By Simone Ribeiro (@moluska)
Photos: Newso's website
Espirito Brum is all around! The celebration of Brazil’s and Birmingham’s musicians and artists just began and we already have so much to catch up! Midiativa Santos just has spoken to one of the main attraction featured in the Festival, the Birmingham based Graffiti artist: Newso.
Ma: When did you know you would become a Graffiti artist?
Newso: Riding the train into the city I would see the graff on the line and think how do they do that?! I started writing graffiti around the time I left primary school, but I didn’t start using spray paint until a year or two later. A guy called Fisto was sent down for 5 years and it was all over the news, they interviewed writers painting at a jam on the telly and I saw how they used paint and wanted to learn how to do it.
Ma: You have mentioned Basquiat and Andy Warhol as inspiration to your work. What and/or who else inspires your work?
Newso: The Basquiat and Warhol collaborations remind me of the way I see graffiti and advertising alongside each other in the street. The big budget images advertising the corporations and the writing on property being the individual's platform to have their say. But that inspires my artwork. Within graffiti all the people I write with inspire me to keep going and the writers pushing their styles inspire me to do the same. The internet has become a great tool for sharing style development worldwide.
Ma: Much of your work can be seemed in Digbeth, in Birmingham. You are involved to the local community there. What does make Digbeth a perfect place to do some graffiti pieces?
Newso: Digbeth is just an old industrial area that has been the city’s main creative area for 20 years or something now; they are also trying to redevelop so there are loads of opportunities to paint empty buildings, development sites and people with rundown buildings happy to have a fresh coat of paint. A lot has been going on before my time though, Graffiti Bastards exhibition mid 90s, Mission Print, Beat 13, A Third Foot, Custard factory, The rainbow, Funding Pending/Friction Arts, Chu, Ouch and Tony Graffiti, Zuke and many others were all doing stuff in the area. Me and Tempo started doing a load of paste ups round there about 2 years ago, then I started approaching people and getting permission/commission walls to paint with Tony, Meks n Gent. Now there are loads of people coming to the area to do the same...
Ma:Talk a little bit about your graffiti contribution work with the 48 crew. This is a very well known and respected work inside Graffiti scene of Birmingham. What is this idea about?
Newso: Fortyeight is an anagram of Toyfighter and our aim is high quality graffiti I guess. Anti Toys.
Ma: What are your expectations about the participation at Espirito Brum festival with Renato Pontello?
Newso: It’s good to meet Renato and paint some good walls over here and it’s good to have outside influences in Birmingham. I have had some work exhibited in Brazil too thanks to him and Espirito Brum.
Ma: What do you think about Brazilian Graffiti?
Newso: The pixacao stuff is mental and the styles that come out of there are so different to here, it’s good to see new stuff so hopefully I will get to go over there one day.
Ma: What are your other plans for 2011?
Newso: Plans for 2011? It’s nearly over…Gone too fast, but hopefully some time off paid work to get some fresh walls on.