Back To Interviews Archive The Hip-Hop Headrush

MD: A lot of what we have discussed has centered around rap music representing Hip-Hop culture - and there seems to be, in the media, everywhere a narrow-minded focus on rap music. Do you think there will be resurgence and more of a focus on Ggraffiti like there was at a stage in the 80's?

Falco: In Cape Town graffiti has picked up a lot. For all of ten years there were like only five graffiti artists. Come and go, but we stayed about five. Now there's about 30, which is a lot. For me its a lot and I'm proud of it. You know... it's in the hands of the youth - take it in your own hands and do your shit. That's the only way it is going to resurface. It's up to the practitioners not to the politicians.

Mak and Falco

MD: Would you say that you're doing more pieces these days than you used to?

Mak: Ja.

Falco: For real, when I started I used to do like one piece a week now I'm doing like 4, 5 pieces a week. It's a lekker life man. Doing graffiti, you met people, you do things you've never done before.

MD: What about people who don't take you seriously - who say that this isn't art? What do you have to say to them?

Falco: You can't please everybody.

Mak: Everyone's a critic.

Falco: Like I don't respect a lot of 'fine' artwork.

Mak: And like abstract art - I don't know what to say about it... (laughs)

Falco: but you can't hold a grudge. We're only human. So I can't say "naah, fuck them". That's your opinion. As an artist there's a lot of artforms I don't respect, or I don't understand for that matter, even if you tried to explain it to me...

MD: So, explain to me, why is graffiti art?

Falco: Let me tell you this man, [comes up to the mic with a conspiratory glimmer in his eye] let me tell you an interesting story, about vandalism. If you look up the word 'vandalism' in the dictionary it means to deface or destroy or to make it look ugly right? It took me 3 years to perfect can control, practising on average between 1 and 3 hours every day. Practising the art, you understand? And art is something that is developed and studied. Any artform is also something that requires discipline. For us we don't have discipline in the aspect of "you can't do this and that", but discipline as in you stick to what you're doing, your mind is there, you develop yourself, you build up your mental vitality to become good at what you are. We spend so much time doing this - you could call it a discipline, not an art! So, it has to get some respect from somebody because it's not just little kids fucking around. It's not like we got nothing to do, nobody loves us, so we write on everybody's walls. We come from semi-stable houses, some of the houses are fucked up, some of us don't have houses at all! (laughs) But in general we are educated people. I went to tech and studied graphic design, it was a 3 year course which I did in 2 years - which means I didn't finish it. (laughs) It was a crash course and I crashed out! A lot of the aspects in learning the art, in learning graffiti are the same as learning karate or judo. Dedication, determination... and there was another one - I had a 3-D policy once upon a time when I was younger and I had to motivate myself (everyone laughs).

Mak: Now I have a 3-D style!

Mak doing some initial work on a 'garden of Evils' type piece

MD: Now, to just end off, I wonder if you could each tell me the most memorable piece you've ever done, something that stands out over the last 19 years.

(they both think it over for a while)

Falco: I think it's a train I did for Grahamstown - a legal whole car. Aah! And also, very memorable was an ad campaign we did for Nando's.

Mak: That was the most memorable! It was semi-legal, semi-illegal.

Falco: After Cape Town didn't get the Olympics there was a big balls up with an incomplete bridge near the Waterfront. We got a commission from an ad company to do Nando's slogans on there. Actually just the colours, no logo, no nothing. We were absailers my broer! We were hanging off this bridge in the middle of the day!

Mak: And it was during the day. And the cops were walking around at the bottom.

Falco: Ja, 'cos they phoned the people who owned the billboards and asked them and they said "no" we couldn't do it - it would be too much of a distraction for drivers. But we did it in any case. And we had these massive ladders for the ones on the N2. And I had never absailed in my life before! Don't let me die!

Mak: It was so ironic 'cos you had a safety harness, you had your absail on, you had someone holding you and you were still afraid of falling! And we're still waiting for our photo's from that advertising company.

Falco: That's about it ja, other than that - I live a boring life (laughs). Sorry to speak such a lot man!

The main club


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