E: My name is Eine and I got into graffiti when I was about 14 when it was brought over from America with Hip-Hop, Electro and Breakdance. So I started running around a lot, doing a lot of tagging, then gradually started doing bigger stuff, then more creative stuff as well as painting trains. I would go to Europe with friends, steal paint, crash on someonefs sofa, paint some trains, take a train somewhere else and start stealing paint again! I have been arrested so many times that I decided to tone down my work, as I didnft want to stop forever.
Then, around 9 years ago with the onset of the internet, people started buying their spraypaint and a new style developed which didnft follow the strict graffiti rules of old. I would say now, it is a happier, more user-friendly version of graffiti and in streetart, a lot goes into the planning of the graffiti with the publicfs view in mind; whereas real graffiti writers donft really care if you can read it or not because they do it for themselves and for their mates. Streetart allows you to use more than just spraypaint and to have a more positive or friendly look which suits me at my age because Ifm not interested in being arrested or taking big risks anymore.
- Who or what have been some of your influences along such an illustrious
E: I would say that in the beginning, it was the New York train writers like Seen but then as you get deeper into graffiti styles, you realize that different countries have different styles that is unique to their culture, for example, Brazilian graffiti is very different to German graffiti. Innovators of each style ended up having an influence on me like Delta from Amsterdam and in the UK, Elk and Petro. As I have gotten older and my awareness of art has grown, fine artists have also had an effect on me. People like the Chapman Brothers, Damien Hirstfs attitude, Andy Warhol & Keith Haring.
- Can you tell us some of the concepts behind your Alphabet paintings on shop shutters in London?
E: I was out painting on Kingsland Road with my mate Cept and I decided to just put one letter on each shutter instead of trying to cram four letters onto the same one. I thought that if I came back and painted an eIf and an gNh another time, people would know it was me, even if the letters werenft in the right order. When I came back another day to take some pictures, I thought that the big letters looked quite good and it would be a waste to only use my four letters. So from then on, I decided to paint all the letters of the alphabet around the Shoreditch/Hoxton area on shutters.
- You have done some largescale typeface pieces recently, gVandalismh , gScaryh & gMash The Tateh. Is there a message to be found in these texts?
E: I have always been letter-based as my background and love has always been graffiti and I used to paint under different names like Vader because I liked the flow of the letters. The way you write effects the styles of the letters you choose. Recently, I have adapted some old woodblock print fonts which I thought would look really powerful on a large scale wall and with Vandalism & Scary being powerful words, I thought it would be perfect.
- What are the differences for you of working on the street compared to working on canvas?
E: Painting on the street is more fun because you can do massive pieces, more people can see it and you can generate more interest. Painting on a canvas in a studio allows you to create something really beautiful with no time constraints and with no risks having to be taken.
- You just had an exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery on Rivington St. Can you give us some more info on it?
E: The show at Kemistry came about through a friend who knew one of the owners and knew that all of them had a keen interest in Graphic Design and were known to put on some interesting shows there. I wanted to show some new work at their space so I gave myself a month to make 16 new paintings. I was really pleased with the outcome but I was exhausted!
- Any future plans?
E: Well, I just made my first website this year which has had a really positive effect on the sales of my canvases as well as giving me some really good feedback from the people who are interested in my work and I will continue to update it regularly. I just released a solo print that was shown at the Kemistry Gallery which sold really well and I want to do some more shows in the future. Ifm currently talking to some people to do a proper big Eine show in London, sometime next year.