Kidult Interview on Hypebeast
Recently Kidult has been making headlines for his bold fire extinguisher tags on the storefronts of some of the most well known luxury brands worldwide. Encouraged by a desire to salvage the art of graffiti that he believes has been commercialized and trivialized, Kidult agreed to an interview with Hypebeast to talk about his motives and the politics that surround it. We posted an except from the interview below. Click here to check out the interview in its entirety.
How do you choose which storefronts to vandalize?
There are some infamous brands which are known for using graffiti without taking care of the culture. The news also inspires me a lot. If a brand that I did not have my eyes on releases a product which strikes me (like Kenzo) or if we are in a certain time of the year where special events occur (like the fashion week), I feel very inspired too. At some point, all these shops have used graffiti or street culture as a commercial image, riding the trend without being a part of it to say the least, and for which the only purpose is to make some cash. All I say to them is “hello;” if these brands really like graffiti, I’m only giving them what they like, so what if it’s beautiful or ugly.
We’ve got to stop these brands from dictating a culture that belongs to us.
What was the first storefront you ever vandalized?
I’ve been tagging for over 13 years so it’s not the first time that I’ve vandalized storefronts. I’ve been doing it for a very long time. What may be newer, is the message behind any one of my actions. The first target of “Kidult” was JCDC. This character has been exploiting graffiti for the longest time and even until this day, he writes on the walls with a piece of chalk and calls it “graffiti.” But when he is the victim of real graffiti, his best answer is to file a lawsuit for damages while he claims that he is the one who did it to his own store. This is pure nonsense.
Is it contradictory to target retail establishments for their capitalistic agendas, only to go around and sell T-shirts based on this?
This is a very good question. I call it A-A-A (Anti Advertising Agency). All these luxury brands pillage graffiti of its image to make more money and attract new customers. I do the same thing by taking their images or logos illegally. It is important to mention that the tees that I sell allow me to fund my actions like when I gave away shirts in Paris or in London. It goes full circle and the notion of capitalism is never a reason for my actions. There is nothing contradictory. We can read a lot of things on the internet but believe only the things that you see.
Does the thought of getting arrested/incarcerated scare you?
All graffiti artist have the fear of being caught. If they don’t have it, they are not doing graffiti. Graffiti is illegal and savage before anything else. I try to protect myself to the maximum by being organized, rigorous, and have my eyes everywhere and on every detail. These are the same rules for graffiti all over the world. I am aware of the risks. Graffiti is illegal so any person who is a graffiti artist fears being caught up. Today, it is considered a crime and you can go in jail for it. It increases the fear but I have learned to live with it. Graffiti is a game, either you win or you lose – some cheat, others don’t.
Click here to read the full interview with Kidult on Hypebeast.