Montana LOOKBOOK #08 / 2023

MontanaCans LOOKBOOK 2023 Issue #8 It's that time again to welcome the release of the Montana Cans Lookbook 2023 edition #8. There is no rewind button on life, making it all the more important to reflect on the year that was, and the things that happened during that period. The Montana-Cans Lookbook does just that and reflects on some of the highlights from the year prior. A moment to reflect on those things that may not have received as much shine as they deserved while being "in the moment". www.montana-cans.blog

MontanaCans LOOKBOOK 2023 Issue #8

It's that time again to welcome the release of the Montana Cans Lookbook 2023 edition #8. There is no rewind button on life, making it all the more important to reflect on the year that was, and the things that happened during that period. The Montana-Cans Lookbook does just that and reflects on some of the highlights from the year prior. A moment to reflect on those things that may not have received as much shine as they deserved while being "in the moment".



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023<br />

EDITION <strong>#08</strong><br />

MONTANA-CANS <strong>LOOKBOOK</strong><br />


#<strong>Montana</strong>Cans #GermanSpraypaint<br />


<strong>Montana</strong> Cans #Highpressure<br />

photography by Edward Nightingale

photography by Edward Nightingale

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans #GAMECHANGER

photography by Edward Nightingale

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans #GAMECHANGER #GERMANSPRAYPAINT


CANS<br />

<strong>LOOKBOOK</strong><br />

<strong>2023</strong><br />

Graffiti has come a long way. What was<br />

started by youth as an exploration of self in<br />

a social environment that didn't seem to<br />

care if they were there, has led to becoming<br />

a global voice, practiced by many, and<br />

heard by many more. Graffiti is everywhere.<br />

In every free country and city, and probably<br />

even in those that are not. Spreading like a<br />

pandemic, contracting graffiti is not<br />

life-threatening and is much more fun. It is<br />

a part of the human condition, like a web<br />

that weaves the fabric of society together,<br />

regardless of socio-economic status, language,<br />

location, education, or gender. To do<br />

graffiti you just need an idea, and from<br />

there you can transport it onto paper, walls,<br />

streets, yards, or even your tablet.<br />

The <strong>Montana</strong> <strong>LOOKBOOK</strong> is a homage<br />

to this way of life we call graffiti. All the<br />

people who practice it in every form, and to<br />

those who give it a little something of their<br />

soul that makes it unique and exciting year<br />

after year. <strong>Montana</strong> Cans is proud to be<br />

part of that journey. With every event we<br />

support, whether it be for the kids down at<br />

the local hall of fame, that gathering in the<br />

national graffiti spotlight, or those grand<br />

happenings that unite the world's best,<br />

making history for generations to come.<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans celebrates how our culture<br />

is continuously moving forward. We are<br />

grateful for every artist that chooses our<br />

brand, every event that values partnership<br />

with us, every store that stocks our products,<br />

and every person that reaches for a<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans product in the store in a<br />

world full of choices. They are all one of us,<br />

as we are one of them. A global family<br />

connected by color.<br />

In 2022, the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK Limited<br />

Edition Artist Series cans took it to another<br />

level. This time taking the shine were some<br />

of the Kings and Queens of the game, like<br />

HOW & NOSM, and LAIA who gave their<br />

chosen color from the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

range and gave it their personal touch. In<br />

our <strong>Montana</strong> BLOG "Introducing" and "Interview"<br />

series, we delved deeper into the<br />

artistic practice of world-level artists like<br />

ROIDS of the MSK crew, who continuously<br />

reinvents what contemporary graffiti is<br />

today, and Swedish artist Max Solca, who<br />

knows exactly how to communicate to the<br />

graffiti community and the general public<br />

at the same time while making everyone<br />

laugh in the process.<br />

In the material world, we created lots<br />

of cool new merch and collaborations<br />

fulfilling the needs of any graffiti collector<br />

or fan with products and articles that both<br />

function and look good. We even collaborated<br />

in the digital space offering the exciting<br />

new freebie "World of Colors", for Procreate.<br />

Even this <strong>LOOKBOOK</strong> that you have<br />

in your hand is another deserving piece of<br />

documented history that will earn a special<br />

place on your bookshelf for years to come.<br />

Let's focus on the good things in life<br />

that we create, that fulfill us, and make our<br />

world a more colorful place to live. Within<br />

these two covers, we have tried to offer you<br />

a small selection of BIG things that made<br />

2022 great and will inspire us to make <strong>2023</strong><br />

and beyond even more inspiring.<br />

From the team at <strong>Montana</strong> Cans to<br />

all the distributors, stores, artists, partners,<br />

media partners, graffiti writers, followers,<br />

supporters, creators, and fans, we say a big<br />

THANK YOU for making graffiti so special.<br />

We are all on the same team and are all<br />

important. Without all of us, this phenomenon<br />

would not be possible.<br />

<strong>Montana</strong>-Cans <strong>LOOKBOOK</strong> <strong>2023</strong> Editorial<br />


7 Editorial<br />

10 <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

Artist Edition:<br />


16 <strong>Montana</strong> Black<br />

Artist Edition:<br />

LAIA<br />

28 Introducing:<br />

ROID<br />

34 Introducing:<br />

GOSPEL<br />


at Metropolink:<br />

The knife game<br />

52 An interview with<br />

SATR from China<br />

62 The Words of the<br />

beast: ALLISON<br />

76 The inaugural<br />

Pfffestival 2022<br />

94 Travel Report<br />

102 <strong>Montana</strong> color<br />

swatches for<br />

Procreate<br />

106 Hafendampf Essen<br />

2022: 12 years of<br />

steam<br />

112 Wall update by<br />

Swedish graffiti artist<br />


122 An Update with<br />

FUNCO from Paris,<br />

France<br />

128 Grand Opening –<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Store<br />

Frankfurt<br />

130 Latest Products<br />

144 Imprint<br />

8 <strong>LOOKBOOK</strong> <strong>2023</strong> content

The 23rd edition of the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK Artist Edition can featuring<br />

LAIA – a Barcelona-born Spanish<br />

graffiti artist, prolific style writer<br />

and art maker.<br />

16<br />

10<br />

The 24th release of the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK Artist Edition cans featured<br />

the New York based artists HOW and<br />

NOSM.<br />

28<br />

If you are into graffiti, urban or street<br />

art, it is unlikely that you haven’t<br />

heard of the London-born graffiti<br />

artist ROIDS.<br />

34<br />

Introducing graffiti artist GOSPEL –<br />

Singing praise for one of Greece’s<br />

finest. Pure forms, solid colors, and<br />

a noticeable influence of his native<br />

Greek culture!<br />

62<br />

40<br />

Layers of illusion, CASE painstakingly<br />

builds up his images from a<br />

primed background to a series of<br />

complex compositions in Heidelberg.<br />

Pablo Allison is a British/Mexican<br />

artist that has managed to take<br />

many of his interests in his art-making<br />

practice to a new level.<br />

78<br />

The Pfffestival celebrated its inauguration<br />

in the creation of large<br />

scale murals in Stuttgart, Germany,<br />

and an exhibition based around the<br />

festival’s achievements.<br />

For quite a while we have had our<br />

eyes on Solca as his artworks impressed<br />

us and made us smirk at<br />

their clever motifs!<br />

112<br />

122<br />

Far from obsolete, FUNCO breaks<br />

the traditions of graffiti repetition<br />

and yet manages to create a recognizable<br />

form that is always a one-off.<br />



Location<br />

Profile<br />

New York, USA @hownosm<br />

Photography<br />

Hownosm<br />


EDITION 24<br />

P3000 Power red<br />

↑ 13 floors of red,<br />

black, and white. And<br />

variations there of.<br />

10 Black Artist Edition Hownosm

The 24th release of the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

Artist Edition cans featured the New York<br />

based artists HOW and NOSM. Choosing<br />

the color P3000 Power Red was no surprise<br />

as one of the most powerful reds, a<br />

color which is at the cornerstone of their<br />

color schemes.<br />

← Stopping all stations<br />

globally. At home<br />

in the Big Apple, the<br />

HOWNOSM <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK Artist Edition<br />

can soon spread to<br />

become a worldwide<br />

collectible.<br />

→ For HOW and NOSM<br />

scale is no barrier.<br />

Whether 10 storeys up<br />

or intricately detailed<br />

on canvas or paper.<br />

↓ No words are required<br />

when identifying<br />

a HOW and NOSM<br />

mural. There style is<br />

like a DNA that is uniquely<br />

theirs.<br />

Black Artist Edition Hownosm<br />


With their roots coming<br />

from the trains,<br />

HOW and NOSM show<br />

that they are as talented<br />

in the horizontal<br />

as they are vertical.<br />

12 Black Artist Edition Hownosm

Black Artist Edition Hownosm<br />


As well as gradients of pink and grey, red is one of<br />

the three iconic colors (including black and<br />

white) adopted by the duo first due to practicality,<br />

and later by choice. Combinations of red,<br />

black, and white as eye-catching as they are, function<br />

like a calling card for their world-renowned murals and<br />

fine art. Raoul and Davide Perré are not only identical<br />

twin brothers, but they are also the ultimate example of<br />

creative partnership, synergy, and discipline. They have<br />

been working as a team for as long as they have been<br />

alive. Outgrowing their native Spain and adopted home<br />

Germany, the duo set a path to the U.S.A relatively early<br />

on in their career and they have called New York home<br />

ever since.<br />

→ The twins taking on<br />

the monumental Bowery<br />

Lane wall in New<br />

York to show how it’s<br />

done.<br />

↘ Prism forms play a<br />

calming role in HOW<br />

and NOSM artwork<br />

both in color and gray<br />

tone. A soothing<br />

reoccurrence that vibrates<br />

and anchors.<br />

↓ Reoccurring symbols,<br />

shapes, and elements<br />

drive the motor<br />

of HOW and NOSM<br />

artwork always returning<br />

with a new<br />

look and new appeal.<br />

→ Stealth in the city.<br />

It's not often the platforms<br />

of New York<br />

are blessed by royalty.<br />

14 Black Artist Edition Hownosm

Black Artist Edition Hownosm<br />


Laia<br />


EDITION 23<br />

BLK400 1030 YELLOW<br />

Location<br />

Barcelona/Valencia,<br />

Spain<br />

← Yellow and Black,<br />

that’s where it’s at..<br />

↓ Not afraid of going<br />

big, LAIA turns to<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

Black for the ultimate<br />

contrast on white.<br />

Photography<br />

@adrianrobos<br />

Profile<br />

@iamlaia<br />

16 Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia

← Loud and proud,<br />

the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

Artist Edition can design<br />

#23 by LAIA.<br />

↑ Tunnel vision as a<br />

little fun in the sun<br />

unfolds for LAIA.<br />

The 23rd edition of the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK Artist Edition can featuring<br />

LAIA. The Barcelona-born Spanish<br />

graffiti artist is not only a prolific<br />

style writer and art maker, but she is<br />

also the reason why <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

Artist Edition can users and collectors<br />

have a great reason to have a<br />

smile on their dials.<br />

Choosing the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK color Yellow<br />

BLK1030 was probably not much of a<br />

surprise for any fan of LAIA’s fun-loving<br />

artwork. A color often used by the artist,<br />

yellow not only features frequently in the happy yet very<br />

clever letters of her graffiti writing practice, but it is also<br />

a color heavily used in her design work including her<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans Cotton Bag designs.<br />

Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia<br />


LAIA isn’t all fun and games though. Apart from being<br />

prolific, her creative concepts are also quirky, innovative,<br />

and symbolic. Often using known pop culture<br />

icons like the smiley face, LAIA’s creative reach has<br />

extended well beyond Barcelona. Dynamic colors<br />

applied in opaque solid modes complement the<br />

refined images that have found their way on art prints,<br />

canvases, walls, bags, and even clothing. Rainbows,<br />

smiling faces, drips, bubbles, and arrows are just<br />

some of the universal elements that LAIA has managed<br />

to give her personal touch.<br />

Proving once again that less can be more, LAIA’s design<br />

for the 23rd <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK Artist Edition can design<br />

uses the colors yellow, black, and white to get her jovial<br />

message across.<br />

LAIA isn’t all fun and games<br />

though. Apart from being prolific,<br />

her creative concepts are also<br />

quirky, innovative, and symbolic.<br />

← No need to over<br />

cook the broth. On<br />

raw concrete LAIA<br />

shows how the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK line has<br />

got you covered.<br />

↓ Double trouble at<br />

the wall. Just prior to<br />

the can’s release in a<br />

secret spot at an undisclosed<br />

location.<br />

18 Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia

← A graffiti tradition.<br />

Nothing hides an identity<br />

from the paparazzi<br />

like a <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

can in front of your eyes.<br />

MC<br />

Where does graffiti fit into your life at the moment? Are<br />

you a graffiti writer doing other things to survive, are<br />

you a designer with a graffiti habit, or is it completely<br />

different for you? What drives you to get up and get<br />

going each day?<br />

LAIA<br />

Right now graffiti fits everywhere in my life. It’s my<br />

hobby, my passion, and it’s also my job, I don’t work<br />

exclusively just painting, but I do work doing 100%<br />

graffiti-related things. Designs for brands, collaborations,<br />

murals, and whatever comes my way. Every day is<br />

a new adventure, and every project is different. I also<br />

have a small online store. I can say that I have become a<br />

workaholic now that I like what I do, and that is an<br />

incredible motivation to get up every day and continue<br />

doing what I like the most. When I started painting, I<br />

would never have thought that this could be happening,<br />

it’s wonderful.<br />

An Interview with Spanish graffiti artist<br />

LAIA<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans<br />

Tell us a little about where LAIA is at right now.<br />

LAIA<br />

At the moment I find myself living between Valencia and<br />

Barcelona, which was my hometown. Two years ago I<br />

decided to move to Valencia in search of peace and calm<br />

to be able to work while listening to the birds. This was<br />

impossible in Barcelona. There, I lived in the center of the<br />

city and worked in the city center. So, I never really left<br />

the “stress zone”. I needed the calm that Valencia has to<br />

offer, which is a big city but at the same time a lot more<br />

peaceful. Now I miss Barcelona. It’s a strange love/hate<br />

thing. When I need movement, hustle, and bustle, I go to<br />

Barcelona. And for the rest, I stay in Valencia.<br />

↑ “La, La, La”, but no<br />

blah blah.<br />

← No undercoating<br />

needed. One of the<br />

reasons why LAIA<br />

turns to the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK 1030 Yellow to<br />

rock the spot.<br />

MC<br />

If you had to choose one of the two cities permanently,<br />

which would it be?<br />

LAIA<br />

If I had to stay permanently in one of them, I would stay<br />

in Barcelona.<br />

Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia<br />


POP! There isn’t any<br />

need for unnecessary<br />

elements when the<br />

concrete is clean and<br />

the cans are <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK.<br />

20 Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia

Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia<br />


MC<br />

You grew up in Barcelona, a destination for many graffiti<br />

practitioners with some edgy characteristics. Are there<br />

any things you do now that you can attribute to having<br />

grown up there?<br />

To me, heroes are people who help<br />

the world to be a much better place,<br />

this is not the case if you are just a<br />

graffiti writer.<br />

LAIA<br />

Yes, I think that Barcelona has always had a very<br />

avant-garde style thanks to being located “at the gates<br />

of Europe”. As well as receiving thousands of graffiti<br />

writer guests from all over the world.<br />

I’ve been doing almost the same since I<br />

started painting, I like to keep it that way. I’ve always<br />

used the same types of forms and elements, and all this<br />

comes from those golden times in the city. A time when<br />

every day when we woke up, there were new pieces<br />

done by people from all over the globe. They brought<br />

with them their different styles and new lots of new<br />

information. All of that was an inspiration to me.<br />

MC<br />

Do you have a favorite local graffiti hero?<br />

LAIA<br />

In my opinion, there are no heroes in graffiti, only crazy<br />

people who are capable of doing anything. To me,<br />

heroes are people who help the world to be a much<br />

better place, this is not the case if you are just a graffiti<br />

writer. If you save puppies in bad conditions, heal them,<br />

take care of them, love them and look for a happy family,<br />

you are a hero to me. But if you paint 20 trains in one<br />

night jumping 30 walls that were all 50 meters high, you<br />

are either crazy, courageous, or both.<br />

MC<br />

How does Barcelona vary from other Spanish or even<br />

European cities in your experience?<br />

LAIA<br />

Barcelona has the sea, mountains, good weather, great<br />

architecture, history, diversity, and a thousand things to<br />

visit and do. It’s a cool city with new things happening<br />

every day. The people are generally open-minded and<br />

each area is different. Everybody has plans all the time<br />

and as for graffiti, it’s a crazy city. It’s kind of like some<br />

kind of amusement park for graffiti writers. However,<br />

this is not so good for you if you are a local like us.<br />

Outsiders often paint things in an “easy” manner which<br />

makes spots hot and is sometimes stressful if you<br />

arrive after them. But I love it. I know it’s an amazing<br />

city, and for that reason, everyone wants to visit!<br />

LAIA switching it up a<br />

bit. When the rails<br />

lead to the freights.<br />

22 Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia

← Rail duty. LAIA hits<br />

the line in simple, elegant<br />

style.<br />

MC<br />

We can imagine that you have been asked many questions<br />

about being a female writer in a male-dominated game.<br />

And possibly having those questions asked by males.<br />

What’s your position on this? What questions do you think<br />

are important that female writers should be asked?<br />

LAIA<br />

Some female writers have inspired<br />

me a lot. It has not been because of<br />

their painting technique, their<br />

letters, or their colors, but by their<br />

strength, their desire, their impetus,<br />

and their trajectory.<br />

It’s strange. Sometimes I think I don’t want to answer<br />

questions about “the woman in graffiti” because in this<br />

way we will never have equality. I want to be treated as if<br />

I am a writer, regardless of whether I am male or female.<br />

My answer has always been something along the lines<br />

of, “to paint you need to use your hands, both women<br />

and men have those”.<br />

But other times I feel it is necessary to explain<br />

to the world the reality of how this works if you are a<br />

female writer and what many women have had to go<br />

through. For example, many people believe that everything<br />

is much easier and that there are more opportunities<br />

if you are female. But mostly, it is the opposite. It is<br />

an extensive issue.<br />

On the other hand, I like to talk about these<br />

kinds of things because they are necessary. But there<br />

are also women writers giving bad examples within the<br />

graffiti community and taking advantage of their female<br />

figures. Something that embarrasses the others that<br />

are trying to be taken seriously without consideration of<br />

gender. I think now is the time to work very hard on this,<br />

for all parties.<br />

MC<br />

Are there any female writers of note that were particularly<br />

inspiring or influential to you?<br />

LAIA<br />

Some female writers have inspired me a lot. It has not<br />

been because of their painting technique, their letters,<br />

or their colors, but by their strength, their desire, their<br />

impetus, and their trajectory. I am more inspired by<br />

people and their personalities than what they paint.<br />

Because sometimes I like what they create, and sometimes<br />

I don’t. But they all inspire me equally.<br />

MC<br />

Your artwork often seems light-hearted, colorful,<br />

spontaneous, and with a feeling of positivity. Is this<br />

an accurate interpretation or do act take it very<br />

seriously with lots of preparation and forethought for<br />

each piece?<br />

LAIA<br />

There is no preparation, it’s freestyle. It is how it comes<br />

out of my head. I like cheerful colors and positive<br />

elements. I live surrounded by them: vintage toys,<br />

comics (Hanna-Barbera, Disney, etc.), and all kinds of<br />

cheerful freaks. So my brain already thinks in this<br />

Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia<br />


MC<br />

Your pieces carry a lot of traditional graffiti elements<br />

like illustrative drips, bubbles, stars, and fat highlights.<br />

What elements do you like using the most and why?<br />

LAIA<br />

I like to use a thousand things and at the same time my<br />

pieces look “simple.” Sometimes it is difficult to know<br />

when I have to stop adding things. I love using fat<br />

highlights. I love everything that shines a lot. The drops<br />

too. They make me see my pieces as if they were<br />

something sweet and edible like cake or ice cream.<br />

Something that you will never see me doing is a classic<br />

bubble background!<br />

MC<br />

Wait a minute… Did you just say you wouldn’t do a<br />

cloud/bubble background? This is interesting. Why is<br />

that? These are fundamentals of graffiti, like arrows,<br />

shadows, and outlines.<br />

LAIA<br />

I know, but I prefer to paint backgrounds that look like<br />

slime, bricks, stars, or whatever. I don’t know why but I<br />

don’t like the classic bubble background with big<br />

bubbles, small bubbles, and millions of bubbles of all<br />

sizes mixed. I think it reminds me of the kind of elements<br />

you use in your first pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I<br />

have full respect for those who do bubbles! Especially if<br />

they do them well. But they are not for me.<br />

↑ Always ready, LAIA<br />

can proudly carry her<br />

Artist Edition <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK cans in her<br />

own design “Take<br />

Away” <strong>Montana</strong> Cotton<br />

Bag.<br />

↘ LAIA has perfected<br />

the “less is more”<br />

technique and chosen<br />

black, yellow, and<br />

white to achieve it.<br />

I like to use a thousand things and<br />

at the same time my pieces look<br />

“simple.” Sometimes it is difficult<br />

to know when I have to stop adding<br />

things.<br />

direction when I go to paint. Normally when I prepare<br />

sketches, in the end, I always end up doing other things.<br />

I think my head is made to enjoy the act of painting, let it<br />

flow freely, and in terms of graffiti, it does not accept<br />

much preparation in advance.<br />

MC<br />

Which comics would we find on your bookshelf?<br />

LAIA<br />

You would find many old Hanna-barbera or Disney<br />

comics and books from the 70s and 80s for example.<br />

That kind of drawing fascinates me.<br />

24 Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia

MC<br />

How did the design for the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK Artist<br />

Edition can come about, and is there a back story to why<br />

it is as it is?<br />

LAIA<br />

Yes, I always thought that if one day I was going to<br />

design a spray can, everyone would believe I would do it<br />

with a thousand beautiful and fun colors. I wanted to<br />

break that mold. Simplicity is sometimes better! I<br />

eventually decided to design it with some very traditional<br />

graffiti elements, such as the Throw-Up. I combined<br />

that with my “quiet” approach when I paint murals. For<br />

this, I chose the combination of two colors that to me<br />

represent classic in the street graffiti. Those colors<br />

were black and yellow. I did not want to fall into the<br />

typical stigma of “Oh, she is a girl and does beautiful<br />

things that look feminine” (how horrible). I paint graffiti,<br />

all types, and in all its modalities. So I made a mix.<br />

It is like collecting, I need to collect<br />

memories of places that I have<br />

visited and after visiting one place,<br />

I need another, and another, and<br />

another.<br />

↑ In all there glory, a<br />

display box full of LAIA<br />

Artist Edition cans<br />

moonlighting in front<br />

of her work in the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

Store Vienna.<br />

↓ Not to mention the<br />

limited edition <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK LAIA t-shirt<br />

design that was released<br />

in an exclusive<br />

print run to celebrate<br />

the release of the can.<br />

MC<br />

And what made you choose the color Yellow over<br />

another variation of the color yellow?<br />

LAIA<br />

As I said, sometimes simplicity is better! Why choose a<br />

variant of yellow when you can have the king of yellows?<br />

Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia<br />


MC<br />

What was your favorite <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK Artist Edition<br />

