Back To Interviews Archive The Hip-Hop Headrush

Detailed lettering MD: How do you feel artists in this country get on with each other?

Patch 1: From what I know - and some people may hate me for saying this - but some of us seem to have differences that have come from nowhere and at the end of the day we're all out there trying to promote the same thing - graffiti. It's sad because there's so few of us and already there are arguments being started by a whole lot of different people. Everybody wants to be someone on some kind of scene and there isn't even an established scene yet. There's not even a generation of us? There really isn't any time to fuss and fight. Everybody should just relax and then things will keep growing. We've just got to get past personal egos and collaborate. We've got to back down to each other, even when the ego is more or less justified, like Gogga, he's been around for a long time and is pretty well established. Once everyone gets past all this we can work on building a strong national scene.

MD: When do you think this will happen?

Patch 1: Give it another 5 years or so.

MD: Why do you think we are so behind the rest of the world?

Detailed lettering Patch 1: Because it's never really been part of our culture. I mean, you could say gang culture is part of South African culture 'cos there's tons of gangs in this country, there have been for loads of years. Artwise in terms of graffiti, we've got ten years by a few crews in Cape Town, but there hasn't been much development in terms of skills or people helping us develop new styles out of the hundreds that are already out there. Graffiti is a thousand styles, in terms of lettering it is every single font that has ever existed and then blown up. But like lots of other cultures, when we're taught art we're taught reproduction - that's one of our basic problems. If you look at any style of South African art, all we are taught to do is reproduce, we're second rate, we're 3rd world, we should rather reproduce what happens elsewhere. That's why we don't succeed, 'cos something happens elsewhere, we're copy artists.

MD: What about other relatively unknown graffiti scenes, take Asia for example. What do you think of the scene there? Is anything happening there or are they in the same boat as us?

Patch 1: I've been to the top of the world, Katmandu, you take your cans with you, what can you do? There's already a piece there! I've seen great stuff in Thailand and Japan. And they're more refined than a lot of people because their history of art is so deep. But who gives them credit?

MD: Do you see them trying to bring Manga-styled stuff into their graffiti over there?

Patch 1: Oh yes, that's where it's at and quite possibly where a lot of graffiti is going to go in the future.