The Cartel 29 presents his first book: more than 15 years of history on 416 pages and 1000 pics. In 2014, Cartel 29 celebrates its fifteen years and the idea to retranscribe this adventure through a book was obvious for us. Two working years were necessary: a whole year for the photo archive, and a second one for the design and the layout. Today the book is finally ready to be print!
The book is divided into three big periods from 1999 to nowadays, which represent the main evolutions of the team, from Brest to Paris, Nantes, Cherbourg, Lyon. Each periods consist of photos – among which certain unpublished works – atmosphere, chromium, frescoes and some concepts.
We chose to publish our book through a crowd funding to control the editorial line to the end. For better tracking and quality, we chose to print the book in Brittany – France.
When did you start writing? I started doing my first sketches, tags and pieces in 2003. It’s only in 2005 that I started painting more seriously.
What’s graffiti for you? Graffiti is a real passion, a competition, a game, a hobby that I practice very seriously! My other activities are pastimes..
Influences? My influences are varied and evolve regularly: many vintage cartoons when I started (in the tradition of Hanna Barbera), Derek Yaniger’s illustrations, advertising mascots … For a few years now I have been interested in science fiction and fantasy (comics, horror movies, illustrations of Z-movies, video games, …) the whole in cosmic atmosphere. At the moment I am interested in mangas and Japanese prints which I am going to try to mix with my own style. In regards to my letters, my inspirations come from the “classic” graffiti that I try to renew and mix with very varied influences: graphic, simple style (unadorned), oldschool, technical, or completely “ignorant”!
Tell us about your city, how is life and graffiti there? Nantes is a dynamic city regarding graffiti, especially for a smaller town! There is a real scene, with generations which are renewed, but also former writers always here. The numerous spots and the urban affairs also facilitate this excitement in spite of a too present cleaning. There are also many pathways and connections with other surrounding cities of the region like Brest, Angers, Rennes but also the Vendée and Bretagne regions in a more general way. This is the way I entered different crews: the OOC of Nantes, the HSB of Vendée, and Cartel29 of Bretagne.
What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track? At first what interested me in graffiti was the principle of writing my name, of being a member of a particular movement and of asserting my existence. The competition and the search for style came later.
What trends are you seeing now in the graffiti world that you don’t like? The lack of respect, the lack of style and involvement are for me the worst of tendencies. Too many graffitis are made without conviction and many graffiti artists don’t try to push themselves further. The style can be simplistic or “ignorant” but it is not to be neglected! On the opposite, your effects can be technical and loaded but your letters owe be good. So, I think that there is a bigger and bigger gap between people who call themselves “vandal” and those who call themselves “artists”: everybody takes refuge in a category, turns a blind eye to the rest, and fights with long and repetitive speeches. Personally, I practice graffiti in a wide way and I don’t care to know who is a « real vandal » or a “real street artist”! What interests me is the final product, its sincerity and style.
How would you describe your style? Just like my influences, my style is varied. Sometimes I like making simple letterings, only with chrome and black, Where letters are the only interest. I also like working walls where I mix my letters with a set of effects, backgrounds, characters and typos to create a complex image. I don’t like to limit myself to a single creative process. I try to create original combinations but trying to keep a coherent evolution.
Can you remember the first piece you did? A “ÔME” in chrome and black, in a small ground of my hometown (Tours), with an electric blue outline. I stained my shoes and forgot to draw my perspectives …
Any Future plans? I have many, but my main plan is to travel.
What writers have inspired you? I had several “mentors” and partners who led me to evolve since my beginnings: Rookie, Dial, Oval, Les Gens, Arnem. All the people with whom I painted influence me one way or another, whether they are guys of my own crew or my connections.. I come from a generation who experienced the end of magazines and the Internet boom, I was thus able to see the work of a multitude of writers. My beginnings were marked by French Reso, Persu and Dizer, but also the Parisian scene in a general way. Then I looked further and I discovered the Spanish styles of Dems, Roice and Rage. Afterward, I took a punch when I discovered the style of the MSK. Then, I was able to appreciate the style of Kryo, Zoer and Monster, who refreshed the French wild style and delivered good energy. For a few years, I’ve been interested in the German scene which I didn’t understand at the beginning. Today, it’s the best world scene in my opinion, with a lot of variety and commitment for a long time. For sure we find killers all around the world, from Sweden to Italy, from Canada to Australia….
Can you ever feel tired of graffiti? Sometimes I run out of ideas or I don’t want to paint… but it’s one week a year!
What do you hope people will think and feel when they see your stuff? I hope that people appreciate my style, feel my commitment, and remember my name.