Aloha SanOne

Where it is hot all year round and the ocean caresses the beaches, we paint more in swimsuits than in sweatsuits in a basketball court like in New York. We left to meet San One, originally from the very exotic island of Hawaii, in this period straddling the COVID and the holidays, to get away from all the continental turmoil. And for those who are not going to leave and those who are not going to go to Hawaii, this tropical note will spice up the daily life of our dishes. At 24 she shares with us a bit of her extraordinary journey.

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Why choose San One? What does mean?
San and Chan are words used after names in Japan to usually describe or address people. The word “san” is usually put behind a name to add respect or prestige. Since I am a female, with Japanese ancestry, when I was a child I was always called “chan” after my name because it’s feminine and cute. I grew up more like a boy and I wanted to be addressed as San when I was a kid. So I named myself San when I got older. I also really like letters. Since I can do a  3 letter San or 6 letter burners for San X One. I write San One, so my Instagram is san-said-so, because of I-said-so. Haha

Why want to be called San, is it not nice to be a girl in Hawaii, or men have more liberty?
I wanted to be called san since it tends to be attached to a name with respect to prestige. Being a girl who is my size, and looks at how I do, people always called me cute names instead. I didn’t feel connected to the pink, dollhouses, and gentle ways that were associated with girls. I liked to do yard work, and build things. To be a girl in Hawaii is overall fine, there are no significant gender roles. In the graffiti scene, being a girl, in general, can be odd, or hard to find.

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You make also hunting, is common in Hawaii for one woman?
Yes, I try to hunt every weekend with my dogs. It’s not common for females at all, at least not on Oahu. It is almost always guys who hunt. It’s really hard work, I go to the mountains on Friday and come out Saturday night. I sleep in a trash bag with my dogs, and we walk for two days. We hunt to provide food for our families, and it’s a long tradition in Hawaii, from Paina times, what people like to call a luau today. Pigs are one of the top invasive species in Hawaii and contribute to our declining population of native and endemic species. Little Hawaii actually has the longest list of species that are endangered to go extinct, and literally never come back again. Most of these species that are disappearing in our lifetime only exist in the Hawaiian islands and nowhere else in the world. Controlling the invasive species is really important and there’s only a small percent of hunters on Oahu.

Since how many times you paint?
I paint every chance I get, I have a lot of side hustles so if it’s not painting it’s drawing portraits. I’ve been painting for at least 9 years … since I was in high school. You’d think I would be better at the painting by now haha…

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Why do you choose writing?
I prefer painting in a ditch in Hawaii instead of a paid wall. I never really considered myself to be an artist, I just started writing because I was not one. When I was 14 I taped shoulder to get someone to buy me paint (you had to be 18) and took myself to a ditch and taught myself from there. I was in and out of homelessness so I wasn’t into the cute and pretty art, I liked graffiti and wondering how people got away with doing it.

Why you prefer to paint in a ditch?
I prefer to paint in a ditch because that is where I personally believe most of the real graffiti is in Hawaii. The paint spots are where people really demonstrate what they’re capable of, and see who is getting up. I feel like if you want to be in the graffiti scene, you need to paint in the graffiti spots. Not storefronts or someone’s house.  In a ditch, no one will tell me what to do, what to paint, or where. Its free game.

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You studied painting at school?
I did not study painting in school.  I had basic art classes in high school that everyone was required to take, but I don’t think I did too good. I had a tendency to break the rules and requirements of the assignments. It was more structured “art”, and I was a little rebellious at the time.

What did you study?
I went to school for landscape architecture/environmental design. It has a lot to do with my obsession with plants, and our endangered species. Being able to restore our native habitats through plants.

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Hawaiians are very concerned about this? And what do you put yourself in for that?
I can’t say for all Hawaiians, but in general, there are protests almost every day in regards to the desecration of cultural or historical areas. Hawaiian islands are actually divided in a pie type of way, from the mountains to the sea. It’s called an ahupuaʻa. This is a self-sustaining system that for the most part Oahu no longer has. We get our water from aquifers, which are pockets of clean water underneath our islands, water travels through permeable surfaces (land with grass, lava rock, any surface that water can sink into) and then into the aquifer. If we overdevelop and pave too many roads and surfaces we won’t get enough clean water in the future. Some Hawaiians fight for the culture, some fight for the land, some fight for all. It’s essentially the same thing. Other islands are still intact. Oahu specifically has the most issues.

Is that the kind of thing that made you want to paint, to express yourself?
I think it was some type of unconscious release for me. When I paint a piece that’s bigger than me, it’s exercise, flow, my whole body is involved. When I freestyle a piece, I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. And when it’s done, and I can step back and look at what  I did, it just does something to me. Not sure how to explain it, but I think a lot of writers can relate.

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Can you tell us how you started?
I started painting big walls because I grew up in what some would call a tough environment and I needed a release. When I started doing graffiti I painted by moving my entire body.. the flow of that on a wall and creating something that is larger than myself helped felt good. Now I just freestyle every wall, because I do graffiti to feel good. Not to copy my black book for “art”, that sounds frustrating.

How is the writing scene in Hawaii?
Hawaii graff scene is definitely present. We have a lot of hidden talent. We have bombers, taggers, piecers like everyone else. The main difference would be our painting spots, they’re tropical usually in a jungle, abandoned building, ditch surrounded by greenery or by an ocean which makes it pretty awesome. I prefer to paint by the ocean so I can swim at the same time. Bikinis are everyday attire and very common here.

