We met Demos, coming from Kazan and living in St Perterbourg for 4 years. At 25, he started writing in 2006 and had never tried writing before, discover what he made him paint.

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Hello demos, can you tell us how you discovered the writing?
It became interesting for me to draw for a long time, complicate the forms and use many colors. I want to travel, go to festivals and paint there) Bomb and tag on the street, of course, I’m not going to quit, but I put writing in priority

What is your motivations for choice the writing?
I am motivated and inspired by artists from Europe like as Omouk, Debza, Riot1394, JBCB Crew, Moar, 187 crew hamburg. I like European graffiti style, I don’t like Russian graffiti, because in Russia, I still don’t have my own recognizable style. Of course, in Russia there are very cool writers who I really like. TAD Crew, Rasko, Humor, Frou One, Bozik, Inor (Beda crew) , 158 Crew. 

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Do you think we can talk about a really personal style in each country?  Finally the democratization of means of transportation, media, communication, we could better circumscribe specific cultural areas, I think the Der blue reiter in German, the Peredvizhniki in Russia, the Surrealists in France for example, is this still possible now?

Yes, I believe that each country has its own style in graffiti, if they show me the work of graffiti artist from France or Germany, I understand who it is. But if you look at the drawings from Russia, it will be difficult to answer because many things in Russia are inspired by the style from Europe.

The Russia is not in Europe  ? 

No. And never will be. Russia is a terrible country). Government, laws, low living standards, people are getting poorer, corruption, the quality of medicine and education at a terrible level. 80% of my friends and acquaintances want to leave the country, including myself. I plan to leave the country within 5 years and never return to it again. in Russia you can’t even calmly drink beer on the street, the police will fine you for 10 euros and they can take you to the police station. For 1 gram of grass we can put in jail for 3 years. It’s funny…

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And do you think if one day a more « democratic » regime would be applied in Russia that we could once again include it as a half-European, half-Asian territory?
I don’t know. I think we will find out after 4.5 years, when they will choose a new president). We all really hope that he will leave, and that he will be a good man. But this is likely to never happen.)) I hope I will live somewhere in Germany or France and I will not care anymore, haha))

You speak one european style but is inspired by the USA. The writing arrived around 83/84 in West Europe, it already existed since about 1966 in the USA. Perhaps we have appropriated elements of writing from the states and mixed with elements more specific to our culture? Especially since before 2000 (which corresponds to the democratization of the internet) there were only a few books, magazines, videos and we could more circumscribe the culture within a country.

Yes . If some sources of graffiti got into our fear 10 years earlier, then our country would be at a level higher than now. Unfortunately, this culture came to us very late. But now graffiti is starting to start in Russia, despite the crisis, the price of paint, and low salaries.

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How the writing appeared in russia?

In Russia, the history of graffiti began in 1985, together with a breakdancing fashion. Vadim Krys (Riga) – artist from the first wave of Soviet graffiti writers, creator of the first documented graffiti in the USSR. Rus Crew ( https://www.facebook.com/ruscrue/ ) is one of the first Moscow graffiti teams. Make, Tek, Kamar, and Se began working together in 1999. Later they were joined by Basket, Chub and Worm. In 2001, they held the first graffiti exhibition in the gallery on Solyanka, in 2004 painted the first large facade in Russia on the central square in Beslan, and in 2006 they took part in organizing the first graffiti festival at the Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art.

Why the first crew appears in 1999?

From the 1980s to the mid-1990s, graffiti in Russia is episodic in nature and only by the end of the 1990s becomes mass. This is due to access to information that began to arrive like an avalanche with the popularization of the Internet, as well as using graffiti for the show market and commercial purposes (advertising on TV and in magazines).

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You said they are no style particular style in Russia, how do you think a typical Russian style could be developed? And how would it be?

It is difficult. Because everyone in the Russian style has something from Europe, everything is mixed)

Speaking of a typically Russian identity, many Russian writers favor the use of Latin rather than Cyrillic letters. Why do you think?
I don’t know, because probably the Latin alphabet is more understandable to other people than the Cyrillic alphabet. For a long time I wrote only in Cyrillic, but foreigners didn’t understand what I was writing, and I began to write in both Latin and Cyrillic letters. Cyrillic is actually interesting, the letters are more difficult).