can previous to your own?<br />

LAIA<br />

I don’t have a distinct favorite can because there are<br />

many that I like. Especially those where the design<br />

incorporates the bare metal of the can and the color is<br />

very metallic. I love those! I consider that they are all<br />

incredible, so I cannot say some names and forget<br />

others that also deserve it.<br />

MC<br />

You seem to have a healthy thirst for travel. In your<br />

opinion, are you running to something, or running away<br />

from something? What comes first, the destination, or<br />

the reason to go there?<br />

LAIA<br />

Traveling is my Number 1 passion! Well actually traveling<br />

and painting, so when the two things come together<br />

it is incredible. My parents have always loved to travel,<br />

so I started traveling when I was very young. They<br />

always took me with them everywhere they went in the<br />

world. It is like collecting, I need to collect memories of<br />

places that I have visited and after visiting one place, I<br />

need another, and another, and another.<br />

I also believe that it is a very healthy way to escape the<br />

monotony of day-to-day problems. And as a bonus,<br />

when I travel I feel that I enrich my head and my person<br />

with new experiences, cultures, smells, flavors, history,<br />

etc. It is super enriching, no matter destiny. It only<br />

matters to move my ass to the other side! I do not plan<br />

to leave this earth until I have traveled over all of it!<br />

MC<br />

Of all the commercial projects you have worked on that<br />

are graffiti based or related to graffiti, what were the<br />

best and the worse?<br />

I do not plan to leave this earth until<br />

I have traveled over all of it!<br />

LAIA<br />

I don’t know how to explain exactly which is the worst or<br />

best. Many people valuable the best because of the<br />

amount of money or fame they have gained. Or the jobs<br />

which made them the most famous within the game.<br />

For me, the best jobs are those where I have learned the<br />

most and was treated the best as a person. Even if I was<br />

painting a freebie for example. Sometimes the best jobs<br />

are the worst ones. And the worst the best.<br />

I value the human treatment and interaction behind each<br />

project and I have participated in other so-called incredible<br />

projects in which I was left feeling empty inside when<br />

they were over. There were other projects with very little<br />

to no budget that I would do again even now.<br />

MC<br />

Where do you see the commercialization of graffiti<br />

going? Do you think the artists are in control of their<br />

destinies or is business steering public art of this type<br />

in the direction they want it to go?<br />

In general, I think it’s great that<br />

everyone does what they want with<br />

their work, I’m not one of those<br />

writers who thinks that when you sell<br />

your work “you’re no longer real”.<br />

LAIA<br />

Well, I think the world is going a little crazy with this. I<br />

think businesses are running too much without knowing<br />

what they are doing. For example, they have managed to<br />

call anything “graffiti” now. There are too many “Graffiti”<br />

festivals where the artists are muralists who have never<br />

touched a spray can, and none of them say “Hey! We are<br />

muralists, not graffiti writers”, because it suits them. So<br />

it’s a cycle that doesn’t end and it is expanding. This<br />

often leaves the graffiti writer in a bad place because<br />

the world has now “learned” that graffiti is also a huge<br />

face painted on a building with brushes. So why hire a<br />

writer to draw some letters?<br />

In general, I think it’s great that everyone does what they<br />

want with their work, I’m not one of those writers who<br />

thinks that when you sell your work “you’re no longer<br />

real”. I don’t care, I sell my work and I’m doing projects, so<br />

I’m marketing the work and myself. But I’m never going to<br />

go away from my initial values ​and the great respect I<br />

have for all of this that the writers like myself call graffiti.<br />

I think you can have control of your work, it’s just about<br />

accepting or rejecting the right things. Even though businesses<br />

and institutions are directing this where they want.<br />

MC<br />

What is your favorite <strong>Montana</strong> Cap and can combination<br />

and why?<br />

LAIA<br />

I always paint with Black and I only use two Caps. The<br />

medium fat for filling, details, background, etc. And the<br />

standard cap on the can for outlines and highlights.<br />

Nothing more. When I started there was very little variety,<br />

and I got used to it. I grew up like this. I don’t need more.<br />

Some interesting perspectives and a lot to think about<br />

for any artists entering the commercial space with their<br />

artwork regardless of their gender. We can assume that<br />

more artistically innovative and classic works are going<br />

to come from the wonderful mind of LAIA. Will she ever<br />

embrace the bubble background, and how will she steer<br />

her passion and career from here? Watch this space…<br />

26 Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia

Even though size isn’t<br />

everything, it does<br />

have its benefits if<br />

your an artist like LAIA<br />

and your work has to<br />

burn with only three<br />

contrasting colors.<br />

Black Artist Edition/Interview Laia<br />


Introducing<br />

graffiti<br />

artist<br />

Roids<br />

Location<br />

London, UK<br />

Profile<br />

@willis82<br />

Photography<br />

Roids<br />

Not enough boxes<br />

to tick<br />

↑ Breaking the chains<br />

of graffiti and simplifying<br />

in the process.<br />

28 Artist in focus Roids

If you are into graffiti, urban art, street art,<br />

or graffiti fine art, it is unlikely that you<br />

haven't heard of the London-born graffiti<br />

artist ROIDS. Although active long before,<br />

it was around 2008 - 2012 that the graffiti<br />

world was taken aback by the supreme<br />

precision and innovation of this groundbreaking<br />

artist.<br />

His artwork became a driving force on a<br />

global stage.<br />

Starting in his hometown of London and rapidly<br />

spilling over the borders to Europe and the<br />

world beyond, via the internet, graffiti print<br />

press, and soon after via the praise of the fine<br />

art and design worlds, the name ROIDS found itself not<br />

only speaking to a larger audience, his artwork also<br />

became a driving force on a global stage.<br />

A point that was reiterated by a successful<br />

entry in the exhibiting of illustration<br />

work in 2011 at the Known Gallery and<br />

followed by a sellout debut solo gallery<br />

show in 2012 at Topsafe gallery.<br />

His 2008 alliance with the U.S-based crew<br />

MSK only ramped things up further as his well-earned<br />

street cred now steamrolled forwards catching the eye<br />

of not only the graffiti international graffiti community<br />

but also the international fine artists, curators, designers,<br />

and collectors nationally and abroad. A point that<br />

was reiterated by a successful entry in the exhibiting of<br />

illustration work in 2011 at the Known Gallery and<br />

followed by a sellout debut solo gallery show in 2012 at<br />

Topsafe gallery.<br />

↖ With only black,<br />

white and gray, ROIDS<br />

explores his unique<br />

merge of graffiti and<br />

typography.<br />

↑ Installed and in-<br />

↑ thralled. Viewers<br />

are drawn to ROIDS’s<br />

work on levels above<br />

and beyond graffiti.<br />

↑ A brave move, removing<br />

most, if not<br />

all, elements of the<br />

background only<br />

makes the eye trawl<br />

deeper into his impressive<br />

letters.<br />

Artist in focus Roids<br />


Like building blocks<br />

that get a regular<br />

reinvention, seeing<br />

ROIDS’s style progress<br />

over the last 10<br />

years has been like<br />

updates on telephone<br />

apps. Each time something<br />

cool happens<br />

that you may<br />

not be aware of in<br />

the moment.<br />

30 Artist in focus Roids

Artist in focus Roids<br />


It makes you wonder<br />

if the design comes<br />

first, and then the wall<br />

to paint it? Or is it the<br />

wall that comes first<br />

and then the right design<br />

for it?<br />

The glue that holds it all together is graffiti<br />

So what is it that makes ROIDS so unique? Is it that you<br />

always know it's a ROIDS piece even if you can't read it?<br />

Is it that no matter how he changes his style, technique,<br />

or approach to making art that it never looks like anyone<br />

else's? Or is it that every time you see a ROIDS piece in<br />

the flesh you can't help but stop and ask yourself how<br />

something so perfect was made by hand? The experience<br />

is most likely different for each viewer depending<br />

on their orientation. However, the glue that holds it all<br />

together is graffiti. His one true love, the reason to get<br />

out of bed and keep exploring, that thing that lights the<br />

fire for all the creative endeavors he pursues.<br />

Is it that no matter how he changes his<br />

style, technique, or approach to making art<br />

that it never looks like anyone else's?<br />

↑ Weighty lettering<br />

that in effect is actually<br />

floating on a gray<br />

plane.<br />

Graffiti of every orientation, typography,<br />

illustration, design, manga, retro computer graphics, or<br />

even 80s and 90s nostalgia. Who cares, throw it all in<br />

the mix, and if you are lucky you might get close to<br />

ticking some of the boxes that describe the elements<br />

that can be found in ROIDS artworks. Artworks that can<br />

32 Artist in focus Roids

← Being held together<br />

or falling apart? No<br />

one ever really knows<br />

when it comes to<br />

ROIDS’s ambiguous<br />

compositions.<br />

↑ When color is added,<br />

it’s time to bring<br />

out the big guns and<br />

make it pop.<br />

be found on paper, canvas, walls, wood, trains, and most<br />

likely many other places all over the world. Many are<br />

embellished with the enduring vibrance of carefully<br />

chosen <strong>Montana</strong> GOLD and BLACK can colors.<br />

Even though his Instagram account @willis82<br />

tells us he has 60K followers, Will Gates as he is also<br />

known as is far from a follower. As one of the most<br />

innovative contemporary graffiti artists, we look<br />

forward to seeing which path he will take next.<br />

Artworks that can be found on paper, canvas,<br />

walls, wood, trains, and most likely<br />

many other places all over the world.<br />

→ Always twists and<br />

turns, ROIDS never<br />

gets stuck in a style<br />

rut.<br />

Artist in focus Roids<br />


graffiti<br />

artist<br />

gospel<br />

introducing<br />

Singing praise for one of<br />

Greece's finest<br />

There are many schools of thought regarding the names, words, and letters used to<br />

create graffiti. Do they have a meaning, what do they symbolize, or do the letters look<br />

good in combination with each other? These are all questions that graffiti writers will ask<br />

themselves at some point in time, and the viewers of their work will ask themselves from<br />

the beginning.<br />

Location<br />

Athens, Greece<br />

Photography<br />

Gospel<br />

Profile<br />

@gospel.ath<br />

↖ Some of GOSPEL’s<br />

signature style elements;<br />

masks, tracksuit<br />

clothing, sneakers,<br />

and workers<br />

vests.<br />

34 Artist in focus/Interview Gospel

→ With a tendence to<br />

limited color palettes,<br />

GOSPEL’s imagery is<br />

unlimited.<br />

Pure forms, solid colors, and a noticeable<br />

influence of his native Greek culture<br />

The Greek artist GOSPEL stirs up our thoughts as<br />

his whole graffiti identity has been built up on a<br />

word that itself conjures up a maze of possible<br />

interpretations. To add to the mystery of the use<br />

of the word GOSPEL as a tag, his artwork also lights our<br />

imaginations with the skilled delivery of pure forms,<br />

solid colors, and a noticeable influence of his native<br />

Greek culture regarding his color palette and pictorial<br />

symbolism.<br />

Any color as long as it's white, black, red,<br />

or blue<br />

Born in Karditsa in 1990, GOSPEL is a multidisciplinary<br />

artist which particular strengths in graffiti, murals, and<br />

illustration. Residing in Athens, it is not just there that<br />

you can see his unforgettable works, however, it is<br />

undeniable the influence and presence Athens has<br />

within it. GOSPEL's designs capture a healthy blend of<br />

Greek culture and graffiti culture references which find<br />

themselves captured in his unique use of solid color<br />

layers. Mostly in variations of white, black, red, and<br />

blue. All of these are thrown down with his favorite<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> GOLD and BLACK cans.<br />

A groove that he has taken ownership<br />

of with reoccurring practices<br />

like letters without outlines, and<br />

steering away from fades, and all<br />

done with the perfection of the<br />

spray can.<br />

The graffiti scene in Athens, although receiving<br />

its deserved shine a little late in its development by<br />

the greater graffiti audience, offers many strong<br />

references for GOSPEL to play on. Bombed trains inside<br />

and out, masked identities, hooded writers in classic<br />

graffiti uniforms, Greek gods, and mythology. These<br />

references all find their way into his various interpretations.<br />

Adding to the mix the full array of graffiti elements<br />

such as informed letter structure, well-executed<br />

hand styles, arrows, and opaque fill-ins, GOSPEL has<br />

found a niche that is truly his own. A groove that he has<br />

taken ownership of with reoccurring practices like<br />

letters without outlines, and steering away from fades,<br />

and all done with the perfection of the spray can.<br />

Through our recent collaboration with GOSPEL<br />

in the creation of his <strong>Montana</strong> Cotton Bag designs, we<br />

thought it an appropriate time to ask those unanswered<br />

questions about who GOSPEL is and what GOSPEL<br />

stands for.<br />

An interview with GOSPEL<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans<br />

The word GOSPEL is often connected with the practice<br />

of singing songs of religious praise. And in a lot of<br />

cases in modern-day Christianity. But what does this<br />

word mean to you and how did you take ownership of it<br />

for the purpose of graffiti?<br />

GOSPEL<br />

Well. This is a question I have been asked by many<br />

people I have met so far during my artistic journey. The<br />

answer may seem a little funny or childish to you. It<br />

comes from my favorite hip-hop song "Ghetto Gospel".<br />

Tupac was and still is my favorite rapper. This track<br />

came out around the time I was taking my first steps<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Gospel<br />


into the graffiti world. I can't explain it exactly but for<br />

some reason, that's why this particular word created a<br />

lot of emotions for me and I started to write it on the<br />

walls and my school desk. At that time my friends and I<br />

created our first graffiti crew. Very beautiful times that I<br />

often miss. As the years went by and I followed more<br />

career path in the field of art, I sometimes thought<br />

about changing my tag to something more mature, but<br />

in the end, I concluded that I had become attached to it<br />

and nothing else filled me as the word GOSPEL does.<br />

Just because it reminded me (and still reminds me) of<br />

where I started and with whom. This signature, therefore,<br />

encloses a beautiful part of my life and my artistic<br />

career up to this day.<br />

MC<br />

The colors black, white, blue, and red play a strong role<br />

in your work. What are the origins of this color choice?<br />

G<br />

I am a sea lover. I consider it to be one of the most<br />

important pieces of Greek culture. I spent all my<br />

childhood summers on a beautiful island in the northern<br />

Aegean called Limnos. This particular island is my<br />

mother's birthplace. There I fell in love with the blue I<br />

could see on the fishermen's boats and the windows of<br />

the houses on the island. I was also always struck by<br />

how beautifully this blue blended with the sunlight-white<br />

walls and red flowers of the island. As well<br />

as the red life jackets of the ships I traveled on. This<br />

combination of these colors from an early age created<br />

very beautiful feelings for me. Over the years, and after<br />

having tried many different techniques, around 2018 I<br />

ended up with this color palette adding the black color<br />

to give more contrast. Since then it has been my main<br />

color identity with small additions of blue, pink, and<br />

gray tones from time to time.<br />

MC<br />

Which colors in the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK or GOLD range are<br />

