Last Look with Dave the Chimp

von Moritz Stellmacher

First of all I would like you to introduce yourself.

I’m Dave the chimp. I’m very old. Originally from London, now living here for two years. I’m an artist. I paint, I draw, I make comic books, fanzines, I make installations, I design products, I direct pop videos, sometimes write for magazines, used to have a band. I think if you’re an artist you should do lots of creative things not just stay in one nerd field. For me. I get bored.

But what are you most focused on?

Depends on what day of the week it is. Last week I was focused on my installation for the new backjumps, in Betanien. Now this week I’m focused on making paintings and next week I will be in Holland making a workshop with teenagers at a skate park.

You are also skateboarding. You forgot that on your list.

Oh yes that’s very important. I’m skateboarding since 24 years.

How did you get involved in this graffiti, street art culture? With skateboarding?

Yes with skateboarding I guess. Because when you’re a skateboarder your always out in the street. I started skateboarding in the mid 1980s, so that time there weren’t many skateparks and there wasn’t so much culture around skateboarding, no TV shows and video games and a 100 brands and clothing companys. So it was really a do-it-yourself thing. You had to build your on ramps, find places to skate. You’re exploring all the time and you’re used to climb up the walls, trash the things and doing things you’re not supposed to do. So then paint on walls you climbed over is not such a big difference.

How old where you there?

When I moved back to London I was 21 or 22. So that’s when I moved back. First I was working as a Illustrator and started to paint in the studio and also in the street, just for fun, because I was running a club night with some friends and I painted backdrops for the club. Its nice to make big paintings, but there is no point to make big paintings in the studio when you have no place to keep them and no where to show them, because you have no art shows, so I thought I just go to paint in the street there are lots of empty walls, so you can just paint on those and its really fun to go out at night and sneak around, its like being a skateboarder, you go out look for places to paint.

Did you paint figures?

Yes. It was simple because you could make white fillings and then come back and do the outlines. So I used to make three or four spots in a night, just cruising around. Always Figures, I’m really interested in typography, I make a lot of logos and designs and hand drawntyps, but I’m not so interested in painting graffiti. I mean every graffiti artist paints letters and also i wasn’t using spray cans. I used a kind of Wandfarbe. I guess that was 1998 and there wasn’t this street art thing there, there where just graffiti artists and I think i knew just one or to other people who where doing stuff that wasn’t traditional graffiti. There was an illustrator called Zeeo he used to make this little handmade stickers, with an eraser of gummy and cut them and made stickers and put them up. This was so nice, they were really beautiful. Really small. I just become aware that there were people doing this stuff, I started to see a few stencils as an addition to regular graffiti.

What was the last interesting thing you saw in the streets?

There’s something, I wont even tell you where it is because its so easy to steel. The thing I am most excited about lately is on top of a street sign near here. There is a tiny little figure made from a cork of a bottle of wine, and a few matchsticks and a bet nobody had seen him because he is like 5 centimeters tall, and he is been there for about 2 months and I keep thinking I have to take a photo I have to take a photo. I really like it because I like that I haven’t seen it on blogs. I haven’t seen a press release about that someone put it in the streets. It haven’t got a name written on it. It’s really tiny so it doesn’t shout: „Look at me, look at me, I am desperate for attention”. Its all the things I like about street art. You have to discover it for yourself.

You also make interviews for magazines, so I wanted to ask you, what would you ask yourself, if you would be in my position.

That’s difficult. When does the magazine come out?Does it come out before the 26th of september?


I’d ask about my Installation at backjumps, which is running until 26th of september. I made a show for kids and all the paintings are hung low. I made an interactive installation, I made a castle and puppets to play with. Some kids are to scared to go inside. There was one girl who came at the weekend, but she was to scared to go in, so she had to come back the next day, she had to think and built up the courage. There are a couple of monsters outside the castle. I made a wooden shape and painted it to look like a monster and cut a hole where it’s face is and we filmed my face, which we painted black, so now there are just eyes, so its a bit creepy but its really obvious that’s a televisions screen. But its freaking people out, one of the kids took a cardboard and attacked it, its pretty funny.

It’s so nice to make something which can create such a feeling. It’s so nice to make something which can make people scared or overcome fears. It’s really great I never heard of an art installation for children

Interview Moritz Stellmacher

Just /

Moritz Stellmacher

Want more stuff like this? Show love below.