Rocky – ‘Contos de Brasil’

Many years has passed by since Barcelona’s writer Rocky discovered Brazil for the first time. Capoeira which is one of his greatest passions in life, was the main reason for him to convert this enormous country into his second home. As he puts it himself, “wherever I go I bring with me who I am, and I am graffiti”, and Brazil has also been the second playground to develop him as a graffiti writer in his life.
‘Contos de Brasil’ is a short documentary which collects Rocky’s experiences in the main cities of the country during the years he has been going there. From the layups to the favelas, this writer from Barcelona has developed a european graffiti tradition in a society completely different from his natural habitat and brings us some really interesting adventures which makes us witness the most humane side of graffiti culture: An unforgettable experience where we also get to meet other writers like Biz, Moar, Vista and Beam.

New York back in the days!

“New York in the 1980s was an altogether different city from the safe, clean (for the most part), cosmopolitan urban playground it is today. Photographer Richard Sandler began taking pictures, which now tell a fascinating story of a gritty, graffiti-strewn city that just 20 years later would be in the thrall of gentrification.” Check out this article in the Daily Mail with a nice collection of photos from New York in the 80:ies. It’s not only about graffiti but there is some nice shots from the subway.



Katsu, BTM – Broadening The Movement

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There are similarities between a graffiti writer’s personal devotion to bucking the system, to those operating in other outlaw or fringe cultures – a pattern that Katsu recognises. Speaking on his introduction to graffiti he tells me “Underneath everything I was fascinated with crime and hacking.” In its elemental form graffiti is about overcoming or surmounting restrictions that an individual deems arbitrary or irrelevant. A tag, the blight of the socially-conservative urbanite, is a physical affirmation of existence. A permanent reminder that someone got in, got around, got over, and got up in that specific location. That is, until the buff gets there. It’s about patently saying “Fuck you” and “I exist” – at the same time. It’s an invitation to engage, but only if you speak the language. “I’ve always had a curiosity to invent and disrupt spaces,” Katsu discloses.
That attitude extends to the rest of his life – including his racking practice. Like most committed graffiti writers, Katsu is a serial racker. “Paint should never be purchased, in fact you should become obsessed with stealing it,” he tells me. Again, it comes down to defeating systems and Katsu seems to genuinely love navigating retail spaces. “Racking is a really exciting, invigorating activity. It’s like rock climbing or something,” he considers. For Katsu, it’s an “ongoing conversation, it’s a work of art, racking is just as much of an expression as graffiti.”
Read the rest of the interview over at the Acclaim site. Photography by Will Robson-Scott.