Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 2009: Athens with The Krah

Depending on where you are in the world, I’m probably on a plane as you’re reading this. London and Berlin rocked my boat and I’m ready to get back to work. While I was away, I received a great note from Greek street artist The Krah. Born in Athens and currently based in London, The Krah takes us on a journey from his early tagging days to his current projects. He writes:“The Krah is a strange creature, a collecto-maniac with deep psychological issues that finds the beauty in what other people see as useless rubbish. It often uses interesting surfaces to paint on, such as rotten wood and rusty junk parts of metal. After decorating them with scribbles that some people call art, he returns them to their natural environment. We have had sightings of him from CCTV cameras coming out of second hand charity shops with all sorts of frames. He also buys canvases from car boot sales. What a weirdo! As a self-taught vandal, spray paint is his weapon of choice. Mix it up with some spicy stencils and some fresh free hand skills, a touch of paintbrush strokes for some extra flavour and you get a taste for The Krah’s recipe! Please read the warning sticker on the packet: don’t eat if you’re allergic to nuts.”
“When I first got into graffiti, my crew and I were very strict with each other. We did that to keep our styles up to the same level. As one of the most known crews in Athens, we all had to fit the part. The rules of the game were simple: no biting (copying other styles) and keeping our style as original as possible.”
“I started doing tags and vandalism in my neighbourhood. I got some cheap spray paint and did my first characters on a wall in 1997. There were not a lot of graffiti artists in Athens back then. We were the second generation, so it felt like it was an underground art movement. I became known for my characters when most of the other graffiti artists were painting letter-forms. Then I got into painting subway trains and my crew, SR SQUAD, toured Europe in the late 90’s painting in every European capital city. Nowadays, I am too mature for so much excitement, so no more adrenaline fueled good times for Grandpa Krah! But I still find the time to rock the streets with funky visuals.”
“I work in different ways, mostly freestyle experimental paintings with funky colours. (Translation: visuals created under the influence of some sort of intoxication or the consequences of watching to many sci-fi films as a kid). In the streets, I do a bit of everything, from illegal graff, legal murals, paste- ups, stickers and lock-ups. I also stick my sculptures on buildings around London.”

“I was out doing graff with Cyclops, Sweet-toff and Rowdy after an opening night at the Leonard Street Gallery when we bumped into Pure Evil. He showed me the new space in the basement of his gallery. Then he asked me when I was going to do a show there. I’d met him before at exhibitions and he liked my work and that I did it the streets. Since my show at Pure Evil, I have been invited to do lots of shows in galleries all over the UK and abroad. I am also with Little-Art-Book, an on-line gallery that promotes underground urban artist and sells limited edition screen prints. They have started organising some cool exhibitions in mad venues here in London.”

For more info about The Krah, check out his online portfolio. If you're down to buy, stop by his online store to get the goods.

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