you using for these 4 colors?<br />

G<br />

I use to paint with <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK. My favorite colors<br />

are “Lollipop’’ and ”Horizon”. They work perfectly with<br />

black and white.<br />

I was also always struck by how<br />

beautifully this blue blended with<br />

the sunlight-white walls and red<br />

flowers of the island. As well as the<br />

red life jackets of the ships I traveled<br />

on.<br />

← A little of everything<br />

from Greek graffiti<br />

culture, GOSPEL<br />

merges multiple visual<br />

messages with the<br />

Greek subway car<br />

serving as the glue<br />

for them all.<br />

36 Artist in focus/Interview Gospel

↑ “Protect What Left<br />

Alive”. With little detail<br />

this picture is clear<br />

that we need to protect<br />

our environment.<br />

← Visual communication.<br />

Depth and emotion<br />

captured in the<br />

clever use of 4 solid<br />

colors.<br />

When it comes to the graffiti side<br />

there is a very strong core of talented<br />

people in both its illegal and<br />

legal forms.<br />

MC<br />

Your work often portrays masked figures, with tracksuits,<br />

sneakers, and baseball caps on. Is this the<br />

unwritten uniform for writers in Athens?<br />

G<br />

To a certain extent yes. Of course, I also add the element<br />

of fantasy to the way I portray my characters. I<br />

also borrow a lot of ideas from vintage clothing and old<br />

90s football team looks.<br />

MC<br />

Do you see your artwork as uniquely Greek? And how do<br />

you feel when its context changes due to its location?<br />

(i.e. Does a classic GOSPEL piece function equally as<br />

well in London or Sydney as it does in Athens in your<br />

opinion?)<br />

G<br />

I created this style thinking of combining the Greek<br />

element with the graffiti culture. But I don't think that<br />

this particular style is only for my country. On the<br />

contrary, I borrow pieces of Greek culture to turn them<br />

into a global design language through my images, just<br />

like graffiti.<br />

MC<br />

What is the source for much of the symbolism you use<br />

in your work?<br />

G<br />

I paint mainly themes from the graffiti area as well as<br />

the urban environment. One of the main symbols of my<br />

work is the hidden faces of my characters. Apart from<br />

the fact that the hidden face is intertwined with the<br />

graffiti, it also gives the possibility, in my opinion, to the<br />

viewer to identify more easily with the character of the<br />

image, as well as to create his own story around him<br />

with his imagination. I believe that when you show your<br />

face people are more engaged with it. Whereas when<br />

you hide it, you transfer the power to your actions and<br />

create a myth and a mystery around them. For me, it's<br />

not so much the faces that matter, but the ideas behind<br />

them. This is what I try to capture through my characters.<br />

MC<br />

Living in a city like Athens with all its history and<br />

heritage, what is your point of view on which buildings,<br />

walls, or surfaces you can or cannot paint on? Are there<br />

any rules you guys abide by that outsiders may not be<br />

aware of or is everything fair game?<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Gospel<br />


G<br />

Athens has always been a meeting center for many<br />

types of arts throughout the years. When it comes to<br />

the graffiti side there is a very strong core of talented<br />

people in both its illegal and legal forms. Over the years<br />

I have experienced both sides and respect them equally.<br />

In my opinion, Athens is an easy city to paint. I think this<br />

is the reason why more and more writers have been<br />

visiting it in recent years. For me, you can paint wherever<br />

you want except to destroy statues and monuments.<br />

MC<br />

Over your graffiti history, what role have graffiti tourists<br />

or visitors to Athens had on how your local scene has<br />

developed?<br />

G<br />

I think that the interaction with other countries in this<br />

piece played a very important role in our country and its<br />

evolution in graffiti. Apart from the tourists who come<br />

every month for holidays and to paint in our country,<br />

historical graffiti festivals have also taken place in<br />

Athens in the past with invited important writers from<br />

other countries. This to a large extent shaped the<br />

subsequent development of this culture in our country.<br />

In my opinion, one of the highlights was the festival in<br />

Thisio in 1998 with invited historical writers such as<br />

Seen, Ces, Cantwo, etc.<br />

I was also always struck by how<br />

beautifully this blue blended with<br />

the sunlight-white walls and red<br />

flowers of the island. As well as the<br />

red life jackets of the ships I traveled<br />

on.<br />

↑ Inside, outside, or<br />

on the street? In this<br />

design GOSPEL blurs<br />

the line in reference<br />

to the illusion of<br />

space.<br />

← Saying something<br />

with little words.<br />

Blues, reds, black,<br />

and white are GO-<br />

SPEL’s vocabulary.<br />

38 Artist in focus/Interview Gospel

Atlantis the god of the<br />

sea. Ruler of the ocean<br />

life, collector of<br />

thrown away plastic<br />

bottles.<br />

MC<br />

If you could live and work in another city outside of<br />

Greece, which would it be and why?<br />

G<br />

I would choose Rome or Barcelona I think. I admire the<br />

Italian as well as the Spanish culture and I think it is very<br />

close to the Greek in terms of mentality and aesthetics.<br />

MC<br />

What is your favorite <strong>Montana</strong> Cans cap and can<br />

combination and why?<br />

G<br />

My favorite <strong>Montana</strong> Cans cap is the ‘’Level 1’’ cap. It is<br />

very convenient for me because it is very precise and<br />

helps me a lot in making very clean lines and details.<br />

Also, its other very basic advantage is that it is very soft<br />

and ideal for painting for long hours without straining<br />

my hand. My favorite <strong>Montana</strong> Cans Black color combination<br />



GOSPEL has well and truly shown that contemporary graffiti doesn't have to look<br />

like the many generations of graffiti before it. And yet still have the same weight<br />

and substance in a different context. This however doesn't give us any secrets as<br />

to which direction GOSPEL graffiti will go in the future. All the more reason to<br />

keep observing and following his work.<br />

You can do that here:@gospel.ath gospelath.bigcartel.com<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Gospel<br />


Case<br />

maclaim<br />

at metropolink – The Knife Game<br />

In 2022, the German artist CASE of the Maclaim crew returned to the<br />

German city of Heidelberg for the METROPOLINK festival for urban art.<br />

No stranger to the city which is also home to <strong>Montana</strong> Cans, it is not the<br />

first time that CASE has been featured at the METROPLINK event. This<br />

time, however, CASE well and truly showed everyone how it’s done when it<br />

comes to painting hands, hand gestures, and hand-related images.<br />

Location<br />

Heidelberg, Germany<br />

Profile<br />

@case_maclaim<br />

Photography<br />

Niko Neithardt @studio_portazul<br />

Alexander Krziwanie, <strong>Montana</strong> Cans<br />

↓ Layers of illusion,<br />

CASE painstakingly<br />

builds up his images<br />

from a primed background<br />

to a series<br />

of complex compositions.<br />

40 Production/Recap Case Maclaim at Metropolink

← Patience and selfdiscipline<br />

are a must<br />

to bring a concept<br />

like “The Knife Game”<br />

to completion.<br />

↑ Any tone as long as<br />

it’s earthy. Ingredients<br />

for the handfs<br />

CASE has become famous<br />

for.<br />

Sleight of hand<br />

In an artwork that encompasses 7 individual artworks<br />

within it, CASE’s large-scale and somewhat<br />

haunting mural brought all 7 individual images<br />

together to form 1 unified composition. It is no<br />

secrete that CASE, aka Andrea Von Chrzanowski, is<br />

fascinated with the human hand, its fingers, its gestures,<br />

and all the information that can be captured<br />

within the skin and bone of these practical and at the<br />

same time mystic bodily features. Taking his love of<br />

hands, fingers, and hand gestures to new heights, this<br />

time CASE’s composition takes a look at the confronting<br />

practice of the Knife Game.<br />

Taking his love of hands, fingers, and hand<br />

gestures to new heights, this time CASE’s<br />

composition takes a look at the confronting<br />

practice of the Knife Game.<br />

↑ On the sidelines,<br />


back up team keeps<br />

refreshments close<br />

at hand with a smile<br />

and a laugh.<br />

With its new home at the METROPOLINK h.q<br />

of the former U.S. military barracks, the Patrick-Henry<br />

Village, the first six images show different phases of a<br />

hand with a knife tip frantically passing between each<br />

Production/Recap Case maclaim at metropolink<br />


The acrylic rolled and<br />

hand painted base<br />

colors make for a perfect<br />

ground for the<br />

aerosol embellishments.<br />

42 Production/Recap Case Maclaim at Metropolink

Production/Recap Case maclaim at metropolink<br />


set of open fingers. A merging of roller and brush which<br />

is then polished with the fine-tuned abilities of CASE's<br />

aerosol can techniques. The final layer of the image is a<br />

photo-realistically painted rendition of the same hand,<br />

with its owner appearing to be in the starting (or finishing)<br />

position of the game.<br />

The Knife Game<br />

The viewer is left to come to their own conclusions after<br />

they manage to stop being distracted by all the finite<br />

enthralling technical details that CASE has managed to<br />

bring together the rougher, rawer mark-making. Trying<br />

to find where the use of where the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK and<br />

GOLD cans end and the acrylic roller and brushwork<br />

↖ A close up of the<br />

hand that creates the<br />

hands.<br />

↑ Up close and personal,<br />

the real CASE<br />

MACLAIM aka Andreas<br />

Von Chrzanowski.<br />

↓ Way up above the<br />

ground on a scissor<br />

lift, CASE stays<br />

grounded as details<br />

get more and more<br />

engaging.<br />

Skill, strong nerves, and a steady hand are<br />

required to assure the fragile fingers are<br />

left unscathed. With little skin or protection,<br />

as the knife speeds up the risk for the<br />

player increases.<br />

start, is a challenge amongst the impressive yet seemingly<br />

effortless merge of liquid and spray-based paint.<br />

A technique that alludes to a merging of the old with the<br />

new. In real life, the knife game is the challenge for the<br />

player to stab between the empty spaces of their open<br />

fingers while the sharp tip of the blade speeds into the<br />

open gaps. Skill, strong nerves, and a steady hand are<br />

required to assure the fragile fingers are left unscathed.<br />

With little skin or protection, as the knife speeds up the<br />

risk for the player increases. And as long as the knife<br />

doesn't hit, where or when does the game end? CASE<br />

makes us wonder about the stakes for the player whose<br />

hand we see on a grand scale. Will it end in triumph, or<br />

will it end in blood?<br />

↓ The finishing touches<br />

as the dust<br />

starts to settle and<br />

“The Knife Game” is<br />

nearly finished.<br />

44 Production/Recap Case Maclaim at Metropolink

→ No time to waste,<br />

the sun is down but<br />

the lights are on allowing<br />

CASE to keep<br />

pushing through his<br />

mural to meet the<br />

deadline.<br />

↓ Rome wasn’t built<br />

in a day, but seeing it<br />

being built would<br />

have probably been<br />

like watching a CASE<br />

mural come to completion.<br />

Production/Recap Case maclaim at metropolink<br />


→ A haunting backdrop<br />

to music and<br />

festivities. The Knife<br />

Game gives visitors<br />


and the Patrick-Henry<br />

Village a unique experience.<br />

← Not just a venue for<br />

urban art and murals,<br />


headquarters also<br />

plays host to music,<br />

theater, exhibitions,<br />

and other happenings<br />

associated with the<br />

festival.<br />

↓ “The Knife Game”<br />

comfortably finds its<br />

new home amongst<br />

the crowd of festival<br />

goers.<br />

46 Production/Recap Case Maclaim at Metropolink

Production/Recap Case maclaim at metropolink<br />


When the sun goes<br />

down the METROP-<br />

OLINK Festival offers<br />

something for everyone<br />

that wants to be<br />

impressed.<br />

↓ The region of Heidelberg<br />

is strongly<br />

anchored in the German<br />

history of Hip<br />

Hop and street based<br />

music. Something<br />

that METROPOLINK<br />

celebrates.<br />

Plenty to celebrate<br />

Since 2015, the METROPOLINK festival supported by<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans, has hosted a wide range of contemporary<br />

