April 14, 2016
LA DAILY NEWS | an interview with european graffiti writer, bates
An Interview with European graffiti artist BATES who has been writing since the early 80's and belongs to the 2nd generation of writers from Copenhagen, Denmark. Bates will be having his first major solo exhibition showcasing a brand new body of work, created especially for “California Dreaming“ at Buckshot Gallery in Santa Monica, April 16, 2016. The images of graffiti art have blended into a reformed and respected art form. The graff artists bring a new form of abstraction to the present times.
Q: BATES you were born 1971 so you were a top artist by 15? How did you get into art/street art/graffiti?
BATES: At age 15 I slowly started getting serious into the culture, having a mentor really helped build me for the future. In 1986 I found the artist name BATES,So I had to practice a lot on paper,develop my style,getting more technique into my spay painted pictures and started to travel, I became part of the Electric Boogie and Break dance Wave and my eyes catch the scribbling in the background of the dancers, so I had to research, but there was not a lot of information out there so you kind of had of had to figure it out by yourself. I would say STYLE WARS and SUBWAY was key.
Q: Tell us about yourself from your new body of work, created for “California Dreaming. And is this your first show in California?
BATES: It’s my first show in the U.S. ever. There some classic things you can expect from me my street pieces in miniature format,same expression but with mixed media. Some cartoonish characters, letter based dynamics,abstract and a new direction of experiments. I think there will be something for everyone! If everybody does their part, I think we will have an amazing experience, lots of energy and things for your mind!
Q: Tell us about yourself from your art in the 90’s to your art now?
BATES: I painted my first canvas in 1985 which I still have, I sold my first canvas in 1987, I’ve been travelling a lot with my art (over 30 countries) and tried to make a name for myself, never took a drawing lesson or went to art school.
Learning the history and painting with Kings and Toys helped me shape up to what I’ve become today, stir the soup and out comes me!
Q: Do you face the same legal issues in Copenhagen (Denmark) as the graff artist do here? Los Angeles is supposed to be allowing street art to be legit, but they keep painting over it!
BATES: We had ZERO TOLERANCE policy against our culture, but for major cities like Copenhagen or Los Angeles, these cities need to be alive with artwork, mural paintings and graffiti! Not cleaned, soul-less and boring with people buying their way into the city with advertising and billboards.
Q: I read in interview where you say you regret not doing more canvas over the years because you spent so much time on walls and now they are gone, does that mean you will focus more on canvas?
BATES: Yes that’s true, my focus is more on canvas work today, I also want something to stay, but I still love to be creative and paint in the streets.
Q: I realize you mix a lot of elements in your art.
Do you consider yourself a Street Artist or a Graffiti Artist?
BATES: A Graffiti Writer, handwriting is a dying art form, everyone uses I-phone and tablets, hardly any personnel letters anymore.
Q: Your Mom encouraged you to do canvas was she your greatest supporter?
BATES: She was. My Mom passed away in 2007 and I feel I owe her to try and prove myself by putting my artwork on canvas, so far its been working out and I see the people on the other side of the fence are as passionate about it what we are doing.
Q: Any plans to do any murals in Los Angeles? Maybe Venice Beach?
BATES: I’m painting in Venice Beach today!
Q: Future art plans or projects?
BATES: More shows and more traveling coming up. Some cool projects in the making.
Q: Who were your influences to start writing?
BATES: My Influence was my mentor REZQ and my school mates in the beginning, at late its been those I’ve painted with around the world, seeing it up close is the best way to learn, most of the stuff I’ve seen is not in the books.
Q: At what point did you develop your own style and how did that separate you from everybody else’s?
BATES: I learned from everybody by watching (other writers) them paint live. You stir that around and out comes me, I will always have my line of work.
Q: What was the feeling the first time you went out bombing (Graff Writing) and what was the feeling when you first went professional?
BATES: Excited to see my name up, and now I’m excited to see who shows up, the response and how it turns out.
Q: How important is style and design as a Graff writer?
BATES: Very important, it separates Toys from Kings, from Boys to Men. My inspiration is to look at timeless design and artists with style.
Q: What is your last piece you did? For the show or otherwise?
BATES: Lincoln Bv Rose Avenue. AT VENICE.
Q: What new mediums are you experimenting with?
BATES: Water, brush, gasoline, car glitter, and varnish.
Buckshot Gallery April 16, 2016
3129 PICO BLVD.
SANTA MONICA, CA 90405
BATES solo showcasing a brand new body of work, created especially for “California Dreaming“