PARIS is a graffiti writer from Melbourne. He started writing way back in 1984 and hasn't stopped since. His pieces are packed with old school flavor and style that only comes with years of dedication. We caught up with him for a quick chat and asked for his favorite five flicks.
1. What got you into graffiti?
I was 11 and started high school at Swinburne Tech in Hawthorn, Victoria. I travelled by train and started to notice a few track side pieces popping up. I was amazed by it all and had to find out how it was getting done and by who? It was '84 and their weren't many writers around, it was mainly breakers so to track down who was doing it wasn’t easy but persistence pays. I started hanging out in the city on weekends where everyone gathered to watch the breakers. It’s there where i met Melbourne's first writers.
They were a few years older than me but that didn't matter as they were cool enough to see that i was eager to learn and gave me some advice but no free ticket. I had to start all on my own working out how to get out at night and avoid getting caught by the authorities and my parents LOL! I soon found my way and then the addiction kicked in, from that moment i was hooked. I’m thankful i had a lot of good dudes to be around and share all the adventures we lived. I still do! ️
2. How would you describe your style
I've always been influenced by classic 80s New York subway art pieces. My style stems from there and i just personalise it with letter flavour and colour choices.
3. Do you have a good chase story?
I've had a few chases but the best one was the night i eventually was caught. It was around '88 and the transit cops were hanging to bust me after 4 years doing my thing. I decided to paint a wall with DUEL and CAZ that was about 100 meters away from our main city central Flinders Street station. The transits had a patrol office at the end of platform 1. We could see them coming and going but we were determined to rock the spot as it was probably the hardest wall to do at the time being so close to the station.
It was all going good until we stopped, walked back to check out our pieces and then out of nowhere two guys snuck around the corner and yelled out ‘stop, police’. Without hesitation we legged it hard and had a plan to escape by jumping off a bridge but passed the point of no return, at that moment we were doomed as we were on an elevated track that headed to Spencer St and we knew it was approx 2000 metres away. Whilst running I heard 2 gun shots fire and freaked out, so i yelled out to Duel ‘was that a gun man?!!' He replied I don't know man what do you want to do? I was almost out of breath and ready to faint so i said to Duel 'im stopping man i cant go on'. He ran a bit further then stopped as well. The transits caught up to us like a minute after, so we had a good lead on them LOL! When they grabbed us there was a voice that shouted over their walkie talkies asking who we are? The transits said our names and the reply was 'you beauty we finally caught the shit heads!' Lol!!
They escorted us back to their car and drove us to the patrol office at platform 1. I didn't understand why they drove when it was like 2 minutes away?! But it gave me the opportunity to spin the story so Duel was able to go along with it as I knew we will be separated once we go inside. I also had my sketch on me and thought quickly to get rid of it before i get out of the car. I wound the window down and the transit looks over at me and i said 'i need some air to catch my breath back' the moment he looked away Duel witnessed me grab my sketch and throw it out the window. I'll never forget his facial expression it was in disbelief that I pulled it off LOL! That was probably the highlight of the night and the rest is pretty much the normal process of getting interviewed and charged. I was under 18 and had to appear at Box Hill Children's court. I was released with a good behaviour bond and had to pay $250 restitution as their was no specific graffiti legislation at that time. Looking back it was all worth it as that was part of getting up! Today the memory still excites me whenever i travel past the wall on the train.
4. Looks like you have done a bit of travelling, where is your favourite city to visit and paint so far?
My favourite city is New York period. It's the birth place for subway art so naturally feel its a pilgrim to go there.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
I still have passion for it and feel it's important to have an influence passed on to the next generation as it was for me. I'd also like to leave something behind that can be valued once my living soul has departed this earth. peace!