XRAY is a writer from the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney. Since he started in 2001 he has painted his fair share of pieces and crushed plenty of steel. We caught up with him for a quick chat and he shared five of his favourite flicks.
1. What got you into graffiti?
2. How would you describe your style?
Forever changing and heavily influenced by the people I paint with. When I started out I used to paint really simple stuff, I wanted everyone to be able to read it.
That got boring so things got a bit more wacky and experimental, then I was all about trains so the style had to have as much funk as was possible in a short amount of time. Now it is just chill walls so I try to bend my letters a bit, and as most of the walls I paint are virgin concrete I like to use negative space where possible.
3. What was the mountains scene like back in the day?
The mountains has produced so many great writers over the years, It is a funny place because the scene up there is kind of separate from Sydney even though it is not far removed.
When I was starting out the all out kings were the nsc crew, and phyve nsc still stands out as one of the best writers in Australia for me. I was lucky enough to paint most of my early pieces with kawrt and/or agres, both of whom had incredible styles and were all around great guys.
The generation that started after me was dominated by the wak crew, some of those guys have gone on to become amazing fine artists, other wak guys have gone into tattooing and are producing incredible work.
It was always a great place to paint, there were plenty of tracksides where you could go and chill all day without a worry, and the yards up there used to be fairly easy if you knew your way through the bush and weren't afraid of the cold.
4. Do you have a good chase story?
Probably the most memorable for me was a time when myself and a friend were painting a trackwork terminator in the hills. We were nearly done when a raid was sprung on us, my mate went over the fence behind us but there was heaps of transits there so I stayed on the tracks and had to run straight at a guy coming towards me.
When we were getting close he pulled out his capsicum spray and fired it at me, I got hit by some of the spray but thanks to the wind he got it much worse than me. I fell down thinking that at any second someone would be on me, but turned to see that old mate was on the ground as well, face down and not moving. I got up and made it about 100m down the tracks where I threw my guts up.
I looked back and could see torches on the tracks so continued staggering away, eventually getting over the fence at which point I fell down a hill and came to rest in a fairly large blackberry bush. I could still hear the people looking for me and saw their torches flashing around but thankfully no one ventured into the thicket to find me.
5. What motivates you to keep painting?
My motivation to keep painting is really at its lowest since I started. Up until this year I still managed to get out a few pieces a year, but this year I have only managed one. I did go and have a peek at some of the yards I used to frequent a few years ago, but each time things went really badly so I gave up on that. Now i'm really interested in permaculture, integrative agriculture and sustainable food production, so instead of thinking about producing a fresh colour scheme i'm more motivated to produce a really fresh blueberry, eat a standing rib roast from my own cow or shoot a fallow deer and tan its hide.
One day i'll have a midlife crisis and make a comeback, arriving at central just before 9am.
Thank you XRAY for taking the time to talk to us and sharing your flicks.