• March 17, 2003
  • Posted by Marc

Mysterious Al - The VitalsAge:


Mysterious Al - The Vitals

Hometown: London City
Where do you now live?: The
wrong side of the Thames
How long have you been creating street
On and off… three years
What did you do last night?:
Drunk sugary tea and made stickers till 2am. Then spent a further two hours
worrying about my trip to the sex clinic this morning.
What is your
favorite thing to eat for dinner?:
Anything from "http://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/archive/display.var.529676.0.0.html">‘Kitch
ner Fried Chicken’

Who is your favorite fictional character?:
All my favorite characters are fictional.
What do you currently have in
your pockets?:
Erm, *checks* Keys, that funny new melting chewing gum,
phone, and six skinny markers. I’m not normally this well equipped, but I’m
meeting "http://www.woostercollective.com/2003_02_23_newsarchive.html#90381123">PMH
and some of the crew in a bit for some sort of illustration Jam, so…
/>If you were given “more time,” what would you do with it? Sleep more so
that I don’t look and smell like a decaying corpse.
Who do you love?:
All my crews (Low Wage, Division Star Print, Unorthodox, Super-Deformed).
Everyone doing cool shit, and everyone that loves me. I got enough love to go
around smile

Mysterious Al - The A’s To Our Q’s:

How did you get started in creating art for the street?

/>Mysterious Al: Living in London since I was a kid, I’ve always noticed
the big, fat, three letter dubs on the side of the tracks. I was never into
‘proper’ graffiti, but during my three year sentence at art school I became
increasingly aware of newer, more european shit that was happening- drawings on
walls that were moving away from the traditional New York City graffiti slant
and getting loose with new things. That’s when I started getting into monsters
and markers.

Wooster: How did you come up with the characters
that you use in most of your drawings?

Mysterious Al: My
earliest stuff was based around a group of fictional monsters I dreamed up. I
painted large scale portraits of them on canvas at Art School. These turned into
kind of Icons and it wasn’t long before I felt they needed to be let out… Out
of the studio and onto billboards and signposts. I was lucky enough to be living
with a bunch of off-the-hook surfers at art school, and they all looked like
cartoon characters. I guess the characters I was initially drawing took on more
human forms through the people I was surrounded by. Now they just move on little
by little depending on who I meet, who’s influencing me, and what drugs I’m

Wooster: What other street artists do you most admire
and why?

Mysterious Al: There are so many dope artists hitting
London hard at the moment. I don’t know who they all are, and this is a really
hard question to answer. The obvious masters in my opinion are NYC icons like href= "http://www.giantrobot.com/issues/issue09/twist/">Twist, "http://www.spinemagazine.com/features/visual/liverpool2002_01.html">Espo
and Phil Frost- but I
don’t even know if they’re still up anymore. closer to home I guess I really
admire all artists that are doing something properly. People who take an idea or
concept- no matter how strange, and beat the hell out of it. Yeah, I’d say I
admire that.

Wooster: What’s your favorite city, neighborhood,
or block, to post and/or to see street art?

href="http://www.woostercollective.com/images/monsters.jpg"> src="http://www.woostercollective.com/images/monsters.jpg" WIDTH= "200" align=
"right" hspace="10">
Mysterious Al: All the street art I really see at
the moment is sticker or poster related, and there are some really hot areas in
East London for that shit. Places like Boot St. and Old st. in particular- But
London as a whole has been hit hard by stickers, and all around areas like Soho
you always see cool things, so I guess all of London is good. At the same time,
Brighton (on the south coast) is host to some really good shit at the moment.
Everyone says it’s not as good as it used to be, but I was down there the other
week and I saw some really nice things…

Wooster: What
inspires you now?

Mysterious Al: I get inspired by so many
things. London is fucking annoying sometimes, but it’s an amazing place to be in
terms of inspiration. There’s always stuff going off in random gallerys and
bars, and really cool people to meet. I get inspired a lot by myself- drunken
late night walks home with my discman, but also a lot by my crew- people that
know me, certain parts in songs and films. It sounds cheesy, but anything can
inspire me when I’m in the right mood.

Wooster: What are you
currently working on?  Can you give us a sneak peek?

Yeah dude- lots going on at the moment! I’ve just finished some work for
a German / English magazine called GRAPHIC, and some new work for the
forthcoming Pictoplasma book. As well
as that, I’ve been collaborating heavily with London Hip-hop photographer href= "http://www.jeffmetal.com"> Jeff Metal , and we’re working towards
some sort of live show or event. That aside, I’m making odd drawings and
animations for my website and still
making stickers and getting drunk with Low Wage Crew. It’s all good at the
moment. I’d also really like to collaborate with any sort of Flash developers to
make a decent interactive flash game. I can do characters, but I can’t code for
shit- so if anyone has any ideas- drop me a line!