Interview & translation: Federico Chiozzi
Editing: Stefano Viola

Fake & Gorey represented in their own way, in the 1990s, the emanation of the funky style typical of the TFP/AOK school from across the ocean, inherited, remixed, and propagated primarily by the Parisians Diego and Seb of FMK. Below is an informal chat that retraces their influences and the easy approach to the world of writing.

When did you start, which was your first tag, what was the first tag you have seen?
G: As fore back as I can remember the first time I saw some graffiti on a wall was in 1989, I started to get interested at it right after I saw it, did my first piece in 1990 but started to consider myself as a writer in 1994.
F: I think that the first graffiti I saw was from Edgar (TAG crew) maybe in 1989. I started drawing some graffiti around 1991 but the very first time I painted on a wall was in 1995. I still remember well this day, when my friend Akroe had provided the cans to do it. Back then my name was Arte, what could be more pretentious than that?

Where are your styling roots?
G: The first graffiti that really impressed me as a kid was Mode2 for his illustration skills with details and complexity, and Nasty for the beauty and simplicity of letters. I discovered later after, that thru Nasty what I was looking at was Seen, and I personally think that it is the best basic calligraphy in graffiti letters you can have. Then I discovered a lot more around 1998: styles like TFP or AOK, and painting with Diego and Seb really changed my style.
F: I can’t remember which graffiti impressed me at first, but when I arrived in Paris, 6 years ago, I met my friend Gorey and my style changed radically. Before that I used to paint with guys from my town or guys from south of France (Sade, Deko, Hobsek) who provided me the basic ways to style. But I started to paint on trains and my style became a lot simpler and rounded.

Paris has just passed a bad period regarding graffiti. How did you lived it? What are the consequences right now?
G: Bad period? You mean the entire city including suburbs is buffed every day? I understood that we should never under estimate cops, they know a lot more than they pretend. The cleaning of the city really affected me, so much of history got buffed, so many years of urban legends got lood away with beige painting...
F: I agree with G about the cops thing. I’ve never did much in the city, but when my trains were buffed within two days I felt sick and just wanted to do twice more! I remember when I came to Paris, it was really painted everywhere, G and me made many daytime throw ups and nobody paid attention at us, the city was kind of an enormous hall of fame.

Do you think that was the reason why many writers moved on trucks and vans in Paris?
Well, trucks have been painted a lot starting in 98, but since they can be covered with beige paint, they are the last target for Paris writers. I think that Moze and Sidney made it look even better with they’re big scenes.
F: That’s true, people don’t clean their trucks, they run the city as trains used to run! It’s the best way for your pieces to be seen.

Do you think that writing nowadays needs to re-learn the structure of letters and forms in order to be better?
G: Newcomers are overflood with pictures thru Internet and magazines. Either you’re looking for it and you find a lot, or you don’t have any interest in it and every magazine is talking about it. Graffiti is hyped, everyone feels concern, you can hear them all saying to you that yes they did some when they were younger... Give me a break! Graffiti is still that silly annoying movement unclassifiable in art that destroys everything from cities, to train system, to life... but we love it!!
F: I think there’s a part of your own graffiti evolution you cannot master unconsciously you eat many forms or styles that you translate after.

Do you like to speak about graffiti? Do you consider writing as a good way for approaching at art in general?
G: I like to speak about it, I love the fact that I’m talking about MY graffiti, which is not the same as anyone’s else. Therefore I don’t think it’s a good way to approach art because I refuse rules in graffiti, i love the idea that we’re all on the same level which is the wall, that our gallery is what you let your eyes focus on.
F: I used to speak too much about graffiti when I was really active but it fade away, today many of my friends are still painting and I realise that I’m surrounded. I just won’t speak about it with anyone around!

I have seen your works with KRSN: how do you consider the new-graffiti-wave (“Street art”) that in France has some of the best artists such as HNT, Akroe and so on? Do you think this could be a good cutting edge in order to make graffiti “more welcome” to a different audience?

G: As long as ones put effort in terms of skills, refreshing standards and getting up no matter how you call it, I like it. Honet was on the first painted train I saw, Akroe and Krsn are more friends than graffiti connections but still they all painted a lot in the streets. Before graffiti the way we know it in Paris some cats were doing stencils and “arty” stuff and nobody was interested at all. I don’t like the idea that everyone will love it, I like this movement as an outcast of the boundaries of establishment, I like it to much as a big fuck you in your face!!!
F: I’m not sure it’s a good idea to broadcast graffiti and make money with it. Today many hype magazines or ultra hype stores as Colette show graffiti and sell it! Fashion + Graffiti + Money = Bad Maths!

Some words about your crew?
G: Crews are here for the fun of being together, friendship is stronger than that. Cf and Irie is more about friends together than a “battling anyone” mob.
F: Instead of a “crew” I’d prefer the word “family” because CF members are kind of brothers from different mothers. Peace to my homies First Klass Wodas

Other interests? Things you like/dislike?
G&F: We like gay bars, Cancoillotte°, Ricard° and we hate with ignorance!
Warm hugs to ASGs, HPMs, ATRs, VXs, Jeloe, Krsn, 6Pack

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