1. Since i did not find a lot about your bio: Could you tell me something about your personal development? When did you start, how did you start, what were the first and biggest influences etc.
Right! I’m a kid of the 80’s, i mean, i really lived the 80’s with all his sub-cultures explosion here in Europe! As we discovered Skateboarding, Bmx, Graffitis …I always did drawings ,saying “i wanna be a draftman, nothing else!” My inspirations came from Sci-fi movies, Marvel comics, Thrasher Mag, BMX Action, Bicross magazine….In 1988, we got already graffiti-pionneers here in Paris and the act of taking spaces in the city without any permission flamed me up, so i began to bomb under the name “Funcrime” and it was also, i think the start of my “letter” quest. Since way back, i got love for the letters, the typography, writing, scripting, that’s my goal!!!!!
i only want to do my thing : writing my name! It was my main activity during the 90’s, crawlin’ in the hood, meeting friends, finding cans,bombing, being dumb!! At the same time in 94 , My oncle brought me a macintosh computer, and i started to learn digital language by myself. For me, it was like a brand new approach of the typography and layout. I realized that computer was and is still a great tool to put the finishing touch to my work. I’m someone who love to draw, a large majority of my work is manually designed or created, the contact of the paper, the touch of a good pencil, the darkness of a good black ink…a comp’ will never be able to replace this, never !
Anyway, during the 2nd part of the 90’s , i kept on bombing, joining a new crew called GT (Grimteam), a strong force in the Euro Graffiti scene, made of Graff veterans & Wild creative rookies. At that time, we were all city and got mad respect!
Around 2000, i started developping a style i called “Future-Primitivism”, melting classic euro-styles graffitis like Bando, Shoe or The BBC’s with some funky fresh Galactic universes, inspired by Marvels Cosmic Tales….Later on, that style will be recognized as “Galactic Style”. It’s important for me to keep the essence of graffiti, with elements in 2D like arrows, interlocks , but also it must have a futuristic aspect to match the 2000 era. At the same time, I continue my great quest of the typography, all kind of writing interest me, from Venice Beach graffitis to computerized fonts. My researches combined with my sense of the composition given by stylewriting, gave me the ability to design logo. I have a powerfull thing in my hands that gave me the opportunity to continue in graphic-design as an everyday lifestyle and most definitely live from my passion. Now i’m with the best guys i can find to express my art, The Almighty UB Gang! (ULTRABOYZ), we influenced each others in a good way, always in a creative spirit, I need that fusion! I’m someone totally obssesional, i can’t stay in a vegetable state, doing nothing. I must do new things day after day, night after night and these peoples think like me…We Conquered!
2. How did your style develop/evolve over the years? Did the way you work change? Did the way you think change?
Obviously, i evolved technicaly over the years, but the most important thing in my evolution is the maturity & the reflection of my work .I always conceptualized things , cause to me , this is 50% of the realisation, and for the last past years, with my homies the UB, we worked hard on that point, developping concepts around the ULTRABOYZ’ name and by extension, the Galactic Style. It’s good to have a base line to work with, like a name or a theme .This is exactly the same approach i had with the art direction for my Carhartt collections.
it’s good being surrounded by powerfull minds with great ideas. We have constant competition in our group and it motives me to move on and break the limits. I found new working technics : visualizing an image and conceptualized it manually or digitally, which represents the classic way of art in my opinion. But i experienced something new that i called “Dark matter fusion”.
Let me explain it : simply grab some visuals i drew or directly picked in my photo databank then freestyle’em with my comp following a concept but not a define vision. I move and transform objects as fast as i’m progressin in the project, adapting the visual i got on screen to my instant mental perception, the result may be sometimes good or sometimes bad, but for sure that technic always brings something new ! Metaphoricaly, i’m like a small particule that travels through space collecting cosmic dust on her way to become a big frightening meteorite!!!! Take Care!! hahahhaa!!!
3. Could you tell me something more about you doing tattoos?
Hehe! That’s something very special…Cause i really got love for the style & the work of Tattooists, especially for the letters but i ain’t got no tattoos!!!!!, All my Friends got tattoos, many of em got tattoo-designs by myself…but i ain’t got none, i can tell you why : probably because you can’t modify it or remake it..when it’s done,its done,and if you know me,you’ll know that i’m a truly insatisfied guy ! I don’t brag anything like “im a tattoo-artist” cause i’m not, i just study letters hard, and love those scripts & gothic styles. It’s just a part of my quest, That’s all.
