Goddog is a guy we regularly run into. I think the first time we met him was in the dope Keepfire shop in Avignon, while hanging out and drinking beers with Polo. A determined and busy artist, legend has it Damien will only ever sleep once he dies. He is constantly seeking new projects and destinations. He puts out new works all the time, adding to feedingeady vast portfolio of works. We have seen him move from stencils to chomes to subways ; and more recently to a deeper conceptual and graphic style, taking street art on an journey through the surreal and abstract.
Jacker / Present yourself and tell us about how you started to graff.
G / Hi, my name is Damien, AKA Goddog, graffiti artist, illustrator and street artist for those who want to call me as such. I’m living in Avignon, France. I’m 30 years old. I started graffing at the age of 16, in my hometown of Châlons, a town in the north of France, where I’m from originally. At first it was all about curiousity. I had a really good buddy who was already graffing and I was really interested to try it out. One day, I noticed we had spray paint sitting in the garage. I picked them up and layed by first paint lines, before ever using a sketchbook. After a couple proper vandalous bombing runs, I turned to illustration and more conventional graphic arts. A couple years later, the new wave of street art emerged and had me intreaged. I’ve generally always been intreaged by what happens on the streets.
J / Have you been part of any crews ?
G / Yes, but it was always more about hanging out with chill people than about art. We didn’t give a shit about street cred and all. Also, we were heavy into skateboarding. Generally I’ve always gone out solo. With a crew things move too slowly, unless the crew is highly active.
J / How did you end up moving to a graphical and illustration-rich style ?
G / For the past four to five years I’ve gotten a lot more interested by illustration and more graphic art. Three years into this, a branch of street art took off under the form of collages. I was doing a lot of my own stensils. I’d say that the english scene really made me realise that something else could be done.
J / You use your dreams for inspiration, tells us about one of the wilder ones.
G / I never really remember of my dreams. But I’m quite a dreamer, even by day. Let’s say that in general, anything which roams around the strange and inexistant inspires me. Moreover, I’m a sleepwalker, so let’s just say that I do some really weird things.
J / Any other sources of inspiration ?
G / Yes, my travels. I travel as much as I can. My schedule is pretty loaded, but I try to take off twice a year for at least three weeks. I’ve been through Asia alot; Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, ... My next focus will be Latin America. Everything related to my travels has been a great source of inspiration. It is during travels that I have the most time to think deep. In Malaysia, I once hooked up with a group of guys through social networks. The dialogue was difficult, because of the language barrier, but we got together in the subway, out in the suburbs. It was a ghetto atmosphere under the subway tracks, and it was awesome. I would wonder where the hell I am but the guys were very welcoming and we had a solid session together, a great moment for me. This is what I like about travelling and graffiti, the networks and exchanges between artists everywhere.
J / Any upcoming shows ?
G / Yes, I’m happy as I’ve gotten my shit together for some shows. At Sètes, I’m invited to the K-Live. At Bagnoles sur Cèzes, I’ll be presenting my stuff alongside Pablito Zago, sometime between April and May 2014 . In September, I’ll be heading up to the International in Paris for another show .