Firstly, Graffiti World was very successful; did you ever expect it to do so well?
No, I generally do not expect something from any book or work. I do my job as good as I am able to, I look out what comes and when people agree with it and like it, that's always good to see. I never expected to have such a success with the Graffiti World, so I thank the readers for being so interested in it. Let's see what is happening with the women book.
Even though it was very comprehensive, there must also have been a lot of people you had to leave out; do you anticipate doing a sequel to Graffiti World at some point?
For such a huge project it is generally very hard to get everyone in this entire world, who is doing good stuff. Some people also do not wish to be part of such a publication, others just emerge when the book is in print and lastly there is not endless space in a book. There are some artists, that were needed to be presented, some were left out, or I did not get a hold on them. Additionally I complicated my work to ask the artists to send images from them and not using random photos, that I have taken and maybe not represent the artist correctly. I don't concretely plan a second edition of Graffiti World, maybe I decide in 10 or 15 years to do so, when there emerged some new trends and styles and great new artist that need to be presented.
Why did you decide to do a book specifically about women in graffiti?
Women are very often forgotten or underrepresented in the graffiti and street art related literature. Men didn't take them seriously several years ago and spread a lot rumours around them. As it is normal in our society, graffiti was and still is very sexistic and male dominated. A field, where men could prove their masculinity. Seeing women entering this scene was some kind of attack to their masculinity. Woman saw painting graffiti as a feminist revolution and it was. Today there are many women entering street art and graffiti, and they are treated mainly as equal and seen as inspiring. Times have changed, so does our society. I don't see differences between male and female work, both are equal in my view. So, why can't women be great mechanics or politicians?
Who can we expect to see in Graffiti Woman? Obviously I'd guess famous names like Miss Van, Fafi, Pink, Swoon, Nina etc, as well as perhaps some less well-known?
Sure you can expect known names like Swoon, Pink, Mickey, Van, Fafi and so on. But I did get an enormous reply from women around the world, who send in their works, so there will also be several unknown artists. You can expect nice artworks in the book. Both known and unknown.
Do you think the rise in the street art movement somehow explains an increase in females doing this? Or in writing the book did you find an equal amount doing traditional graffiti too?
A lot people may think, that women are entering the street art movement at a greater amount today because of the easy access to street art. But this is certainly not true. In some cases it is true, but there had always been female graffiti writers in the streets and they did very successful. As said above, the problem is, that men mainly forget about women and do not support them in any way and even spread bad talk around them. Many women enter the street art movement as men do, because it is easier than graffiti. But you will be surprised to see more graffiti women than street art women in the book. That is the truth for the book, otherwise I see them both equalised.
Did you meet much opposition when writing this book?
As usual there is always opposition. Especially when you work in public with this work as I do. Critics can be very helpful for such a project and bring in new ideas.
Who are you particularly digging just now (male or female)?
I have too many likes of artists, both graffiti and from the street art section. For me, this is all the same anyway, graffiti is street art and street art is graffiti. Also a gender doesn't matter to me, when I like it, I like it, and when I say it's bullshit to me, it is bullshit to me. No matter if done by a woman or man, christian or anarchist, I don't care, I just want to see great stuff.
What, if anything, do you have planned for your next book?
I am not working on graffiti related projects at the moment. For me, it also became too trendy and too many publications come to the market, that have no respect to the artists, with who the books are dealing with. So I step down from stage, as you might say. My life is full of things despite graffiti, I write articles, photograph wild football fans during the world championship, relaxing with my girlfriend in the summer sun, prepare exhibitions, paint with my partner Demon. Currently I am focused on a project about the situation inside Burma. This means a more human-rights related work, what is also very important to me, since I had always been very political. We all need a better world.
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