Hacking the Third Dimension
KATSU in conversation with Alan Roll
Words like “disruption,” “guerilla,” and “subversive” get thrown around a lot by marketers and intellectuals. But very few of them have ever scaled a barbed wire fence at 3:00am with a bag of Krylon cans slung over one shoulder, or sussed out the right moment to use a fire extinguisher to spray 20-foot-high tags on the wall of a government building. In conversation it becomes clear that graffiti artist KATSU, perhaps even more than many others of this outlaw breed, cannot be contained.
Skull tag on USPS packaging.
KATSU on artistic growth
When I started writing graffiti, I was attracted to the graphic quality and rebellious nature of it, but that has all changed, and I now only care about concepts.
In an attempt to “test Jeffrey Deitch’s motives” for putting on an exhibition of graffiti art, KATSU used a fire extinguisher to spray a 30-foot tag on the side of the LA MoCA during the show.
KATSU on practice
Graffiti is an addiction. When a graffiti writer is not out tagging he/she is frantically prototyping the next version of their tag. Usually this comes in the form of a free ballpoint pen and piles and piles of 8.5 by 11 paper.
KATSU says his proliferating fake phone booth ads “represent the surrendering of opinions by us consumers in the face of celebrities and corporations.”
KATSU on remaining authentic
I use digital media to enhance my already existing physical graffiti. I have to balance conceptual graffiti with ACTUAL vandalism to be authentic.
KATSU on the evolution of graffiti
I think graffiti is an extremely broad arena for expression and language. There is so much to be learned and to learn from graffiti and the graffiti subculture.