It took a while but i just translated this from spanish.
Omper standards either a minimum social convention or state law, it is something definitely adrenaline. Going against the provisions engages and puts you against the current of a stream that allows us to live a “quiet” life. Quiet and more boring than Utah & Ether, the famous couple of nomads who painted graffiti on walls and trains in major cities on 5 continents.
Art, by definition, is something subversive that seeks to alter some kind of order, whether social, political or our consciousness. Or it should be. Therefore, anything that trastoque a convention, as in this case, the use of public spaces, is an art form. Internationally known as Utah & Ether, alias “taggers” Danielle Bremner and her boyfriend Jim Clay Harper, break the barriers is a creative studio or gallery to find his art in the process of rebellion, the illegality of the action in what precedes and envelops its graffiti, rather than own graffiti. They enjoy tracing their plan to meddle security through the cracks, seeping into forbidden places and we become active agents of their work to watch. After one year in prison and 3 “exiles” in Asia because of its “vandal work” in the United States, having to decipher without local support networks underground cities of the East and outwitting surveillance access forbidden reach our country with the intention to enter the Transantiago. We wanted to know more about their work and their vision of the world of graffiti in our country and talked with them on their way through Chile …
Do you think there is any relationship between graffiti and art galleries?
Ether: We do not believe the graffiti fit into art galleries, many use the galleries as a way to draw attention to a space …
Utah: The graffiti is by definition illegal, if you take something that is on a street wall and hang it on the wall of a gallery loses its meaning.
Ether: … and not translated in the same way
Utah: Yes, it is possible to translate some of the ideas and emotions of a graffiti in an art gallery but generally what people do is put on a canvas what he has done on a wall.
Ether: If you think of graffiti as an artistic technique is interesting, but simply duplicate what you do on the street in an art gallery, I do not think is interesting or beneficial to anyone. But using ideas and concepts of grafitti and translate it into the art world, that’s true, it all depends on how it’s done.
How are defined, they are a couple of graffiti artists are …?
Utah: We do not like to define ourselves because we are always changing, always we are a work in progress, but I think I speak for both of us when I say that vandalism is first, it is our origin. Whatever it is we do or what any graffiti artist, even a work made with colors and pretty pictures, the origin is always a “tag” is all vandalism at source. Many people can say “I like these colors or these characters, but can not bear the signatures on the wall …” but that signature or tag is where everything comes. These beautiful colors and characters not exist without the origin are tags.
Ether: for us this is our life, not a job, we would not know to do otherwise, it is part of our routine.
Yes, I am talking about it … at what point raised this they do is a way of life?
Ether: We’ve always done graffiti and we were attracted by the world of graffiti, but the decisive turning point for us was after all the legal problems we had in America. Both spent a year in jail and when we left we realized that the judicial system in the United States etiquetaba us as criminals from that time. Finding a job was not so easy for that reason. But that, far from close our doors in life, he kept us focused on doing graffiti.
Utah came a time when we could only choose one path or another, and we chose commit ourselves to what we love to do.
Ether: We focus on what we liked to paint, to travel, to see what we wanted to see, to experience new things, develop as people …
Utah: has not been easy, sometimes you find yourself sleeping in a park … It’s all part of this work we have chosen.
Ether: It seems that travel a lot, they had a great time, but there is also a bad part that people do not know.
Utah: Yes, it seems easy, but it is not. In fact, if it seems that what we do is easy it is that we are doing well.
Many in the world of graffiti hide your face, you do not …
Ether: Many people who see our work does not know our history, only sees what we do now. Before we climbed our legal problems no internet nothing, no we showed our faces, our names were not known, we painted hundreds of meters in the United States, did not promote anything. When we had all these legal problems, we seized our anonymity, put our picture in the papers, our names, …
Utah: Yes … there came a point where you google our graffiti and our faces in the results. So we had to decide whether to let others dictate what was our image, and it was said to us, or if you regain control and choose how we wanted our image is used. The organic option was to find a way to take advantage of that, and there was no turning back.
Ether: Many people ask us how we do to paint illegally if people know our faces. They do not understand how it works … In the United States not open face paint, for example.
Before coming to Chile, they knew the “scene” of graffiti here?
Ether: We knew only a few things, for example, to paint in the subway would be difficult for the terrorist actions that have been …
Utah: … and had a very nice subway in Santiago (laughs).
Ether: We did not know much about graffiti artists in Chile, a couple of friends were shot for painting, so we are aware that we have to be careful. We came here knowing that the outlook is a bit more tense than elsewhere, and that the consequences are greater. It is the second time we come to South America and the first in Chile. We came here because we met with our team in Buenos Aires, and before returning to take advantage of air fares decided to take a bus to Chile and go through here. We are very happy to have come!
Is it difficult to paint on the Metro de Santiago?
Utah: Yes, there is a lot of security, surveillance cameras … Of course their concerns are not so much graffiti as terrorists, but it is not easy.
Ether: Everyone here has his tricks, but paint on the Santiago subway is definitely not for beginners, it is for experts. There are many who have come and they have not been able to paint on the subway …
For you paint on the subway is more a matter of technique or courage?
Ether: When I was younger I enjoyed myself to the limit, painting something worthwhile artistically in a very short time, but now not so much what I paint but the fact of the action to get to the subway and paint something. I like the experience, interact with the environment, see how to circumvent security, etc.
Utah: … yes, we do more than get the perfect photo of the painting, by the action, if I have a picture of my entering the place is enough for me, it is not necessary to have the photo of the painting itself.
Do you think back to Chile in the future?
Ether: Yes! We will definitely come back, of course. We want to go after a couple of Chile sites but we review our current accounts before … (laughs)
Utah: we have also noticed that in South America is all quite far and not easy to get to places …
What is your impression, there is a South American identity in the graffiti?
Utah: The culture of graffiti here is super-young, a lot of energy and a lot of things that people are beginning to explore. Elsewhere taggers are older, and here it seems that many people in the streets painting, that’s always a good sign. There are cities where it is difficult to find a space to paint … (laughs)
Ether: We were in Asia for 3 years before coming here and there people making graffiti is also very young, but the mentality is very different. We thank mentality regarding graffiti here in South America because it is not so commercialized, and also people appreciate more and more involved with street art. Here are still very open to art in general, it is a breath of fresh air.
Utah: It seems that here the stigma of graffiti as something negative and illegal does not exist.
Ether: It will be interesting to see how that feeling is developed around the graffiti in the future …
For some it is a bit of fresh air for the “scene” for other writers garbage spending only paint, what is your opinion on “Ignorant Style”?
Ether: For me depends on who does it, the reason why it does, and its history. I like people who break the rules of graffiti in a matter of style anything goes.
Utah: I think it’s good just to have people painting, I do not worry too the style of other people or what they are doing. It’s good to paint, whatever it is.
Ether: I like most fresh and energetic stroke of a grafitti a perfect painting with 20 different colors … You never know what’s behind a grafitti, there are people who are looking for errors in the details, but I do not care .
Thank you for your words and for your time!
Ether and Utah: Not at all! See you soon.