ARTY GRAS: CRISP Q&A

September 22, 2014.

CRISP in Wynwood.


What do you write? Are you in a crew?

Crisp.No, I'm not in a crew. I'm independent but like collaborating with others.

 In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?

In Bogota, Colombia. Yes, I think anyone that leaves their mark in the streets influences the urban space and community in some way. I do some socio political pieces that sometimes challenge peoples thoughts and feelings regarding events happening in Colombia and around the world. Yes, there is a relationship between the artist and the community in which they put their work. This relationship is not always positive but a relationship all the same! It really depends on what artists are putting up and the opinions and tastes of the community.

Did you go to school or are you self taught? 

Both, my parents are artists. I learned many artist techniques from a very young age. My mother also ran art classes for children so I was always involved in them. I am also self taught many of the techniques I use in the streets which include stencils, spray cans, paste ups, street sculptures, stickers etc. I attended a university to pursue a degree in art though. I didn't see the point, as I hate the co-opting of art! I learned mostly what I needed from my parents.

How did you get started in the arts and why?

Same Answer as above. My parents love and passion for the arts inspired me. My family has always followed and practiced many different forms of art over the generations. 

How long have you been working in the streets?

Over 6 years now. I don't really count the tagging I did as a kid.

Who or What inspires you the most?

I'm inspired by the world I'm immersed in at the moment. Colombia has provided so many unique and creative themes to draw inspiration from. It's cultures, biodiversity, conflicts, politics, nature, music and the people I've met here and became friends with have all influenced and empowered my art. I read a lot of news, current affairs, arts,science and literature. It's where I draw ideas from for my artwork. Also many local and international street artists have taught and inspired my work. Such as DjLu, Pez, Kochino and Dast.

What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?

That it's a diverse and passionate culture which is becoming the next major art movement. I dislike the stereotype that we are all vandals or criminals.

Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?

I wish! No, I also do other things to support my family and pay the bills, I'm a physiotherapist and also run an independent business. I like to be able to not worry about making a living from my artwork. As sometimes I feel people have to do things they probably wouldn't want to do as an artist to make a living. Saying that I also sell my artwork in galleries and I do commissions. I feel I have a balance. I also enjoy doing other things besides my art, I need to be doing different creative pursuits to keep evolving and keeping fresh. It's a very personal thing, different things work for different artists.

What are you working on now? 

I'm currently working on a painting for an international arts festival here in Bogota, Colombia called Barcu. The painting is called Graffiti Skin!

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?

I like to think I'm adding something to everyday lives by stumbling upon one of my pieces in the street. Even if it is just a side thought of "WTF" that's enough. As long as it is giving people something else to think about or see in the street rather than the usual corporate and capitalistic imagery we are bombarded by these days. Street art is so much more inspiring than grey blank concrete walls in our cities. 

Thanks, check out more of CRISP'S work at http://www.crispstreetart.com