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When you paint in a bikini, you think you broke the image of a writer from New-York by example, with another type of clothes warmer for the climate?
I’m not sure about broke, but in general, I’m painting at the beach, somewhere hot, where I can swim. In a way, it would be weird to be fully clothed in that sense. In Hawaii, I wear a bikini almost every day. It’s normal attire for many people. So it would be different from someone in New-York, or somewhere cold. If I wasn’t in Hawaii, I probably wouldn’t be in a bikini if it was cold.

They are many people make writing? Other girls?
We have a few small crews, some get up more than others. I’m in the crew “ask”, “ae” and “gu”. There are not many girls who paint here…. I’ve met a few who painted before or tried to but none who still paint. A lot of girls paint for the hype, but don’t really engage in the lifestyle. I tried to start a girl crew one time but it failed completely. No one wanted to get dirty.

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What do these crews mean? With who?
ASK is known as a few things, Aloha-State-Kings is the most common. Its a bombing crew for the most part, but my homie Asalt who put me down kills it in basically everything. He has the best burners, he’s the most up, has some wild bombs and some crazy style. He bleeds Hawaii Graffiti.  AE is Aloha Escorts/Adult Entertainment with Ashen. This was the first crew I ever got put down in, many years ago. One of his burners is actually one of my first memories of graffiti. I might have been 10 years old, and I saw a huge Ashen burner in Waikiki-which is a superpopulated area- and was absolutely baffled on how he got there, how long it took, and how he even got away with it. As a child, I was very intrigued. I’ve seen graffiti around, but usually as background noise, but that Ashen burner was the first time it registered that real people were doing this. The last crew is GU, graffiti unlimited. Its an international crew, and it was something I was recognized for my social media, and not in person.

Your letters are very particular, where do you get this inspiration?
My style comes from Hawaii, I didn’t realize it was different until I traveled to paint. I was told it was a “tropical style”. I think it comes from the colors I like to use. I grow a lot of food and plants, so my color schemes come from what I see around me. Personally, I really like contrasting colors, I want it to be so bright your eyes hurt.

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Do you paint often?
I paint when I can, living in Hawaii by yourself is really difficult if you’re a local person you’ve probably been homeless or knew someone close to you who is. Being able to afford paint can sometimes be an issue but I always get lucky!

You speak of the difficult living conditions in Hawaii, there is a strong unemployment rate? a lot of poverty? We all have an image of Hawai very touristic with surfers and vahiné, what is it really about reality?
There is definitely a very large homeless rate in Hawaii. There are people with general mental health issues, and drug abuse problems, but many of the people who are homeless are families with children who have jobs that don’t make enough money for proper housing. When I was houseless I slept in my truck, on the beach, or with friends. Many people live in camps in the jungle or a tent. Luckily the weather is not something that will kill us, but because of this other states send their homeless here on one-way tickets. It’s good since those people won’t die in the snow or desert,  but it’s bad since we are already overpopulated. There are many rich people here, but most of the rich are foreign. The price of housing is very high since many tourists come here and then don’t leave. There are many scenic places for visitors and locals, but it’s hard to ignore the displacement. There is a disconnect between Hawaii and Hawaiian culture. So people who have Hawaiian bloodlines tend to struggle since the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy by America. Many people in Hawaii do not identify as American and only identify as Hawaiian. Living in Hawaii, and being Hawaiian are two very different things. Hawaiian is a bloodline with genealogy, being from Hawaii does not give you these genetics.
We have all kinds of job opportunities here, however, most people who have significant amounts of money usually make it off-island, then move to Hawaii. Many local people tend to move away to live easier lives. Most conflicts are from overpopulation, overdevelopment, loss of culture, and financial issues.
Hawaii has a long history of overdevelopment, culture loss, and governmental issues. It’s definitely possible for a foreigner to come here and experience racism/feeling unwelcome for being a foreigner if they happen to go to the wrong area or say the wrong things. Respect is very important here. If you respect the locals, you will probably have a great time here. Many of us do tend to have “cool” lifestyles, so I can see how it’s so intriguing for other people who don’t have tropical scenic places like us. It can be hard here, but many of the things I don’t require me to have money. Aside from work, I’ll go to the beach and paint some walls, then go surf, and chill for the rest of the day in the sun with bikinis that I make. It’s not all bad haha.

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Do you live for how many time in the street, and is very difficult to leave the street, how y made?
I’ve been in and out a few times….. I’ll still be working but not making enough for rent. I would work 3 jobs and shower at the beach. The most significant time was when I was dating a guy and we both slept in his truck in the mountains, woke up to the sunrise, and went straight to work. If you keep a positive attitude, and if you have someone there with you, it’s not all that bad. Besides, people are open to helping each other out. I would rather hang out with people with no money, and good intentions… instead of rich people who are shallow. Most people I know don’t have much, but we all are in it together, and help each other always. Nowadays I am doing really good, I still struggle but I can afford to have my own place. I just have to hustle really… Really hard haha…

You are native of Hawaii, I guess?
No, I am a local girl from Hawaii, not a native Hawaiian bloodline. I feel there is a huge difference. Seeing the desecration of native Hawaiian land first hand is what made me educate myself and become this type of advocate. I think education is key.

