Interview by Charles Verhaeghe in occasion of exhibition
at Alice Gallery, Bruxelles.
- From which part of the Netherlands are you:
North or South? (I've heard there is a big difference
in mentality between the two...)
I am from the North. Although not born in Amsterdam,
I’ve lived there since I was 5 years old. I don't
know if there’s such a big difference between
the north and the south, maybe it’s more of a
- What does that make you: A catholic Roman,
a Calvinist or a Dutch Reformist?
I wasn’t raised with a religion. But above the
'big rivers' (up north) I think they’re traditionally
reformists... so that would have made me a reformist,
right? Actually... I dont know.
- Well, forget about that anyway... I'd just like to
better understand the various influences in your work:
your art blends a whole lot of different media, from
graf' and painting to 3D and video games. So let's begin
with a little multimedia quizz:
What was the last book you read and who's your favourite
author (if you have one)?
The last book I read was by Viktor Astafjev –
The Emperor Fish. It’s about life in Siberia.
Very impressive book.
- If you could take only 3 DVDs on a island
(you know, like in "Lost"...), what would
Army of the 12 monkeys.
- According to you, what is the best video game
of all time?
I used to play quite a lot of arcade games. The only
one I still play in Mame, is Commando. Sometimes Asteroids
Deluxe, Defender, Aerofighters..
but the best three games, I’d have to say: Xevious
(arcade) – for the sound!, Starcraft (pc) –
it gave me rsi for the first time! and Advanced Wars
(gba, ds) – which I’ve still been playing
for three years!
- What music do you listen to while working
(Or do you listen to any music at all while you're working?)
I listen to various music. Theo Parish, Maurizio, The
Scientist, Delsin Records, Jeff Mills, the Clash, the
Police, Carl Craig, Aphex Twins, Opgezwolle, J Dilla...
- What are the best comic books/manga series in your
When I was really small I would have said Gaston la
Gaffe (Guust).. for his crazy inventions... After that
Blueberry, Akira, Watchmen, Lobo and Alan Moore to name
a few... Nowadays I dont read much comic books anymore.
- If you are into comic books, which super-hero/villain
would you want to be?
- A last one for the road: what is the best
skateboard trick you can pull?
Hahaha, I’ve never skated, breakdanced... or even
- Surfing on your website immediately gives
the impression that you are a very productive person...
Do you have any working discipline, or does it just
"happen" and don't you have the impression
you're actually "working"? Is discipline of
any importance for an artist?
I do work, but it doesn't feel like a punishment at
all. I feel miserable if I don’t work for more
then a week. I always need a sketchbook while on holiday.
It’s a srong drive.
- What would you do if you weren't doing what
I would be making music.
- What/Who did you want to be as a kid?
I wanted to be an inventor.
- Today, more and more "street artists"
are seeking legitimacy through art galleries or are
just trying to pay the rent working as graphic designers...
What do you think of this "recycling" process?
Do you have the impression it betrays a certain "underground
What is underground for you anyway? If you have the
permission to spray a wall, is that still graffiti?
There is a balance. That balance is different for everyone.
I sometimes do take on more 'commercial' jobs because
they enable me to do what I like to do. They 'buy me
If you are younger and just starting, you will take
on more jobs because you are using these opportunities
to gain experience, and make yourself a name. But at
a certain point you may notice that sometimes people
want to use your name for their own benefit. There is
a balance somewhere in between. Trying not be used and
still create enough working opportunities.
I think the same goes for the whole movement itself.
- Do you have the impression that this movement
(graffers becoming artists) is bigger today than it
was a few years ago?
Yes it certainly is. Although I’m not sure if
the quality is getting specially better though, but
the attention paid by the media definitely is.
- According to you, is it just a short-term
phenomenon, a kind of fashion?
Media attention span is notoriously short. It will probably
soon switch to something else.
- Have you already been caught while spraying a wall?
And what happened?
In the past I’ve been caught numerous times. But
that was a long time ago... I got some fines, had to
pay some cleaning costs, nothing too serious luckily.
- These days, there’s a general urge to create
new images in order to be seen in our ever-growing icon-based
environment; Artists, but also brands...
This comes to a point where certain artists have become
brands (OBEY, for example...) and brands are sponsoring
What do you think of this phenomenon?
Personally I don’t find it very interesting. Most
of the time, brands aren’t even interested in
trying new projects, they want something that has proven
itself in the past.
- Would you associate your work with a brand?
Have you already worked for advertising purposes?
I have worked for brands and still do. It’s the
‘balance’ I was talking about. It does pay
for the rent and helps me do the things I like to do.
On the other hand, there are brands that are open for
something different, although most of the time they’re
A nd then I think my name has become a sort of brand
- Did you ask yourself these questions when
you chose your "corporate" name?
Not at all... I chose my 'corporate' name when I was
14 years old. Back then I thought it was a 'cool' name.
I still have to work with it nowadays.
- How many cigarettes did you smoke to get to
the end of this quetionnaire?
lol. I quit smoking 7 years ago.
AliceBXL website for further info and future projects.