Interview by Cian Walker
BSCI: Semor, thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. So, just a quick introduction- how long have you been painting and how did your graffiti career begin?
Semor: Hello, my name is “SEMOR” and I´m from Germany. I started at the age of 7. When I was a kid I wrote with chalk in my room. I wrote letters in different styles on the wall, but I didn´t have the faintest idea it was called graffiti or writing. In 1992 my sister showed me the film “Style Wars”. I love the film – so much colors…colors…colors…!
I got my name from the TV-series “The Simpsons”. Bart's director's name is Seymor Skinner. I like the sound of the name, so I changed the letters into “SEMOR” and so on I´m painting that name.
I did my first piece towards the end of 1993 and wrote the letters “NES”. That was the official beginning of my passion with writing.
BSCI: What crew(s) do you rep?
Semor: I´m the founder of TAD aka “The Art Directors”. I started my crew in 1994. Respect to the TAD-Crew from Russia…we are painting the same Crew name, but we knew nothing about each other. We are on the same mission! I´m in contact with these cool guys!
BSCI: Where are you from and what's the scene like where you live?
Semor: I´m from Germany, I moved from a small town named Hennef close to Cologne/Köln. The scene there is small but there are much more writers in Bonn and Köln.
I would say that Cologne doesn't have that typical style like Hamburg or Berlin. Cologne has a nice mix with a lot of different kind of styles. If you´re in Cologne visit my friend Babak from the Dedicated-Store-Cologne. Great place!!!
BSCI: Do you have an ideal painting experience?
Semor: On my last trip to Vienna (Austria) I did a nice big trackside production with Bones and Vibes, 5 hours of painting in the middle of nowhere. When we were done we drove back to Bones house. When we woke up, it started to rain and we got really worried whether our pieces were gone, because we did the whole fill with primer. We had to go to Bratislava to paint this jam. After four days, I came back to Vienna and before I took my flight back to Germany, I went with Vibes and Bones to the spot…It was like an orgasm: all the pieces were still there, big and fresh. That was a good ending and I went back to Germany with some nice shots on my camera.
BSCI: Who are some of your favourite artists- graffiti and otherwise?
Semor: Hombre, because he is one of my best friends and he is the one with a nice soul. His characters are dope!
Storm, Heavy-Artillery-Crew…It´s always a pleasure to paint with him. It´s such a good feeling with him on a wall or talking to him.
KAK from England..one of the best UK-Writer. He´s very courteous and painting with him is like a big party.
Nychos…fun fun fun…!
Ther…good styles, quality paintings and a good friend.
Aroe, Vibes, Gary, Sobek, Kcis, Plaque, Siras…great guys with great styles!
BSCI: Are there any particular goals you'd like to achieve in your graffiti career?
Semor: No, everything should continue as it is. I´m very happy how my life has gone so far. If I can be with my girl, with my friends, if I can still paint, be free, do my thing, then this will be my particular goal.
BSCI: What is your opinion on the current state of graffiti, both locally and internationally?
Semor: Graffiti and street-art is becoming a more established and recognized form of positive self expression among art critics and the general public who are curious to learn more and I think this refers to the national and international scene.
BSCI: What is your opinion on the internet and how it's affected the world of graffiti?
Semor: The internet is a good and comfortable way to stay in contact with my friends in different countries. Also for meeting different artists. When I started I travelled a lot to meet other writers. We packed our stuff and we went by train to different cities, without any information about the scene. Today you´re on streetfiles, flickr or whatelse and it´s very easy to check the scene and to contact any writer.
Internet has helped the scene grow a lot. Now there are so many different spraycan brands. Previously there were some magazines and most were still black/white. Now there are many different magazine for each rubric.. Trains, walls, street-art etc.
Internet isn´t that bad, but now everything has become very fast paced.
BSCI: Your canvases are really dope- is it all spraypaint? How do you approach painting a canvas as opposed to a wall?
Semor: Yes, I really love to paint on canvas, because you have a small space where you can practice with details. That´s a nice balancing when the weather is bad. You can use all that for the next wall. Sometimes I paint only the detail of a letter.
When I start a canvas it´s the same as when I start on a wall. I paint without a sketch on wall or on a canvas. I love to paint freestyle, because you feel more free and comfortable.
BSCI: Have you been in many exhibitions?
Semor: Yes, I had an exhibition in New York at my friends gallery. That was a good experience. I showed also some of my work on different art shows in Cologne and Mannheim.
BSCI: Do you paint characters too?
Semor: Sometimes, but I prefer letters.
BSCI: Your color combinations are always spot-on- any particular favourites?
Semor: I love every color and I like to combine them.
BSCI: Any exciting future plans or projects in the pipeline?
Semor: I will organize a big jam in my hometown. I want to travel a lot like last year…New York, Australia and Europe. Looking forward to see all my friends.
BSCI: Last Words
Semor: Thanks for the interview…all the best for 2012!
Kisses to my girl. Big up to all my friends..see you guys soon!