street art, graffiti, urban fine art, and mural creation.<br />

Not only does the festival support the visual arts,<br />

it also plays host to a wide range of musical, theatrical,<br />

and site-specific happenings which add value to the<br />

city’s cultural portfolio while utilizing urban spaces that<br />

otherwise would not be hosts for the arts. Not only does<br />

METROPOLINK bring art from Heidelberg and the<br />

surrounding region to the city's open spaces, but it also<br />

invites art and artists from all over the world to culturally<br />

enrich the global artistic community.<br />

→ Cheers, to a great<br />

day and the potentially<br />

greater evening<br />

that is soon to be had.<br />

↑ Always twists and<br />

turns, ROIDS never<br />

gets stuck in a style rut.<br />

Not only does the festival support the visual<br />

arts, it also plays host to a wide range of<br />

musical, theatrical, and site-specific happenings<br />

which add value to the city’s cultural<br />

portfolio while utilizing urban spaces that<br />

otherwise would not be hosts for the arts.<br />

48 Production/Recap Case Maclaim at Metropolink

↑ Hanging out with<br />

the fam, visitors of all<br />

ages unite to look,<br />

dance, and listen to<br />

what’s going on at<br />


↓ Some container action.<br />

A much loved<br />

surface for graffiti<br />

writers, muralists,<br />

and artists alike.<br />

↗ The Patrick-Henry<br />

Village has become<br />

an ongoing open-air<br />

museum of world<br />

classed artwork and<br />

murals.<br />

→ All eyes on us. Underneath<br />

these sunglasses<br />

are a wealth of<br />

talent and innovation.<br />

Production/Recap Case maclaim at metropolink<br />


↑ It takes more than a<br />

double take to see the<br />

complexity of what is<br />

going on in this artwork<br />

that extends over<br />

multiple surfaces.<br />

→ As a former U.S.<br />

Army base, the Patrick-Henry<br />

Village<br />

leaves some interesting<br />

surfaces behind<br />

for artists to reinvent.<br />

50 Production/Recap Case Maclaim at Metropolink

Samy Deluxe and<br />

Sweet Uno getting<br />

their spray on the oldschool<br />

way.<br />

Production/Recap Case maclaim at metropolink<br />


An interview with<br />

Satr<br />

↑ SATR bringing her<br />

unique mural to life at<br />

the Stadt.Wand.<br />

Kunst project in<br />

Mannheim, Germany.<br />

Location<br />

China, Germany<br />

Profile<br />

@satrxx<br />

Photography<br />

Kish, Alexander Krziwanie<br />

52 Interview/Artist in focus Satr

Graffiti as a practice can often be far removed<br />

from nature. As if an ecosystem of its own, it<br />

is a culture that developed many generations<br />

ago, spawned by a band of youth trying<br />

to stand out amongst the chaos of concrete and the<br />

steel in an environment that had most natural elements<br />

already removed. more than forty years later, a unique<br />

circumstance arose. Graffiti in China. A modern ecosystem<br />

of concrete and steel, intensively populated by<br />

humans. Also from this recipe, many new bands of<br />

youth arose with the same creative drive.<br />

The Chinese artist SATR could be<br />

considered one of these youths who<br />

has now grown to be a very conscious<br />

creative adult. With 2 major<br />

aspects of uniqueness, coating her<br />

creative amor.<br />

↓ SATR. One of the<br />

new faces of Chinese<br />

street art and contemporary<br />

graffiti.<br />

Interview/Artist in focus Satr<br />


The Chinese artist SATR could be considered<br />

one of these youths who has now grown to be a very<br />

conscious creative adult. With 2 major aspects of uniqueness,<br />

coating her creative amor. Not only is SATR female<br />

in an otherwise male-dominated game, but she is also an<br />

artist with traditional graffiti roots who has turned her<br />

focus back to nature, creating amazing animal-based<br />

motifs that are recognized all over the world.<br />

Not only is SATR female in an otherwise<br />

male-dominated game, but she<br />

is also an artist with traditional graffiti<br />

roots who has turned her focus<br />

back to nature, creating amazing<br />

animal-based motifs that are recognized<br />

all over the world.<br />

↗ A nice elevated<br />

spot, who knew she<br />

would soon rise to<br />

even greater heights.<br />

→ East meets west,<br />

the throw up in western<br />

lettering sits nicely<br />

amongst the Chinese<br />

typography.<br />

↓ You have to acknowledge<br />

your roots.<br />

And for SATR, they<br />

were on the streets.<br />

↑ SATR knows the<br />

game. It’s all about<br />

location, location,<br />

location.<br />

↗ When space is at a<br />

premium, choose<br />

your lettering wisely.<br />

← Before there was<br />

amazing animals and<br />

tonal skills, there was<br />

graffiti.<br />

→ Almost like a set<br />

from a science fiction<br />

film, this highway<br />

bridge if given new<br />

life in dim light.<br />

54 Interview/Artist in focus Satr

Interview/Artist in focus Satr<br />


An Interview with SATR<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans<br />

How has graffiti and graffiti-inspired mural art changed<br />

from its beginnings in China till now?<br />

SATR<br />

This is a good question. I have discussed this with my<br />

friend Kish (he is a senior graffiti writer in China), and we<br />

both think that the change of graffiti is closely related to<br />

the access of information. Before 2004, when the<br />

internet was not verty widespread, writers would imitate<br />

other graffiti artists, and some would spontaneously add<br />

Chinese elements to their graffiti. Then during the period<br />

of 2004-2008, when the internet became popular and<br />

more accessible, China also had its own graffiti forums.<br />

Before 2004, when the internet was<br />

not verty widespread, writers would<br />

imitate other graffiti artists, and<br />

some would spontaneously add<br />

Chinese elements to their graffiti.<br />

Chinese graffiti was very diverse: some people stuck to<br />

the old school style, some people painted Chinese-style<br />

graffiti according to their own understanding. At that<br />

time, because there was no systematic way to learn<br />

graffiti, everyone’s style had a half-baked understanding<br />

of graffiti culture, and incorporated a lot of their own<br />

unique interpretations. Later, the graffiti competition<br />

“Wall War” brought those foreign predecessors to China,<br />

such as Cantwo and Zebster. They showed everyone the<br />

necessity of having a solid foundation in the old school<br />

style. So from 2010 onwards, it became a path of pursuing<br />

the old school style. From 2011 to 2014, the trends in<br />

China were painting large-scale and complete works.<br />

2016 was also a new turning point, when everyone<br />

started to use different social media platforms. The<br />

graffiti festivals across the country began to explode,<br />

and it became an era of many art festivals and graffiti<br />

jams, until the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019.<br />

MC<br />

Is there an active illegal graffiti writing scene in China?<br />

SATR<br />

Yes, there is an active illegal graffiti writing scene in China.<br />

There are many underground graffiti writers who<br />

express themselves through this art form. For example<br />

in my city there is the GB crew. They are a team of about<br />

20-30 people who specialize in bombing and throw-ups,<br />

active in the early morning streets of Guangzhou.<br />

MC<br />

What sort of consequences fall if writers get caught in<br />

China?<br />

There are many underground graffiti<br />

writers who express themselves<br />

through this art form. For example in<br />

my city there is the GB crew.<br />

← Up against the wall,<br />

SATR transforms<br />

mists of color into<br />

blocks of color which<br />

later reveal animal<br />

forms. Like genies<br />

coming out of their<br />

bottles.<br />

↓ With a keen sense<br />

of form, SATR reaches<br />

for her favorite<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> BLACK and<br />

GOLD cans to make<br />

her murals possible.<br />

56 Interview/Artist in focus Satr

A stunning contrast<br />

to her traditional graffiti<br />

practice, these felines<br />

fade their way<br />

into focus.<br />

SATR<br />

The consequences of getting caught doing graffiti in<br />

China depend on the region and the situation. If it is in<br />

big cities like Shanghai or Beijing, you might be taken to<br />

the police station and questioned about why you are<br />

painting there. You might also have to pay a fine, which<br />

can range from a few hundred to a few thousand yuan.<br />

But if it is in some smaller cities or towns, most people<br />

don’t care much about graffiti. Even if you are seen by<br />

the police or the property owner, they might just tell you<br />

to stop and leave. There are usually no serious consequences<br />

unless you are painting something that is<br />

politically sensitive or offensive.<br />

MC<br />

Are there areas in China where it is easier or harder to<br />

paint, and what is the difference?<br />

If it is illegal graffiti, I think Beijing is<br />

more difficult, because there are<br />

cameras everywhere and it is easy to<br />

be tracked down.<br />

SATR<br />

The difficulty of painting graffiti in China varies depending<br />

on the location and the type of graffiti. If it is illegal<br />

graffiti, I think Beijing is more difficult, because there are<br />

cameras everywhere and it is easy to be tracked down.<br />

But in cities like Chengdu or Nanning, people have a more<br />

relaxed lifestyle and are more tolerant of graffiti. But if it<br />

is mural painting, Shanghai would be a good choice.<br />

Because Shanghai is a metropolis, mural or graffiti art is<br />

more welcome there. Some of the large-scale graffiti<br />

festivals in China are also held in Shanghai.<br />

MC<br />

Did you get support from your parents or family to paint<br />

graffiti or become a muralist?<br />

SATR<br />

Yes, I have to say that my family gave me a lot of support,<br />

especially my mother. She is also a painter, so she<br />

understands what art can be like. She also has a tolerant<br />

attitude towards my graffiti writing and mural painting.<br />

She only reminds me to wear a gas mask to protect<br />

myself from the spray paint dust every time I paint.<br />

MC<br />

What are some of the unique challenges specific to<br />

China that graffiti artists from other countries may not<br />

be aware of?<br />

SATR<br />

I think one of the unique challenges that graffiti artists<br />

in China face is ‘’Chuangwei’’. Chuangwei is short for<br />

Interview/Artist in focus Satr<br />


creating sanitary cities, which is a national activity<br />

aimed at improving urban environmental sanitation and<br />

health levels of resisents. Chuangwei work requires<br />

various aspects of the city to meet certain standards,<br />

including the sanitation of public places and so on. This<br />

means that graffiti is not allowed in many places, and<br />

even regarded as an act of disrupting public order as<br />

opposed to beautifying the environment. Many times,<br />

you may spend a lot of time and energy to paint a piece,<br />

but the next day it will be painted over by sanitation<br />

workers. Obviously this is very frustrating and makes<br />

graffiti artists feel helpless.<br />

I think there are more challenges<br />

for female artists or graffiti artist<br />

then for male artists. Sometimes I<br />

still encounter some stereotypical<br />

comments, like “Oh, you are a girl?<br />

I thought only boys would paint<br />

like this.”<br />

MC<br />

Are there any more challenges for a female graffiti artist<br />

or artist than for a male?<br />

SATR<br />

I think there are more challenges for female artists or<br />

graffiti artist then for male artists. Sometimes I still<br />

encounter some stereotypical comments, like “Oh, you<br />

are a girl? I thought only boys would paint like this.” But<br />

now there are also many female street artists who are<br />

uniting to break this stereotype.<br />

MC<br />

Is there an unofficial graffiti hierarchy within the Chinese<br />

scene? Does Chinese graffiti work off the traditional<br />

New York graffiti model?<br />

SATR<br />

I don’t think there is a hierarchy system in the Chinese<br />

graffiti scene, at least I haven’t seen one. If graffiti has<br />

a hierarchy system, then he/she is not a graffiti<br />

person. Graffiti is about freedom and expression, not<br />

about ranking or competing. Everyone has their own<br />

style and preference, and there is no right or wrong<br />

way to do graffiti. Of course, some people might be<br />

more skilled or experienced than others, but that<br />

doesn’t mean they are superior or inferior. The Chinese<br />

graffiti scene does not work off the traditional<br />

New York graffiti model, because the cultural and<br />

historical contexts are different.<br />

→ It is all about perspectives.<br />

From up<br />

close we see wisping<br />

color, from a far we<br />

see a natural world<br />

that is mystic and<br />

magical.<br />

58 Interview/Artist in focus Satr

MC<br />

Do graffiti writers and mural artists work together or<br />

cross over in China?<br />

SATR<br />

They do hang out together. As far as my friends are<br />

concerned, we don’t have any barriers. I also have many<br />

friends who do illegal graffiti. Whether we can get along<br />

or not, I think the first thing is to see what your purpose<br />

of doing graffiti is. If you are doing it for money and<br />

betraying your artistic beliefs and soul, then I’m sorry,<br />

neither graffiti writers nor mural artists will welcome<br />

you. We respect each other’s choices and expressions,<br />

as long as they are sincere and original.<br />

MC<br />

Did graffiti start during a particular time in China?<br />

Looking up, the view<br />

from below as SATR<br />

breathes some life<br />

into her artwork with<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> GOLD.<br />

