von Lev Nordstrom

Insa wonderful world – hohe Absätze vs. hohe Kunst

Entlang der andauernden Kontroverse zwischen Graffiti, Streetart, Urban Art und der hohen Kunst hält sich unser dies monatlicher Cover-Artist INSA gekonnt zurück und lässt lieber seine Kunst für sich sprechen. Sei es eine legale Wand im Yaam, eine illegale Wand irgendwo anders, eine Arbeit für das TATE Britain, eine Leinwand im eigenen Atelier, eine Marken-Kollaboration mit Nike, oder einfach nur hohe Absätze, INSA weiß, wie es läuft.

The heels seem to have become your trademark. Why heels?

I got into heels a long time ago. I was holding a pair and saw a fantastic „S“-shape in them. At the time I was writing my name a lot and was getting bored of traditional graffiti. So I thought I could just start painting the heels instead. I also see it as an iconic symbol of different things like consumerism and sexuality, the kinds of things I am interested in, in my work. For a long time, people thought the heels were being painted by a girl. So I also like the play on gender and identity, even though by now most people realize the heels are me.

What got you into writing in the first place?

Actually it was my mum. She got me the book „Subway Art“ for Christmas in 1989. Basically I was a kid, who was into art, but also into being a rebel and wanting to break the law.

How do you define yourself in between being a genuine artist, a graffiti writer or even a street artist?

I don’t think it’s necessary to define, though I would much rather be called an artist. I kind of hate being called a street artist because I think street art is a term that evolved from graffiti art rather than something graffiti artist have evolved into. I would prefer not being defined or having rules. You shouldn’t have any rules in what you create. You should open your creative horizon to anything that you want to create. But people like to categorize. So in the art world they usually see me as a street or graffiti artist, whereas graffiti artists usually see me as the art guy. It’s kind of treading the line between both and not being accepted by either.

You’re on the Fool’s Gold Tour right now. Is that something you just do for fun? It’s kindly being paid for by corporate money (laughs). It’s difficult to say. I do it for a job and I do it for fun because this is clearly a fun trip, but we are also doing an exhibition in Warsaw. We could have easily just flown to Warsaw and put up the exhibition, but instead we decided to paint in a new country every day leading up to the final show. We’re not being paid any extra money for this.

Do you get tired?

Every wall is a new challenge, but yeah, you do get tired. I’m exhausted. I’m nackered. (laughs) Plus, my girl just had a baby. I would actually say this is easier than the baby. This is the sixth day in a row painting. Another five days and we’re done.

Do you still paint illegal spots?

We’re going to be doing some less authorized stuff, while we are around because that’s the way I feel graffiti always should be or has been. It’s why I paint. It’s the ownership of space and questioning control and stuff like that, but also a domination of space and making it come alive with color.

Where are you living right now?

In London. South London.

Do you value remaining anonymous?

I prefer to remain anonymous, but people can obviously work out who I am. That’s not the end of the world. It’s not my sole mission to remain anonymous. But I prefer people not having a face to make judgements on. I think the imagination is greater than reality.

Is fame an aspiriation of yours?

Obviously the aspiration always chages, but yeah, I want to make that name as famous as I can. I want my art to be as famous as it can be. That’s why I prefer to remain anonymous. It’s not me. I don’t want the fame. I don’t want to be recognized. I don’t need to get into the VIP section.

Has anything bad happened on the trip so far?

Not really. Well, we did get a speeding ticket on our way to Berlin.

Interview Lev Nordstrom

Lev Nordstrom

Want more stuff like this? Show love below.