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Some artists, such as kandinsky could dream of an international painting movement, perhaps the writing is the concretization of several centuries of research in art. English is the international language to facilitate exchanges (especially science articles). So can we really want a country-specific painting style or continue to create a style that feeds on each country?

Each country used to have its own style. But when the Internet appeared, everything began to mix up. I think it would be cool to have a recognizable style of your country)

This question is posed by Jean Clair (a french author) in his book the reponsibility of the artist. The question is whether we must keep localities (cultural elements specific to each country) or whether we must all globalize. Do not we get lost in a question of form, when finally the real question would be if we had to globalize everything would it be based on the democratic principles such as the liberalism define them or should we not to forge an international culture based on a political hedonism capable of satisfying everyone and not based on exploitation of life?
Yes, I believe that people should promote their international culture only at their request, not everyone can like it.

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For you what are the differences between europeen writing and russian writing?
I think in Europe people are more serious about graffiti, in our country, the ugli (anti style) style is very popular. People don’t seem to want to learn to paint beautifully and accurately. 

I don’t think that when I watch  Rasko, TGK, Magic, Cosek, Bunt, Dirty, Trunskee, Adel, I felt like there was a real quest for style, originality, well calibrated letters, swing … But he’s now admitted in painting to be able to do things of this type without this being objectionable, it comes within the framework of an artistic research as formal as aesthetic. What do you think this kind of style can bring to writing? in the world ?
Rasko, Trun , Cozek  this is these are very technical writers. The rest are not interesting to me.  I think not, it will soon bother everyone, and everything will start in a new way, the style of the 90s will return and everything will go in a new way.

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Can’t we imagine a progression rather than a return to the back?

I just see that at the moment everything is going back. Of course I want progress like so many.

How do you explain this propensity to no longer bring something new so that we are reduced to sampler in the past. Is it the creation of new ideas, ideologies, can destabilize the current order, and it is therefore in his interest to sclerose the creation to keep his positions? does not it create an anti-culture that ultimately allows it to remain stable, just gives the illusion of disturbing without really worrying it? If it is assumed that creation can renew or better bring new things both culturally and economically.

In fact, I want people to come up with something new in graffiti. It’s just that recently, when someone comes up with a new technique or some style, others try to copy it and do something similar than to come up with something new …. this is a difficult question for me.

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Is it not to copy on his contemporaries that one can in old pots according to you?

I believe that everything was invented before us) we all change it in our own way.

And you how you define your style?
For a long time I was engaged only in bombing. The last 4 years I have probably painted in some kind of acidic style, if you can call it that. Now I’m working on something new, I want to do it simply, accurately and add characters. I always wanted to learn how to draw characters).

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What can you say about the acidic style? Since when does it exist? Who makes it? how can we recognize it?
I always thought the acid style was somehow related to drugs))) here the Riot 1394 from Berlin seems to me very suitable for such a style. But in fact, it seems to me that this is simply an expression among graffiti culture. I think there is no such style, we ourselves came up with such a name.

Who make this style again?

Riot 1394, Syhis, Frou (ИСК Crew), Nychos. 

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How is this new style?
I’m tired of the style of my letters. I am constantly experimenting, and I will do it until I find what I like

What are you looking for when you draw?

New forms of letters, probably) when I sit down to draw, I turn on the music and somehow everything starts to appear.

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What kind of music?

I have been listening to hip hop since childhood. Since 2005, they gave me a cassette with Eminem, and it all started) Recently, I listen to a lot of German (187 strassenbande, UFO361, Kontra K, Bushido) and French rap (NTM Supreme, Moha La Squale, Alonzo, Niska). I always listened only to American hip hop, but in recent years I have become interested in these two countries, and I liked their music.

What kind of support you prefer (trains, walls, street, plane…) ?

All :), if we are talking about drawing, then you need to draw wherever you want, whether it’s a wall, train or plane. Why not?!) 

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Have you a word for end?
Thank you for this interview, I was glad to talk) to all peace and good, yo!

2 commentaires sur « Demos »

  1. Bonjour,

    toujours sympathiques de découvrir vos articles ! serait-il envisageable de proposer une traduction française ?

    Bonne journée

    Alain

    J'aime

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