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Can you tell us more about that desecration?
One major thing happening right now is on the big island, where they are building a 30-meters telescope (TMT)  on a beautiful mountain called Mauka Kea. There are so many political things involved in that. Thousands of people have been going there to prevent the massive structure of Hawaiian Land. Another is Sherwood, where people have been camping out in for months to prevent the buildings there. Another is Waikīkī, were originally was marshland, but now is famous for the hotels. Some know that these are sinking, and in the future, an estimated 50 years, will experience intense flooding. Another HUGE issue is the rail. On Oahu, they are currently building an elevated rail system that basically runs through the whole island. It’s a massive structure that’s costing millions of dollars and it’s super outdated. There’s just a lot of corruption and unconscious developers.

We are far from the image of postcards, industrialization and the problems that it generates are everywhere in the world, do you think that art can change something to that?
Yes, Art can definitely bring awareness in a non-violent way. I love graffiti because it’s free speech if you want to say something you can put it in everyone’s face so they pay attention. Art can make an issue universal, artistic, and beautiful at the same time. So yes.

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You live off of your art?
Yes. I get paid to do murals for local companies, then use the free paint to do what I actually want to paint in a ditch somewhere. I prefer to freestyle in a ditch but I need to do legal murals to get the paint for it. I do what I need to do so everyone is happy. I make most of my money doing realistic portraits, mainly people who have passed away. But also if animals (usually dogs) and people in general. I also make vinyl decals (stickers) and vinyl heat press shirts for small businesses and people. I crochet bikinis and have a small business for that too and think art and graffiti wrap around every part of my life. I grow a lot of my own food and do landscaping which is where a lot of my color schemes and pieces come from.

Can you tell us how writing has come to Hawaii, since when does it exist? Who was the first, who are the bosses?
I am not sure exactly how it came to Hawaii, it must have been generations ago. There are OGs here, and people who have some wild history. It’s probably the only subculture where people from any age can get together and engage in a mutual activity.

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What are your worst memories?
My worst memories related to graffiti are probably to do with my friends who had killed themselves. People in general who have been attracted to graffiti, at least in Hawaii have had tough lives and use graffiti as a type of escape. It’s a bummer, but I understand. I’m glad that for me I found a way out.

What are your best memories?
Best memories with graffiti are definitely the shit we get away with. Having successful nights out and waiting till sunrise and seeing it run the next day…. having great paint sessions with my friends, just pushing ourselves out there. Cause in society we are nobody. Graffiti is a culture that is all-inclusive. You don’t need to be a race or an age, it’s non-discriminatory. If you wanna get in the graff game, all you need to do it start.

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Do you have a word for the end?
Hope you guys come to visit and paint some spots when you come! Even though life can be hard here, there are a lot of good things happening too. I’m stoked to be here and don’t see myself leaving, this is where my roots are. I pick happiness over money ANYDAY! Thanks for this opportunity! Cheehee…

Thank you for this great interview San One.

Instagram: San One

Instagram for Bikini of San: Kobrathelabel

Paris Tonkar magazine

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Black & white with Thomas Von Wittich

Thomas comes from Germany and lives in Paris for a few years, he takes superb black and white pictures. His favorite subjects are around and people who use the city as a playground: writing, the route and trainsurf are at the center of his wonderful photographs.

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How long have you been doing photography?
I started as a music photographer in 2005 and switched to reportage and street photography in 2010.

Have you studied the photo before?
Before I started photography, I made an apprenticeship in a camera store for three years. With this apprenticeship I had to visit a special school where I also learned a bit about photography. To thèse times I was painting graffiti by myself and one of my teachers was super disliking that but still motivated  me to take school equipment caméras with me to at least do some photography while painting. I also took photos of a friends band which happened to be seen by a local (american) photographer, Jeffrey Delannoy, who saw some potential and he took me under his wings. He showed me the craft of developing films and printing by myself in the darkroom and took me to countless concerts and festivals to take photos. He also showed me the work of Anton Corbijn, Dennis Stock, Richard avedon and Robet Capa which influenced me a lot. We had a small Artist collective called “kill your Idol“ and we all just tried to take pictures of our music heros. Jeffrey was into the gothic scène and I tried to take photos of all hip Hop idols I had fo that time like Mos Def, RA The Rugged Man, Necro, Sean Price and many more.  After three years, Jeffrey went back to the states and I moved to Berlin.

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What made you choose this medium?
I think it was me wanting to create sth that stays and after realizing that I was at best a médiocre graffiti writer, this was the second-best option for me. I also have to admit that I enjoyed a lot hanging out with all those guys whose music I was listening to.

I think you are hard on you, I saw you tagging and your style has flow. Can you tell us what is a good photo for you?
Thanks, that’s very kind of you. Bit this was also other times. I was painting graffiti in a small city in West Germany and that meant directly having stress with the police. I can remember having like ten raids at my place without Even getting busted. When I got finally busted the judge gave me two years of probation for honestly not doing too much damage, haha. And for every raid I had, thé police were taking all my things. They weren’t just taking sketches or cans but also my computer and camera equipment. So I really had to decide in which way I wanted to go.  A good photo for me is a photo you want to watch for longer than 30 seconds. I don’t care too much about technical things like the golden ratio or what kind of camera you use. Some of my favorite photos have been shot with a mobile phone.

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You have chosen to treat only certain subjects in black and white, such as painters in action in urban space. Do you have other favorite subjects and why did you choose this subject, these subjects?
I like to shoot People using the city as their playground. These can be graffiti writers or street artists, Parcours and train surfing, or even pickpockets and drug dealers. I like to show, what “normal“ people usually don’t see. I started another project some years ago where I tried to show the beauty of the human body without all those things the beauty and fashion industry wants to make you believe is necessary. I’m disgusted by this kind of photography where the models wear tons of makeup but still, the photographer retouches every inch of what makes the human body interesting and beautiful. So I started to make exactly the opposite, taking photos of people without clothes and makeup, Not using artificial light and not retouching anything in Photoshop.

