Bombing Science- State your name player.
Bombing Science- Where are your stomping grounds and what crew do you ride for?
Berst- I’m located in Auckland, New Zealand and I represent Gbak and Tmd.
Bombing Science- You guys have been making mad noise lately. Lots off epic shit coming out of your side of the world. Tell us more about what’s been going on recently. Seems like it has been busy and exiting.
Berst– Over the last two years there has been a huge shift within the graffiti scene in Auckland. There have been a lot of new approaches, ideas, processes, experiences and collaborations between me, Askew and a handful of other writers. I guess it all started from growing tired of doing the generic formula of a piece which is usually a three color fade, black outline, highlights, and bubbles. I mean don’t get me wrong, that is an absolute CLASSIC formula that we all know works and I wont dismiss it but to do something different I had to stay away from that. I believe that a lot of the epic work that’s been coming out of Auckland is the paintings that have the writers collaborating in a different way. This collaboration usually consists of both writers working on each other’s pieces or each person being assigned to a certain bit on the wall according to their strength and skill. So far it’s worked well for us but we still have a lot of exploring to do.
Bombing Science- Too much swag. It’s all about style with you. The dimensions, the letter structure, the colors, and the textures – you go all out. Tell us more about how it all came about. How did it go from your first straight letters to this complex style you rocking these days?
Berst- When I first started I was really influenced by West Coast graffiti and the local writers in Auckland such as Phat1, Askew and Gasp. Through my earlier years and still to this day, I’ve always discussed style with my boy Haser (Gbak) and we usually have the same interests within graffiti. We both took on ideas of what people like Revok and Aroe were doing with each letter having a color scheme and in Auckland we coined it as a “style smasher”. We certainly do not claim it, but from there we tried to flip it into each letter having different effects or even more color schemes within one piece. Eventually I linked up with Askew and over time we did a couple of style smasher walls. Then, we tried to take it even further than that. We worked on more collaborations, which we coined as Netch (Upper Echelon – Next Level). Now, instead of each letter having a color scheme, each shape had a color scheme. Things started to look more complex and the walls took longer to paint as well as having more people involved on each wall. Ultimately; to break everything down, I’ve been trying to come up with different formulas for pieces. This includes the drawing process, approach to painting it, and every other aspect of it.
Bombing Science- I see you have been playing with different words and other writer’s names a lot. Are you bored of writing Berst or is it something you’ve always loved doing?
Berst- Over the last year or so I’ve been painting other people’s names more as a tribute to the writers that I am either in the same crew as, friends with, respect or look to for inspiration. I call it the Dedication Series and what I am ultimately trying to do is have a huge collection of other writer’s names that I’ve painted whilst still exploring everything I would do in my Berst pieces.
Bombing Science- In your opinion, tell us what you think makes a dope writer.
Berst- A dope writer definitely needs good letters. No matter how much you hide the letters behind effects, if you have bad letters you have bad letters. I’d like to think that even if I do a lot of effects within my pieces that I still have a good enough knowledge of general letter structure to formulate a nice a piece. There are hundreds of dope writers out there but I don’t think people should aim to be a dope writer. I think that people should aim to be an inspirational writer and do their best to set some sort of benchmark what ever it is.
Bombing Science- It seems like collaborating on walls is a big part of your creative development. I can see recently people are networking like crazy and people are getting down on walls from all over with all the best writers out there. So far, who have you enjoyed working with the most out side of your crew?
Berst- Absolutely, working with other people is a huge part of personal development. You might learn anything fromdifferent styles, techniques, down to the execution of the ideas. When working with others, its important that you guys are kind of on the same wave length technique-wise and idea-wise otherwise you will see that different ideas or styles don’t gel together so well. At the moment I’ve only really had the chance to work with local writers from Auckland on larger projects but in the future I’d like to do more large-scale murals overseas.
Bombing Science- Anybody you would love to collab with that you have not painted with already?
Berst- I would like to do some large-scale walls with people such as Sofles, Os Gemeos, Aryz. There are so many great artists out there at the moment and I’d love to travel and collaborate with them or alternatively they could always come to New Zealand.
Bombing Science- The future of graffiti. Where do you see the movement going in the next decade? Also, what do you see yourself doing in the future? Any long term plans?
Berst- Graffiti is certainly changing and moving far more rapidly, lately. I think that with Graffiti these days, people can take inspiration from anything out there as you’re not limited to just looking at graffiti letters. We need more people to be brave and break the boundaries of Graffiti on every level. I’m always going to be doing Graffiti but my vision is further than just painting it. I’m working on some sculptures at the moment and trying to explore as many options as I can.
Bombing Science- The internet… I know it’s a played out question but it’s interesting to see how different writers react to it. How did the internet help you so far?
Berst- I think that the internet is great. People can hate on it as much as they want but the internet has made the development of writers happen a lot faster and networking a lot easier. I’m not saying look at somebody’s work from the other side of the world then copy it and expect nobody to notice… but give people time and they will eventually flip it into their own thing or they will stop altogether. Everybody gets inspiration from something or somebody so nobody is really exceptionally original. The question is how you can make or do it better than the next.
Bombing Science- Words of wisdom to the young guns who look up to you guys?
Berst- Paint hard while you are young as it will pay off one day.
Bombing Science- Any shout outs or last words?
Berst- Love to my family and my girlfriend. Shout out to my crews GBAK and TMD and to everybody out there that has ever supported me and helped me out