by Cian Walker
BombingScience: Arbe, all good?
Arbe: All good. Thanks for asking.
BSCI: Can you trace an evolution in your graf? Who was influencing what when and what do you think have been the most influential factors in shaping your style?
Arbe: About 1997 or 1998 is when my graffiti began to evolve. That's the same time I was put down and joined KOG/LTS. Graffiti was cracking back then, LA was a playground and was crushed. A lot of writers were putting it down but none of the graffiti really stood out to me as much as LTS/KOG's did. My crew(s) have been my biggest influence in shaping my style.
BSCI: How long have you been painting and how has your outlook on the game changed since then?
Arbe: I started tagging back in 1991. In 1992 I got down with a crew called D2D which was clicked up with DIS. Back then I didn't give 2 shits about doing a piece, It was all about mobbing the freeways and killing buses. The game has definitely changed since I started and my outlook on the scene has too. Kids don't have to put in the same footwork writers from my era did back in the day. Since graffiti has become mainstream it has watered down the game. But, then again a lot of doors have opened and cats can pay their bills. There are some good points and a bunch of bad. So, I guess I have mixed feelings with the direction that graff is going. Graffiti will never be what it used to be. But, I'm excited to see what the future holds.
BSCI: Your work is multidisciplinary, what is the biggest painting buzz for you?
Arbe: Doing illegal graffiti…. but as I get older just painting in general, whether itís catching a street spot, bombing trains or a legal wall. I like developing my style and seeing it evolve. Every time I paint I walk away from a piece with something different….the more I paint the more I evolve and that's the biggest buzz for me right now.
BSCI: How about the canvas work- do you enjoy it much or is it more to try and get some well-deserved cash for all those years of hard work?
Arbe: I do enjoy painting canvases as much as I like painting graffiti which is something I am battling myself with right now, because I want to focus on painting canvases more and transits into the art world. I feel that I'm not ready to step into gallery scene quite yet but, it is something I want to do in the near future.
BSCI: L.A.'s got a rich history of hard and distinguishable styles. Do you notice a lot of these LA characteristics working their way worldwide, and what do you think about the fact that graf communities have changed so quickly from being really local identities to a stage where every writer in the world can create a platform for themselves online?
Arbe: I definitely notice a great deal of what I call "LTS Style" or "Dirty Style", along with other L.A. original styles and characteristics making their way around the world and throughout the U.S. Anyone can hop online and look at graffiti…. and everyone starts somewhere and gets influenced, they just need to learn how to "flip and bounce" it to create their own style which will come from painting as much as possible. I have mixed feelings about the internet and the role it plays with graffiti I suppose it is cool that every writer in the world can create a platform for themselves online as long as their actually getting their hands dirty and putting in work and earning street credit. I can't hate on the internet though it's a great tool to promote yourself and to network with writers world-wide, I think it is awesome that I can look at graffiti from all over the world and that mine can be viewed too. On the other hand I feel it contributes to watering down the game…. like I mentioned before kids don't have to put in the footwork these days…. just go online and buy supplies, bite off styles, talk shit… etc,etc,,..,
BSCI: Have you travelled much to paint?
Arbe: Not as much as I would like to but I've done a little bit of traveling here in the United States. I haven't been out of the States really except for the few times I've painted in Mexico which was in Tia Juana and Mexicali. Other than that I've painted throughout Southern California. Painted up in San Francisco, Seattle, Spokane, Portland, painted in Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Austin and, Houston. Recently I've painted out in Miami, New Orleans and, Detroit.
BSCI: What do you think about where style is at right now? How do you feel about ultra-techy effects vs. letter structure etc.?
Arbe: Thereís a lot of good styles out there … then again there is a whole lot of bullshit out there and suddenly painting ugly and toy became cool… bunch of these new generation cats ainít even trying to flex styles. I'm not feeling all that bubble gum, goofy hipster graffiti, in my opinion that shit is whack! The ultra-techy, super clean stuff is alright I guess… I'm more into dirty, organic wild styles that look loose and feel free…. outside the box kind of stuff. I'd rather see some simple letters that flow than some piece that is decorated with bells and whistles and fancy pants ultra-techy stuff. To me itís all about "the funk" and letter structure.
BSCI: Any Shout outs?
Arbe: Yes, Shout out to my crews LAST TO SURVIVE & KILLERS OF GIANTS.
Kuzberg, Verse, Ayer, Jense, Ink5. Rest In Peace…..
Siner, Jrock, Dreye, Kyle, Versuz, Jher451, Detr, Thor, Squid, Lokus, Doobie, Tank, Syen, Fishe, Sloth, Futur, Korea, Fokis, Ratas …. and the rest of the crew.
Crae, Duem, Zuco and the K4P's.
My grandfather R.I.P.
Shoot DTD DIS 9's R.I.P.