London has witnessed a surge in statement based illegal art in the past year or so, not just letters or mere words but often whole sentences and even punctuation. Elbow Toe scribbled haikus; Mobstr stencilled witty check lists; Ron English pasted up dis-embodied private secrets in speech bubbles and thought balloons. There has even been a very polite voice on lurid mini stickers urging us to “Please be nice to each other” and “Please say please thank you”. You may be thinking “basic information – graff worships the font, dude” but what we are talking here is a bombing mode that unlike graff eschews repetition, each intervention an original.
Chief protagonist of this prosaic prose vandalism is, let’s not quibble about definitions, sticker artist Curly. In a movement that lionises those most “up”, sticker artist Curly has captured a safari park’s worth of attention in the past year with more than a 1,000 wordy pronouncements stuck on street furniture all over the World. His stickers have the air of insider jokes, very market aware, very art joke infused, very tuned in to sensitive matters impacting a street artists’ credibility yet at times his thoughts betray an air of self-effacing vulnerability.
Getting wind of a planned Summer visit to the UK, Graffoto managed to secure an interview which the sticker prince elected to conduct via his preferred media, the United States Postal Service label. Curly led Graffoto a merry jaunt around London and into one or two tensely balanced and rather risky situations, we hope you find the results worthwhile.
We start with the most important issue – have you ever been busted?
Another answer that nearly got your photographer in the pooh after the artist legged it: Is it ok to do stickers if you can’t skate?
The answer to “Will stickers ever become appreciated as graffiti?” had me wondering if this Curly character was out to get me lynched:
Pressing on with the interview, do you know Banksy?
Should stickers be political?
Do you think it is important for stickers to have a message?
Are all your stickers installed illegally?
Will stickers ever become appreciated as art?
Should street stickers be protected by perspex?
Do you think a sticker artist will ever have a solo gallery show?
Could any of the candidates in the US presidential nominations benefit from a sticker campaign?
When did you get into stickering
What makes a good location for a sticker?
The best graff writers get to paint naked girls, would you consider stickering girls?
Any technical tips for aspiring sticker artists?
Is There Room For Humour On Stickers?
Is there a hop-hop/graffiti style link between stickers and music?
Fine point or chisel tip?
where did you get your name from?
(yeah – Graffoto had to google cursive too, means “joined up” ). Any views on the absence of stickers from Museums?
Will museums not truly represent the commoners art until they have a Curly in their collection?
Are you a disciple of Jenny Holzer’s Truism-ism?
How can we convince Graffoto’s reader that you are the original Curly and not just some kind of wannabe copiest?
We conclude this interview with a quaint relic of innocence illustrating Curly’s failure to grasp the dog-fuck-dog nature of the street art “market”, at his request we include this sticker grovelling to someone he’s never met:
Hunting for suitable spots for “Curlies” resulted in the discovery of ancient and weathered Curlies south of the river and way out West which Curly himself had forgotten. Cap doffed at that level of getting up. Cynics and moaners constantly gripe about street artists prostituting themselves putting up lame commercial shit in the usual art bordello locations. In the process of giving this novel interview, Curly vandalised property on Fed stations, post boxes, tube panels (window down!), HOFs, museums and art galleries. What was most impressive was that Curly went all-city EXCEPT Shoreditch – avoiding the most boringly obvious location for a publicity seeking street art whore to get up, way to go!