martes, abril 08, 2008


Nisikiera me leido la entrevista, solo he visto que era uno de los padres de arte urbano al estilo que nosotros conocemos como la obra de Bansky, he visto las fotos y me han gustado. He pensao que staria interesante, asike os he seleccionado las preguntas que man parecido interesantes. Que coño? Os creiais que me lo iva a leer por vosotros?? NO, no, aqui de lo que se trata es de que lo leais por vuestra cuenta...

*****Blek Le Rat Interview *****

How would you describe Blek Le Rat?
- Blek Le Rat is me, I am completely inside myself. (laughs) But seriously, as an artist I have always wanted to reach someone. When I was young I would dream of being a pop star. I came to New York in 1971 and it was during the hippy times. The times of Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. After being exposed to that I really wanted to be a pop star but as you can see that did not happen. Instead I became an artist. What can I say, I have a normal life, I do not go out very often. I have a wife and a child. I am focusing on my work a lot. I don't take drugs, no wine, no alcohol. Just a completely regular guy who happens to do art in the streets.

What was the interest in art and what lead you to stencil work?
- I had a very good friend who was from New York, and he told me that I must go to New York. He said for me it would be such a big discovery. You must remember this was 1971 in France, just 20 years after the war. Life at that time in France was very poor and there was not much going on. I traveled to New York and was really impressed by the graffiti art. Seeing the writing in the subway and a signature with a crown, I said to my friend Larry, "what is that, what does it mean?" Larry told me "I do not know, those people are insane." Keep in mind he too was an artist but he did not understand it either. At the time I was a student of architecture in Paris, it took me ten years to finish school. It also took me ten years to realize that graffiti art was very very important. At that time Basquiat and Keith Haring were not known in France, in the States maybe, but not in France. I had in mind the graffiti from New York and I knew that something was happening in New York by that time. I told my friend J.R. in Paris about the writing in the subway and the streets of New York and he said "That is a fucking great idea." In the beginning we tried to do American pieces but it did not work, we did not have the style. Also, the spray can paint was very expensive in France and we were very cheap with the paint, you know! It was impossible to do something beautiful. I also had this memory from a trip to Italy as a child and the face of Mussolini was stenciled on the walls of Paloma. I remember saying to my father "what is that?" He explained to me that during the war they would do these stencils as a form of propaganda. So with that in mind I told J.R. we are going to make stencils. Mostly because we did not want to stay a long time on the streets because of the police, this was something we could do very quickly. After some time I realized the police did not care. I made hundreds of rats and faces and J.R. made a banana. We would both sign Blek. This was the early part of 1981. We stayed together maybe one year and then J.R.'s wife told him not to go outside anymore and paint this crap, so I was left and I took the name Blek.

How much of your work is politically based?
- Some of it is political, not all but some. I have had some problems with that. The David with the machine gun I did to support Israel. This was not well received, especially in Europe because many people do not support Israel. But, I do not support the war between Palestine and Israel. I do not wish for anyone to be killing anyone. I also did one piece based on the homeless people in Paris. The government in France takes care of them. They give them a tent so they can sleep and in some places you will see 30 tents in a row, housing entire families. So I did one stencil called the beggar. I guess that it is more social than political. For me it is about rebellion, the rebellion against (mainstream) art, culture, etc.. I prefer for people to see the image of my work and make their own conclusions about what it means.

Do you feel the work you are doing is something that should be preserved?
- I do think it is important for art to be preserved. I did not feel the same 10 years ago, I was like fuck this, it is all shit but now I am getting older and have changed my view. I look back and think about the 70's. There is very little left of the graffiti of the 70's. I would like very much to have something from Cornbread or Taki 183, but it is just impossible because the work does not exist. We need to keep something of what has happened for historical reasons. I really believe the graffiti and street art movement is the most important movement in art ever. There is not a city in the world without graffiti now. It has never happened like this with the amount of people involved ever before. Not even in pop art, which was a big movement. Art should be saved for the future generations, which is why I think it is important for the gallery end to support street art, if for nothing else than for history.

The famed Banksy has been quoted for saying "Every time I think I've painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek Le Rat has done it as well. Only twenty years earlier..." This being said what are your thoughts on Banksy?
- I can tell you now that I have a stock of good ideas for him. Really, I do! I have many good ideas but this time he will have to pay because we all know that he is fucking rich. (laughs) By him saying this it is a good thing. Banksy saying this about me allows me take a little bit back from him. He takes, but we all take from someplace.

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