WEI2 is a graffiti writer from Sydney. Over the years he has rocked tracksides, panels and everything in between. He paints a mean 3d and is always improving and developing his style. We caught up with him for a quick chat and asked for his favourite five flicks.
1. What got you into graffiti?
My first memories of graffiti are from New York when I was kid growing up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the 80's. My family and I went to New York one year and I saw some guys doing a production, I was blown away by the size and colors and remember stopping for a while to watch them paint.
From there I always used to draw on the desks at school, and attended numerous detentions and had to clean off my desks a few times because I drew grim reapers or some other similarly themed picture on them. After that, there were a bunch of notorious graffiti writers around in Auckland where I went to high school, and I remember them periodically bombing the school which I thought was sweet, however this lead to the school commissioning a few murals, which was also a welcome addition to the otherwise boring school grounds. After that it got more serious, I met some writers here in Australia and started painting trains and doing walls.
2. How would you describe your style?
These days my preferred style is 3D. I try to keep the letters smooth and built into each other, and I'm not too fussed about "neatness" more about energy coming through in the finished piece. I managed to knock out a few 3D panels, but mostly 3D's were reserved for walls. Besides that I do a fairly fluid semi-wild style, and mucked around for a few months with a weird blobby euro-style which I hit the brakes on eventually.
3. Do you have a good chase story?
A certain Central Coast yard security guard was like the T1000 from Terminator 2. The dude seemingly hopped the green spiked fence and ran like a possessed robot. We also had public hero's trying to catch us during the chase as it was a daytime job, so we had to goose step them, the whole thing resulted in the crew vomiting in the bush once we had cleared the chase. We weren't fit. It was fucked.
I also had a precarious moment down south only just managing to dodge the police a number of times as they surveyed the general vicinity for me. I once managed to talk a guard into letting me finish my panel though! Never under estimate the power of just talking to someone even if they freak out initially. It's really not that big a deal and sometimes you just need to stop and explain that. Good bloke that guard.
4. Which do you prefer, a chill wall with mates or the rush of a panel?
Panel is always best, but they're different experiences with different gains. The satisfaction of completing an awesome wall is contenting, while trains are more visceral, and nothing beats a moving canvas and the ambiance of the yard.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
Art motivates me to keep painting. It's an art form, even if you're the most die hard panel junkie. What graffiti says to society as a reflection of it is of value to me, so is the uniqueness of the art form itself as an art of writing.