Five questions for five flicks
Featured artist - KEYS
KEYS is a graffiti writer from Sydney. He grew up on green line in the South West and started painting in 1988. His style is fresh with loads of connections and swing. Lately he has been getting busy on the lines producing some nice productions. We caught up to find out a bit more about him and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. What got you into graffiti?
The explosion of Hip Hop in Australia, Breakdance, Beat Street, Style wars, Subway Art, The creativity and freedom it represented attracted me to take part first as a breakdancer and then as most kids back then graffiti. Trips to the city with my parents had me glued to the windows looking at my first pieces in amazement wondering how they could even paint along the tracks. It was a like a free art gallery for the public to enjoy! Props to the first and second generation Sydney writers for lighting a spark in me that still exists to this day.
2. How would you describe your style?
Letters first, pretty colours are nice but i'm still on the journey to perfecting the alphabet. My style is an evolution over many years of straight letters, connections, extensions and arrows to improve the look of my word. I sketch most days, try to make every piece i do different. Lifes too short to do the same piece twice.
3. Do you have a good chase story?
One night me WHO and JAPS were painting flatcars we used to hit on the regular each weekend with no dramas, This night a hero security guard stopped our fun and came charging us with his big torch in hand. Japs leaps the fence first and wanders off, WHO jumps next and slices his hand open, i'm still on the legs tossing my paint over the fence trying to save it and WHO is pegging it straight back over the fence at the gaurd trying to knock him out.
Having to dodge cans allowed me to hop out safely. Sirens were getting closer and we were looking for JAPS who was casually tagging a fence across the street like nothing happened. The next hour was spent hopping back fences and bleeding in peoples yards until it all died down. Then we all caught up for beers and laughs as the sun came up.
4. You paint a lot of track sides & Sydney is quick on the buff. How do you feel about this when you put in a big effort just to have it gone within a week or sometimes less?
FUCK THE BUFF, public transport is a drain on anyone who has had to catch it and the rail corridors are sooo boring. I feel like if we are brightening someones day i've done my job as a graffiti artist. Sometimes you're lucky and they get a good run , sometimes you lose it and cant even get a flick which is a kick in the nuts. Fortunately photography and documenting graff is a big part of the culture and more now than ever someone gets a flick and that picture reaches many more people via the internet and social media than ever before.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
I try to set myself goals, last year was a 100 piece challenge in a year which i heard someone attempt about 5 years ago and thought with the confines of life, work family etc was impossible but completed it. The crew is active, always pushing each other with quality and quantity. Social media means I have a constant stream of new shit to gee me up, so much better than the days of developing your own film or waiting for the latest graff mag to come out.
Shoutouts to NRC family, TBM and TPA crews.