Interview by Cian Walker
JOR is a legend on the Irish Graf Scene. I don’t know of any writer on the scene who wouldn’t cite him as an influence, a friend, or both. An awesome painter and a really great dude, JOR’s been doing his thing for a many years and I for one hope that he continues to do his thing for many more…
Bombing Science: So, the formalities, how long have you been writing and what got you interested?
JOR: I have been writing for fifteen years. I got into it when I saw a piece painted in my area. It blew me away. I loved the energy from can strokes and colour painted on a rugged wall. After I painted my first piece I was hooked. Using environment as part of the piece was a great adventure.
BS: Have you always been interested in art? was it something that was encouraged in your household as a child?
JOR: Yes. I was always drawing since I was a kid and it was encouraged in my household.
BS: Do you prefer to paint by yourself on a wall or does the process of collabaration still appeal after 15 years of writing?
JOR: I enjoy painting alone but looking back over the 15 years the things that I love most are the friends I’ve made through graffiti and the adventures and painting sessions with them.
BS: Having travelled, how do you view the Irish comtemporary art and graffiti scene in comparison to that abroad? Do you think the internet has been a positive or negative thing in terms of graffiti? I mean, obviously it’s great to have all this wonderful art at your fingertips, and it’s amazing to see stuff from the world over, but personally, when I was growing up I really enjoyed the challenge of finding graff mags, and walking the neighbourhoods of dublin for hours on end, trying to work out who was up, and the history of writing in my city…
JOR: I think some Irish graffiti is completely unique and I always respect personal signature overall in a piece. With the Internet I don’t like forums because of all the negative comments but its great to see all the work online. Like magazines sites need organization or else it just a quagmire of crap. I enjoyed finding mags and wandering the city too. I’m sure theres 70’s heads who don’t like printed graf and in time something else will surround the current websites and make them the good old days.
BS: What artists, graf and otherwise do you admire and say influence your work?
JOR: There are tons of artists I admire including Walter Osbourne, Van Gogh, Paul Henry, Picasso, Norman Rockwell, Glenn Barr, Banksy, Ces, Os Gemos, Conor Harrington, Artz, Hundertwasser, Belin, Jacques Louis David. Theres no shortage of great artists.
BS: Do you have any opinion on public ownership in relation to graffiti? and what are your opinion’s on globalisation in relation to art? For example, how do you feel about the barrage of public advertising and the amount of money put into flashy billboard and bus stop posters? and concurrently, many people are disgusted by graffiti…
JOR: All kinds of people jam all kinds of Art and Ads in our faces so I try to use only what is beneficial. I prefer to avoid judgements, and to avoid opinions when there is only truth. Some people are ignorant and some are not.
BS: Do outside influences ever make their way into your work- for example, do you ever listen to music while you’re painting? I know that you read a lot and I wonder if what you read ever affects your work? Do you try and inject any narrative or convey particular feelings or moods into your pieces?
JOR: Outside influences in my graf come from everywhere; some include decorative railings, contemporary architecture, flora. I dont inject any narrative in letter based graf but I do attempt to inject mood and movement. Reading would liberate me to think originally or for myself rather that for competition or fashion. James Joyce would encourage me greatly.
BS: Can you explain the difference between approaching a wall versus approaching a canvas? Do you try to cross pollinate the two or do you prefer to keep them separate?
JOR: Yes I definitely try to cross pollinate them. I have learned an immense amount of skill by using spray paint on canvas and my wall graf has been changed slightly by my canvas work.
BS: What are your goals for painting? Is there a particular direction that you’d like your work to go or do you prefer to let mood and inspiration dictate?
JOR: My main goal is to just paint and get fulfilment from it. As for direction, what I’ve done so far is to consciously move in a particular direction but let things wander as well.
JOR: Too many too mention but here goes: Abs, Artz, Rask, Risto, Kreb, Elsi, Rez, Eye D, Zism, Danz, SD 98, Sums, Kube, Omin, Rolk, Ask, Maser, Myne, Phats, Scie, Jack, Mavis, Sut One, Spider 125, Mistery, Rize, Nome, Shen, Cern, Vets, Done, Conor Harrington, Dats, Zyr, Zeo, Rad, Cer, Scum, Trie, Goner, Ob, Cool-C, Laz-e, Mek, Savwar, Maine, Pear, Stylo, Cmack, Shaggy, Sek, Deks, Pot, Fed, Fuel, DBC, Iso, Yola, Grift, Splink, Decipher, Chen, Cisto, Ciars, Dris, Enk.