Interview with Pran – Sao Paulo / Brazil
Born and raised in São Paulo (Brazil), Pran grew up inside the pixação and graffiti scene. With a lot of friends that were actively painting for several years, her eagerness for writing on the streets started to show up. After 5 years living abroad in countries like Netherlands, England and Italy, with more mature thoughts on graffiti, Pran started to write on the streets with more intensity as she came back to Brazil. And it hasn’t changed since then.
Year that started: 2011
12ozProphet: What is graffiti for you?
Pran: Graffiti is instinctive for me, something real that I can do where I want, when I want, despite laws and the views of others.
12oz: In the primordially male dominated world that is graffiti, was it hard to find your place? What kind of situations have you gone through for being a woman graffiti artist?
P: I’ve never actually thought about this matter when it comes to motivation for painting. It’s something that I went after evolution despite thinking about the gender issue, there’s a certain male domination of course, but my career goes over and forward all this. Obviously, there will always be something trying to bring you down, but I’m very confident about what I choose for myself, including what I believe in.
12oz: Who are your influences within the movement?
P: Many things inspire me, specially within the movement, which are: Reks and Ayslap (adeps), Vino (tsk), Gueto (L163), Sosek (PV), Nica (PV), Utah (mul), Osgemeos and Koyo (vlok), Causr (vts) and also outside of graffiti there is Os Cururu gds, Sustos, Néticos guigo, Tent Digo, Parceiros jack, Escadão ngs and Violentos Juk. These were the main names that inspired me when it came to attitude, style, vision and also my posture when I’m out in the streets.
12oz: What has graffiti given you?
P: Great moments.
12oz: What has graffiti taken away from you?
12oz: Many graffiti artists and “pixadores” believe that the essence of the movement is protest and resistance against the system. Wouldn’t it be more fair with yourself to define it as ego, search for adrenaline or simply fun?
P: I think the essence of graffiti doesn’t seek any explanation; it’s like a melody with no language that you listen to and enjoy it for no reason. I believe that within all of that there is the pleasure given by adrenaline, fun, ego, protest, depends on your humor when you’re painting. But it is what it is, the true essence is in the instinct.
12oz: Do you believe that graffiti isn’t that important for the world? To what point are the risks and leaving behind other things worth it to continue painting?
P: I believe that it’s important for me, which is enough. That is why the risks are worth going through to the end, or to what I’m able to reach within my capabilities.
12oz: Walking through the tracks and streets have always rendered frustrated and successful stories and missions. What are some that you remember?
P: One of the stories that stuck to me the most was this one time when we went to paint the subways in São Paulo. We got inside, but we noticed that there were security guards hidden waiting for us to take the first step. We then decided to leave, and when we reached the car, we were surprised by 2 trucks and 8 railway division police officers aiming their guns to our heads and trying to intimidate us, they said they knew who we were and showed us picture of painted wagons claiming they were ours (some actually were). Luckily we didn’t do anything wrong and they didn’t take us, but they took all our spray cans and booked us. Another story was on a mission to paint the subway in Santiago, Chile. It was a high place, and while we were rushing out before the police arrived, I ended up falling from a height of 3 meters, I almost broke my leg and I still had to run to escape.
12oz: What are your plans and ambitions within graffiti? Any specific mission or country in your mind?
P: When it comes to graffiti, my objective is to travel to more places, no frontiers, get to know more cities, countries and different graffiti scenes, besides other cultures and peculiarities. I’m interested in exploring South America more and going all the way up North.
All pictures from Pran’s personal archieve, and action shots on CPTM by Carla Arakaki