Hello My Name Is: Zeus40
Crew: WILDBOYS, VMD
City/Country: Naples, Italy
When did you start writing? I have started painting graffiti around 2000.
What’s graffiti for you? Graffiti for me is everything , my passion, my work, my love, my life turn around Graffiti 365 days a year, I would be nothing without them.
Influences? For a long time I have been influenced by the old school graffiti from New York. I love the origins of this movement and I think it should be always part in graffiti, some elements that lead back to that historical moment where all started, just to remind ourselves that we are all fruits of the same tree.
Tell us about your city, how is life and graffiti there? Naples is a really difficult city, there is a high unemployment rate and a high crime rate, but at the same time is one of the most amazing cities in the world, people are very sociable and friendly, it says that Naples is the city of love and hate, and there is an old saying that explains this feeling and says: “When you come to Naples you cry twice, once when you arrive and once when you leave”. As for graffiti I can tell you that it is a scene rich of history, with some writers who have helped to create the foundations of writing in Italy, and also with many young people emerging who want to get noticed, we say that a scene is not very large but fairly complete.
What keeps you still writing? My story as a writer is a bit strange, I started very late, around 20 years old and I never thought that one day I would be able to become a good writer, but fortunately I am very stubborn and I managed quite quickly to emerge from other writers but especially from a very dangerous neighborhood where I grew up, I always had “hunger” of wanting to get to do something good with graffiti and with the pass of the time I have become a very competitive person, but still remained humble. I think is precisely this form of positive competition that helps people to grow and this is the reason that pushes me to draw more and more.
What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track? I have always loved drawing, but before I met graffiti on my way I had never drawn letters, then one day I met some writers that they were painting in the street, from that moment I became a graffiti junkie. I started to follow the moves of the writers to watch them paint and try to steal some secrets, I became interested in the historical part of the graffiti , I bought books, magazines and video. I was like a sponge, I absorbed a monstrous amount of information in a very short time and this has changed my way of painting, it was never enough and fortunately is still like that.
What trends are you seeing now in the graffiti world that you don’t like? The trend that I don’t like at all and that I see it from several years in the world of graffiti is the excessive use of effects at the expense of the lettering, the study of the letters is the root of the whole movement of writing, and I think that without it you are not in the right direction … if I can bring a comparison, is a bit like going to the cinema to see a film full of special effects but without a good script…
What do you do when you’re not painting? When I don‘t paint i love to stay home with my family, or meet with friends for a beer, I do sketches, I watch movies and listen music…normal life.
Is it important that people see your stuff and you get recognition? For my work is very important that people see my graffiti, because it allows me to connect with a large number of other writers, to participate in many international events, and it’s this comparison with new visions of graffiti that allows you to grow and to improve… for my ego I can say it’s nice to be recognized as a good writer from the scene of the writers, but it is not essential I could easily live without it.
How would you describe your style? My style is simply a mix of old and new, is rooted in the foundation of American pioneers but at the same time express my personal view about the modern graffiti.
Can you remember the first piece you did? Of course I remember the first piece I made, I keep jealously all the pictures of my styles, I can only tell you that it was horrible, but it always reminds me good memories
Future plans? For the future I would like actively continue to do what I’m doing, paint graffiti.