How to explain these original, non-standard choices? Are we not more successful when we do mainstream? Why against the dominant culture?
Yes, sure it’s way more accepted by the mainstream like this. But for me, this is just wrong. I’m totally against advertising in general. For me, this is the main engine of capitalism and it’s made to make you feel bad, thinking if you would buy certain products, you would feel better or be more beautiful or whatever.  And especially in beauty or fashion advertising,  everything is just fake.  I find it to be ridiculous how those photos are being retouched to death. Every wrinkle and every spot is getting erased to make the models look like puppets. This is neither beautiful nor human for me anymore.  So I think it is important to fight that.

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Yes with the social and economic fundamentals, the fundamentals of communication go together, which we talk about less often. My professor of advanced morphology at the Beaux-arts de Paris (Guy Debord) would speak here of eugenics, these perfect bodies, muscular, fat-free, wrinkle-free, stereotyped on an unassailable model for ordinary people. Are there any other reasons you think are these models that make us so bad if we don’t buy the last cream or car?
I  wouldn’t say That my work is very political but sure it is influenced by my political State of mind. For example, I am choosing the Artists I work With Not just by their aesthetic but as well as their political ideas. One reason I chose to work With the Berlik Kidz was That they don’t just paint to See their names in the streets but also to fight gentrification Which is a very huge problem in Berlin. Another Good example would be Vermibus, an Adbusters I am Working With for Nearly 10 years now.

Is there a current of political philosophy to which you would feel closer than liberalism?
No, I don’t have any solution. But I recently saw a tweet or a meme of somebody that stayed in my head saying that nobody should be allowed to be a billionaire. After you reached 999 million, every cent directly goes to health care and education. You will get a trophy saying that you won capitalism and they will name a dog park after you. As funny this sounds, I strongly agree with this concept but with way less money than a billion. How can you be happy making a fortune on the back of others?

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What do you look for when you take photos?
This already starts before I actually take photos as I’m curating the artists I want to work with like a gallerist. This doesn’t necessarily mean I just work with artists I like but I try to just work with people where I feel that they contribute sth interesting or new to the scène. While taking photos I’m trying to focus on the action itself but still showing as much background or extra Information as possible. For me, a photo of a person walking by judging the graffiti writer while painting is far more interesting than a photo of just a graffiti writer doing his thing for example. I’m also looking a lot for lines and frames I can use.

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You exhibit your work and also publish catalogs, is it important for you this aspect of dissemination of your work
Yes, totally. I don’t get a kick from social media and for me, a picture on the internet will never look as good as a printed and nicely framed photo. Like I said in the beginning – I want to create sth that stays. I also enjoy a lot the idea of one day being the crazy grandfather having a lot of funny stories to tell. What’s better than to have all these photos printed in a book on top to force everybody to look at them, haha.

Do you have any projects to come?
I’m while working on my first book. Last year I made together with a journalist a reportage about train surfing in Paris for le monde. We realized that we work very good together as a team and we decided to make a book about the vibrant Paris urban art scène in 2020 called “Avenue des petits crimes“.

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Why this choice of title? How is your collaboration going?
I Made a small zine Last year called “Paris je t‘abuse“ based on the title of this super Kitsch Movie “Paris je t‘aime“. This Came to my mind thinking of how much People in the entire World adore this City and its Beauty while you have a very vibrant Graffiti scène over Here “abusing“ it a bit With putting color everywhere, haha. We thought about Taking this as a title for the Book as well, but it Turned out that it’s Not proper French Language so we found this one which is a bit following the Same narrative.

Well, we are impatiently waiting to be able to see and experience all of this, do you have a word for the end?
Yes, I have something I’m wondering about as I often find myself in discussions about this with graffiti writers in Paris. I don’t get why people are so much hating on street art over here. Sure, I get the jealousy part – Paris is a super-rich city with obviously a lot of galléries selling crap to rich people not knowing anything about urban art. but if you are jealous about that, then just do the fucking same – paint some Star Wars or Batman related shit on a plastic bear and people will buy that, easy. I also get that there are many street artists who are just doing things in the streets which are made to enjoy the people with lots of colors and cute designs but this problem you will also find in graffiti if you are honest with yourself. So maybe hate on the artist itself if you want to but Not on an entire scene. There are so many great street artists over here like OX, Kraken, or Levalet just to name a few and I think you are just limiting yourself if you hate on a whole scène just because you don’t like some artists. It’s like saying photography is bullshit when you just know some photos of Anne Geddes and therefore refuse to dig deeper. You are missing great stuff like this.

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Thank you for this very interesting interview Thomas.

Paris Tonkar magazine

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Go in Turkey with Wayne

If you go to Istanbul don’t forget to go to Style Up, a festival organized by Wayne, and if you stay in Istanbul, don’t forget to bring back pictures of Wayne’s paintings.

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Hi Wayne, you from Turkey, you have 27 years and you write since 2004, why choose Wayne, what does it mean for you?
I like these letters.

What are your crews?
TFB: The Fanatic Boys from Berlin and SCR crew from İstanbul.

