Interview with Alan Ket a raw graffiti artist, founder of Stress Mag and worldwide graffiti consultant. Topic discussed include graffiti history and business, Copenhagen whole cars, Black August and graffiti books.
FC: Where are you from Ket? Tell us about your beginnings and your discovery of graffiti.
¬†I was born in Jackson Heights, Queens where I lived till 1978. I moved to Miami for a few years and came back to NYC (Brooklyn) in 1982. Coming back to NY was great. There was a huge change in culture because Hip Hop was not present in Florida the way it was in Brooklyn. By the time I was in 7th grade back here in NY I was a fanatic. It was things like Mr. Magic‚Äôs Rap Attack radio show, DJ Red Alert, and college radio that got me juiced up. Not to mention hanging out in the street, seeing pieces all over my neighborhood, and hanging with b-boys. This all got me open. I mean I moved back to Williamsburg, Brooklyn which was all Puerto Rican and Hasidic Jewish. So I got down with the Puerto Rocks and that was it. Next thing you know I was practicing back spins in the communtiy center around the way.
I began to paint trains when I was forced to take them to go to high school. I finally met real writers in High School that put me up on writing and how and why it was done. At that point I started motioning insides like any other toy. I rode the D, 5, 6, 2, J, and M lines so that is where I first fell in love with it. That was 1985. I really started going to lay ups to paint in 1987 when i was 16. I simply started because the stories I heard where so cool and sounded so exciting. Prowling around tunnels, stealing paint, and getting up was like being another person. I wanted that. I needed an escape from the reality of my boring and crappy life at home. Writing was the perfect escape. Trains were just a natural place to do it. I wanted to be famous like the guys I saw up going to school: NET, BONES, BET, WADE, ROACH, SEEN, ODIN, BUF, GO4, PJ, KNOW, WEB, STRES, SWING, REAS , CHINO and so many others. I wanted to see my shit when I got on the trains.
FC: What crew do you rep?
FC: What do you like in graffiti? Why graffiti?
¬†Graffiti shows that there is life in a city where people feel bold enough to express themselves in public.
FC: You painted all over the world in different cities. What ‘s your best graffiti memory?
¬†The best memories are those that involve good friends and getting over. Most recently it was benching trains in Copenhagen and seeing so many bombed trains. There were hundreds of cars covered with panel pieces, throw-ups, etc. and it made me happy. The trains had another layer of importance and they looked great.
The complete Interview of Ket on fatcap.com after the jump