When I first started playing in 2013,<br />

the atmosphere was already very<br />

good. In 2016, the graffiti scene<br />

reached a peak. There were all kinds<br />

of graffiti events and parties.<br />

SATR<br />

I can only speak from my own experience. I think I<br />

started graffiti in the middle stage of its development in<br />

China. When I first started playing in 2013, the atmosphere<br />

was already very good. In 2016, the graffiti<br />

scene reached a peak. There were all kinds of graffiti<br />

events and parties. There were also foreign graffiti<br />

artists who came to China to participate in international<br />

graffiti exchange activities.<br />

MC<br />

Do up-and-coming graffiti writers and mural artists get<br />

inspired by other Chinese artists, or is there a big<br />

influence from outside?<br />

SATR<br />

I think both. If we only absorb our own internal culture, I<br />

think it is disconnected from the essence of graffiti,<br />

because graffiti did not originate in China. But graffiti<br />

has good mobility and strong communication. These<br />

days we can easily see a lot of great works on our<br />

phones. So we are more or less influenced by the<br />

outside world, although this influence is subtle and<br />

gradual. Of course, we also get inspired by other<br />

Chinese artists, especially those who have their own<br />

unique style and expression. We learn from each other<br />

and try to create something new and original.<br />

Interview/Artist in focus Satr<br />


Mural by SATR titled<br />

“Whisper” in Mannheim,<br />

Germany, Alsenweg 64<br />


@stadtwandkunst<br />

60 Interview/Artist in focus Satr

MC<br />

Which foreign artists are commonly known in the<br />

Chinese graffiti community or who has painted or<br />

exhibited there?<br />

SATR<br />

There are many foreign artists who are well-known or<br />

have painted or exhibited in China. Some of them are<br />

Cantwo and Sofles, who are idols for most graffiti writers<br />

because of their skills and styles. In recent years, some<br />

foreign artists have also held exhibitions in Shanghai,<br />

such as Nychos and Tristan Eaton. There are also other<br />

foreign artists who have visited or collaborated with<br />

Chinese graffiti artists, such as Futura, Cope2, Invader,<br />

Vhils, and many more. China is becoming a more open<br />

and attractive place for graffiti culture and exchange.<br />

MC<br />

Forgive me if this sounds uninformed, but are there any<br />

elements of censorship or restriction from government<br />

bodies in regard to graffiti writing?<br />

SATR<br />

No, it doesn’t sound uninformed. It’s a reasonable<br />

question. If you are creating on the street, you probably<br />

won’t have any problem. No one will care about your<br />

creative theme, unless you criticize the government or<br />

something like that. Then you might get in trouble. (I’ve<br />

only heard about it). If you are invited by a Chinese<br />

institution to participate in an art festival, then it<br />

becomes a public art project. We also roughly know the<br />

bottom line of the government agencies. Don’t touch<br />

some topics like pornography, anti-government, death,<br />

etc. Then your creation won’t be hindered. Because we<br />

don’t want to involve the inviting party in these troublesome<br />

things.<br />

MC<br />

What is the most difficult experience you have had<br />

during your time as an artist?<br />

SATR<br />

The most difficult experience I have had as an artist was<br />

painting a 17-story high wall in Russia. It was my first<br />

time to challenge myself to paint on such a tall building.<br />

At first, I felt like I messed up, and the weather was very<br />

cold. We were always interrupted by the weather conditions.<br />

But luckily, I pushed myself to the limit and finished<br />

this task that seemed impossible to me at that time. It<br />

was a very rewarding and memorable experience.<br />

MC<br />

What is the most memorable experience you have had<br />

as an artist?<br />

SATR<br />

The most memorable experience I have had as an artist<br />

was at the Peinture Fraîche Festival in France. When I<br />

finished my work and signed my name, the audience<br />

behind me spontaneously applauded. It didn’t matter if<br />

they were children, drivers, or passers-by. They all<br />

celebrated the completion of my work together. That<br />

shocking scene is still hard for me to forget.<br />

MC<br />

Are there any artists who you are inspired by or aspire to<br />

be like?<br />

SATR<br />

I have two favorite artists, one is Jaw.cooper, who is a<br />

painter and illustrator who creates stunning and surreal<br />

images of animals and nature. The other is Gian Galang,<br />

who is an artist and illustrator who specializes in<br />

images of martial arts and action sports. Their works<br />

often make me feel amazed and have a special mood in<br />

them. And they are always doing a lot of new experiments,<br />

using different media and combining them with<br />

their own works. This really impresses me a lot.<br />

MC<br />

If you had the choice of any place on earth to live and<br />

paint, where would it be and why?<br />

SATR<br />

A few months ago, I would have chosen Los Angeles<br />

because there were many graffiti artists I knew there,<br />

and I had never been there before. I would have loved to<br />

stay for a while to experience the culture and vibe.<br />

However, after extensively traveling in Europe, I can now<br />

confidently say that France, Paris, or any other city in<br />

the country would be my definitive choice for a more<br />

permanent residence. The friendliness and open-mindedness<br />

of the people there leave a lasting impression.<br />

Every time I painted in France, I received a warm welcome<br />

that filled my heart. Moreover, I have made great<br />

friends with artists in France, so whenever I’m there, it<br />

feels like my second home.<br />

It is fair to say that SATR exceeds the expectations of a classic graffiti writing career. With<br />

a style that is as unique as it is informed, it is refreshing to hear how grounded and considered<br />

her practice is. If having your heart in the right place is anything to go by, we can only<br />

assume that SATR will go a long way. Something that the audience, the creative world, and<br />

the natural world can benefit from.<br />

Interview/Artist in focus Satr<br />


The Words of<br />

the BeAst<br />

Pablo Allison is a British/Mexican artist that has managed<br />

to take many of his interests in his art-making practice to<br />

a new level. A level that not only requires great effort to<br />

live like his subject matter but also an experience that<br />

requires the taking of immense risks to avoid the ending<br />

of his life and incarceration. Bringing with it a new understanding<br />

for the outsider, and on a creative level for the<br />

universal viewer.<br />

Location<br />

Mexico<br />

Profile<br />

@pablondon2<br />

Photography<br />

Pablo Allison<br />

↓ Waiting for the train,<br />

but not one you can sit<br />

inside.<br />

62 Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison

An ongoing project by Pablo Allison<br />

In one of his projects called “The Words of the<br />

Beast“, the artist focuses on three elements that<br />

have at some point all entered a crossroads and<br />

merged into one communal direction. Those three<br />

elements are graffiti, migration, and photography.<br />

Based on the experience had by migrants traveling from<br />

Central America, through Mexico, and into the USA and<br />

Canada as their final destination, Allison’s creative<br />

journey started in 2018 with his own personal experiences<br />

of freight train hopping. Experiences that soon<br />

brought him into the thick of the migrant trail which<br />

leads most migrants to the USA where they all expected<br />

to find peace, safety, and a better standard of living.<br />

→ Migrantes Valientes<br />

(Brave Migrants).<br />

Allison's nod of solidarity<br />

to his immigrant<br />

colleagues.<br />

↙ “RESIST” just one<br />

example of using<br />

empowering words in<br />

his artwork.<br />

The clock hands have turned around countless<br />

times since his preoccupation with migration<br />

began. As too has his use of the spray can as a tool to<br />

write the words that express the feelings lived by illegal<br />

immigrants on a daily basis. Strong words that impregnate<br />

his pictorial space like Migrantes Valientes (Brave<br />

Migrants), Compassion, Fear, Exile, Guilty, Power,<br />

Difference, and Unite to name a few. Words that with the<br />

support of <strong>Montana</strong> GOLD and BLACK cans have<br />

brought graffiti style writing to a new compassionate<br />

home. Due to the multifaceted levels of Pablo Allison’s<br />

work, we figured it was only right to speak to the artist<br />

himself regarding his own experiences and how he<br />

transforms them into the artwork he makes. Focusing<br />

on Graffiti on one hand, and Photography on the other,<br />

this is what Allison had to say.<br />

An interview with Pablo Allison<br />

By documenting this experience Allison has<br />

been at the coal face of the migrant journey. The<br />

common thread for all was escaping extreme violence<br />

and poverty. The glue holding this experience together<br />

for Allison was the camera and carefully chosen words<br />

that he painted in the universal language of Graffiti.<br />

The glue holding this experience<br />

together for Allison was the camera<br />

and carefully chosen words that he<br />

painted in the universal language of<br />

Graffiti.<br />

Allison’s choices to ride these freight trains that transport<br />

goods from Mexico to USA and Canada, also<br />

known as “The Beast”, put him in some extremely<br />

dubious situations. Situations that he realized were<br />

faced by these nomadic passengers every day. Situations<br />

like being robbed at gunpoint, being intercepted<br />

by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers<br />

(ICE), and being detained for over a month. Experiences<br />

that enabled him to further his documentation of the<br />

obstacles and hardships faced by migrants as they<br />

attempted to make their way to so-called freedom.<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans<br />

Your work today has such a strong connection to<br />

migration that we know little about you as a graffiti<br />

artist. What came first, graffiti or photography?<br />

Pablo Allison<br />

Both came at the same time though before I started to<br />

paint graffiti, I was documenting whatever graffiti-wise<br />

existed in the streets of Mexico City around 1995/1996.<br />

Making a parallel of how important photography has<br />

been to graffiti, I think we are more than aware of the<br />

significance of a camera in the graffiti culture. Without<br />

photography we would not have any documentation of<br />

this art form. Books like Subway Art and Spray Can Art<br />

play a quintessential role to this worldwide art form.<br />

Graffiti and photography have been my passports into<br />

worlds I perhaps would have found difficult to penetrate<br />

otherwise.<br />

MC<br />

Where and how did you start your graffiti practice?<br />

PA<br />

I started to notice graffiti in Mexico City around 1995-<br />

1996. I did my first tag in 1996 without knowing that this<br />

was a culture that started in New York City. I had no idea<br />

that it was illegal to paint with spray-paint on the<br />

streets. A friend told me one day that I could get arrested<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison<br />


