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Hacking the Third Dimension

KATSU in conversation with Alan Roll

Words like “disruption,” “guerilla,” and “subversive” get thrown around a lot by marketers and intellectuals. But very few of them have ever scaled a barbed wire fence at 3:00am with a bag of Krylon cans slung over one shoulder, or sussed out the right moment to use a fire extinguisher to spray 20-foot-high tags on the wall of a government building. In conversation it becomes clear that graffiti artist KATSU, perhaps even more than many others of this outlaw breed, cannot be contained.

KATSU

Skull tag on USPS packaging.

KATSU on artistic growth
When I started writing graffiti, I was attracted to the graphic quality and rebellious nature of it, but that has all changed, and I now only care about concepts.

LA MoCA

In an attempt to “test Jeffrey Deitch’s motives” for putting on an exhibition of graffiti art, KATSU used a fire extinguisher to spray a 30-foot tag on the side of the LA MoCA during the show.

KATSU on practice
Graffiti is an addiction. When a graffiti writer is not out tagging he/she is frantically prototyping the next version of their tag. Usually this comes in the form of a free ballpoint pen and piles and piles of 8.5 by 11 paper.

Katsu snipes

KATSU says his proliferating fake phone booth ads “represent the surrendering of opinions by us consumers in the face of celebrities and corporations.”

KATSU on remaining authentic
I use digital media to enhance my already existing physical graffiti. I have to balance conceptual graffiti with ACTUAL vandalism to be authentic.

KATSU on the evolution of graffiti
I think graffiti is an extremely broad arena for expression and language. There is so much to be learned and to learn from graffiti and the graffiti subculture.

FYIQ

  • About Alan Roll
    Alan Roll is Creative Director, Interactive for Interbrand New York. When asked, What’s one thing you would change about the world if you could? Alan answered: "One of the unfortunate outcomes of our competitive marketplace has been a barrier to massive collaborative innovation. Competitive patented technologies are developed in isolation rather than through collective advancement. I’d like to see more companies open their patents for use in adjacent industries."
    Alan.Roll@interbrand.com
    @arollnyc
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