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Can you tell us more about your crew(s), what does mean, since when that exists, how is inside, what that brings to you?
TFB since 1991. In Berlin-based crew have strong roots including writers: BORN, STUS, SOK, SEL, DEJOE, DOC(CHROME), LOYD, DENS, BLEND, GOMES, DISKO and many members from other countries like Zurich ‘SAET62, KLIO from Budapest SURE from İstanbul Turkey BYEONE, SAILOR, PLAKONE, WAYNE, TOSKE, DUVOK, ZEOS.
SCR since 2006 Including writers AHER, WAYNE, BYEONE, STURM, JUNIOR.

Why choose writing?
Graffiti is the best way of expressing myself.

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Did you draw before you started writing?
Yes I was drawing pictures

Can you explain how you started?
I was 12 years old and I bombed a piece in 2004.

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What is your inspiration?
I’ve inspired by my cousin’s Dose tag when I was a kid.

What are you looking for when you create letters?
I look for flow and especially sharp edges.

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What is your conception of colors, formes? 
The style is a more important thing for me instead of colors.

What are the good letters for you?
The letter must be strong as simple and must have strong additions.

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Do you make a sketch a lot?
Of course, I do.

Do you live with your art?
Yes, definitely I support increasing graffiti I do it for myself and for people.

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Can you tell us how the writing comes to your city, your country and when? 
It came to my city and country in the late ’90s not in the ’80s like in other countries and cities.

Do you change something in the mentality of people?
People in my country who are not in graffiti only love the simple styles I want them to know more about wild styles.

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How the authorities and people see writing in your city, your country?
Some of them think about we have skills and support graffiti but some people think graffiti is unnecessary.

How do you explain that writing is not as popular with people as the other cheeses found in street art? 
I tell every art form using and creating by spray is not graffiti. Graffiti is all about letters.

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Do you think it is a form of action painting that represents a form of direct democracy because everyone can intervene in the public space and modify it?
I think graffiti is a personal thing not about democracy and politics.

Do you think it is like one chromotherapy for the city where the dominant is grey?
Yes, graffiti is a rebel move against grey city walls.

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Do you have some anecdotes to tell us?
If u are in a city like İstanbul you have hundreds of stories…

Do you have some projects currently?
I organized an MC graffiti and b-boying party ‘STYLE UP’ I’ll organize the new ones this summer.

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Do you have a word for the end?
Nowadays I see so many effects and color blasts in graffiti it blocks the style, but people shouldn’t forget that GRAFFITI MEANS STYLE.

Find more pics of Wayne in his Instagram: Wayne

Paris Tonkar magazine

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Pour les commandes par CHÈQUE (à l’ordre de i.H.H.C.), il vous suffit d’envoyer votre commande sur papier libre (en précisant bien nom, adresse, durée d’abonnement et/ou ancien[s] numéro souhaité[s]) accompagné du règlement par chèque (à l’ordre de i.H.H.C.) à l’adresse suivante :

PARiS TONKAR magazine / iHHC
Service ABONNEMENTS web
Boîte 41
116, avenue du Général Leclerc
75014 PARIS

Les quatre coins du monde de Salfé

J’ai croisé Salfé, il y a longtemps, pendant les grèves de 2019. C’était quand on restait chez soi ou qu’on sortait car on devait défendre nos acquis sociaux, depuis il y a eu le Covid…

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Hello, d’où viens-tu?
Je viens de la banlieue Parisienne de base mais j’ai vécu dans plusieurs pays aux quatre coins du monde. Majoritairement en Asie mais aussi en Océanie ayant beaucoup de relations la bas.

Quel âge as tu?
Dans ma vingtaine, plus précisément l’âge ou tu te disais que ça serait la fin mais au final tu te rends compte que ce n’est que le début.

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Que poses-tu? Qu’est-ce que cela signifie?
Salfe pour le jeu de mot entre le « sale fait » et « ça le fait »

Depuis quand peins-tu?
Oula, depuis mon adolescence mais j’ai eu beaucoup d’années d’inactivité entre les passages ou je préférais me mettre cher et les fois je vivais dans des pays où il y a absolument aucune scène graffiti, ni train, ni graffshop comme par exemple au Cambodge ou la ou j’étais en Chine voir même en Nouvelle Zélande ou la gare centrale à que 2 quais par exemple.

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Dessinais-tu avant de taguer ?
Pas du tout, je suis dans le milieu pour le côté sport extrême, voyage et le développement personnel.

Comment as-tu commencé?
Un gars de ma classe qui m’emmenait dans ses sessions rues quand on séchait les cours puis au fur et à mesure je suis rentré dans le délire comme beaucoup je pense.

Pourquoi choisir de taguer?
Avant tout pour l’ambiance du milieu, rencontrer des personnes dans le monde entier, apprendre des techniques pour la gruge et te dépasser mentalement et physiquement.

Quelles sont tes inspirations?
Niveau style ça se passe à Paris : Mank, Vices, Ace, Tisko, Meyso, Keag, Sore… Niveau on lâche rien malgré la prison et les aléas de la vie il y a TIBAK, les RCLS et les MULS. Les gars font que des allers retours en prison et vivent dans des pays avec un salaire moyen de 500 euros (bon sauf les MULS) mais ils se sortent les doigts du cul pour pouvoir faire un maximum de voyage et un maximum de systèmes de métro et ça c’est magnifique.

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Que cherches-tu quand tu fais des lettres?
À pouvoir les faire le plus vite possible

Comment définirais-tu ton style?
Trainiste avec de l’ignorant et du sale mais ça dépend de mon état d’ébriété.

