It has been forever we’ve been willing to hook up with this dude for an interview, and it was all but easy ! However, after trying a few times to get in touch with him by Facebook, without success, it was decided to pass by beautiful Russian lady which made it a lot easier. Watching him covering Putin’s territory with his art in broad daylight through his YouTube videos drove us completely crazy. An interview was thus unavoidable. Obviously, Russia has other issues than tracking graffiti artists through its streets. Yes, Vodka. Although Rasko does it the hard way and we love that at Jacker. He’s a passionate individual, without having the need to sell his work to posh art galleries for ridiculous prices. This guy cannot be controlled. He’s a graffiti freak who will never stop spreading his art all around the world. Enjoy Rasko.
Jacker / Hey Rasko, you are one of the most famous Rus- sian graffiti artists in Europe, do you think vandal graffiti is easier in Russia than other place in Europe ?
Rasko / What’s up ! I have been in Europe a few times. In Russia it is easier to practice vandal graffiti. To my eyes, Russia is a country of freedom where people do not care that much about respecting the laws and rules. Usually, wanderers just do their things, without really paying attention to what is around them. As far as the police is concerned, they got other businesses to deal with and you can always pay your way out, you do not go to jail for a simple sketch.
J / Have you ever had any problems with the cops ? What are the risks in Russia ?
R / I have never been in real trouble with the police. Most of the times, I talk my way out, I just say I haven’t done it or don’t know anything about it. The most important in that kind of situation is to stay calm and confident, without being scared, otherwise you get in trouble. The worst that can happen is to spend a night at the police station. There is always someone understanding and ready to help. Of course, vodka has been a way out more than once. Russia, Vodka, Putin, know what I’m sayin’ ? With the guards and retarded people in general, pepper spray can be an effective solution.
J / What do Russians think about Putin and the government ?
R / Russians love Putin and strongly believe in the return of Russian power. In the past years, the quality of life has drastically improved. Obviously, there is always going to be punkass whiner undoubtedly seeking to wreck our country. Personally, I don’t see anything rational in this kind of protests. I believe those people do not have a good understanding of what is happening around them. But to be honest, my knowledge in politics is quite shallow.
J / Can you explain us how you got dragged into graffiti ?
R / I got into it in the 90’s. At the beginning, I had no clue what the word Graffiti was, did not write any street mob and no pictures of my work were taken. To be honest I did not seek to get into graffiti. It naturally came to me. Everything I did was very obvious and for the sake of the street only. What is left of my early work are sketches and souvenirs, no photos.
J / Who or what motivated you to keep doing Graffiti ?
R / There are so many skilled artists, if I want to keep on drawing, I must step my game up. Therefore, I’m continuously trying to improve although I could put even more energy on it. What’s also very interesting is the power of Internet, it helps a lot when it comes to bringing awareness to the people who do not know me, yet. You know, when I started, there was nothing like it. That’s a big change. I am not bonded to any family or work obligations. It allows me to paint all day, every day, without pressure or possible life issues. It’s all good in the hood. The best incentive I have is the result of my work. I love painting walls, drawing wild letters out of nowhere, that’s what makes us different from other graphic and visual artists.
J / You don’t seem to have a crew, are you against that or you like just doing your own separate thing ?
R / I’m not against being in a crew. They would need to be good people and good writers. By now, I still haven’t found my soul mate or maybe I just do not know he’s around. It might change, who knows ? I am a lone wolf, an army of my own.
J / Do you have a bad story of a vandal session gone wrong ?
R / I have never really experienced bad stories. I guess I’m lucky. Of course I had to run sometimes, pull myself out of sketchy situations, got jailed and a few guards got pepper sprayed too, but it never ended badly. Especially because I’m not risking too much along with the fact I work pretty fast. As I said, only the result counts, so the drawings are more to be taken in consideration than the risk that could be brought with. What truly hurts is how people sometimes behave, betraying, jealousy and non-understanding can occur, and that’s a pity.
J / We saw you doing some Parkour or Free running in some videos. Do you train or is it just for fun ?
R / That’s just playing. I try stuff but that could not be called “Training”. Although, it might be a good idea, both activities could be such a sick combo. Anyway, sport is always a good thing.
J / Obviously you always hide your face and you don’t make other art stuff under the name Rasko. Can you tell us more about you ? Within the limits of confidentiality, of course.
R / I’m some kind of ninja, discrete and nameless. What really counts is the attention brought to my work. I do not support fashion. I like originality opposed to acting.
J / Do you have a regular job beside graffiti ? We don’t see a lot of canvas of you like other graffiti artists. Are you a graphic designer on the side like a lot of graffiti artists ?
R / No, I do not work because I have no interest in working. As far as Graffiti, is concerned money is not what I first seek. I do not stand against money but it is not in my line of sight. Although, I could give it a try if an opportunity comes to me. A bunch of canvases are waiting to be bought.
J / Thanks for the interview; what are your plans for the future ?
R / For the future, I will keep on drawing. My style has to be deepened so it can be famous in the whole galaxy. I would like to travel, that would be cool.