Kev Grey - The Vitals
Where do you live now?:
How long have you been creating street art?:
Since just before my seventeenth birthday.
What did you do
last night?: I went to Manchester to watch Danko Jones play live, and
What is your favourite thing to eat for dinner?:
Who is your favourite fictional
character?: Frank, Henry Chinaski and Moe from The Simpsons
/>What do you currently have in your pockets?: Nothing, but I’m
wearing my Motorhead belt buckle.
If you were given more time ,
what would you do with it?: I don’t know.
Who do you
love?: Emily Booth.
Kev - The A’s to Our Q’s:
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Wooster: How did you get started
in creating art for the street?
Kev: When I was
about 10 or 11 I used to go out skateboarding and I’d see tags and pieces by
Keos and Stok around where I lived. Keos was my favourite writer back then and
although I never knew them it got me curious and I always checked out graf
wherever I’d go. Then when I was 16 I found Subway Art in the library where I
was in college and it just made sense so I went and got two cans of paint and
attempted my first piece. I still hadn’t met any writers at this point but as I
was painting somebody came up on the bridge so I hid my paint but he approached
me and asked if I wanted him to look out for people approaching, I then found
out he was a local writer who at that time was writing Aim and we got talking
and he later shown me his sketches and we started going out painting together.
Wooster: What other street artists do you admire
Kev: People like Ghost and Reas, just
because I like the sense of humour they have in their work. Plus especially with
Ghost I just think he’s developed his own style which is the shit. I also like
the work of Kid acne who I got to know as a friend, so it’s more of a relaxed
environment when you paint with someone like that. He’s also helped me out with
pushing my work by putting stuff on their href="http://www.invisiblespies.com">Invisible Spies website and stuff like
that. I look to a lot of old New York writers like P.Nut 2, Blade & Comet,
Death, SaneSmith. All that stuff. It was Mist One and Izal from Sheffield who
got me into all old pieces. Also piece’s by Dixie, which can be funny. Imagine a
fruity sailor getting loose with montana! I’ve also recently really got into the
work of KRSN from Paris. I met him when I was over there and his style and dark
subject matter is inspiring. I rate him a lot, he’s my favourite artist at the
moment. I’d like to do some work with him in the future.
/>Wooster: What’s your favourite city, neighbourhood, or block,
to post and/or to see street art?
probably been my favourite place to get busy. I went to New York a few years ago
though and the amount of bombing, posters, stencils and stickers I saw was
amazing. There was somebody who had mutilated children’s dolls and pinned them
to street signs which I really liked. It’s always interesting to go somewhere
new and find something you like.
inspires you now?
Kev: I used to make zines of
comic strips when I was about fourteen, and back then all my influences came
from comics like Zap, Tank Girl, Milk & Cheese, stuff like that. And apart from
the writers I mentioned before I’m still influenced by comic
artists/illustrators. I don’t read many comics now but people like Jim Woodring,
Rick Griffin and Dan Clowes. Also one of the biggest influences I’ve had is from
tattoo culture. I first got tattooed when I was eighteen without really thinking
about it but after that I started looking at all the different styles and since
then I’ve grown to love old 50’s tattoos. I think it’s getting done to death now
though, but I try to bring my own style to it. I think Giant One has done some
amazing work based on tattoos and graffiti in his zines at Skullzpress. I had an
exhibition in Physical Poetry tattoo parlour in Leeds recently and got given a
free tattoo for doing the show and painting some of my birds in the studio, it
was of a grinning skull with his head exploding with butterfly wings and a
banner saying ‘Loaded’ - that was awesome. The artist Dave Bewick only does
custom work and he likes similar styles to what I do. I think overall I’m just
inspired when I see people doing what they want to do, but it’s always good at
those moments when you see something that just blows your head off because it’s
Wooster: What are you currently working on?
Can you give us a sneak peek?
Kev: I’ve just
released a series of t-shirts called Dust Highway and I’m also working on a zine
with the same title which should be ready some time early in 2004. Dust Highway
is a theme loosely influenced by the song ‘Lost Highway’ by Hank Williams. I
also want to do more pieces with my characters and not just sticking to letters
which I’ve been getting bored of. There’s also talk of maybe going to New York
with East Skateboards who I’ve designed skateboards for. The idea is to go over
and the skaters do their thing and we’ll put on a small exhibition somewhere and
then get an English skateboard magazine to cover the whole trip. Other than that
I’m just drawing and I’m sure I’ll stay busy making stickers or whatever. I’d
also like to keep putting on exhibitions.
Mine’s a double!