How Much of the World Can We Know?
David Sausage: How come you’re here in Japan this time?
Gasius: You dicta-phoning it?
David Sausage: Yeah
Gasius: Then what?
David Sausage: And then I’m gunna type it up.
Gasius: Are you?
David Sausage: Yup
David Sausage: You’ve been to Japan before and this is your second time s….
Gasius: You’re not going to video me?
David Sausage: No no no no no no..
Gasius: Well I apologise cause I’m eating my lunch.
David Sausage: No no no no..
David Sausage: We can put a photograph on there.
Gasius: (pulls funny face)
David Sausage: Laughing hang on I’m gonna take a picture.
Gasius: That’s a terrible one.
David Sausage: So er How come yer..
David Sausage: TELL Us about why you are here Russell!
Gasius: I’m here to do some work for Make Art Your Zoo, to do a textiles exhibition in LaForete for fashion week and to have a look about… Get some inspiration. Maybe do a small show with ‘Pumfka’ spelled P-M-K-F-A?
David Sausage: I’ll check it out later.
David Sausage: What’s your impressions of Japan? What’s your first impressions of Japan?
Gasius: Well I have been before so I kinda knew what to expect… My first impressions are always the same which are…. This place is BONKERS!
Gasius: its upside-down… generally. Culturally this place is opposite to us.
David Sausage: What do you think of those works over there? We’re sat outside the Yokohama Museum of Art looking at a row of sculptures at the entrance. What do you…
Gasius: I hate them.
David Sausage: You said they were terrifying earlier.
Gasius: Yeah, they’re scary. And not in a good way. I know, scary can be good but… I dunno, they’re a bit too Tim Burton for me.
David Sausage: Aohhh…
Gasius: Awuggggh! (Chewbacca sound)
David Sausage: How would you describe yourself. Are you a graffiti artist, an artist or something else?…
Gasius: Err I started a graffiti writer. I dont really write graffiti much anymore. I tag a little bit. Erm, I just don’t have time for it. I would just describe myself as an artist, and also at certain times, I’d describe myself as a designer.
Really, now, I design to make money. And I make for love.
David Sausage: Who would you describe as having a major influence on you, when you started making art for yourself?
Gasius: Hmm. Difficult to pinpoint.
It’s massively varied from now and when I started making art. I started painting canvasses when I was at college, ’97 I think. When did I do my first show… Ahm… …anyway. Influences? Then, definitely graffiti. People that were pushing graffiti to be not graffiti like Twist and Mike Giant, esp then.
David Sausage: Giant, you mean Shepard Fairey right?
Gasius: No. Mike Giant.
David Sausage: Mike Giant?
Gasius: Shepard Fairey actually stopped writing Giant cos Mike Giant was already writing Giant.
David Sausage: Ah!
Gasius: That’s when Shepard Fairey actually started writing OBEY.
David Sausage: I see. Right.
Gasius: And I guess that was all through skateboarding, skateboard art. I discovered Twist and Giant through skating. Giant was doing alot of the artwork for Think and Barry McGee (Twist) was doing alot of the artwork for Mad Circle and they were both my favourite skate companies because of the artwork. And then I found out afterwards it was them and that’s why I liked the artwork so much because it was graff(iti)-related.
David Sausage: So, You skated when you were younger?
David Sausage: I didn’t know that.
Gasius: I skated from the age of errr… young! I guess 10 probably. I still skate occasionally but again, I don’t have time for it. And then, influences have changed loads over the years. I’d say my biggest influences now are probably… Guston and this German guy called Uwe Henneken.
David Sausage: An artists or a graff-writer?
Gasius: Oh artist. I don’t really look at graff much anymore. Uhm, and also Ged Quinn.
David Sausage: Ged Quinn?
Gasius: Yeah he’s amazing. I mean obviously there’s loads more but ehm…
David Sausage: That’s who’s really rockin it.
Gasius: Yeah those guys are my favourites.
David Sausage: As someone who’s started off doing graffiti, and then gone on to do artwork as you yourself and er anyone, would call it. What do you think about the way graffiti has been assimilated and become part of the mainstream to the extent that… It’s quite prominent now with art in the art scene, in fashion design. What do you think about it’s influence on mainstream and contemporary art?
Gasius: I guess, when you look at it it’s easy to see why it became so big cos it’s so easy to access. I mean if you look at all art that gets massively popular it’s easy to access for everyone and that’s why it’s popular because people can look at it and instantly get it. And that is just instant. It’s political and subversive and it’s edgy and it’s… Yeah… uhm. But I’m kind of not into it, at all. I don’t know what I think about it getting big. It’s changed it a lot. It’s changed everything. It’s made a lot of people come out of the woodwork who maybe shouldn’t have. And… Yeah… It’s like anything though, it’s about opinion on what’s good and what isn’t.
David Sausage: Right. Shall we go inside?
Yokohama Triennial finishes on Sunday, November 6th. You can visit three different sites BankART Studio, Koganechou, and the main Yokohama Museum of Art with a day ticket for ¥1500 with a free shuttle bus between the three throw in for free. Koganechou was a real let-down so save your time for the other two.
See http://yokohamatriennale.jp/en/ for details.