Making his UK debut, Scape was recieved with warm welcome including a full page interview in the Viva Brighton Magazine seen all over town. Speaking Alex Leith, Scape discusses his work and the nature of graffiti as a whole.
Scape Martinez Interview in Viva Brighton:
Can you remember the first time you sprayed graffiti onto a wall? Unfortunately I do! It was a tragic mess by any standards. I think more paint ended up on the floor than on the actual wall.
How did you realise this was something you were good at? In graff art, there is a skill set that you need to get the hang of, and your peer group, your crew, they give you that much needed feedback. It took years of trying and practice. I realized I was good, when everyone around me realized that I was good.
After a while you started creating abstract art works, incorporating graffiti methods… Yes… I got a bit
tired of looking over my shoulder to create my art, so, influenced by the abstract expressionists, I began doing work on canvas. My sketchbook began to change, my sketches became more simple, it became more about movement, less about literal letters, more about emotions and expressions. I began to understand the power of colour, how to use it, how to capture it… so I threw the letters out the window and colour became the form and function of my work.
You’ve also written a number of books, teaching the art of graffiti writing to wannabe artists. Can you sum up the philosophy you’re advocating in a single sentence? I believe that art should be disseminated, understood and shared with anyone who wants it; I believe graffiti art is a part of that conversation.
What do you think of Banksy? Blek le Rat was doing stencil work years before him, since the 80s, but Banksy took it to the next level. I think his work is clever. He found his niche and was able to blow it up. I wonder what will be his encore. These are not criticisms, just observations, but I do think his work reads like a form of advertisement, with clever images and wordplay. I think that he and I are the absolute opposite, he’s Coke, and I am Pepsi, he tries to be the mystery, and I am the transparent.
How did you come to be connected with Brighton Fringe? It was or is how the modern connected world works. The wonderful people at my publishing company made the connections. They explored the possibilities, made it happen, so here I am! This will be my first time in Brighton, and the first time in the UK. I suspect that this will be only the beginning.
- Viva Brighton, Fringe, May 2012