GSA Interview with ERSTE

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This is :iconglobalstreetart: with our seventh interview with ERSTE interviewed by RoosterStencil!!

Where are you based?

I'm living in Brasov, Romania right now. I have to mention that Romania is not a country full of gipsyes as all Europe thinks it is.

When did you begin painting graffiti?

As I remeber, first time was in spring of 2006. I bought a couple spray cans(car paints) with one of my friends, so we started to tag on abandoned buildings near the train station. That was my first 'encounter' with graffiti art.

How did you get into graffiti and what made you start painting?

First of all I write beacause I love to draw(what the hack?!'s my life afterall). Secondly I started to write for getting another identity, for getting fame and also to show my art to the whole city. I still work on this part..)

How did you choose the name ERSTE?

ERSTE is one of my graff nicks, I'm also using FEMUR as well. I had choosed ERSTE first of all because I like these letters. On the other hand, I heard about this word on a business channel and I like it, so....I adopted it. It's from german and it means 'the first one'. It sounds a little bit naughty, but I don't consider myself like that. Simple as that, isn't it...?

Do you write with any crews and if so which ones?

I write particularly with my homeboys(from RCS crew), but also I write with other writers from other crews. I like 'walkin' with other graffiti artist beacuse every of us have something new to learn from each other.

How would you describe your style?

Sick question, dude. With a lot of arrows, connections and badass letters. I describe my letters like something 'against the viewers' or something 'good to look at'. My purpose is to improve to the letters a little bit o life and anger, or something like that. If I draw without all my dedication is like drawing with 'mud'. 'Drawing with mud' means drawing just for insignificant goals or just for being cool..)

Where did you paint your first piece?

I started to paint on abandoned houses and buildings. At the time I wasn't in theme with what happens in graffiti world, so I didn't knew about how to choose a good spot, or something like that. It's obvious I guess...

What are your feelings on the graffiti and street art scenes in the Romania at present?

First of all we still have the 'kings' problem at the contests. They win all the time, just because they are much 'older' in the RO graff scene then us(the new generation if you can call it this way). BULL SHIT! I know a lot of romanian writers whom I consider not so talented as I am(and other of my friends). If I want to take place at one of inside country's contest and if I'm not a friend with the jury dudes(which is formed from already known frieds) my chances are very weak to win, instead of my good quality work art.
So in Romania is already formed a strong connected 'gang', if you want to call it, from writers which wants to win contest just for them and supply themselvs with more cans as possible.
Secondly on RO streets are too many toys and stupid graff kids. They distroyed well known pieces, old pieces or they tag over much older graffiti writers. They want to be legends after 1 or 2 hours of tagging. By the way, they are trying yo connect you and they want to explain to them how could you be better in a shortest time. I think that's a foolish thing. My time is too precious to waste it this way. I try to ignore them. However I learned graffiti in my way, studying, working hard, drawing every day(it didn't matter if it was a simple letter or a full sketch). Practice makes perfect, so don't try to be a king after midnight!...
Another problem is with the stupid cops(obviuously..). They are trying to catch us, just as you catch a fish, in the 'net'. After 8/9pm they starts to get out and patrol. By example in my city, nowadays, after 10pm they are on every avenue of the city.

Have you done many collaborations with artists overseas or travelled abroad for your art and if so then where is the most exciting or interesting place you have painted?

I've done many colaborations with streetartist, but the most of them throuth the world wide web. I didn't traveled overseas, also I didn't crossed my country border for that(I haven't that chance yet).
The most interesting place where I've put my 'signature' was on one of our nearby hills(about 500m over sea level, 200m over city level). From there I had a very good view to the city center, so I 'bombed' the wall with one big piece(RCS). So, today one important part of the city can still view my artwork.

Do you see yourself as an artist or a graffiti writer?

I consider myself both of them. Artist? Because I try to innovate, express myself and to bring something new in our ex-comunist world(I mean Romania).
Writer? Simlpy as that. Because I'm against the f****g system as well as I hate the politics and stupid politicians.

