droppin bombs webzine, 2006

First and foremost thanks for taking the time to do this interview and dropping some knowledge – respect due

1, introduce yourself man

hi, my name is oliver, I was born in 1974 and I’ve been doing graffiti since 1989. In 1995, I was one of the founding members of CNSkillz crew (http://www.cnskillz.com) together with ate1, efas, meric, moritz, scien&klor and seak. I started out doing pretty traditional oldschool outline graffiti Use your Illusion, 2003until I saw the first 3D styles that were coming up in germany in the beginning of the nineties. Those intrigued me and I got kinda hooked on that after doing a few experiments with the added dimension. So I went on to study communicational design from there since graffiti was the only really interesting thing to pursue. These days, I’m a graphic designer working fulltime and I’ve got way too little time to actually go out and paint much, which is pretty sad. But I get up, I do my share, so that’s all cool even though some of my styles don’t have many traditional aspects of graffiti left in them. You can find almost all of my stuff online at http://www.neckcns.com, if you’re interested.

2,3d lettering seems to be a lasting thing; you have been doing it for some time how long exactly?

I think I did my first 3D sketches in 1994, but it took me sometime before I actually went out to test them on a wall. I guess that must have been sometime in 1995. Damn, that’s more than 10 years already. That’s a long time, now I come to think about it…

3, I read somewhere that CNS is the only crew that you want to represent, is it true and if so why?

To me, CNSkillz is not just a crew I represent, it’s the one crew that I founded together with my friends at the time. CNSkillz crew has not seen a lot of fluctuation, we’re basically the same set-up we’ve always been since the beginning. The unique aspect of this crew to me is that we’ve always been doing very different things, plus we’ve all developed in different directions since we first got together. But this really wide spectrum of styles really is a huge inspiration that flows back into the crew. Seeing it that way, we have literally got this never ending reservoir of ideas going around.

4, when gazing through your work its easy to recognize that you have mad skills when it comes to can control obviously gained by lots of practice. How many pieces (roughly) have you created?

Ha! Thanks for asking that, it got me curious and I started counting. The best way to check are the things I’ve posted on http://www.neckcns.com and the stats are: there are 170 walls posted on neckcns.com and 58 canvases. That does not count all the wallpaper stuff and graphic design work, these are just pieces done with spraypaint.

5, who have you collaborated with?

Phew, there are many people I’ve painted with over the past 17 years… it’s actually impossible to list them all here. A few memorable occasions come to mind: painting with loomit, seen, nosm and how in neuss. with kez, mint and friends in reykjavik. doing a live canvas during a concert with doppel in Osaka. melting away in the immense heat during summer jam in split, croatia. A lot of jams, meeting old friends and new talents. This is just mentioning a few, but there were a lot more people along the way that were a huge inspiration and that still are good friends after all these years. I’m proud of that and I enjoyed it all very much.

6, who would you like to collaborate with?

Anyone who’s got a distinctive style, good creative ideas and the energy to convince me to go out and do the wall.

7, Germany I believe started the modern day 3d styles I remember seeing jase, daim and scum many years ago – do you agree with this and who would you say is the originator?

Oh, man… there’s been huge discussion going on about this. Who was first? Was it delta? Was it daim? Was it pistol in NYC? Really: I have no clue who started this. But I guess it was an idea whose time had come, and it really doesn’t matter who was first. There’s no copyright to ideas, and everyone has interpreted 3D their own way. Delta, daim, nosm&how, seak, jase… 3D styles had already been around for a while but still it took a few years and an oldschool hero like loomit to come into it and really show us what 3D could actually do when used right. So I think it’s as always where art is concerned: every artist gave the genre some of their best and made it what it is today. In my opinion, no single person can take the credit for it.

8, what exhibitions, competitions and jams have you taken part in?

I really couldn’t count the jams I’ve been to, invited or as a guest. A lot of them were impressive, all of them were inspiring, big or small, local or abroad. The atmosphere at a real hiphop jam is just something special and I always enjoy it immensely. So come on people, invite me over. Graffiti Critic: Avantgarde, 2003Concerning exhibitions, the most recent ones were of course the most impressive to me. Off the wall (http://www.offthewall04.de / http://www.offthewall05.de) was an exhibition that Efas of CNSkillz originated that showed where graffiti can go, where the development might lead. Deeper into the subject, away from it, but always deeply rooted in the concept of style.

