GETNUP is a graffiti writer from Melbourne. Just like the name states, he gets up! I'm sure you have seen his work in hard to reach places. Instead of traditional graffiti with the spray can he opts for the roller pole, painting blockbusters all over his city and around Australia. He has an eye for picking difficult spots with curves and obstacles and is able to bend his letters around the surface to something you can actually read. We caught up to find out more about him and hear some cool stories about his missions.
How and where did you get into graffiti?
I grew up on the St. Albans line (now Sunbury line) in the western suburbs of Melbourne. When I started it was just a group of mates getting into the usual mischief.
What got you started painting the roller pieces?
The graffiti game hasn’t changed in over 40 years, but it’s still about get’n up and get’n seen. In my opinion, the best way to make that happen has changed. People used to see a piece on a train go “all city”, but nowadays in Melbs they don’t usually run. Love it or hate it, people notice a giant fuck off rollie.
Can you tell us about the most difficult or biggest mission that you painted?
My favourite stories come from the prime high traffic spots, where you just say fuck it and hit it regardless of people around and manage to get away with it clean.
Bill poster takeover: I may have got a bit carried away with this one. I wanted to piss the bill posters off because they were hitting known graff spots with their advertising posters all over Melbs. What I thought would take a couple of hours ended up being an 8-hour mission at a popular night life area filled with pubs. People were everywhere… not my smartest decision.
I started to buff out the posters and a cop car pulls up next to me; they asked what I was doing and I said I was painting a new advertising campaign. They were cool and went about their business.
People were coming out of the pubs. When people are around, they usually just walk past and stare or at worst they want to have a chat. Drunk people on the other hand, they want to help! I had this giant of a man who was off his face give me a chop out for a min, he got paint on himself and loved it! I'll never forget it, he wandered off and turned and said, “I’m a graffiti vandal now!” lol. A group of ladies helped for a bit but talked more than they painted. A dude wanted to take photos which required a stern word but, all in all, the folks around were pretty chilled.
The drunks are gone and the sun’s coming up. Traffic was starting to pick up with folks going to work while I’m still smashing highlights. I hate this part as its clear what has been written. I pack up, clean up and bail. Another mission completed. 24 hours later … bill posters had gone over it.
Melbourne has just come out of one of the world's biggest lockdowns, what was it like living there during that time? did you still manage to get out at night or was it daytime only?
I won’t say too much because it’s still pretty fresh but, the cat and mouse games were pretty hectic.
Do you have a good chase story?
The buff is getting pretty serious in Melbs and there are a few spots that are getting buffed almost weekly. I was rocking a hard to reach rollie spot which would hopefully beat the buff. I start hitting it for the first time; just then the buff crew arrive to work. I got chased by several buffmen and then ran straight into the ‘track closed’ safety fella further down the line. Luckily he was sitting in his car so I had a few extra seconds while he got out of the car to bolt the other way and hide for a bit until it was safe to bail.
A couple of weeks later the spot had been buffed again. Only a few tags were up so I figured I would have the spot to myself for the night. Nope. Just as I’m finishing up I hear the buffmen walking around near me again. I started to high tail. They hadn’t noticed me up until this point and when they did they started blowing whistles and yelling at me. The chase is ON! I’ve got about a 10-metre head start and running flat knacker jumped straight over a cyclone fence. They didn’t jump, which meant I could just wander away while they were yelling whatever it was they were yelling. Keep in mind, I’m not just running with a backpack of spray cans… I’ve got a couple of poles, buckets of paint and all the other bits that are needed to rock a giant rollie.
What motivates you to keep painting?
I’m always thinking, “right… what’s next.” Is that motivation in and of itself?