Is there a very fine line between those who view graffiti as art and those who see it as vandalism, what are your views on this?

Nowhere in this world isn't a fine line between graffiti and vandalism. Romania 'came' afer over 50 years of communist regime, so most of the people said that graffiti is vandalism. I don't want to convince them beacuse it's too hard to do it. Graffiti is not a crime when is done properly(under the bridges, on roof-tops, on abandoned buildings,etc,etc, where nobody can harm, beat, spit you for that...). But when is done on new houses, on church(it does not matter what religion), on graveyards, on garages, on peoples new cars, on dogs, on cats, on sewer people, etc, etc it's a sign of true vandalism.

Have you ever 'felt the long arm of the law' because of your art and if so can you tell us about it?

No I haven't felt it yet and I don't want to. Everywhere I 'wrote' I choosed chill places, but also places where people could see my artwork as well. I think that in graffiti the most important think is to action by quote 'hit and run'. Of course, I run a couple of times from police, but I don't consider that so big issue, I mean it's normal and good for the health too. I consider the 'long arm of the law' someting like police real fights(fists, feet, etc) and also the rap sheet which isn't desired.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken for your art?

Beacuse I haven't painted on trains, or high bridges, etc, I could say that I haven't took some big risks. Well, if I climbed on something to draw a t-up, or to do a piece or a tag, and it was too high there, I think that it's a normal risk that you should assume for. In couple of words...the work's risk.

Where is the most obscure place you have ever left a tag or piece?

Generaly I study my next wall before painting. Also I don't like dark places for graff too much, just beacuse nobody couldn't see it. So I cannot say that I paint in obscure places. I prefer light spots where the light can 'protect' my work. Just kiddin'..). I prefer lighter spots beacuse everyone could see what i've painted there, not only just me.

What is your preferred tool for making marks with?

I have many preffered tools for mark my tag. But on the first ranking positions are spray cans and markers.

What is your colour of choice?

Most of my drawing contains a little bit from every tone of colours. But my favorite colours are which ones who derives from red and yellow, beacause they are intense and warm.

Whats your Favorite Piece you have done?

My favorite wall piece which I've done is the newest one, beacuse everytime when I do a graff, everytime looks better than the one I've done before. I have to say that I don't realise too many pieces as it should do, beacause some f*****g reasons 'stops' me.

What are you working on currently and what plans do you have for the future?

Nowadays I work to gather some money and buy cans, because I just couldn't rack them. I think it's too dangerous to steal some shity cans full of paint. My future plans are to put all my ideas in practice, but for this I need a lot of paint and a lot of time. I have to mention that nobody suports you in this country, especially for graffiti art. So I am on my own pocket.

What kind of music are you into?

First of all I DON'T LISTEN GIPSY MUSIC(in romanian: MANELE).
I preffer rock music, rap and a little bit of classical style. Also I want to increase my musical knowledge with some good and interesting stuff.

Anything else you would like to add?


Thanks for your time bro...

Here is some more of ERSTE

erste black and white by ERSTE:thumb158292398: YULIA by ERSTE from sketch to wall by ERSTE

RCS RCS RCS RCS RCS RCS RCS by ERSTE:thumb142784837::thumb141405859:

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MYTH22's avatar
Awesome to read some stuffs on this badass writer.:clap: Great interview!
DonnaSprockets's avatar
I'm so glad you interviewed ERSTE. He's one of my favorite dArtists. His style and choice of color is always so sick. I love this guy. Nice work and nice interview. Keep them coming!
DonnaSprockets's avatar
K12RES's avatar
Great Interview, this dude is pretty chill.
pagR's avatar
he got sick steez nice interview
KASPA101-Designs's avatar
Big up for Erste and for RCS crew:D
BREF-ANC's avatar
nice, nice nice! (btw this dude is awsome!)
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