KENZO144 GRAFFITI E STYLE
Interview by Gaia Regazzoni Jäggli.
Text based on the book graffiTI (Salvioni Edizioni, 2012).
For you, what is graffiti?
KENZO144: For me, it is a very ancient form of communication. “Graffitis” have existed since the dawn of human history, and they appear in the form of symbols, inscriptions, and drawings. “Writing”, as the term itself says, is instead lettering and arises from the concept of writing one’s own name in a public space. Over time, an urban form of expression commonly known as “graffiti” has developed, and it no longer involves only script but also includes drawings of landscapes, people, and more.
What does your tag mean?
KENZO144: My tag doesn’t have any particular meaning. It is the result of a combination of letters. The letters are the basis of the piece, so it’s inevitable to focus on them. I interlock them so that each time there is a three-ply logic: each single letter alone, each letter in relation to the letters next to it, and obviously, the whole piece.
What does it mean to paint with spray cans?
KENZO144: The spray can is made up of three main parts: the paint container, a valve and a cap. By pressing on the cap, the valve is released and allows the paint to flow out. A technically well-executed piece implies practical knowledge of the pressure of the spray can, of the nozzles (fat or skinny caps) and the paint left in the can. A piece is first of all a mental drawing (Style), made up of lines or contrasts that form the letters. Technical realization is the way to translate a mental design into reality. Technique is not without Style.
For you, is it important to share your work with other writers?
KENZO144: It is fundamental. Writing is most of all about sharing, even if it’s also competitive.
Your thought about writing?
KENZO144: It is a true cultural expression.
Do you consider your graffiti artistic expressions?
KENZO144: I leave the judgment up to the observer. I do not do graffiti with this in mind.
© Gaia Regazzoni Jäggli / Salvioni Edizioni 2012.