Combining his graff background with comics, cartoons and pop-culture, BustArt creates street art that really unites each element together perfectly.
BustArt took some time out to speak to us!
Where are you from and how when did you start painting?
I am from Basel, Switzerland, and I started painting graffiti actively in 1999.
Why do you paint?
Growing up, I was always interested in the graffiti in my city. Seeing the big, colourful paintings on the streets was the biggest inspiration to learn to paint graffiti and to do the same.
Not knowing who made the artwork gave a special kick to it. As I went deeper into the sub culture, more and more things just added up for me. It was not just the creation of a nice graffito any more, it became much more than that.
What made you choose the style you paint?
I never really had one style. I painted letters, characters, cartoons, pop-up images, and as I started with street art in 2005, I did stencil, paste-ups, installations, stickers and everything else with tons of subject matter that was in my head at the time. For me working on the streets was to express myself in every way possible. I could not just paint one thing for so many years.
However, in the back of my mind, I was searching for that one style that I felt comfortable to call my own. One day I just started to mix all the things I had painted for all those years on the street. Since I painted most of them in grey scale or black and white, I gave myself the goal to produce only colourful artworks, the colours CMYK play a big role in my artworks.
My style is a mix of graffiti, pop art, cartoons and comic. The last two are especially recycled elements from my childhood, which is why you won’t find me painting Shrek anytime soon!
How do you choose the subject matter of your pieces?
Like I mentioned before I look for the right mix of graffiti, pop art and cartoons in my artwork. The main subject of the piece fits mostly with the place I am painting or the story I want to tell.
For example, a painting that I did in Berlin shows a train, a fire extinguisher, a no entry sign, elements of the horrible window design on the subway, which everyone hates and more things that I connect with Berlin.
What techniques do you used to create your work?
Since a lot of my work is based on the 1:1 copy of the original I mostly make a raster on the wall and on the sketch. The outdoor walls are all painted with spray cans, if i go bigger than 8 metres, I paint with acrylic and roller.
What’s the public perception of your work?
Mostly positive! Kids love my work for the cartoons I include, some of the older folks appreciate the pop art elements, even older people enjoy the colours, and even some writers who hate street art like my work because of the graffiti elements.
What challenges do you face when painting?
This always depends on the location and the wall. There are always challenges, which can just be reaching the spot on a ladder with 40 cans, a bucket of paint, rollers and a 6-pack.
Which has been your favourite piece to paint?
Most of the time it’s the great people I paint with that counts much more than the piece I’m painting I have painted countless numbers of walls with my crew Multi- Syndicate and I can remember every bike ride, train travel and all the things we did whilst painting but don’t ask me where I painted which artwork!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There are too many to choose from! Maybe painting a not-so legal wall in Dubai 12 years ago? Or possibly when I lived in Amsterdam for almost 4 years, where I painted every day? Or the time I painted as the first non-Egyptian in Cairo illegal? Or painting a massive 20 -metre wall in New York last year? Or the massive 25 metre walls with the Mickey with throw up face, which I painted in 48 hours?
No, none of those times! It’s the day I married my love Zaire who has supported me for over 15 years now and has gone with me through the good times and the bad.
Do you have any projects coming up?
Always! The next project will be a massive wall at Teufelsberg in Berlin, then soon after there will be my first sculpture, handmade of course, in a super low edition cause I am a broke artist!
For me, as a huge toy collector, this is a dream come true!