9, who do you think are the top 5 artist in Germany at the moment?
I wouldn’t dare to call names here. There’s a lot of new and exciting stuff going on, graphic design seems like the next big thing after 3Ds, but I wouldn’t want to connect that to just a few people. At the same time, all my heroes from way back still seem to be pretty active out there, so it’s not necessarily the new kids that would take the top spots.

10, your more recent works seem to heading more towards abstract art or surrealism – is this a stupid thing to think or would you agree? And how would you describe the way its going?

I am constantly trying to push boundaries, to develop something new blending my most dominant backgrounds: graffiti and graphic design. There is a massive amount of inspiration, input and development to be derived from the force field existing between the movement and emotion conveyed in a wildstyle and the more reduced and somewhat clinical beauty of graphical layouts: this force field is the area in which I operate. The graphical aspect seems to be getting stronger all the time and is – at least for the moment – the dominant factor in my work. But I couldn’t say if this is the ultimate direction it’s going to be taking.

11, with so many guys stating that steel is the only medium to represent Real graffiti -do you agree – give us your view.

When you’re a teenager, that is the ultimate graffiti truth. As a grown-up, that is just so much bull. What should be the plausible legitimation for train graffiti to be the one and only real graffiti? The first graffitis in the context that we’re talking about here were done with markers on doors and walls, so why isn’t tagging the only real graffiti? Going back in time, cave paintings usually come up in these discussions, so why aren’t they the only real graffiti? There’s a development going on in the subculture, as everywhere else in life. The new things are always more interesting than the old things and there are always people that proclaim the old stuff to be the only true artform. I don’t believe in any kind of graffiti to be the only, the real or the ultimate graffiti. Graffiti just is, it may look different all the time. Graffiti in 20 years time will probably blow your mind. From that future perspective, maybe 3D canvas graffiti was the only real graffiti.

12, where have you visited/painted?

All over germany and Europe. Outside Europe I’ve been to Iceland, hongkong and japan. I still didn’t do a single piece in the US or Australia but I hope I’ll get the chance someday.

13, within the art form who is the one guy that you consider to be the ultimate artist? And why?

Phew. To me, the answer would probably be loomit. He was one of the people that inspired me to start painting, he’s been at it like almost forever, he was one of the first germans to go to NYC to Conquest: Arrows, 2003paint, he’s literally been around the world painting and promoting graffiti. Also, since he’s been at it for so long, he had to reinvent himself many times. All the different aspects of his style were something new, special and outstanding at the time. And also, I got to know him to be very open, friendly and helpful to people seeking his advice.

14, for a writer visiting Germany which city would you say is the best place to visit to experience the full force of German graffiti?

Visit the big places: munich, hamburg, Frankfurt, berlin. All different flavors, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

15, a former controversial question - what is your opinion on graffiti in galleries, should it be there or strictly street?

This is basically the same thing going on in the “real graffiti is on trains” argument: there’s no reason for it not to be in galleries. That doesn’t mean it should disappear from the streets. So far, graffiti has survived the crass commercialization by the industry and the media, and still people are getting up, tagging and bombing their cities. So why not? It’s not a threat, it’s just another form of graffiti, and I’d think the more graffiti is successful, the better and the more rewarding for all of us.

16, what is your most memorial moment in your writing career?

I guess it’s meeting seen in person. I remember looking at his pieces in subway art and spraycan art. Meeting the man in real life was so weird, I felt like I was 13 again. And there he is and says “Hi.I’m Richie. How ya doin”.

17, if you could talk to the creator of the aerosol can what would you say?

“If you only knew.”

18, how often are you painting these days?

I’m trying for once a month this year : )

19, ever had any battles or wars?

Nope. I’ve had a peaceful graffiti career so far.

20, do you think the aiming or reaching for fame is more enjoyable?

I think fame should never be your goal. Not in graffiti and not in life. Do what you love, and you’ll do it well. Probably better than others. This way, fame will happen automatically. And this way, you’ll probably deserve it for being original and for doing what you love.

21, anyone you want to big up?

All the writers out there, keep on doing what you’re doing. Keep getting up, keep doing new stuff, keep reinventing yourselves.

respect man thanks for taking the time………………………….peace

This interview is © 2006 by Azerox / Droppin Bombs and O.Gelbrich / NeckCNS. Please ask permission before using this in any way.

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