Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August 2009: Jinks in Nantes

If I were a street artist, I'd probably do stencils. There's something about that black and white contrast, those intricate cutouts, and that grab-and-go style that really appeals to me. The stencil Rio made for me is probably one of the best gifts I've ever received. French artist Jinks shares my passion for stencils. While he originally started out as a graff man, artists like Blek le Rat radically changed his point of view. He writes:
“I was born in Helvetia in 1976 and have practiced drawing and painting like everyone else since kindergarten. My grandfather was a ceramic artist; in 1972, he received the title of “Greatest Creator” in France. He brought me a long way in the arts, but he never saw my work when I was a teenager.”
“I began to appreciate rap around 1987. Through the music, I got into graffiti and album art. I was careful and didn’t put myself out there too early. I waited until 2003 to pick up a spray can! Jinks is not a name I chose by chance. It means ‘bad luck’ in English. It sounds good and suits me nicely.”
“I started painting only with other graffiti artists from Nantes. Nothing but good times! I spent quite some time taking photos of all the graffiti in Nantes. In 2004, I created ‘T.A.N.K,’ the first graffiti site for Nantes. On December 22, 2008, the site reached 1 million visitors. T.A.N.K. means ‘All Confused Artists of Nantes’. (The English translation is a bit messy.) It allows users to see what’s going on in Nantes. In 2005, I created the fanzine Apocalypse Nantes with other hip-hop activists (Antoine, Julien, Fran├žois). We released four issues before we stopped to spend more time with our personal projects.”

“In 2007, I discovered the work of Jef Aerosol and Logan Hicks, two huge stencil artists. It triggered my imagination immediately. I started doing small stencils on some simple walls. In June of that year, I made some paintings of characters we all know: Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Mandela, Andy Warhol, Rita Mitsouko, Grace Kelly. Then I did some Nantais: DJ Atom, Hocus Pocus, Dajla, Djay. Since that, I can’t do without it! It’s a real untreatable virus! Fortunately, there’s no pain. Nothing but fun!”

“I am at ease with different techniques (painting with acrylic spray and brushes) and different media types (wall, metal, cloth, paper). My art comes from the street; it combines graffiti writing with distinctive stencil techniques like Jef Aerosol’s, or Blek le Rat’s, who began working with stencils in the 80s. My paintings include subjects from politics and music or hip-hop culture.”

“In 2008 and 2009, I had several exhibitions in Nantes. In March 2009, the CONACOPA Collective was created. The next project is yet to come…”

Merci, Jinks! For more info on Jinks or T.A.N.K., check out his personal and group website.

1 comment:

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