Quels sont tes supports de prédilections?
Le métro à 100% mais ça m’arrive de faire des tags en sortant de soirée avec les potos et c’est là que ça fini en GAV généralement.

Voyages-tu beaucoup pour peindre? 
Je voyage toujours énormément mais ça varie des années, là en 2019 par exemple j’ai passé presque autant de temps à Paris qu’à l’étranger. Cette année je me suis concentré sur les systèmes post soviétiques mais j’ai aussi fait quelque systems européens comme Bruxelles, Rotterdam, Vienne, Berlin, Londres et j’en passe. J’ai aussi tape dans du system Asiatique mais c’est top secret pour le moment (rires).

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Où es-tu parti et quelles sont tes places préférées?
J’ai fais plus ou moins le tour du monde; Amérique du Nord, Europe, Caucase, l’ex URSS, l’Asie et l’Océanie mais les pays post URSS sont les plus intéressants car dans ces pays le métro ce n’est pas seulement un moyen de transport mais quelque chose de très surveillé militairement et très aimés du peuple ce qui rend la tâche de s’y introduire très dur, des systèmes comme BAKU (Azerbaïdjan) ou MINSK (Biélorussie) sont presque impossibles à faire du fait que tu es considéré et incarcéré comme espion ou terroriste si tu te fais serré dedans. L’Asie est intéressant car pas grand monde s’aventure à aller peindre leurs métros mais tout est trop neuf, trop propre et trop aseptisé là bas du coup j’y suis juste allé par challenge et j’y ai eu du bon comme du mauvais au final. Je pourrais pas citer ou précisément pour le moment mais autant Asie de l’est que l’Asie musulmane.

Pourquoi faire du writing-tourisme ?
Chaque système de métro à son charme, ses caractéristiques et son système de sécurité, Paris à un des plus beaux système du monde du fait de son âge et qu’on puisse y trouver tous les niveaux de difficultés de facile comme la 3 à très dur comme la 1, il y en a pour tout le monde et sauf pour la 14, les tunnels, accès et dépôts sont tous magnifique. En allant à l’étranger on y découvre des nouveaux tunnels mais surtout une politique de répression différente à chaque ville, j’ai par exemple déjà fait 2 semaines de détention pour 2 tags dans la rue en Asie; du coup pour certain modèles de métro comme le métro de Riyad (Arabie Saoudite) je l’ai fait quand il était en construction dans une usine de production dans un autre pays.

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Tu visité beaucoup de places, penses-tu qu’il y a un style particulier à Paris, qu’on ne trouverait nul part ailleurs?
Nos handstyles et nos chromes sans hésitation, après il y a beaucoup de plagiat sur Paris, un peu comme dans le rap. Nos chromes on va pas chercher midi à quatorze heures on à l’école UV TPK et ça a beaucoup influencé notre scène Parisienne je pense. Niveau handstyle on a nos différentes écoles comme PAL avec l’abstrait, TPK ou ça sonne plus agressif mais ma préféré c’est les Meyso, Élite, Kway, Moket et compagnie. Paris a les meilleurs tagueurs du monde du fait que même si il y a du bon à l’étranger c’est je trouve trop travaillé pendant qu’à Paris on a un super flow sans pousser le truc trop loin artistiquement; je suis juste très fier de notre pays et de la manière dont on fait les choses et ce dans beaucoup de domaines différents. 

Je ne nie pas que nous avons de très bon handstylers à Paris, mais que fais tu de Buster et Keaps au Mexique, Some, Opak, Heavymedicated au Royaume-Uni, Amper en Russie, pour ne citer qu’eux ?
Bon la on va me jeté des pierres mais uniquement de mon point de vue à moi et sans aucun mal ça ne m’intéresse pas. J’aime pas le graffiti travaillé je veux qu’il soit brut et spontané à la KEAG et SORE, j’adore aussi voir des tags ratés et imaginer dans quel état le gars devait être le soir ou il a posé. C’est pareil pour les trains et métros, mon plus gros kiff c’est les panels pas finis ou alors quand tu vois que le gar a merde sur 2 ou 3 trucs et que tu ressens que c’était chaud ou des trucs comme ça. 

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As-tu trouvé des styles particuliers ailleurs?
Les styles particuliers à l’étranger sont la manière dont ils peignent, très vite, en backjump, et souvent à plusieurs sur une pièce. J’ai des amis à Athènes par exemple qui séquestrent souvent la sécurité le temps de faire un panel, chose qui se fait plutôt rarement ici. Ou même dans les pays de l’est ils font des plans en backjump pour des commuters, qui a déjà entendu des gens faire un TER en backjump à Gare du Nord par exemple ? Hahaha.

Quand tu peins dans l’espace urbain, tu opère une modification de celui-ci, pourquoi?
Murs blancs = peuple muet ?

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Et pourquoi choisir de modifier l’image des trains, métros plus spécifiquement?
Je me concentre sur les métros car ça représente l’image de la ville, quand ton blaze est sur le métro de Moscou c’est comme avoir une photo de toi sur la place rouge, c’est l’emblème de la ville. Après les trains c’est bien aussi mais en général j’ai pas le temps et le courage de faire les deux.

Quels sont les rapports que tu entretiens avec l’espace urbain?
L’espace urbain est un terrain de jeux, c’est pour cela que l’Europe est le meilleur endroit au monde pour le graffiti car on y fait tout ce que l’on veut, du tags dans la rue, boire des verres de piquette sur les toits des ami(e) s, des descentes en tunnels en after party, des soirées catacombes et j’en passe, on a une très grande chance d’avoir un espèce urbain très libre à notre disposition.

