Given the name and style of the graffiti that he produces, we had very little doubt about the goodness and state of mind of this 37 year old German. For nearly 20 years, his colorful and delectable letters have salivated greyish walls and rusty wagons around the globe, and they’ve never lost their appetite ... Boogie played along, and offered us a profound interview retracing his career through his influences and encounters, all sprinkled over with some scrumptious anecdotes. No need to say more, he’s taking care of the rest.
Jacker / How and when did your encounter with graffiti happen ?
Boogie / Actually, I’m nothing like your typical city dwelling graffiti Artist. Originally I’m from a little village in the countryside. I didn’t necessarily start out like the other guys. We went to this gas startion and bought three cans of spray paint for cars for like 20 marks or something... We went to this old train station and made our first painting. And since then, I never let it go. My friends who were with me at the time quickly gave up the vibe, they were no longer into it. Then i got more and more interested , and went to Berlin and saw some real graffiti... Around our village, there were a couple of towns that in the beginning of the 90s were already well immersed in graffiti. And i quickly made a lot of contacts, friends, i moved about.. I think i started to make my first real pieces in 1995. The first time I held a can of spray was in 94. Our highpoint/climax was in 1998, with trains a gogo, right until around 2004. Afterwards, I knida concentrated on my studies, even though i never actually gave it up. I’ve so many guys come and go. But i always stayed true to myself, I’ve always thought it important to continue to better myself. I’ve always been fascinated by this stuff I think and I’ve never thought of it as a teenage activity. I’ve always admired the guys who’ve gone all the way with this trip, that’s why its been 20 years now since I’ve been living this to the fullest.
J / You’re a German living in Switzerland, why Switzerland ?
B / It wasn’t really my first choice. My girlfriend found a good job over here, that’s really why we moved and started a new life in Switzerland. But the region of Bâles has always fascinated me, this town has a really quality graffiti scene. In Switzerland, Bâles is first rate. Dare was the pioneer, he brought everybody to this town, he was tremendously active over here. His name was Von Könningen, he had a bit of a nobleman’s name, it was uite funny. Right up until his death three years ago, he had done some amazing stuff for the scene, not just for Bâles, not just for Switzerland but world wide. And you can still see that today, when you’re strolling around town and see a new graff and under it you read «Dare, Rest In Peace». And no matter if you’re in Bâles, Zurich, Berlin, New York or Sydney.. you see it everywhere. I was in Miami this year... and I saw RIP ̈DARE. And that just says it all. Thats also one of the reasons I like Bâles.
J / Do you have any anecdotes from your vandalism sessions ?
B / This one time a buddy and I did this train, and we really wanted to see it roll. We waited like 4 or five hours at the train station. We were next to this really tiny kiosk and must have drank like 15 espressos each. We hadn’t slept for two days, but we didn’t necessarily look like bums. We stayed out there so long that the guy from the kiosk called the cops . They came and checked us up while we were drinking coffee. It was a bit weird.
Detroit was really cool too. I think there are around 90 000 abandoned houses there ...Detroit is built on music, art and crime . I was there with a local guy and we wanted to go graf in the evening. We found a wall and approximately 200 meters away it was a house with the lights on. It was only a dog barking but my guide told me that we had to be careful. I thought it was a bit ridiculous. But then he told me : « You don’t really get it, those people here will not ask you kindly to stop putting paint on the walls. First they will shoot . And maybe , if you are still movin’, they will come and have a look. « At that moment I said to myself... Damn. I don’t wanna get killed. Watch out if you go over there guys, it’s not because it looks empty that it’s not dangerous.
J / How would you define your graffiti style ?
B / What’s important to me is that its readable, for a start. The letters must be understandable. It has to have harmony, like a natural flow of energy. It has to put you in a good mood. I see myself a bit like an entertainer, I want to amuse you. And I find it really cool when people who have nothing to do with graffiti arrive in front of one of my paints and says " Damn ... BIM! I like it’ ". They must laugh, read something in it. Sometimes, I throw some characters or objects in there to maintain the wall and add a bit of lightness to the whole thing. For example, when my grandfather looks at my work and gets it... I think it’s awesome. You always have to pay attention to the colours combinations ... I just wanna show how much pleasure I have doing this.
J / Is there an collaboration or a partenership that left more of a mark on you than others ?
B / My first trip to California is really carved in my head . I was very happy . At night, I use to chill with two guys , and at the end, the lesson I remembered from this trip was that bombing is not only made out of Chrome and Black . It can be but it can also be made out of ten different colours. I came back from this trip and all of a sudden all my paintings took twenty colours. MSK has really influenced me . I take my hat off to these guys , you can say whatever you want it was a revelation for me, they are like examples to me .
What’s really a good memory as well and really makes me happy is when this year I received an email from Dabs & Mila who were passing through Bâles and asked me if I wanted to join them in painting a wall. My jaw dropped . What ? Them ? You ? With me ? It was really a great honor for me. And we spent a fucking cool day together ! These two are the nicest sprayers I ever met . They are fucking awesome ! They are humanly exactly as their paints. Our styles looked good together , we had a little walk in Bâles , we took a bite and they continued their trip to Norway.
What was really awesome this year is when I had the right to paint the Molotows’ train ... pretty cool.
J / We see a lot of donuts or icecream in your paints, where does this sugary passion comes from ?
B / To be honest, hahaha ... I love sweets. I’m 37 years old , I am old but I like donuts, cupcakes, chocolate and icecreams. Sometimes, you’re working like crazy and then the candy break comes , you throw them down the hatch and then say to yourself «Waaaah-HORNY» And it can put you in such a good mood ! And I’m not saying that because of the weed huh ! Maybe it is linked, of course, but I just love this candy style, this comics aspect, they gotta look tasty.
J / Tell us more about your different crews.
B / My crew at the begining is SML. It has several meanings which change every year. Small Medium Large. Sprühen Macht Laune (Graf is Fun). At the moment it is SchwiegerMutterLieblinge (Step mom’s favorites). There used to be a lot of us. Today there is just six of us. We are not the most active crew right now, but I think it’s pretty normal. Friendship remains the important thing in a crew, and all stories you can keep on telling ... it’s a real family. We don’t see eachother a lot, perhaps 3-4 times a year ... But when we see eachother it’s for real. It’s complicated enough for us all to meet, one is in Berlin, another one in Dresden, two are in Thüringen, another one in Freiburg ... But everyone has his lettering in the heart, and that is the most important thing.
J / Exhibitions or events coming up soon ?
B / I don’t really know what’s gonna happen, I don’t have a schedule yet, but usually it happens very quickly. Festivals have been asking for me and there is always stuff that arrives suddenly. ‘Who knows, maybe with you guys’, hahaha. ‘Whatever happens I will not get bored.