Interview with Arofish from back in January, 2005 by gravel
Arofish is a stencilist currently residing in London. He promised to greet our “intelligent, subtle, carefully thought out questions . . . with a load of boorish, superficial, irrelevant, conceited self-promotionism (well, I am a graffiti artist after all…),” but actually ended up giving us one of our best interviews yet.
Q) How did you first get involved with street art? How did you find your way to stencils?
I came to London a couple of years ago and the stencil graffiti I saw just blew me away. I’ve always had a little bit of skill for drawing but rarely ever had the urge to produce anything. Until I came here, graffiti to me just meant the wildstyle, new york hip-hop stuff you see. That’s often incredibly beautiful and skilled but it still just comes down to writing your name and I wouldn’t personally bother trying to get good at it. Ironically, a lot of those artists piss on me in terms of technical skill. What limited drawing skill I have (and I draw everything I do ) is with pen and pencil, hence stencils. (And of course the exposure time is minimised too)
Q) Did you start out making political art, or was this a later development? Did someone or something catalyze a change in direction?
I came to graffiti from a background of political activism, which is why doing art in Palestine and Iraq was a sort of natural extension of both elements.