Global Graffiti: French Kiss magazine releases Out-of-Series 2: Belgium
French Kiss magazine is a French (surprise!) print and online publication dedicated entirely to train graffiti (and great photography that portrays it). Inspired by fanzines like Hainemy, Xplicit Grafx, and Paris Connection, they produced their first issue in 2009, and released it one year later in graffiti shops worldwide. Since then, they’ve gone on to print four more issues.
Their mission is simple: to publish fresh, quality photography dedicated exclusively to train and subway graffiti (mostly in France, but covering other countries around the world as well).
Although their focus is print, they also publish a series of free digital issues titled Hors-Série (“Out-of-Series”). These issues allow them to feature the photos that don’t make it into the print issues, and to acknowledge the excellence of the huge number of submissions they receive. The first Hors-Série issue, released in 2001, was focused entirely on graffiti found on the RER C line in Paris (an under- and above-ground train that links the suburbs to the city).
However, despite their usual focus on French artists, the magazine has recently released an Hors-Série issue dedicated entirely to Belgian trains and subways. The issue is divided by the different kinds of train models to be found in le plat pays (“the flat country,“ as it is known in France), as well as a couple of specials focused on two Belgian crews: GEOS and DDNG.
French Kiss describes Belgium as a “paradise,” owing to its cheap food, free-flowing beers, fun party atmosphere, and superb shopping. But it’s specifically a paradise for graffiti artists, given the country’s relatively lax attitude toward graffiti (a.k.a lax police officers), and for train graffiti writers in particular, thanks to the dense railway network that covers the country. The large number of different models of trains (double-decker, “Scuba”, “Piggy”) is also a source of creative encouragement to writers in the country.
These are the reasons why graffiti abounds in Belgium, and artists there are particularly eager to show off their work—this is French Kiss’s second issue that is 100% dedicated to Belgian graffiti (or le graff in French). Apparently the volume of photos they received from Belgium was so large it required another issue entirely of its own.