Pro176 from Paris is a sort of guy that try to find new idea at every line. T-ups, pieces, tags, canvas this writer push is art in all of the writing disiplines. A few days before he left Paris for a german trip we wanted to know more about him and organised an interview focus as ever on style!
Lectrics: Most of the writers got a style that progress with the time. For you it’s more radical. You switch completely and frequently of style, from smooth curve to the straight lines and arrows. It’s like you are many writers in one person. What’s your motivation to always change?
Pro: To me graffiti follow your life style, and my life is not linear so the style goes along with it. By now Im into robotik flying machine but it will evolve I know it, and that’s what a real artist should do: push the thing to the limit… never stay static, but anyway the way you live necessary influence your painting.
L: Colors are also really important for you..Sometimes it looks like experimental combo colors. Is also the color choice a part of your experimentation ?
P: To me, the color is a whole entire discipline, during years I’ve worked so hard on it just as for the letters inspiring by colors of movies, paintings, haute-couture dresses, cd covers, etc…and I often ask to my partner Goze to chose for me by chance, I can mix some unexpectable colors together.
L: Your are not familiar to the impressive 3D block. You prefer to use small block or shadow on your outlines. Are you from that kind of writer that don’t use volume to keep the dynamic of your letters?
P: Yeah I’m that kind of person. The dynamic of letters count a lot to me, it’s the most important in graffiti, the flow goes along with letters plus it makes me come back to pure bases, you cant cheat..the lines must be fluent, I’ve done so many 3D pieces that I knew that evolution was going to occur…
L: Your current letters are structured around an horizontal axis with some machine elements on the fill-in. Finally your pieces look like a spacecraft in the galaxy. It remember me the old BBC pieces, not really the style letters but the general aspect. Are those guys a part of your influences ?
P: For sure! Im a bbc kid! Thanks to people like Jay or Skki. I’m doin’ graffiti today because of them and all my life, I’ve always been a fan of Skki machines that he were doing at Stalingrad, I pay a tribute to him somehow! The old to the new! But as you maybe have seen, I make it my way…it’s kind like Dj Battlecat will sample Isley Brothers!!!
L: It’s not a scoop to say that you are a comic fan. But do you only like the comics because of the illustrations or are you also addicted to the characters, the stories and everything ?
P: I’m a hard addict of it…my mom bought me my first “Strange” at 4, I’ve could not understand everything at that time but the Romita line or Kirby’s one instantly seduce me, and to reproduce them allows me to discover the potential I had for the drawing, by growing up, I’ve understood the “real” scenario of them, the characters like Galactus, Thanos, Red Skull, Kamandi, etc…They’re not simply characters, there’s a large esoteric aspect on here…a comic like “The Eternals” makes me think a lot about my human condition and human story…
L: Your canvas and sketches are a good mix of comics characters and styles, but you don’t paint so much characters around your pieces (instead of dragons and a few other characters). For a person that like to have a coherent overall with style, background, effect and elements, it’s really surprising. I mean, characters will be perfect with your universe. Why are you not that much focused on characters on walls ?
P: First, when I’ m painting a wall, I do think about the 3 letters that I’m gonna put on it, the style is essential. After, I paint it fast as I can because in Paris, if you let an unfinished wall, maybe the next day a “gremlin” will let its own post code by fat cap founded on the background on your piece! But I do think that in the future, I will tend toward that way cuz’ I do paint more and more away from France and then, I have much more time to let it flow and make even better pieces….
L: For a few years, you change for “Irony”. Is it a big difference to change from a 3 letters to a 5 letters name ?
P: I was needed to out of my usually 3 letters, to extend for experiment new structures, new styles of arrows, and when I come back on my original name it’s a real happiness because it’s in there I found the best inspiration.
L: You were at the Yard 5 Jam this summer. If I am right it’s your second time in Berlin. What’s your opinion regarding the style in this city ?
P: By the time this interview will be published I will be there…painting rendez vous with the RTZ, it’s one of my favorite town in Europe for the energy, but specially for the graffiti, this town has a past like Paris or London, historically I mean, Berlin architecture is favorable to the painting and had his own identity in the graff-game. So many writers inspired me by the esthetics of their letter: Phos4, Poet, Jack, Inca, Odem, Akim, Ruzd just to name a few.
L: You are a member of the Ultra Boys since 11 years already. It seems that you are seriously pushing this crew these last 3 years with new recruitments and meetings. Is this crew a new challenge for you?
P: As u said, the crew is 11 this year, or maybe a little more he he..it’s an international group, between Singapore, Paris, Hamburg, Liège, Bruxelles, Alicante….composed by 13 members, all fans of Kool Keith music and a certain artistic aesthetic, with the goal to bringing justice in any part of the Universe!!!…UB it’s on my adn, the coat of arms. I’m fightin’ for, and for the future, there’s many projects expected…me and my ultra boys bros making a lot of noise!!!!
L: I remember those big walls and pieces of you and GT/ VMD guys in Saint Ouen. Today, lots of writers like Dize, Wire, Goze are not that much present than in the past on the Paris Hall of Fames. You still the man that keep the most this way of stylewriting in Paris. Are you nostalgic of these Sunday meetings ?
P: If I could only buy the Doloreane to the doc, lol!!!! I’m not living in the past, I m on the present and for the future, but for sure it will always be nostalgia when I think about that time. I was painting 1 day on 2, no wondering about money or the next day, steal, drink and smoke to collapse, drawing sketches every night with freak partners, hangin’ on the streets by dropping styles on walls, stayin’ for months away from Paris, etc….!! We were really leaving graffiti and then life catch some of us up, u know family matters, kids, justice, etc…..but it will always be survivors, with enough juice to let drop some flows on walls like Goze, Func88, Dize, Orel, Diksa. To me as long as I’m concern, I will never let go, I have too many things that still to say, the planet is vast…
L: You do graffiti, sketches, canvas, exhibition, music. All at the same time. Are you hyperactive?
P: I like to work , graffiti and music tooks me all my time during 34 years! I m not considering it as a hobby but more like martial arts u see? Need years to practice before becoming a master. But I have to admit that most of my time is sharing between canvas and graffiti. I’ve done 3 albums and I think I’ve said all I have to said in musik. I’m not sure about doing anything else about musik but who knows? Maybe future events will make me change my mind about it…Anyway my music is here for eternity…Check this: “Le cri des briques”, “Vocabulaire granit” & “Galactik”! Now I wanna prove myself that I can improve in my new discipline “the canvas”, I take it as a new challenge to me and a new way of going further in the drawing and all the feelings I can put on a canvas….and of course, never let down the wall, because to me, wall and canvas are different. Never reproduce the same you’ll do on wall to the canvas.
L: What is planed on your agenda for the end of the year ?
P: Work, work, produce! and travel! I’ll try to settle a new personal exhibition and develop ULTRABOYZ projects.