Photograhper: Madeleine Tonzi
Posts Tagged ‘Berkeley’
ENDLESS CANVAS: How long have you been doing this?
RENEK: I’ve always been interested in graffiti and have been drawing letters as long as i can remember, but didnt really start writing till 2008.
EC: Do you represent any crews?
RENEK: I represent ALL Crew based out of Chicago and WFK. I don’t represent crews because I’ve seen them up or because they do dope graffiti… to me a crew should be your family who your down for and whose down for you. If people in a crew are not close to me like brothers then I don’t rep it.
EC: What does A.L.L. and W.F.K. stand for and who else is in those crews?
RENEK: ALL stands for “Always Loving Life.” There are a few different chapters so it’d be way to long to name every one. We have chapters in a few different states and even cats in other countries. I’m the leader of the California chapter and out here its me, Berg 45, Zenphonik, Wors, and Mucho.
WFK stands for “Wanted For Killing.” It’s been around in the east bay since the 90’s. The cats currently still rocking it though are Advek, Zenphonik, LoveKids, Aeon, Mucho, Dvide, Resn8, Blue22, Chunto and a few others (sorry if i forgot you).
EC: You have a bit of an LA aesthetic to your letter structure. Where are you from originally?
RENEK: I don’t even know where I’m from. I know where i was born but to me those are two different things. I’ve lived all around. All around California, Chicago, Utah, Oregon. I don’t like to stagnate in one place for to long. I just drift around. I’ve never really spent more than two years in one city. As for graffiti, the first graffiti I saw was cats from LA. Plus my graffiti is really inspired by different tattoo fonts so you can see the inspiration of both in my letters.
EC: How do you feel the scene in California, Chicago, Utah, and Oregon differ? Do you have a favorite?
RENEK: I wasn’t really involved in the Utah or Oregon graff scene. I lived in those states before i Started, but with Chicago and California… the bay more specifically, there are many differences. In Chicago there is way less graffiti because of the strict laws and punishments around it. It’s even illegal for hardware stores to sell spray paint in chicago. Plus if the police catch you out there your not only going to jail but receiving a brutal beat down by the pigs first.
I feel like in Chicago graffiti is way more in touch with its hip hop roots. It’s just different. The bay is all about bombing and fools grill shit out here. Even the way people beef in Chicago is different. When people beef in the Bay they line each other or catch a bomb over a burner. In Chicago when cats beef they flip each others letters. If you where beefing with me you’d do a cleaner piece over me. The point is to show skill during beef out there. Its more of a battle… more than anything the point is like, “I’m so much better than you. I can do your own name backwards better than you.” There was this cat in Chicago who wrote Zulu just so that when you flipped his name is said “u luz.” Ha ha. I love both scenes so its hard to compare. They are both very different. Although I always seem to end up back in the East Bay no matter where i go. So I’d have to say I like the East Bay the best.
EC: You hit a lot of billboards. What’s you motivation behind choosing those spots?
RENEK: I see so many billboards put up by corporations every day… polluting what I see every day… telling me, “Fuck you! Buy this! You wont be happy till you get this!” It’s like a game for me. A lot of people see graffiti as visual trash. That’s how i see advertisement. If I have to see your trash, you’re gonna have to see mine. They pay thousands of dollars just to put there brain washing slogan in my face, so every time i smash a billboard it costs them thousands. I love that. Also, I hear so many cats bragging about throw ups or how they get it… don’t get me wrong, I love throwies, but I’m always trying to push my self to go further. I like to show cats i can flex a burner on a billboard and can push myself past a throwie on the street.
EC: What’s the spot you’ve painted that you’re most proud of?
RENEK: Hmm, I’m not really sure. I once painted a throwie on a billboard in the day time. That was kinda cool. I usually get sick of my work a few weeks after i do it. So it’s always changing.
EC: You sound like a man who appreciates difficult spots. Who do you think the best climber in the Bay Area is who’s up currently?
RENEK: I’d have to say the cat I see getting the most crazy spots out here in the Bay would have to be Gufe. I see him getting super high up rooftops and backs of freeways signs with multi-colored burners. I see Anemal getting a bunch of those suicide free way shots too. There are a lot of cats getting some crazy spots, but Gufe stands out to me the most.
EC: Any shout outs?
RENEK: I wanna give a shout out to my homie Wors. That fucker has lost his mind. He has been in the game too long. This cat taught me a lot about the graff game. I’m a give a shout out to my boy Berck ALL LD from Chicago. That homie taught me how to burn pieces and the concept of letter structure. A shout to my boy Rare, homie your nuts. Then a shout out to all my close boys in my crews ALL and WFK; Zenphonik, Advek, Blue 22, Love Kids, Mucho, Aeon, Resn 8, Dvide, and every one else reppin’ to0! And free my boy Snek fast!!! Rest in Peace to my homie Jkat, fool was like an older brother.
Featuring heads from Special Delivery and presenting artists who translate their life from the streets to new styles and mediums… photography, painting and flipping the original expression of graffiti and street art.
Celebrating Ear Peace Records Grand Re-Opening as a gallery event space with an upstairs graffiti shop.
@ Ear Peace Records
(between Harmon St & Alcatraz Ave)
No backpacks or outside drinks
Free 2 hour parking
Ashby BART adjacent
Starts at 8:15 p.m (Buy Tickets)
2575 Bancroft Way
Between College and Telegraph
One of the first films to document the emerging hip-hop culture, Style Wars journeys into the New York subway system’s vast gallery of graffiti art to present a unique portrait of the artist as an angry young man, rebellious, street-smart and strangely eloquent. We meet the writers, as they are called—Skeme, Seen, Iz, Kase, Cap, Crazy Legs, Frosty Freeze, et al—who risk jail to “get their names up,” as well as peripheral figures from cops to former Mayor Koch who try to analyze the work they can’t comprehend. A lively parallel is drawn between break-dancers, rappers, and train-yard artists.
Produced by Henry Chalfant. Photographed by Burleigh Wartes. Edited by Victor Kanefsky and Sam Pollard. (69 mins, Color, DigiBeta from 16mm, From Public Art Films)