by Alice Ghinolfi
Let’s talk about your book “Ex Animo”: How is the book situated in relation to your other projects?
Ex Animo is a collection of works from 2012 – 2018. The focus is primarily on street paintings, and it chronicles a chapter in my evolution, from which one can see the influences and roots in South Africa expand to a more global perspective.
How do you resonate to it?
It is an important documentation of my path and history. I am currently in a new phase and working on future bodies of work that will be part of the next chapter. It is therefore symbolically significant to etch some of these works in stone. A feeling of completion, allowing me to move forward. And a point of reference for future reflection.
Is there one mural or series in the book that you’re particularly attached to?
I am particularly attached to many of the works, in fact we had to cull so much content, which was hard, but that means that the works that made it into the book stood their ground. I am particularly happy with works that deal with immigration, LGBTQ and homelessness issues. I am also particularly in love with the works in abandoned spaces. As well as the Warrick Triangle Bridges in Durban.
Can you tell us a few words about the title?
Ex Animo is the latin inscription traditionally placed at the end of a letter, it translates to ‘From the Heart’ or ‘Sincerely’. This summaries the intent of my practice.
How was the process of working with your publisher, Drago and Creative Director Roger Gastman?
Both Roger and Paolo have a thorough understanding of our culture, its authenticity, and the importance of the documentation of it. It’s been an incredible honor working with both of them, and i appreciate the personal attention and recognition that they have graced me with.
The book and the limited-edition print will be launched on September 22nd, which is the equinox day. What does this event mean to you?
I often release publications, prints, plan exhibitions in correlation with Planetary or Cosmic events such as eclipses, equinoxes, lunar cycles. We have become disconnected with the rhythms of nature, and it is part of my belief that we should pay more attention to the universe that we are a part of.
Planning events on these days gives a stronger energetic meaning to the timing of one life.
What’s your relationship with nature? What do you feel human beings should change in their approach to nature in order to improve their condition?
We are definitely on an ecological crash course, by now it is evident for everyone to see. So yes, I think it is fairly obvious that if we don’t start to work in conjunction with the planet, and with respect to nature and animals [and each-other] that we won’t have much of a beautiful earth left in a few decades. I feel it on a very personal level, but I see it as a larger consciousness undertaking that we all need to be aware of.
Tell us a bit about how you approach your own projects: how you conceive a new idea, how your carry it out, and where inspiration comes from.
Essentially I have a few thematic that are continuously taking new forms, these are largely linked to esoteric and eastern philosophy and agnostic, pagan outlooks, economic, social imbalances, human rights and feminine empowerment to name a few.
You were born in South Africa and are now based in Los Angeles. What is your first memory related to street art? Why did you start doing it?
My introduction to this art form was through traditional Graffiti, At the age of 16 I was schooled by Wealz 130 and spent many years developing my lettering styles and characters, I became more interested in the environment surrounding my pieces, and the relationship between artwork and place. Over the years it’s been an organic development, now moving deeper into gallery and installation-based works. My roots however are in the streets and in subversive culture that moves away from consumeristic trends. My true love lies in philosophy, listening to voices who speak of pain, enlightenment, rebellion, activism, unconditional love all as a part of this human experience.
Where does your fascination with street culture come from?
I’m interested in communicating with the public, I feel if art has a purpose it could be to give us the space to express the collective mind of an era, allowing for solutions of new, destructions of old. pulling the sheets off the hidden and deformed and beautiful and viewing it all as equal. Street culture is true to the youth, the future, the general public, man on the street. It has the potential of direct access to random people of all classes. And with public art one can communicate in visual language that transcends language, breaking down barriers of class and culture.
What are you currently working on? Where will we see you next?
Three upcoming projects that I am currently focusing on are:
– The debut of a new immersive video installation: ‘The Destruction of Self’ at Moniker Art Fair October 4-7th
– ELIXIR, A Solo Exhibition that will be opening at Castanier Gallery in Miami on the 6th of December 2018
– AURUM, a Theatre Piece to be peformed the Artscape Theatre for Design Indaba in February 2019