February 9, 2019
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST MASON ABOUT HIS UPCOMING SHOW LINEAR
Hello Mason, how are you? Please let us know a bit more about how you got to the point having a solo show at Golden Hands Gallery. How did you get here!? Did you ever study fine arts?
In 1986 the Dortmund graffiti scene was right at its beginning. Tags and pieces slowly appeared in public and I was interested to learn more about this phenomenon. A couple of weeks later I painted my first artwork at my high school. By time graffiti got more and more important to me and persecution and punishment couldn’t make me quit. In the mid 90ies I once applied to a public art school, but the were not into graffiti at all. After I spoke to some gallerists at that time, I decided not go study fine arts anymore but to follow my own path.
Why are you not using your real name? Are there more alter egos that you are using? Don’t you think that it could make it more difficult to gain success, if people don’t get to know your real name?
Writing your name is the true essence of `American Graffiti`, the name can be seen as another virtual canvas. In public I wrote different names, too, sometimes to avoid more prosecution, sometimes not to get bored.
How would you describe your style? Is it graffiti or something else? Is it possible to transfer your style from the public space onto a canvas?
I call it graffiti. But this is just a brief description that is very vague. I think that I can not pretend that there was no influence by my father, who used to be an architect. Also I am more into typography than into figurative expression. I also try to be true to my style and to simultaneously develop myself further.
Back in the days the hardcore graffiti scene was fighting the idea of becoming commercial with the arts, today there are artists that pretend to be illegal, just to create a better standing to increase their sales.What do you think about this?
In my eyes only the product is important, the finished artwork. Some commercial jobs are not helpful for your credibility, but in the end its not important, if you work for Telekom or the small corner shop. For me it was always important to not sell myself. Most of my commissions were small challenges and fun. And whether a piece is painted legally or illegally says nothing about the quality of the work.
Have you ever been to jail for creating art? Is it worth taking a risk for your art? Is it even mandatory?
Yes. Yes. No :)
Do you think that graffiti/ post- graffiti will be connected with our generation when people of the future think back? Will it be a part modern culture, like rap music?
In my eyes it is already here to stay. Our kids have grown up with a complete different perception of graffiti in public than we did.
Thank you for that interview, Mason.
Dr. Christoph Tornow, Gallerist