Kai-himself

Back in August we dropped word about the Fall ’08 exhibition “Urban Vibes”, featuring the work of street artist Semor based out of the Rheinland-Pfalz. We caught up with the mad genius for an exclusive, and asked him a few questions about the success of this recent event, his influences, and what he’s got brewing in the mystery pot next.

How old were you when you became interested in the street art and graffiti movement?
I was 7 years old. When I was a kid I wrote with chalk in my room. I wrote letters in different styles on the wall, but I didn’t have the faintest idea it was called graffiti. In 1992 my sister showed me the film “Style Wars”. I love the film- So much colors…colors…colors!

What was the first piece that you wrote?
I did my first piece towards the end of 1993, and wrote the letters NES. That was the official beginning of my passion with writing.

Who are your inspirations and how have they influenced your work?
It´s a never ending process. I get my influences and inspirations from everything, and I convert that into my creations. It can be different styles, different places, different people.

You are the initial creator of the TAD Crew. You’re also down with a few other crews as well. Tell us about that.
I´m the founder of TAD aka “The Art Directors”. My members include Leks, Jemo, Emok, Virs, Bruz, Twik, Krush, Oli, Kash, and Ahorn. I started my crew in 1994. It´s very important for me to paint with them. It´s a family thing, like the Rawthentix-FAM. We as writers share our ideas and the same passion and love for this movement. Love what you do, and do what you love is the foundation of what we believe. The members of my crew are my family and friends, and are here during the good and bad times. In addition, I am also a member of the CAOS crew, otherwise known as the “Cryptic Assassins of Style”. Members are Emok, Thilo, Elric, Oki, Zome, lastly I also run with Polar and Gery of THE KOOLS.

In the last 30 years street art has changed drastically, fueled by increased competition among artists, and their technical ability. For contemporary graffiti artists today like yourself, what do you feel are the major style influences and social differences between Germany, Europe, and in the U.S.?
It´s like our own version of style war between countries and cities. For example in Berlin graffiti is more like the classic concept of old school style. Where as in the south of Germany, the writing is influenced by new school concepts and introduce new elements and technique. New York is the native city of graffiti, and Europe has become a leader in helping to carry on this tradition. The criminal prosecution in Germany is very hard, but that doesn’t stop writers from getting up. Germany has the same “zero tolerance” like in New York. Thankfully graffiti and street art is becoming a more established and recognized form of positive self expression among art critics and the general public who are curious to learn more.

You recently held your latest exhibition ‘Urban Vibes’ in the city of Hamm-Sieg. Wish we were there with you to support. Your work is off the charts!
What was your theme behind this collection, and how long have you been working on it?

I love to spray canvases, especially working with stencils and cans. I worked on these canvases for over a year. I had a lot to organize (money, location, food/beverage, music), while still having to make time to paint. It was exhausting but well worth it.

What was the most challenging part of putting together your ‘Urban Vibes’ exhibition?
Many people who don’t understand the culture see this art form and say “Okay, graffiti…Ah, just letters on trains”. They don’t realize the amount of time
and effort involved and how it can be expressed on canvas in a different form. To see all the work I created and the final result is an accomplishment. It was so nice to see the reaction of the visitors at the vernissage.

What’s coming up next for SEMOR “The Mad One”?
In April I will be coming back to New York for an exhibition showcasing some of my newest work in conjunction with the good folks over at Special Sauce.

For a more in depth look into the work of SEMOR visit his website.

THE SPACE

OPENING CROWD

SOME OF THE FEATURED WORK