Interview with Persue and Kwest at Murals in the Market in Detroit
When the Murals in the Market artist list was first announced, I knew it was about to go down when I saw the collab of Persue and Kwest. Persues’ (COD/TV) versatility of doing graffiti letters and characters, mixed with Kwest (TV/BSM/BA), who is best known for his burners on freights and enormous sculptures, was sure to be an awesome project. I was right.
Like most of the artists involved in the festival, they were delayed due to rainy weather conditions. Once that was behind them they didn’t waste anytime in emptying cans. Starting with the mixed green background, then sketching the entire wall out, and then came the fill. Oh, did I mention the second background is a train? It has a DTI (Detroit/Toledo/Ironton) engine with 2 boxcars, this concept suits them perfectly since both are known to rock burners on the rails.
The back half of the engine has a crowd of characters such as his Bunny Kitty, Joe Rilla and The Supremes. The first boxcar is where Kwest starts killin’ it with his letter style. On that same car, there is a writer running along side the boxcar, which is Kwest and his dog Diego. The second boxcar has the rest of his name along with a cop car and two mounties chasing down the writer. There is a tribute to Shepard Fairey, known in Detroit for his current legal troubles. There is also a tribute to the late J Dilla; a local rapper/producer in the underground hip hop scene in Detroit. The overall details on this wall are incredible and super crisp! I’ve looked at this wall numerous times and I am still noticing new details.
Hanging out and watching this wall unfold for the past week, I got to know Persue and Kwest a bit more and was able to break them free from their creation to bring you an inside look into what went into this collab.
You both have unique styles to what you create, what brought you two together to do a wall here in Detroit?
“I met Persue and the TV Crew in San Diego, where they hold Persue in high regard. With our work ethics it was inevitable that we meet. We have a lot of similarities by doing previous work.” -Kwest
“Over two decades seeing Kwests’ work and that he repped a part of graff and letter style that’s hard to find. He created his own and by doing so he has become a well respected artist in Canada. With his drive and motivation I hold him in high regard.” -Persue
How many other walls have you collaborated on?
“We did 4 or 5 others, the one in Detroit is the largest.” -Kwest
Is there a message or story it tells?
“It speaks about the struggle and hustle that artists’ have to deal with, they use us to abuse us. It also tells a story about Detroit and Kwest.” -Persue
How does it feel to be back in Detroit?
Persue- “It feels good, I love Detroit! I’ve been able to experiece it from many perspectives.”
Is this your first time in Detroit?
Kwest- “No it’s not, I’ve ran thru before and was able to check out its’ surroundings, but this is my first time painting here.”
What do you think of the first year of Murals in the Market Festival?
“It’s super organized. I appreciate when big festivals run smoothly. Everyone is excited to see us. Most of my work is created in the moment. When there’s a big turnout it motivates me to put it back into my work. I would love to come back.” -Kwest
“1xRun has the right idea of Detroit. They are giving artists’ the right platform and getting eyes back on Detroit in a positive way. There’s a bright future in Detroit. It’s like the center of the universe, politicians need to see that potential. Without all the graff on the streets there wouldn’t be a scene here. It’s taking graff and refining it.”-Persue
I would like to thank Persue, Kwest and Jarus for being part of the Murals in the Market Festival and taking the time to speak with us at 12oz Prophet. Your contribution to the festival and city is amazing and we really hope that you all will be back again!
text and photos by attng3tr