When did you start doing Graffiti? How did it begin?
In the late 90s I was carried away by Hip Hop culture. I listened to Rap, danced Break Dance and tried to draw the first sketches on paper. In 2001, me and my friend bought car spray paint cans and painted our first graffiti. At that time there was very little information about graffiti, we got it from magazines and television, the internet was a rarity. But the lack of information fueled my interest in graffiti even more. Professional cans for graffiti was not enough and it cost a lot of money and had to be painted with vehicle spray paint. Since 2002 I began to paint more and more often, and I am still painting till nowadays.
Your artist spray name is GARICK. Tell me more about this. What does it mean and why this name?
In the circle of friends I had the nickname GARICK, this nick I began to use as my pseudonym when I was drawing graffiti.
How is it to do Graffiti in Moscow? How is it to do urban art in Russia? Tell me more about that.
There is a lot of Graffiti in Moscow, although the authorities are actively fighting against it. There are also a lot of Graffiti artists and Streetart artists living in Moscow. In the city you can see both bombed walls and murals and vibrant colorful productions. Periodically, various festivals are held in Moscow to which Graffiti artists from all over the world are invited to draw.
Graffiti is mostly illegal everywhere, but the persecutions are different. How strict is it in Russia? And do you have any possibilities to do spray painting legally? Are there legal walls or ares where it is allowed?
As in many countries of the world, Graffiti is illegal in Russia. There are various penalties for painting on the walls. High pennies are provided for drawing on electric trains. With drawing in the subway, the situation is even more serious, only for penetration into the metro system can come criminal liability up to imprisonment. Of course, in Moscow there are Hall of Fames where you can draw half-legally for hours, but recently such places are becoming less and less. It is difficult to agree on legal Graffiti due to bureaucratic procedures. The authorities do not try to integrate Graffiti into the urban environment.
Your artworks are sometimes with letters, sometimes with characters. And sometimes a mix. Tell me more about your techniques and about your theme. So you do more bombing and lettering?
I prefer to paint font Graffiti, but sometimes I draw characters and other pictures. I really like to create productions in the company of other artists, when different styles are mixed, there are characters and general background. While drawing high-quality bright fonts, I also do not forget about bombing and quite often draw in black and chrome.
How is it to get cans and spray paint? Do you have Graffiti shops in the city and which one can you recommend?
Now in Moscow there are no problems with buying spray paint. All well-known European brands such as MOLOTOW, MONTANA, MTN are presented on the market. Very high quality ARTON spray paint is also produced in Russia. I can single out two networks of graffiti shops in Russia: Graffitimarket and United Styles, as well as in each region of Russia there are local shops selling aerosol paint.
Let’s speak about your crew. Who are the other team members and what kind of art do they do? Tell me more about the work of the team.
I paint for the CREW TEAM. The team was created in Krasnodar in 2011. Now the team consists of more than 10 artists living in different cities of Russia – Krasnodar, Moscow and Samara. Each of us draws in his own unique style and everybody works in his own way. Someone draws commercial orders, someone draws on trains, someone does a tattoo, someone promotes their logo, we also try to form common team style.
Which other artists from Moscow and Russia can you recommend?
I don’t want to highlight someone specifically as there are a lot of cool artists living in Russia and most of their works I like.
What would you tell other artists and especially Graffiti writers in these strange days?
I would like to wish everyone good luck, development and success in creativity, despite the obstacles that arise on the way. Draw more, no matter whether it is a wall or a canvas or a train carriage! The world around us should be getting brighter! Let’s color it together!
Crew: TEAM CREW
( is this correct ? )