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Penses-tu que l’esthétique du writing peut-être définie comme celle d’une démocratie directe, voire d’être une esthétique plus libertaire?
Mon graffiti à aucune démarche philosophique, politique, et je n’ intellectualise pas trop mes panels, à la limite je prends juste du plaisir à mettre mon grain de sel, serais je du coup un anarchiste malgré moi ?

Tu transgresse la loi pour aller t’exprimer sur des endroits publics, parfois très difficile d’accès, quelque part est-ce que tu ne catalyse pas une envie du peuple de pouvoir sortir d’un système de démocratie représentative ou bien qu’elle soit plus à l’écoute de la nation?
C’est un peu dur de répondre car dans le fond si tout le monde se mettaient à faire du graffiti ou si peindre sur les métros était légal ça me ferait chier, je pense qu’une grande majorité de tagueurs pensent pareil on est quand même bien content que notre game soit underground et pas très accessible.

Comment tu expliques ce goût pour le challenge, sachant que des études montrent que les personnes créatives ont tendance à prendre des risques (parmi d’autres critères). Est-ce une facette de ta personnalité qui s’exprime, est-ce qu’il y a autre chose ?
Je veux pousse le truc le plus loin possible et -sans aucune prétention- ne pas faire ce que tout le monde a déjà fait donc je tiens pas à m’éternise sur des systèmes de métro vu et revu. Le pire des cas pour des systèmes très exotiques c’est 6 mois de prison ferme donc c’est pas très cher payé pour rentré des métros très peu fait quand tu comparés à des vrais criminels qui font des années derrière les barreaux. 

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Penses-tu que le writing peut être une chromothérapie dans un monde gris, souffrant des décisions gouvernementales qui n’organisent pas une politique adapté au vivant? 
Je mets encore une fois l’Europe sur un piédestal mais je pense que contrairement à certaines villes de certains pays Asiatique ou Arabes on est très bien logés du fait qu’on vit pas dans un endroit aseptisé et où on punit pas le graffiti juste pour punir sans trop savoir pourquoi, on a un très bon juste milieu et je voudrais pas non plus d’une ville comme Athènes ou tu peux même plus peindre sans repasse quelqu’un.

Effectivement, ici on est mieux lotis ici. Mais en regardant le pire plutôt que le meilleur, est-ce qu’on ne s’empêche pas de pouvoir s’améliorer en se contentant de ce qu’on as?
C’est vrai après je trouve que sur les autres continents c’est beaucoup trop de répression et je ne voudrais pas non plus pouvoir peindre sans ne rien mettre en jeu derrière, il faut du risque et faire des sacrifices sinon ça me fait chié du coup je vois pas trop ce qu’on pourrait améliorer en Europe Occidentale, si on parle du reste du monde des choses à améliorer dans le graffiti il y en a beaucoup mais ça se fera avec le temps à coup de gros whole cars sur leurs métros tout aseptisé.

Penses-tu que le writing soit plutôt un acte identitaire ou contestataire ou les deux?
Ça dépend vraiment du writer en question et ce qu’il fait de son graffiti. C’est comme le gar qui va bicrave dans son four à faire de l’argent sale et donc libre et contestataire mais qui au final va le dépense au Nike des champs Élysées et le redistribue dans le système. Dans le graffiti il y a de tout; tout le monde en fait un peu tout et n’importe quoi. 

As-tu un mot pour la fin?
Je taf sur une nouvelle vidéo avec exclusivement des très grosses actions sur les métros post soviétiques (Prague, Budapest, Kiev, Kharkov, Warsaw, Sofia, Moscow et Tbilisi) et il y aura beaucoup de jamais vu dans du graffiti donc stay tuned.

Merci à Lady K pour l’interview, les traducteurs et avocats commis d’office sans frais et mes potos sûrs NOYE, NERO (TSR CI2) et ALOKE (BLACK CATS CI2).

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Paris Tonkar magazine

⇒ MERCI DE PRÉCISER à partir de quel numéro (celui en cours de commercialisation ou le prochain) vous souhaitez débuter votre ABONNEMENT. Cela est possible dans la case pour laisser un message lors de la finalisation de la commande.

Boutique en ligne : ici.

Vous pouvez payer en ligne (CB sécurisée) OU par CHÈQUE (bancaires et postaux tirés sur des banques françaises) ou BONS ADMINISTRATIFS.

Pour les commandes par CHÈQUE (à l’ordre de i.H.H.C.), il vous suffit d’envoyer votre commande sur papier libre (en précisant bien nom, adresse, durée d’abonnement et/ou ancien[s] numéro souhaité[s]) accompagné du règlement par chèque (à l’ordre de i.H.H.C.) à l’adresse suivante :

PARiS TONKAR magazine / iHHC
Service ABONNEMENTS web
Boîte 41
116, avenue du Général Leclerc
75014 PARIS

Interview de Bloved

Meeting with Bloved, from City of Concorde in California, at 27 he tells us about his amazing journey.

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Why choose Bloved, what does mean?
To make a long story somewhat short, I used to go by a different name for a few years when I was heavily painting and tattooing around the age of 22. I struggled heavily with depression, suicidal thoughts, and a lot of other emotions. At my lowest and darkest point I prayed and asked Jesus to save me, (I was empty, lost, and felt like I was going crazy), and he did. I took a year or 2 off from painting and when I decided to come back I didn’t want to write the same name anymore. Jesus had completely changed and healed me, so my old name no longer represented me, and that’s when I chose Bloved but spelled out Beloved.
I chose it for many reasons but the main reason is found in Matthew 3:16-17 and Ephesians 1:2-6, google it (I am Beloved by God because of Jesus, and anyone else can be as well, to sum it up).

