[Zupi] How and when did you get in touch with graffiti for the first time?
In 1996, I met Wealz130 who schooled me in graffiti. He is now the father of my child and best friend. In 1997, I did my first character, moving onto lettering later with some effort.
[Zupi] Your art is quite reflexive, makes people think about your message. Do you think that this is something every graffiti should have?
Not at all. I think every one should do what they feel. I don’t think art needs to be revolutionary, nor socially conscious or meaningful even.
Art, like life, can take on any manner or form and I don’t think any artist has a responsibility to say or do anything that they are not comfortable with.
[Zupi] What is your biggest inspiration when you paint?
Inspiration is a funny thing. Sometimes, I have so much of it I could explode. Other times, my mind is troubled to the pits of darkness, obsessing on questions pertaining to what the point of art is, if there is a point, and why I waste my time making images to add to the millions of images that are already out there. It seems like quite a pointless quest and it’s pretty unfunctional in society.
Art may serve a more esoteric and theosophical need in society but it definitely doesn’t feed people.
I think my biggest inspiration to paint comes from burning questions that I have and also emotions – I’m pretty emotional, a scorpio, so I have violent pangs of heat in my soul that have to come out. Otherwise, I burn myself.
[Zupi] You chose the name “Faith”. Is faith an essential element to your art?
I have no faith in anything. I think everything is void. Empty. And yet everything is full at the same time. I have no illusions of a religion that could explain why we are here. Perhaps if anything, we may be one with the all expansive universe and stubbornly fighting that fact, which in reality means were just fighting our own self. Something like that.
[Zupi] Which people do you admire, inside and outside the world of art?
Many. To name a few off the top of my head I’d say – Cashril+, Vânia Zouravliov, Ai Wei Wei, Ben Okri, Herbert Baglione, Albecht Durer, Steve Biko, Dal, Chris Hani, Ghandi, OsGemeos, Val Theory One, Jordan Metcalf, Anton Kannemeyer, Spoek Mathambo, The Knife, Tyler B Murphy, Siousxie Sioux, Lamumba, Milan Kundera, Rumi, Ken Saro Wiwa, Beardsley, my grandmother and my mother.
[Zupi] Do you believe that the popularization of graffiti can destroy the power of manifestation that was present in the beginning?
Well, everything changes and nothing stays the same. That is fact. Also – every movement that comes from a raw and pure root, becomes washed out and played out by the media hype, the masses, and the general passing of time. That’s fine as new things happen grow out of the ashes of the past, and it’s healthy to not hold on to things. We need to keep moving and adapting, we all die anyway so everything is practice for the big exhale.
[Zupi] Do you believe that graffiti belongs to the streets or do you think it is positive the increasing number of exhibitions?
Personally, I hate strict definitions and genres. Life is too short to stick yourself in a box. Many artists work in different disciplines. It’s only natural that street/graffiti artists move into gallery environments as they grow older, evolve and spend more time in the studio.
[Zupi] Do you consider South-African scene to be very different from the kind of stuff that is produced around the world? Is there any unique element in South-African graffiti that differs from the international production?
The South-African scene has taken a while in developing its own style or character. The writers are tough, vigilant and have a raw energy that is similar to that I’ve felt in South America, but they are not very experimental and there is very little street art here, so you find that most of the work is quite traditional in terms of graffiti.
[Zupi] You have painted on a joint project with Titi Freak. Do you know Brazilian graffiti? Do you have any preferences besides his work?
I’ve been to Brazil twice and I love the energy there. I love the different styles and the way that the art there has its own flavour and seems to be very expansive, not confined into a specific box or category. I can’t claim to know a lot about the Brazilian scene but my shout outs would go to Zezão, Herbert Baglione, OsGemeos, Vitche, Nunca, Titi Freak, Bihno, Tihno. Of course, there are so many amazing artists in Brazil! Everybody is aware of this, I think.
[Zupi] Do you want to leave any final messages?