From tag to piece, the<br />

Migrantes Valientes<br />

(Brave Migrants)<br />

message increases<br />

its significance.<br />

MC<br />

When you started graffiti, did you come up in the usual<br />

graffiti contexts of getting a tag, doing throw-ups and<br />

pieces, and then trying to improve and perfect your<br />

craft on walls or trains? Or did your focus on migration<br />

take hold of you from the beginning?<br />

for it. Mexico City was practically clean back then and<br />

very few marks on the walls could be seen, though<br />

graffiti actually first arrived via Los Angeles, California<br />

(in my knowledge) around 1990-1991 in impoverished<br />

areas outside of Mexico City such as Ciudad Netzahualcoyotl.<br />

That place was quickly renamed in the graffiti<br />

scene as Neza York for the large amounts of graffiti you<br />

could find there. I would make expeditions from the<br />

other extreme of the city at the age of 14 to document<br />

what I could find. I would then develop the films and<br />

copy the tags and throw ups and few pieces on paper.<br />

It’s important to highlight that no internet existed at the<br />

time so hardly any information would flow as it does<br />

today. It was very hard to find graffiti in the city and<br />

every time something appeared before my eyes, I would<br />

snap it and cherish it like a gem. The way I lived graffiti<br />

in the 90’s like many others belonging to that generation<br />

and before that was that graffiti was kind of a secret and<br />

to find out anything about it was not easy at all.<br />

MC<br />

In your formative years, was there a graffiti mentor or<br />

leader working at a level that you were inspired by and<br />

aiming to reach?<br />

PA<br />

During the first years of discovering graffiti, I did not<br />

really have a specific graffiti inspiration except magazines<br />

that I would collect. I tried to collect every single<br />

graffiti magazine that came out like Fat cap, While you<br />

Were Sleeping, 12 Oz Prophet from the USA, Back<br />

Jumps, On the Run and Backspin from Germany or<br />

Xplicit Graffix and Molotow Coctail from France etc…<br />

but my real buzz came when I could get my hands on<br />

Graphotism from the UK due to my connection with that<br />

country.<br />

In the year 2000 I met Ekla, a Parisian graffiti<br />

writer who had migrated to Mexico to live and paint. He<br />

was the one who really had an impact on my interest in<br />

graffiti and taught me the basics and more on how to<br />

paint metros etc.<br />

PA<br />

I started in the same traditional way as most do; initially<br />

by defining my name after attempting other names.<br />

Then throw ups, pieces etc. Most of the names I previously<br />

used were connected to black metal bands since I<br />

was heavily interested in that music genre. My first<br />

names were Rocker, Venom, Burzum and Mayhem.<br />

Once I was able to feel comfortable with the name I still<br />

use today, later on I discovered where freight trains<br />

were parked and used to watch people travel on them. I<br />

had no clue that they were migrants coming from<br />

Central America. This is going back to 1999 when I first<br />

encountered migrants on the trains. My graffiti partner<br />

and friend who still goes by the tag of Meek would throw<br />

rocks at them as he explained that they were enemies.<br />

During the first years of discovering<br />

graffiti, I did not really have a specific<br />

graffiti inspiration except<br />

magazines that I would collect.<br />

Meek was associated to a Mexican gang from<br />

the USA called Sureños 13 and was all about protecting<br />

his barrio. I had nothing to do with that culture and since<br />

I came from a different social background and environment,<br />

I had not been exposed to this violence that<br />

prevailed in that area of Mexico.<br />

Although my vision in graffiti was always kept<br />

to aesthetics, I often remember writing messages<br />

against the war that took place in Iraq in 2003 onwards,<br />

pieces in support of rebel movements like the EZLN<br />

which protects the rights and autonomy of indigenous<br />

communities in the south of Mexico (mainly in the state<br />

of Chiapas) or of the students movement in Mexico City<br />

who were fighting to protect the autonomy and free<br />

education for all.<br />

MC<br />

Are any of those former graffiti pursuits relevant to your<br />

graffiti practice today?<br />

PA<br />

Indeed. I actually defined them and split them into two<br />

now. I love painting graffiti for aesthetic reasons and a<br />

little bit of an ego burst feels good every now and again.<br />

64 Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison

→ For many, Pablo<br />

Allison’s photographs<br />

are their first contact<br />

with a completely different<br />

reality.<br />

↓ Regardless of where<br />

he went, Allison<br />

found graffiti in all its<br />

forms.<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison 65

The divide. On one<br />

side supposed freedom,<br />

on the other a<br />

life to leave behind.<br />

66 Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison

Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison<br />


↑ “COMPASION”. Reminding<br />

us to be<br />

compassionate.<br />

↓ A postcard for<br />

home. For most, an<br />

image of a place they<br />

would rather not be at.<br />

That said, I do like to try and stay away from that<br />

sometimes as it can become quite toxic and destructive.<br />

The whole aspect of today’s concept on words I<br />

paint stems from my incarceration in prison in the UK in<br />

2012. I was sentenced to 19 months in prison of which I<br />

spent a third of that time behind bars. It was during that<br />

time that I managed to read and learn a lot about<br />

freedom and decided to redirect some of my interests<br />

into wanting to convey a message that went beyond<br />

writing for a graffiti scene.<br />

MC<br />

During your experiences and the capturing of the<br />

photos in your projects like the “Artists in violent<br />

contexts” button on your website, was meeting up with<br />

other writers the same as connecting in any other<br />

country? Or is there a whole different procedure when<br />

in a violent city?<br />

I was sentenced to 19 months in<br />

prison of which I spent a third of<br />

that time behind bars.<br />

PA<br />

It was just like meeting graffiti writers that I would have<br />

the opportunity to meet in less violent countries. In fact,<br />

graffiti was the opening door. Had I introduced myself<br />

as a journalist or a photographer, I reckon I would not<br />

have been able to approach the people in the same way.<br />

As a matter of fact, I was recently in Iraq to expand on<br />

this particular project you refer to and wanted to<br />

interview urban artists. Introducing myself as a graffiti<br />

writer as opposed to a documentary photographer<br />

helped with the access and trust 100 percent, I think.<br />

68 Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison

MC<br />

Are you received as an insider or outsider when doing<br />

graffiti in the migrant context?<br />

PA<br />

I would say that I am seen a little bit in between by<br />

others. It has been incredible to detach from the<br />

individualistic promotion of a name. It goes through<br />

stages with deciding on either to paint my name or a<br />

socially driven idea. For instance, when a Migrantes<br />

Valientes pieces is made, I really like and appreciate if<br />

someone wants to join forces on the phrase. Having<br />

said that, it also helps me to challenge my styles and<br />

practice over word combinations and keep it flowing<br />

and moving along the way.<br />

So much empathy and support has<br />

been shown in countries in Europe<br />

towards this subject matter.<br />

MC<br />

How does it feel for you when you are then doing pieces<br />

or murals in other (non-violent) countries with the<br />

migrant theme? Do you feel as if your voice is being<br />

heard or is it falling on deaf ears when everyone else is<br />

more or less safe, healthy, and wealthy?<br />

↑ When more is more.<br />

Alison creates a visual<br />

space that is flooded<br />

with messages<br />

by way of letters, color,<br />

and illustration.<br />

PA<br />

I definitely feel it gets heard actually. So much empathy<br />

and support has been shown in countries in Europe<br />

towards this subject matter. All the walls I have painted<br />

and the people I have had the great opportunity to<br />

collaborate with has been something I never though<br />

was possible or that I even planned in the first place.<br />

Seemingly, even graffiti writers I have a lot of respect for<br />

have been very keen on this idea of words that mean<br />

something in a social context. I obviously did not invent<br />

this social aspect of graffiti as other extremely talented<br />

graffiti writers / artists such as Lee and Revs just to<br />

name two, have inspired me an awful lot.<br />

We had been travelling for many<br />

weeks and all the migrants (men,<br />

women, and kids predominantly)<br />

were exhausted. We had been<br />

scared off a few times by alleged<br />

criminals along the way.<br />

↑“THE BEAST”. A little<br />

less confronting as<br />

a mode of transport<br />

when it’s embellished<br />

with graffiti.<br />

← “PEACE”. The corner<br />

stone of every immigrants<br />

drive to leave<br />

their home.<br />

I had never planned to paint phrases like<br />

Migrantes Valientes in the first place. This came<br />

spontaneously whilst travelling with a very large group<br />

of migrants( approx.. 700 people) on a train within the<br />

state of Sinaloa. I jumped off the freight train and the<br />

first thing that came to mind was the message in<br />

support of migrants and from there on it resonated with<br />

people.<br />

MC<br />

What is the most moving experience you have had while<br />

painting graffiti and where was it?<br />

PA<br />

I have had a few luckily but I think the most moving one<br />

of all was when I painted the name Arriba los Migrantes<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison<br />


← Hopelessness and<br />

prayers for rain.<br />

↓ The raised perspective<br />

of an immigrant<br />

on top of a freight<br />

train.<br />

70 Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison

← “VALIENTES” (brave).<br />

In Pablo Allison's<br />

eyes, bravery is an essential<br />

part of the<br />

imigrant makeup.<br />

MC<br />

How did you and other writers get access to cans in<br />

violent or civil unrest-affected areas?<br />

on the side of the freight in Culiacan, Sinaloa. We had<br />

been travelling for many weeks and all the migrants<br />

(men, women, and kids predominantly) were exhausted.<br />

We had been scared off a few times by alleged criminals<br />

along the way. In Irapuato we had been warned that a<br />

group of Narcos were positioned ready to shoot at the<br />

train we were travelling on and in Culiacan, Sinaloa<br />

apparently some criminals were also plotting to hurt the<br />

people. The quick panel was made with the help of a few<br />

migrants and people were very happy. They shouted<br />

and supported it. The painted train was the one we kept<br />

riding for another stint of the journey until we reached<br />

the next stop.<br />

PA<br />

I think that the graffiti culture is so developed today that<br />

small companies create their own cans for the same<br />

graffiti community. In Jordan and Iraq, I mainly painted<br />

with crappy cans but some good paint is available at<br />

quite inaccessible prices. The Middle East region is a<br />

very interesting one for history but also for graffiti. I<br />

think that hardly any western graffiti has reached it yet.<br />

I certainly did not see any known writers in Iraq and the<br />

few things I did see were made by local artists with<br />

slightly naive techniques which I sort took an affinity to.<br />

I am sure some graffiti writers have visited Iraq and<br />

dropped something but I did not see anything really.<br />

MC<br />

Do they choose cans and caps with a similar mindset to<br />

other more graffiti-friendly countries?<br />

MC<br />

Is there somewhere or something on your graffiti wish<br />

list that you have not yet painted and want to? And if you<br />

could, what would you paint on it?<br />

I certainly did not see any known<br />

writers in Iraq and the few things I<br />

did see were made by local artists<br />

with slightly naive techniques<br />

which I sort took an affinity to.<br />

PA<br />

I don’t really have any specific spots in mind that I can<br />

think of right away but I would love to paint a large wall<br />

in Baghdad such as the ones I have been painting in<br />

recent years. I feel that city needs some color added<br />

and given its history I would love to plaster some ideas<br />

of inspiration to people in general alongside other<br />

artists from Baghdad. However, I feel that there are a lot<br />

of constraints and barriers that need to be jumped and<br />

bureaucracy is a hard one to tackle there. The political<br />

atmosphere is tense and I don’t know how easily it<br />

would be to crack something in the shape of a largescale<br />

wall with the appropriate support needed to not<br />

get in trouble and face some harsh legal situation.<br />

↑ “MIGRANTES VA-<br />

LIENTES” (Brave Migrants).<br />

This time<br />

adorning the glass<br />

panes of a trackside<br />

sound barrier.<br />

→ Allison’s work is<br />

playful and nonaggressive<br />

making it<br />

seem right at home<br />

on this shop window.<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison<br />



RANTES” (Up the<br />

Migrants). A roof over<br />

your head means different<br />

things in different<br />

contexts.<br />

72 Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison

Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison<br />


← Scenes from forgotten<br />

places. Pablo Allison<br />

brings us images<br />

from places most of us<br />

are unlikely to ever visit.<br />

PA<br />

I believe so, for instance in Central America, particularly<br />

in places like Nicaragua and Honduras in my experience<br />

there was some access to better quality paint and cans<br />

but expensive of course. El Salvador has a much more<br />

developed scene and cans are relatively easier to get.<br />

Same applies for Mexico where a huge industry has<br />

been developed for all the graffiti needs. There are,<br />

however, very violent cities in Mexico like Nuevo Laredo,<br />

Reynosa or Ciudad Victoria, to name a few where I<br />

would dare to say that no graffiti exists, therefor, the<br />

access to tools is much harder.<br />

MC<br />

What kind of response or civil intervention do you get<br />

from people or the locals that are non-fleeing illegal<br />

migrants when you paint walls or freights with these<br />

messages in poor and violent areas?<br />

PA<br />

The reaction from a non-graffiti audience has gone<br />

beyond my expectations. People are more aware of<br />

graffiti as an agent for change. The general public has<br />

slightly shifted its perception on this art form, whether<br />

that be a good or a bad thing I don’t know. I do feel<br />

however that people still have a very biased opinion on<br />

what they approve and what they don’t approve of,<br />

which is fine by me. That said, I do wish for people to<br />

read simple words and feel connected or show some<br />

sort of empathy regarding matters that mean something<br />

to us all.<br />

In Jordan and Iraq, I mainly painted<br />

with crappy cans but some good<br />

paint is available at quite inaccessible<br />

prices. The Middle East region<br />

is a very interesting one for history<br />

but also for graffiti.<br />

MC<br />

What is your favourite <strong>Montana</strong> Can and cap combination<br />

and why?<br />

PA<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> BLACK as it’s the one that stands out the most.<br />

74 Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison

In a world being separated ever more every day by the<br />

notion of the haves and the have not’s, artists like Pablo<br />

Allison play a strong role in the shaping of social<br />

opinions regarding the topic of migration. With one<br />

The reaction from a non-graffiti<br />

audience has gone beyond my<br />

expectations. People are more<br />

aware of graffiti as an agent for<br />

change. The general public has<br />

slightly shifted its perception on<br />

this art form, whether that be a<br />

good or a bad thing I don’t know.<br />

hand on the nozzle of a spray can and the other on the<br />

trigger of his camera, Allison’s work is bound to have<br />

more social relevance as the knowledge of its existence<br />

grows. We look forward to seeing which countries it<br />

takes him to next and pray that he always manages to<br />

return home safely.<br />

↓ Man and nature. In<br />

Mexico the two merge<br />

in a unique way in<br />

the absence of abundance.<br />

↗ “DEMOCRACY”. Depicted<br />

in a light here<br />

that is probably closest<br />

to its actual<br />

state of reality.<br />

→ Allison showing he<br />

definitely comes from<br />

a graffiti background<br />

where hand style still<br />

has its place.<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Pablo Allison<br />


The inaugural<br />

Pfffestival<br />

2022<br />

Location<br />

Stuttgart joins<br />

the mural route<br />

Profile<br />

@pfffestival<br />

Stuttgart, Germany<br />

Photography<br />

Thommy West<br />

The German landscape has changed in recent years, just as it always<br />

does. One of these changes being undertaken by many cities is the initiative<br />

of mural festivals. the art of creating large format murals that take a<br />

semi-permanent place in the DNA of a city.<br />

↓ Downtown Stuttgart<br />

getting all PFFF’d up.<br />

76 Recap Pfffestival

A<br />

movement, that not only brings color and<br />

life to a place, but as seen in cities such as<br />

Heidelberg, Mannheim and Berlin, bring<br />

with it a positive outcome for the residents,<br />

value adding for visitors, and a space for cultural<br />

development for the artistic communities wherever<br />

these festivals take place. And now it's time for Stuttgart<br />

to get amongst it.<br />

↑ Base coats getting<br />

rolled up. The mystery<br />

of the mural begins<br />

here.<br />

→ BEZT currently<br />

lives and works in his<br />

hometown of Turek,<br />

Poland.<br />

In September 2022, the Pfffestival<br />

celebrated its inauguration in the<br />

creation of 5 large scale murals, an<br />

exhibition based around the festival's<br />

achievements, and a printed<br />

publication of the event.<br />

→ Passers-by wonder<br />

what will become of<br />

the space in front of<br />

them. With a little<br />

patience, they will<br />

soon find out.<br />

Recap Pfffestival<br />


78 Recap Pfffestival<br />

Bezt (Etam), renowned<br />

globally, has a<br />

piece in Stuttgart.<br />

His calming still life at<br />

the bustling Neckarstraße<br />

127 lies<br />

between Stöckach &<br />

Neckartor stations.

