Mots-clés

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Meo

12631321_911974668899146_5231557663884928102_nCan you explain your desire to do M in the subway?
Meo : when I arrived in Paris for the first time in 1976, I saw that the only graphite was political slogans, or « Le Pen » or Femmes Fatales » no Tags, inside or out. So I did a few motion tags, a few street tags, but very few. I was more into stealing mopeds, and riding in the Bois de Boulogne until they died. So when I returned in 1987, Imagine my happiness when I saw tags in the metro, REAL GRAFFITI!! So I immediately started doing throw-ups on the wagons, because nobody had yet exploited that side of graffiti. It was so cool to see my « M » in the subway in bright, sweet colors thundering into the station, and then seeing the train leave the station, my « M » allusion the rear end (or ass) of the train. Nobody had yet done it, and the more I did, the more I was able to gain the crown « King of throw-ups » for a period of time. I was the only person to have done it, and nobody has done it since. I also realised that I would become wanted by the RATP cops and they started to install laser beams in the tunnels, and more patrols in the yards. I t made the risk be more than the reward, especially after the « émission sur la 5 » … c’est passé le lendemain du jour où à la RATP the big-head announced that graffiti would be sought out, and those caught would be punished.

How did you get to make free style?
Meo :  I was doing freestyle drawings and paintings since the year 1977 in school. When I arrived in Paris, I saw Letters by Colt2 and characters by Mode2. I said to myself: « Oh Shit!! I don’t want to try and compete with these guys, they’re nasty! I need to do my thing, and be completely different, express myself and not be a stereotype graffiti artist: change the game; be the one who goes against ALL STEREOTYPES, be the best at what I do, and be completely different than anybody else » … Freestyle became to me a way to express emotions, movement, action, space and depth using colors. Freestyle was a way to « break the rules » … For example: using fluorescent paint was never done so, I used fluorescent colors; using drips, to indicate movement … or using a paintbrush was not « allowed » so I used a paintbrush; it gave me a different kind of line than a spray can. It allowed me to incorporate movement into my « fresques ».

Meo

Do you have a musical vision of your work on the wall?
Meo : My relationship with music has always been very strong; looking at musical notes on a page to me is almost the same visual movement as my « waves of movement » in my work. Musical notes appear regularly in my paintings, is also a sign of respect to music, the music I am listening to at that moment, and true musicians of all kinds. Les groupes Funk comme Pleasure et Slave. Le jazzman Ron Carter, Bil Bruford, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Billy Holiday and Parliament, 24-7Spys, Specials, Selecter, Mettalica, Master of Puppets, CL Smooth-Peterock, Tribe Called Quest, Kool-Keith …

Meo

When did you realize your last subway?
Meo : Hmmmmmm. I think maybe 1994-1995. D’autres graffeurs/taggeurs faisaient des descentes mais toujours pas un qui faisait des throw-ups régulièrement, et avec du style…

And your last illegal plan?
Meo : Mon dernier plan illegal peut être le graff que j’ai peint avec A-One… Non non, en 2001 des throw-ups vers Barbès dans la rue…

What is your popular artist?
Meo : Mon artiste préféré ? M.C Escher !! il y a plusieurs graffeurs que je kiffe aussi, trop nombreux pour écrire !!

Meo

What are your plans?
Meo : My plans are to continue to paint and do gallery shows. I want very much to do some shows in Paris … its been almost 3 years since my last show there I would like to do some « M »s sur le metro une dernière fois … m’occuper de mes enfants et les élever avec les mêmes conceptions du respect que l’on m’a appris, qu’ils grandissent et me surpassent dans leurs exploits … de pouvoir être dans une position de pouvoir apprendre à la nouvelles génération mes « skills », concepts… De continuer à faire des expos et des projets avec mon art, que l’on reconnaisse le rôle que j’ai joué dans le graffiti parisien et que cette génération sache pourquoi le graffiti est devenu ce qu’il est aujourd’hui ! Et de pouvoir te remercier en face et de te serrer la main en vrai, pas derrière l’ordinateur … (Rires)

J’espère que j’ai assez bien expliqué mon point de vue.

A bientôt, les hommes !

Meo

Photographies : Meo, David le Chimiste et Tarek