ActionHero - The Vitals:
Age: 29 years
/>Where do you now live?: In the old centum of Utrecht
have you been creating street art?: I did start in the late 80’s with
graffiti and in 1990 I did my first stencil featuring a running Keith Haring
figure with the text ‘Zenga on da Run’. Nobody understood it in that time, so I
did just a few of them. Later I came back with a more designed stencil with
‘Zengagain’ in the poster frames. (see Stick-It: stencilpage 1)
you do last night?: Nothing special
What is your favorite thing to
eat for dinner?: Indian food
Who is your favorite fictional
character?: The Indian Superman… (played by Puneet Issar), "http://www.indiantelevision.com/interviews/mukesh1.htm">Shaktimaan (Mukesh
Khanna) and all the older Indian Actionheroes from Bollywood, like "http://www.amitabh4u.com/">Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and the South
What do you currently have in your pockets?:
Some ActionHero stickers and a shopping-list…
If you were given “more
time,” what would you do with it?: Go for a much longer period to India
again to get even more inspired and to visit our beloved friend Father
Who do you love?: My wife Annemarie and our pussycat
ActionHero - The A’s To Our Q’s:
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/>Wooster: How did you get started in creating art for the street?
ActionHero: Like I said earlier, I did in 1990 already some
graffiti-based stencils, because it did look so different from normal graffiti.
Later I did more designed stencils and wanted to ‘advertise’ my compagny name
‘ECHT!’ (-‘FOR REAL!’) on the streets with posters like ECHT! NEW (see Stick-It:
posterpage 1). Since my first trip to India in 1998 I was so inspired by that
culture that I was getting more specialised in the Indian / Bollywood
streetgraphics. Now I want to bring that culture over here and ActionHero is
just one way to do that.
Wooster: Why ActionHero?
/>ActionHero: At this time, for me this ActionHero figure (Chandra
Shekhar Azad - R.I.P.) is a symbol for a real action hero. The first time I saw
his picture I was fascinated by his super cool look and later I found out what
he did for his country. And I didn’t want to use stereotype icons like Ghandi or
Mother Theresa. But I think that we can learn more of them in our own life than
we think. My statement is to be an ActionHero in your daily life. For example:
when a homeless man steals my bike there is nobody who stops him, but there is
also nobody who gives him money for food. That mentality must change.
/>Wooster: Why ActionHero in India?
ActionHero: I did
like the concept of giving the Indians one of their ActionHeroes back and put
him in his own environment. Because there are so much poor people and there is
so much hapiness to give to them. It was realy nice to notice the interaction
between the Indian people and me, when they saw a white(!) boldheaded guy that
was sticking ‘ActionHero’ on their filmheroes. They began to laugh and clap for
me and asked me why I did that. After that I realised that those simple stickers
had to be on the filmposters. And even in ‘the West’ it communicates on it’s own
Wooster: What other street artists do you most admire and
ActionHero: I realy don’t admire other so called ‘street
artists’. It’s cool that it has become an independent movement, but my
inspiration comes from the artists from South-India. They blow your socks off
with their giant handpainted billboards! There is nothing in the world that
compares with that. And then I didn’t mention their all-city plastered
filmposters. Every day there are thousends of new posters in the streets of
India… That’s what I call bombing!
Wooster: What’s your
favorite city, neighborhood, or block, to post and/or to see street art?
ActionHero: In Holland I realy don’t know, nowadays everywhere
you can see some street art from locals. But in India it is beyond any doubt
Chennai (formerly Madras) and Madurai. There you can find the most large
bilboards: Imagine 200-metre portrets stretching the length of a city block…
In Europe it would be preposterous, but in Madras, the cinema capital of South
India, it’s an every day reality.
Wooster: What inspires you
ActionHero: My inspiration can be everything from India
(and the rest of the world): all kind of packagings, (handpainted)
advertisements, signs, rear-window graphics, videocovers and filmposters.
Wooster: What are you currently working on? Can you give us a
ActionHero: I just finished my "http://uk.geocities.com/actionhero2003/actionhero.html">ActionHero-site, so
first of all I’m trying to get a publisher who’s not afraid to publish a book
about Bollywood, called
‘The Art of Bollywood Blockbusters’ and I’m also trying to get a poster-
exposition for my large collection of rare Bollywood filmposters, LP’s and