Want you tell us which name you write before?
I went by the name Antes / Sir Antes.

Since how many times you paint?
I started painting around the age of 15, so on and off over 12 years.

You drawing before starting the writing?
Yes, I used to draw the old English alphabet and copy the brown pride t-shirt designs as a kid for girls before diving into graff.

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Why choose writing?
I honestly didn’t choose it, I feel more like it chose me. I had an older brother that did it (big shout out to Vastr). I remember sneaking in his room as a kid and flipping through his black book and being intrigued by the colors and hand styles not being able to read them, but yet finding them so appealing and interesting. When I was a bit older between 10-14 he would come in my room while I was drawing and write my name in front of me and I’d be so amazed trying to mimic it but failing miserably. He kicked me down the game and taught me everything he knew and I’m forever grateful for it. He passed me the torch and I just ran with it. I fell in love with graff and letters.

Your brother continues to make writing?
Unfortunately no, he retired from painting actively. A writer never loses the itch though.

You looking for what when you create letters?
I look for anything honestly, I really like grungy, textured, and aggressive letters, but also equally love simple, clean, and well-executed lettering.

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What is your inspiration?
Anything and everything. I always tell people to draw inspiration from anything that’s lettering. Don’t limit yourself to just “Graff”. Lettering is all around you in the form of signs, advertisements, products, etc. I look at other fellow graph writers, tattoo artists, sign painters, calligraphy artists, Graphic designers, there’s so many different styles and ways to execute the same letter, even more so when you factor in color combos. don’t limit yourself. take the qualities you love most about each thing that inspires you, throw it all in a blender and come up with your own version of it.

How we can define if the letters are good or not?
This question can be hard to define, because of people’s opinions and what they like. For example, someone that likes dirty, « grimey », and grungy lettering might think a simple and clean piece or hand style is ugly even though it may be well executed.
In my personal opinion when I look at lettering I look for consistency, uniformity, balance, each individual letter structure, creativity/uniqueness, legibility, cleanliness, texture, flow, and style. I believe the biggest emphasis should always be your letters. When I first started writing I wanted to go crazy wild style with cool color combos but my letter structure was weak. As the years went on and I matured artistically I was attracted more to simpler pieces and lettering because they’re harder to execute. You can’t hide behind extensions, arrows, or extra bits. It’s just the raw lettering and if you don’t have style, or structure it will show. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t like wildstyle, grungy, ornamental, or abstract lettering. but I believe your lettering should be your strongest suit and the focus, anything else is just extra and should simply complement your letters ( this is my opinion if you think differently that’s on you).

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You drawing characters also, what you prefer drawing and why?
Graff wise no. I usually only do letters but I do want to try painting some characters.
When I oil paint or sketch I do a lot of birds, skulls, paint caps, and girls.

Do you live with your art?
Yes. I’m a freelance artist. I do graphic design, sell oil/acrylic paintings, hand styles, murals. anything artistic really.

Can you tell us how the writing comes to your city and when?
I don’t know when or how it came.

How people and authorities see the writing in your city?
It’s not accepted as an art form in my city. It’s a very clean cut where I live with little to no murals.

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The writing scene is big in your city, your country?
There was a small scene but I feel like it died out because of the location. there are the occasional hand styles you see but no bombing or legal walls. I’m 15/20 minutes away from Berkley or Oakland so anyone trying to paint would head out there.

Do you have some particular stories to tell us?
I started tattooing around the age of 16/17. when I gave my life to Christ I quit for a year including art. I went back and forth with tattooing over 4 years until I felt like God told me it was time to let it go. I had a regular 9-5 job for 2 ½ years
Until I went full-time artist in march of 2019.
I was out of the graff scene for a long time until I got back into it in March of 2018. I started practicing my hand styles and got back to painting walls and canvases with a new passion, posting videos, and recording the process on Instagram. Fast forward a year and 9 months later (its December 10th, 2019 as I write this.)  I’ve been able to make a living from it as a full-time artist. In that time frame, God has prospered and blown up my career as an artist more than the 8 years I spent tattooing. Its never too late to start something you’re passionate about, but it takes dedication,  consistency, and sacrifice.  

Do you have some projects currently?
I have a lot in the works, one being is I’ll be releasing a lettering book soon so stay tuned.

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Do you have a word for the end?
If you’re reading this and you’re starting out writing or just love lettering, you can make a living from it, it ain’t easy and takes a lot of hard work, consistency, and sacrifice but you can do it. Use social media to your advantage. Show respect to everyone regardless of their skill caliber. Avoid beef, it’s pointless. People will talk trash,  just simply ignore em and keep grinding. You matter and have a greater purpose, don’t be afraid to dream big and don’t settle for less.
Big thank you to Vastr, Spooks, and Chez for mentoring and kicking me down the game in different forms as well as Carlos M, Roger, Ruben, and Pastor Ralph for praying and interceding on my behalf through the different points of my life.
To My mom for putting up with me, as well as supporting my art and loving me unconditionally.
To my wife for being my biggest cheerleader and fan as an artist.
Last but not least to Jesus Christ for saving, completely transforming, and forgiving me. if you don’t believe or know him personally I challenge you to ask him to show you how real he is.

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