ARTY GRAS: BASIK Q&A
What do you write? Are you in a crew?
My alias is Basik. I am not in a crew at the moment. I think that’s something more common within the writing movement than with muralism. I was in a few crews when I wrote my name during the Nineties though.
In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?
I started in my hometown. I'm from Rimini, Italy. I traveled a lot to paint all around Italy and Europe. I’d say I probably made the majority of my art outside of my town. I guess I didn’t influence my community apart from the fact that average people probably hated my tags and burners, ha ha!
I think that the relationship between an artist and the community in which he works depends primarily on the artist’s work and attitude. I know artists deeply embedded with the environment in which they make art. In addition, I know other people that could easily go on with their artistic concepts in every random city around the globe and they would be absolutely fine with it.
Did you go to school or are you self taught?
I attended art school which gave me the basis. I also learned a lot of things by having my own experiences as well. My talented friends helped a lot in this self taught process too!
How did you get started in the arts and why?
I always loved to draw ever since I was a child. The real fire starter was when I first saw graffiti at the age of 12 and fell in love immediately with that artistic expression.
How long have you been working in the streets?
I started painting graffiti in 1991-92. More than a decade later I moved progressively to muralism and studio work, leaving letterings behind to focus on the figurative.
Who or What inspires you the most?
I owe a lot to Italian masters from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and onward. I also find true inspiration from several European movements at the end of the 19th century to contemporary. Symbolism, Preraffaellites, Vienna Secessionism, Transavantgarde and german Neo-expressionism, just to name a few.
What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?
The word “street art” means nothing at all. It’s just an easy and superficial way to catalogue a wide and heterogeneous range of outdoor contemporary art.
Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?
I currently work with both fine art and commercial illustrations (which are quite different from what I do on canvas), but as long as I use my hands to create something I’m a happy person. I worked for years in an advertising agency and after that experience I realised that I’d prefer to work with my art all the time then being employed and doing random jobs. I’m not limited or compromised by being an artist working with my art.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a commission for a big brand.
What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?
My paintings do not carry any particular social meaning or criticism. I think that if I can make a bunch of people happy with my works then my mission is complete. I’m a satisfied person myself. I like to focus on canvases and found objects in a studio environment but I think I will always love painting in the streets first.
Go check out more of BASIK'S work... http://www.basik.it