1) Alright so thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, can you give us a brief introduction of how you got to this point? When did you start, what crew do you rep (if any), and what’s the story behind “disek”?
I started tagging in 97′, most probably to create a purpose for myself in a big city where everybody is a nobody… I needed to escape my daily routine, and doing something illegal was -and still is- the best way to feel free.
I was a part of a bunch of crews in the past, but I grew out of it… I don’t need to be in a crew to know who my real friends are.
Regarding my name (dissect in French), I always wanted to go under the surface of things, to go deeper in order to analyze and understand properly. So it seemed fitting. And the name makes people think of blood and guts, a hardcore aspect of it that I liked back then.
2) What is your favorite documentary or book that covers the history of major players of graffiti and why?
It’s a book called « Kapital », which is about the year 1998 in the Parisian graffiti scene. To me, that book brings back memories of a precious time period when I had just started painting and this underground world seemed almost magical. There was still this mysterious side to it, you’d wonder who was the super-hero behind such or such name in the street. I was obsessing over pieces while dreaming about doing my own someday. The funny thing is, I re-read it recently and realized that things I was so impressed by at the time were actually awful.
3) do you only do graffiti for the sport of vandalism or do you also make money doing murals? What is your philosophy on people making money with graffiti murals?
I sometimes do commission walls. I got no problem with making money through murals and painting, it’s far better than to work for peanuts on a construction site or in a factory… But you got to keep in mind that if you do it for money, it isn’t graffiti anymore, it’s just painting. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy doing it, but actual graffiti cannot be commercial.
4) What kind of music do you listen to when you paint? Who is your favorite hip hop artist and why?
I don’t listen to music while painting. Most of the time I’m in the streets, and I feel like it can mess with the place’s energy. And anyway I’m always 100% focused on my wall so I can’t see or hear anything else, nothing else matters, the world basically ceases to exist.
5) For those out there that are hungry to improve at their craft but don’t know how to exactly what do you recommend?
I would suggest training and not stressing about it, it’s important to go step by step. Start with simple letters and go towards more complex things little by little once the basics have been learned. But the most important thing is to enjoy the process!
6) Nearly every post I see from you it’s from a different location so I’m curious what has been your favorite place to travel to and how long do you travel for? Any crazy travel stories?
I’d say that each country has its own qualities… There are no perfect places, it all depends on what you’re looking for. When it comes to painting, I loved Lebanon and Vietnam, but if we’re talking about encounters I enjoyed Colombia the most, for the change of scenery Cuba was amazing, for the quality of life I’d pick the Réunion Island…
In general, I like to take it easy when I travel, so I tend to spend between one and three months in each place.
In terms of crazy stories from my trips abroad, I’ve written a book that should be out in a few months, which will be packed full of these adventures. Thirty stories in total, taking place in twenty countries. I also shot a series of videos that will be available in a few weeks, the concept is simple: I arrive without a plan in a place I don’t know, I start painting walls with whatever material I find and see what happens.
But I can tell a story I didn’t use in either of those: In Tunisia, I got arrested twice in three days… The first time, I got caught painting in the street, the cop walked with me for a bit and proceeded to tell me that what I had done was a very serious offense in his country and that I “normally” should have to pay a hefty fine. So, of course, I understood that he wanted a bribe, and I decided to say nothing and wait, looking relaxed, for quite some time. He finally lost patience and told me to get out of his face and not to do it again. Obviously I went straight back to the wall to finish my piece, not so relaxed anymore.
Two days later I got caught in a train yard while doing some scouting. This time I ended up at the police station, where I told the cops I just wanted to take some pictures. But they end up interrogating me thoroughly, and when they looked at my passport they seemed very interested in my past trips to Indonesia and Malaysia, and also by the fact that I lived in a pretty harsh french suburb with a bad reputation. They asked me how I financed my trip since I didn’t have an official job, things like that… After a couple of hours, they took me to go search my hostel room. They inspected everything with their flashlights. Everything except my spray can bag. Then they took me back to the station, questioned me some more, to no avail. Then the chief inspector told me to leave and go back to mine, without further explanation. The next day, while telling the story to a friend, I learned that one week before a woman tried to blow herself out not even 200 meters from there. The cops actually thought I was a terrorist!
7) when you were coming up who inspired you and taught you the ropes and who inspires you now? Who are the artists that are inspiring you now?
When I started I wasn’t really trying to paint beautiful things… So style wasn’t a priority back then. Today I try to put in the effort, so I’m paying more attention to what’s being done. I’d say I’m inspired mostly by Dare, Geser, and Taste for the letters and Brus, Does and Kems for the colors, and many more. And I’m used to painting with Encs, so we end up inspiring one another, and often pausing mid-painting to give each other advice.
8)Any shout outs you would like to give? where can people follow you?
Shout out to Encs, Aigre, Erza, Atome, Kast, Nanou, Blaze, Zen, Eskis, Mefians ink, Mehdi, Air, Grat8, Chips, Meuh, Spaze, Exist, Drex2, Komo, Yelow
You can follow me @d.i.s.e.k on Instagram and soon @DisekTV on youtube