We met with Snack to talk about graffiti and street culture.
All graffiti is street art, but not all street art is graffiti.
How did you start doing graffiti?
At the end of 2014, at the beginning of 2015, while listening to rap, "What is this culture? Let me take a look at this, hip hop culture…” I came across graffiti as I said. I was very impressed with people going out at night and writing something.
Tag is a kind of signature thing. "I am here!" or “I was here!” a form of saying. So how did you create your style?
In the past, before the social media era, every city had its own graffiti style. And thus an urban style was formed. When I see a graphic artist's style, I can see if I can agree with him. The serifs, protrusions and extensions that he puts on are always the things that reflect the character of a person in my opinion.
What kind of culture do people who make graffiti live and what kind of culture do you think they produce?
A person doesn't need to listen to rap to do graffiti. I like to walk for hours on the street and tour the whole of Ankara and tagging.
Well, what do you think is the difference between mural and graffiti?
Mural means mural. Mural comes from the French "Mure". “Mure” means wall. In fact, graffiti is also a mural when you look at it. Every graffiti is a street art. But not all street art is graffiti. What we call graffiti is typographic composition, that is, it is made with letters. But mural is mostly figures and characters drawn on the wall in today's terms.
Can graffiti take place in the gallery space and would you prefer to be involved with it?
I think graffiti can take place inside a gallery space, but it shouldn't. Because the only event of graffiti is to turn the walls of the whole city into a gallery. For example, a child who collecting papers on the street would not even think of getting the money to enter the gallery. But when s/he sees that graffiti on the street, he actually enters an exchange with art.
"Graffiti originated in ghetto neighborhoods."
Graffiti also creates a memory by leaving a mark on the space. However, it cannot be preserved for long. Can you talk a little bit about these processes?
Tabi, bunun farklı sebepleri var. Buna “bufflanmak” deniyor aslında graffiti jargonunda. Eğer özel bir mülke yapıyorsan o graffitiyi tamamıyla o mülkün sahibi ile alakalı bir şey. O, onun orda kalmasını istiyor mu istemiyor mu? Veya belediye o grafitinin orda kalmasını istiyor mu istemiyor mu? Biz graffiticiler olarak bunu takmıyoruz. Boyandıktan sonra tekrar boyuyoruz orayı. Bu aslında belediye veya mülk sahibi ile bir battle’a da girmek oluyor. Kim daha önce pes edecek. Ama bizim zaten tek işimiz duvar boyamak olduğun için genelde onlar pes ediyor.
Do you paint or do you paint buildings that are considered historical artifacts, would you prefer this?
There are people who paint, of course, but I think that these people do not develop ethically and morally. I never paint. I saw it painted. I never met those people again.
You mentioned the municipality and private property owners, but isn't there something like closing each other's graffiti works?
It sure does. This is also called “crossing".To paint over a graffiti you have “crossed” without your permission… To close your name and write your own name on it. We can integrate this into all the elements of hip hop.
How is this situation in Berlin?
Because Berlin is a city with a very heavy history in graffiti, it certainly does. There are still crosses, of course, but I've never seen two people who have been doing graffiti crossing each other for 20 years.
How do you choose the place to do graffiti and can you tell us a little about the interesting places you have done so far?
Generally, every city in Europe has a municipally granted legal graffiti campus. For example, in Luxembourg, the walls of the fire station are legal graffiti areas. You can go there and draw anything you want without asking anyone. You can also draw a mural. You don't have to draw graffiti. As for the places I painted differently, the most interesting experience I had in my life was painting the subway. I released too much adrenaline that day. It was difficult. I was constantly looking left and right, there was one thing which is a traffic light for subways. I always saw it as something like, security.
Where did graffiti start in your opinion? Are there any countries that we can call pioneers in graffiti around the world?
For me, graffiti started in the late 1960's and early 70's with a postman in New York who nicknamed himself "TAKI183", whose name I think is Dimitri. TAKI183 became a superhero in New York and everyone started to find new nicknames and write on the walls in the late 60s and early 70s. In the 80s and 90s, things became unstoppable. Of course, it spread from New York to almost all of America. All the subways, every place you can think of, the toilets, were full of ink. After that, it actually spreads to Europe; To Berlin, to France.
As someone who has done graffiti in different countries and cities, what does the change in the city and culture change for you while working?
Since the evolution of graffiti is different in each city, each city has its own algorithm. For example, there are only 15 graffiti artists in Ankara. The hierarchy in this city is very different. But when we look at Berlin, everyone has a tag. The hierarchy in that city is completely different. Or when we look at Spain, it is different there.
If we want to follow this culture outside of the street, what kind of channels can we encounter and is there a possibility of graffiti to combine with technology like other branches of art?
Actually like any art, technology makes graffiti easy. Because when it first started, yes, it was done with spray paint, but now we do it with more functional spray paints. For example, I saw someone doing graffiti with a drone. He attached a spray to the drone. He was making a beautiful mural by controlling the drone. We can also give an example: Before I do graffiti on the wall, I draw on the iPad.
Do you plan to sell your iPad sketches as NFT in the future?
I would never consider selling my graffiti. I have not earned a penny from graffiti until today. I had many opportunities, but I refused every time. But of course, I can sell the things I make in art fields other than the iPad.
What kind of things?
Illustrations, I make album covers for artists. I'm selling them, but since I don't do any graffiti there, I have a clear conscience while doing it.