Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday ProFile: XPOME

From the beginning, Bulgarian artist XPOME was destined to create in urban areas. Some children casually dabble in building with Legos, but he took his creations seriously. At the age of five or six, he says, he graduated to big kid building materials. “I made my own house,” he elaborates. “It was made out of concrete and glass stones. All rest of the materials came from our family villa house. I used handmade ‘cement’ made from ash, water, and some sand.”
Later on, a casual viewing of Graffiti Art #8 inspired him to switch from building to painting. “It was funny, because I started trying to do whole murals, not tags,” he adds. “Later, I got into more basics and developed my simple letter style.” Simpler lettering called for a simpler name; XPOME is “chrome” in Cyrillic letters; the moniker is short for “chromosome.” Since 2001, he’s covered his hometown of Sofia as well as parts of Germany, Italy, France, and other Eastern European countries with his work.
At first, other writers like Loomit, Daim, and Esher inspired him. Later on, Erosie, Roger, and Relax impressed him. Today, he pulls from all sorts of disciplines, from old graphic design and typography to geometry and architecture. “When I started, I wanted to do complicated murals,” he explains. “At the time, I was doing both characters and letters. Later, I realized that I’m better at graphics than figurative stuff. The Bulgarian writer RAKE indirectly led me to roller and Latex paintings in 2004/2005. After that, I continued my journey into the world of letters.”

In addition to changing up his style, XPOME loves traveling to new places and collaborating with others. “For me it was always about friendship and having a good time,” Together with his crew, he smiles, “I am still looking for the ultimate place.” By keeping the scene fresh, he’s able to experiment and learn. “Sometimes, I do related-to-the-place pieces that have some special message. Otherwise, I am just trying to re-invent my name every time I go out, experimenting with forms, letters and colors or optical effects.”

Pushing the boundaries of his medium means casting off any labels and their limitations. “Classical graffiti is a bit conservative,” he argues. “But I also don’t want to be labeled as a street artist. I just do what I do, no matter what other people call it. I use different techniques, from posters, cans, and rollers to foam and rope." Perhaps XPOME derives joy from his work because he doesn't expect anything in return. “I am doing my work mostly for pleasure,” he insists. “I don't want to get rich out of it. I just want to travel, keep myself young, and live!”

Best of luck, XPOME! For more projects, visit his Flickr.

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