4. What is Galactic Funk for you? What is galactic for you? What is Func(k)?
First, let me start by the beginning : Func’, came from my 1st writing name “Funcrime” back in 1988. I operated with many names during the past years and when i slow down “graffiti-activities” to focus on some more “grafism-things”, i got back to my 1st name, adding the “Kool” as a reference to our UB mentor Kool Keith. By now, you know me as KoolFunc’88. Right!, you already got the explanation for the “func”, now the case of that “Galactic thing!”. “Galactic Funk” this time with a “k” cause of the reference to the music style, it ‘s a formula created by me and my good brothers in arms and partners in crime, the UB Gang. Since the beginning, i’m a fiend for everything touching the outside of the planet, influences from the cosmos and stars, galaxies and constellations. Visually, it’s absolutely amazing. Scientificaly , it’s so complex and mysterious….Looking at Spitzer pictures makes me fly as a MothaFu*%#er. By the way, we took it as a lead to create a new style of graffiti, called “Galactic-Style”, melting Space views & cosmic elements with elaborated typographies; each one of us worked hard to adapt it to his own artistic universe. With that kind of mentality (being Galactic-Minded), we can do anything. As for me, this state of mind let me free to do what i want without restrictions (like the Funk did for the music in the 70’s)….Free your mind, your ass will follow!!.That’s galactic-Funk!, We are the Cosmic Apostles, travelling from planet to planet to deliver futuristic swaggers to the masses.
5. Do you have something you want to achieve with your illustrations?
I don’t think i have something particular to achieve with my illustrations or works, it’s all about “visual”, it’s something sensitive, a pure personal pleasure, i must be happy with what i see when i’m done , like when i look at a def dereck riggs “iron maiden” cover or a classic sci-fi movie poster from the 70/80’s. Of course, i’m even more pleased when people come to me saying they like my style, but it’s something very personal you can’t really explain, i must do it!
6. What is a good picture/illustration for you?
Pictures that you can’t erase from your mind, even after a lot of piff…An image that reminds you of an era, some memories associated with it that makes you feel good, it’s powerfull when it got that effect. Some grafics run through the ages with no wrinkles, they kill you hard everytime you look at them !!, That’s what i call good grafics…you know like a good Powell Peralta deck by VCJ or Sean Cliver/ Marc McKee Ill Grafics!!
7. What do you think is the magic point in your works (if there is one)? What makes them special?
The only magic point i got is that “Galactic Funk” power given by the celestials.
8. Do you think about the pictures perception when you make it?
I’m trying not to think about it and let’s the creativity doing his job, but it’s kind of hard, cause there’s always a reference to something and I must not copycat things stupidly, that’s not my religion….i like spoofing grafics, being full of references and everything but one thing i’m trying to do is deliver something new or at list evolved. So for people like me, who work with many references , it’s very difficult not to think about the public’s perception.
9. How important is music within the process of creating?
Music is more than important to me, there’s a symbiosis between my work & the music. It gives me inspiration a lot…But even more, it puts me in a mood of creation. The deeper the music is, the deeper the art comes! I’m always creating, so i always listen to music… From Classic smooth Willie Hutch Soul music to Heavy Futuristic El-P Fantastic Damage type shit! But definitly, my Fav’ soundtrack to work with is one of the Lp’s from the legendary rap group “Above The Law” ,they’re all good!.
10. When i look at your works, i kinda always seem something i would call a strong powerful attitude. Would you say thats true and if yes could you describe this attitude a little more?
“Strong Powerfull Attitude”…Yeah! it’s Me ! The Cosmic Rider…The KoolFunc’88!! hahahaha!!..If i was in an egotrip, i’ll go with that 100% but It’s “simply” the UB Potion effect!!..a secret solution handled by our eminent scientist Jaba’stradamus. It’s based on cosmic sciences mixed with complex mathematics equations & electro-chemical technologies, a duty tuff work!!!!
We try not to talk about it …Cause some people will take us as mentally disturbed and some others might want the potion, we can’t deliver to the world something so powerfull without control. It’s not so simple, but your feeling with my work will be the same for the other people from our buro (SozyOne, Kool Rec’, Prince Pro, Busy Byz, Bionic Dead….). Our laboratory in Santa Magnetica Island is observing all day everyday the planet earth to find new collaborators to our activities. Last to enter the commity are Mr. Golden Green & Mr. Form76 from Hamburgzity.
As a conclusion, i can say UB has a strong powerfull attitude, and it’s only the beginning!
11. What do you like/hate about yourself?
Omegatot=Omegam+OmegaLambda = 0.94 +/- 0.26 (1-sigma)
…As you can see with this equation , it’s FLAT!, it’s a question, i don’t really pay attention to, people close to me love me like i am, so everything is good…
12. Do you believe in aliens? Or anything else, higher than humans?
You not????….you really think we’re the only one in the universe? it’s an eresy. Of course, i believe in something else, not a stupid religious mythology created by human being…Species, i talk about species from outerspace. They probably look at us or maybe have already been there. I dont believe all the internet-nerd-hoax, but i know that one day People from earth will meet “others” .
13. Any last words? Something you would like to say?
To all the biters…..I’M GALACTIC! YOU NOT!
(Interview by Soeren for Carhartt Street Wear, appears in the Brand Book Vol.1)