10x Interview Series – Dispatch #002
Welcome to our new mini-interview series, where we get inside the minds of our favourite graffiti writers, artists, and creators from around the globe.
In this fast-paced world, we know we need to slow down, and there are also times when we need to speed up. 10x is a quick hit of inspo and then you keep it moving, hopefully with a little more gusto than just moments before.
10x = 10 questions, 10 images, 10 minutes to read. Then it’s on to the next.
Read this, then go paint something…
SOBEKCIS, of VAR (Belgrade) & HA (UK), are twin brothers from Serbia who cross boundaries into various realms as graffiti writers, fine artists, graphic designers, weed enthusiasts, and amateur dumpling makers.
Growing up between London and their native Belgrade, the duo have been drawing together since they were small children. They started painting seriously together in 2005.
SOBEKCIS mostly work on abstract paintings and murals based on letter forms and gestures that they developed through painting graffiti.
ARTILLERY: What is something about where you grew up (or your upbringing) that we might not know?
SOBEKCIS: Growing up we had the opportunity to have lived in multiple places.
We were born in Belgrade (Serbia). Still, we spent our first years growing up in London and later returned to Serbia for our elementary and high school years.
After this, we lived in Vienna (Austria) during our university days.
We are grateful for this opportunity because all these different places played a certain role in our lives.
Currently, we are back in Belgrade, awaiting the next destination to present itself.
A: Tell us about the first time you painted outside.
SOBEKCIS: The first time we painted outside, we just bought some random cans and tagged a bit on the building of our friend from elementary school.
To us, the first time that was memorable was at the start of high school – painting at the local hall of fame at Jugopetrol. It was quite a small wall, but it was one of the only spots with a mixture of different people painting there.
It’s funny looking back – there was so much preparation and buffing of the wall the night before. It’s always good to look back on being a beginner at something, the strange ways you approach things, and how much meaning that small wall had.
A: What’s a big moment you thought, ‘why am I doing this shit?!’. Describe the moment, and tell us how you got through it.
SOBEKCIS: One situation that comes to mind is during the time we lived in Vienna.
We found a small entrance to one of the bridges on the Danube – crawling through the narrow passage inside the bridge inch by inch – until we got to the middle pillar.
We were exhausted when we got to the wall and now have to paint, asking ourselves, ‘why the fuck are we doing this?’.
After a few minutes of painting, one of us turned to our friends that were there with us to tell them to turn off the light on their phone because it might attract attention. In that moment – like in a movie – we see a small blue light from the police coming down the hill in the background.
We immediately hid behind the pillar, looking at the flashlights on the water, waiting for them to turn off and leave so we could finish the piece and get out of there.
One of those situations where you are quite glad to have noticed something on time and avoided a lot of bullshit.
In that moment – like in a movie – we see a small blue light from the police coming down the hill in the background.
A: On the flip side, please describe a cool moment when you thought, ‘damn, I love this shit!!’.
SOBEKCIS: We could point out Copenhagen during the Galore Festival, and the [Mural Oasis] project at Primm, Nevada, next to Las Vegas.
Both of these situations allowed us to spend time with artists and writers we admire and respect. When you have the opportunity to spend some time together, somehow, this is when the best memories are created.
A: What have you recently seen, heard, or read that inspired you?
SOBEKCIS: Roc Marciano and Alchemist – ‘The Elephant Man’s Bones’. It is something we think is a solid work of Rap excellence.
If you are into that stuff, we would highly suggest it.
A: What do you fear?
SOBEKCIS: Doing a regular job.
A: Top ten graffiti writers and artists of all time? Give us 5 of each.
SOBEKCIS: At the current moment, these are some names we would point out:
Top 5 Graffiti Writers: 1. Sonik PNC 2. Smash137 3. Sawe 4. Aroe HA 5. Smoof Blow
Top 5 Artists: 1. Momo 2. Hense 3. Erosie 4. Sainer 5. Zoerism
A: What did you have for breakfast?
SOBEKCIS: A good healthy green Jamaican breakfast. 🙂
Ask Sofles. He could tell you what that means.
A: Where is your favourite place in the whole world? Tell us why!
SOBEKCIS: There are many places that we could point out, but what comes to mind most commonly is Amsterdam.
This is where we have many nostalgic moments from when we started travelling and meeting other writers and artists from around the world.
Every time we visit, it has its own adventure or situation.
A: What does ‘style’ mean to you?
SOBEKCIS: These days, the idea of repetition of certain elements has been mixed up as something which defines style.
To us, style is something that describes your sensibilities as an artist, or writer, or whatever. The small things. For example, how a person applies a gesture, the way they problem-solve a certain goal. Whatever they take on will have their personal touch.
Keep up with SOBEKCIS on IG: @SOBECKIS
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