 00s was a golden era for graffiti. Pioneers were active and the scene still seemed fresh. Then early 00s till 2011 saw a new wave of writers and crews. They pushed style and bombed streets harder...it was a real nice era for our scene, probably the best it's ever been. Then in 2011 the rugby world cup came to Auckland, and along with that came the buff. All tracks were buffed and streets regularly cleaned, which erased virtually all of Aucklands graffiti history. When that happened a lot of writers fell off, moved away or moved on to other art forms. So our scene was pretty dead for a good number of years. Real dead. Over the past 4 or 5 years new writers have been popping up and crews forming, but I think it will take a long time to get it back to the good old days.
5. Do you have a good chase story?
Ha ha so many. Too many actually, I need to be more carful haha. An early one when I was a young buck, we were painting a crew stomper and we got run up on by security. We all ran into a wood milling yard. Ended up climbing up a silo, jumping in and landed up to our throats in saw dust. Not my smartest get away plan but it worked haha.
6. What motivates you to keep painting
When I find good spots it gets me out. I got a real good crew who are pretty active, so we always got something going on. Insert beer emoji haha. I go a little mental if I don't paint for too long so I guess my mental health is a major motivator too haha.