Vents is a graffiti writer from Auckland. He started painting around 1996 and has been hooked ever since. Vents is a real style master with tough public pieces and fat throwups that you can't miss. We caught up to find out a bit more about the New Zealand scene and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. How did you get into graffiti?
I read subway art as a youth which sparked my interest in writing. I started tagging in high school, walking home from parties on weekends. Around ‘96 I started doing pieces with guys like Ikon, Askew, Agent & Fury. From that point on I just continued to paint.
2. How would you describe your style and who were your influences?
Readable, clean and rooted in a traditional approach to letter structure. Influences are plenty but mostly the people I’ve painted with.
3. You've been painting in Auckland for many years now, how have you seen the graff scene change over the years and how is it at the moment?
In the 90s Auckland used to be a lot more bombed. There’s was evidence of it in every suburb, on buses and motorways. Pieces didn't usually get buffed but they’d get ragged so nothing lasted long. Now the buff is routine. You don’t see many tags and the train lines get cleaned, however the amount of crews and volume of pieces being produced is much greater.
4. Have you done much travelling? what are your favourite places to visit and paint?
I’ve done a bit of travel through Europe, Indonesia, and Australia. Melbourne is one of my favourite cities. The amount and variety of graffiti is inspiring and is an integral part of its identity. Lifestyle and culture is also great and I have good friends there too.
5. Do you have a good chase story?
Me and a couple of guys from the crew were rolling with some well known visitors to paint a railway over bridge downtown Auckland one night. We were about 15 minutes into it when a couple of cops suddenly appeared and gave chase.
We left the paint and jetted down the tracks a few hundred metres then split up, leaving through various exit points along the way. Somehow everyone managed to get away but that was the last time I saw the visitors. The next morning Shake and I went back to the spot and found all the paint bags were still there at the wall. We had to make our way back down the bank and onto the main street during morning rush hour with 6-7 full bags.