KERSO is a graffiti writer from Auckland, NZ. He got into graffiti at a young age and hasn't stopped since. He writes GBAK Crew and has done a lot of travelling and painting fresh panels all over the world with his own twist on a public funky style. We caught up to find out a bit more about him and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. What got you into Graffiti?
It started when I was young, around 11 or 12 years old. My school in central Auckland had a wall of fame/alleyway near the basketball courts where i'd skate at lunch and after school. A couple of my mates older brothers were writers and a lot of skaters were writers back then too so you'd just meet people like that, I wasn't active then and had no idea on where to even start but every week you'd see some new production, throw ups or just a bunch of tags pop up there. It wasn't until I was 15 or so before I was actually writing which would've been around 2002-03.
2. What was it like growing up as a young writer in Auckland?
Auckland to me is a lot different to other places I've traveled to over the years but similar in some ways, you start with tagging then move up to throws n pieces but basically if you didn't have good Handstyles first you didn't have anything. Back home the graff culture was more like street gang culture and not evolving too much into graffiti, it was more like neighbourhood tagging with all your boys just driving around with whoever and tagging whatever you can drunk n high.
Fences would be smashed with rollcalls in straights, everyone was stealing paint whenever you could you didn't really know any different unless someone older had guided you but there wasn't many people doing that or even pieces back then besides a few good crews and even then they were shown things by overseas writers, doing pieces didn't come into my mind until later years in graff and I guess thats when the internet happened with 12oz prophet.
3. You've done a bit of travelling and painting around Europe and Asia, could you tell us about a cool mission from abroad?
I think they're all cool in their own way but id say one in china was good, we had been checking and trying a spot for about 3-4 days but kept getting shutdown or there was too much security cruising around the yard on bikes, but we figured a new way in and ran it.
Hiding between the workers cars shaking tins as silent as possible and running in front of cameras everywhere we found a bush to hide in for a bit near the hangar, I left the boys to go check on a bunch of workers with torches who just crossed all 8 lines to where we were, Im hiding in the smallest fucken bush ever laying down but barely covered I was about to stand up and go back to the boys then from nowhere came the security on the bike from the hanger literally above me if i was standing up I could've literally shook the cunts hand n called it a day but he didn't see me.
we chilled a bit longer and time passed so we decide to enter the hanger that has workers & drivers sleeping in these little rooms so you had to paint silent as shit. Everything went sweet and we got our panels done and got out fine ditched all the paint then went to a local store racked a bunch of Hennessy, JD and food got horsed in the hostel and laughed about it.
4. Do you have a good chase story?
Man I've had so many over the years that I don't think they're good stories its more like PTSD and thats only from the ones I got away from.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
Dunno really I guess once you're this deep in doing graffiti it has already consumed a huge part of your life nearly everyone you know writes it's a never ending game I dunno if its a good thing or bad haha but I just enjoy it. I'm always looking at spots and thinking what style I could do or colours I can use for it as I do most things solo.
My crew helps keep me active seeing and sending feedback on what they're doing too. you have things like Instagram now which is good platform to see whats happening around the world and connect with other writers.