The DNA of the city<br />

In September 2022, the Pfffestival celebrated its inauguration<br />

in the creation of 5 large scale murals, an<br />

exhibition based around the festival's achievements,<br />

and a printed publication of the event. Curated by<br />

Studio Vierkant, the Pfffestival in partnership with Kulturamt<br />

Stadt Stuttgart, the Baden-Württemberg<br />

Stiftung, the Kunstverein Wagenhalle and <strong>Montana</strong><br />

Cans, the festival aims to create an annual festival over<br />

the next 3 years and beyond.<br />

For this the initial year of the event,<br />

the torch to be the first was given to<br />

a broad spectrum of local and<br />

international artists which consisted<br />

of Rafael Gerlach (München),<br />

Roids (London), Inga Krause (Bremen),<br />

Bezt (Lodz) und Marvin<br />

Daumüller (Stuttgart).<br />

↑ Not a tone or color<br />

missing, the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

GOLD and BLACK<br />

lines have it covered.<br />

→ Coverage garaunteed,<br />

this wall soon<br />

transforms from gray<br />

to vivid as the<br />

PFFFestival rolls on.<br />

↓ SATONE transformed<br />

the Hedwig<br />

Dohm School's<br />

facade in Stuttgart<br />

→ German artist<br />

Rafael Gerlach aka<br />

SATONE<br />

Recap Pfffestival<br />


← The unique vibe of<br />

the Stuttgart<br />

cityscape. Enough to<br />

keep the locals<br />

looking upward.<br />

↑ Wedged between<br />

↑ two buildings, tyhe<br />

sun still reaches this<br />

ROIDS mural in the<br />

making.<br />

↑ Tools of the trade,<br />

ready to be raised to<br />

where the action is at.<br />

Eye catching urban art in large format<br />

For this the initial year of the event, the torch to be the<br />

first was given to a broad spectrum of local and international<br />

artists which consisted of Rafael Gerlach<br />

(München), Roids (London), Inga Krause (Bremen), Bezt<br />

(Lodz) und Marvin Daumüller (Stuttgart).<br />

A city known for its ingenuity, innovation<br />

and celebration of the arts, it<br />

seemed only natural that it too spotlighted<br />

art on large scales for its<br />

citizens and visitors to enjoy.<br />

↑ A creative interchange.<br />

Creators exchange<br />

ideas under the<br />

lumination of the<br />

artwork.<br />

80 Recap Pfffestival

← A long way from<br />

finished but not too<br />

big a job for the<br />

English artist.<br />

↓ Just in time for a<br />

quick pic of the team<br />

that made it happen.<br />

↑ Rounded off with<br />

black trimmings, this<br />

innovative mural<br />

shines from all<br />

perspectives.<br />

Recap Pfffestival<br />


Inga Krause's mural is<br />

located at Hegelstraße<br />

47, right next to the<br />

Russische Kirche<br />

subway stop.<br />

82 Recap Pfffestival

← Don’t forget to make<br />

history before you go.<br />

This untouchable<br />

sign-off is multiple<br />

stories above the<br />

ground.<br />

↑ Another quick smile<br />

before it’s time to get<br />

back to business.<br />

Born in 1989, Inga Krause, currently residing in Bremen,<br />

is an alumnus of illustration studies from Münster<br />

(MSD) and Hamburg (HAW). Her 2021 master's thesis,<br />

PETRICHOR, features city phenomena through a blend<br />

of analogue and digital collages. Krause's portfolio also<br />

includes large-scale paintings and vibrant clay figures.<br />

Distinguished by broad forms and radiant colors, her<br />

style is a fusion of figurative and abstract elements. Her<br />

art exhibits graphic precision disrupted by spontaneous<br />

brushwork, analogue textures, and asymmetric forms.<br />

Her friend and artistic aide, Marina Friedrich, assisted in<br />

executing her façade.<br />

↑ All Colors Are<br />

Beautiful, but not all<br />

colors come out of<br />

spray cans.<br />

Recap Pfffestival<br />


Stuttgart artist Marvin<br />

Daumüller created<br />

two bridge pillars of<br />

the Nesenbachtalbrücke<br />

as part of the<br />

PFFFestival. The<br />

figurative paintings<br />

are located at<br />

Böblingerstraße 253,<br />

near the Heslach<br />

Vogelrain subway<br />

stop.<br />

84 Recap Pfffestival

Recap Pfffestival<br />


Born in 1997 in Tübingen, Marvin Daumüller studies at<br />

the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. Introduced to<br />

graffiti at twelve, its influence shaped his transition to<br />

figurative painting. He is passionate about urban space<br />

interventions, his main medium. His surrealist paintings,<br />

centering on humans in a global community,<br />

metaphorically explore social structures and the human<br />

condition shaped by collective memory.<br />

→ A courageous<br />

challenge as the<br />

bridge pillars are<br />

seen from another<br />

angle.<br />

↑ Stuttgart artist<br />

Marvin Daumüller for<br />

Pfffestival<br />

← Large brush<br />

strokes make for<br />

smooth transitions<br />

when seen from a<br />

distance.<br />

↓ The journey to the<br />

finished product can<br />

often be a long road.<br />

But one that is worth<br />

the effort.<br />

86 Recap Pfffestival

← Showing that what<br />

is not covered can<br />

often be as valuable<br />

as that, what is.<br />

↑ Linz artist Julia<br />

Heinisch painted the<br />

wall of the new<br />

Kunstverein<br />

Wagenhalle building<br />

with a figurative<br />

piece.<br />

We look forward to what <strong>2023</strong> holds<br />

install for the second annual Pfffestival.<br />

↑ A beautiful<br />

combination of the<br />

artists hand, acrylic<br />

paint, raw brick, and<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> GOLD.<br />

Recap Pfffestival<br />


Equally as impressive<br />

indoors as it is<br />

outdoors. The<br />

PFFFestival exhibits<br />

its results in all its<br />

glory.<br />

88 Recap Pfffestival

Recap Pfffestival<br />


90 Recap Pfffestival

↑ This time not under<br />

the influence of<br />

mother nature, the<br />

PFFFestival<br />

exhibitions sheds new<br />

light on artworks.<br />

As part of the annual PFFFESTIVAL, an affiliated<br />

exhibition at the Kunstverein-Wagenhalle venue is<br />

always a must-see. This show aims to spotlight the<br />

studio works of participating artists, as well as featuring<br />

creators rooted in graffiti or urban art, including<br />

those with relevant post-graffiti standpoints.<br />

The 2022 group exhibition “PFFF — 2022”<br />

opened its doors on Saturday, October 8th. Under the<br />

theme “Urban Art in Stuttgart,” Kunstverein-Wagenhalle’s<br />

project space hosts this annual group show.<br />

↑ Too good to not get<br />

a snapshot of. This<br />

viewer takes home a<br />

reminder of the show.<br />

↓ Size matters<br />

indoors and outdoors.<br />

Especially when in the<br />

comfort of four walls<br />

and a roof.<br />

A mesmerizing blend of styles and<br />

approaches, PFFFESTIVAL exhibitions<br />

continue to illuminate the dynamism<br />

of today’s urban art scene.<br />

Recap Pfffestival<br />


The 2022 line-up comprised Bezt, Rafael Gerlach,<br />

Roids, Moritz Junkermann, Lutger Lonin, Marvin<br />

Daumüller, Theresa Volpp, Michel T. Balke, and Inga<br />

Krause. A mesmerizing blend of styles and approaches,<br />

PFFFESTIVAL exhibitions continue to illuminate the<br />

dynamism of today’s urban art scene.<br />

← A unique space for<br />

exhibiting art.<br />

Through the veins of<br />

the building, the<br />

digitally interactive<br />

comes to life.<br />

↑ Nothing that a good<br />

coffee or a drink can’t<br />

fix.<br />

↓ For those unable to<br />

walk the path of<br />

PFFFestival, the<br />

murals were<br />

represented on a<br />

smaller yet equally as<br />

grand scale.<br />

92 Recap Pfffestival

↑ Another one for<br />

the collection. A<br />

documentation of<br />

Stuttgart creative<br />

history.<br />

← The PFFF Journal is<br />

the printed publication<br />

documenting the<br />

inaugural festival.<br />

↓ For enjoyment and<br />

contemplation even<br />

beyond the digital<br />

realms.<br />

Recap Pfffestival<br />


Travel<br />

RepoRtLocation<br />

Various<br />

Photography<br />

IXAP, ILT<br />

I packed my suitcase. Together with IBES from the NICE<br />

Crew, a 30-year-old Mercedes Benz, and 60 cans of <strong>Montana</strong><br />

Black, we also brought with us plenty of motivation<br />

and a good mood. That should be enough for a good road<br />

trip I thought, and I can tell you in advance that it was.<br />

94 Street Report Trainspecial

Belgrade<br />

Germany to Turkey. It was a damn long way to travel by car. We alternated<br />

between who slept and who drove, so after 24 hours on the road our old car<br />

was able to take its first breather in Belgrade. In a sight that we were not<br />

used to, the fresh RVR trains were relatively clean and in many cases appeared<br />

to have been given a fresh coat of paint. Only a few pieces adorned<br />

the wagons. We approached the matter relatively unspectacularly since a<br />

normally good spot was not doable at all due to construction work, and so<br />

we simply went to the yard. Unfortunately, there was still a lot of activity there<br />

when we arrived and we didn't want to wait, so we decided to paint quick<br />

pieces for which we were rewarded the next day with nice photos and a quick<br />

departure for our next destination.<br />

Sofia<br />

The next stop was in Sofia. During our pre-trip research, on Google Maps,<br />

we saw a metro layed up at a siding. We figured that seeing as we were there<br />

already anyway, we may as well take a quick look and see if we could get<br />

lucky. Nothing! Unfortunately, this was not going to happen.<br />

When we arrived at the Turkish border in the evening, the flawless customs<br />

officer saw the heap of spray cans in our car and didn’t want to let us cross<br />

the border. But of course, he gave us the option to give him the cans and then<br />

pass freely over the border without them. No way! We turned back swearing<br />

and cursing and decided to try for a second attempt. This time we hid the cans<br />

under all our clothes and we got away with it.<br />

Street Report Trainspecial<br />


Istanbul<br />

The last hours to Istanbul flew by. SOKOE who had already arrived by plane<br />

was awaiting us at our accommodation. In Istanbul, our total success statistics<br />

were 3 trains. 2 of them were wild metro train actions with rope ladders<br />

and dodging several security guards, and last but not least was an awsome<br />

silver Marmaray train, which runs from the European side of Turkey towards<br />

the Asian side. Marmaray was thanks to the help of RUKUS and HARAM<br />

from the OHB crew.<br />

96 Street Report Trainspecial

Street Report Trainspecial<br />


98 Street Report Trainspecial

Bursa<br />

With a good tailwind, we drove to Bursa, a comparatively shabby light rail<br />

system but with a special feature that was alluring to us. The old Rotterdam<br />

metro trains, however, with a new facelift in bright green for the Turkish<br />

system. Here we booked a deluxe hotel near the yard to ensure that we would<br />

be lucky. There was no security present and the Rotterdam model stood<br />

perfectly! Once again we were able to get first-rate photos the next day and<br />

then continue to Izmir which was our last stop.<br />

Street Report Trainspecial<br />


Izmir<br />

Less than 2 hours in the city and we already stood alongside their metro trains<br />

with our paint and cameras and we were able to get great pictures after the<br />

action. Nobody came and everything went smoothly. Surprised by the good<br />

yield of the previous few days, we tried for another one. This was to be our<br />

last action on our last night. Which, unlike the evening before, was not successful.<br />

Oh well. We had already pressed the caps of our cans enough<br />

and were able to return to Germany free with a feeling of fulfillment.<br />

100 Street Report Trainspecial

Street Report Trainspecial<br />


MONTaNa<br />

COlOr<br />

SwaTcheS<br />

fOr PrO<br />

create<br />

Location<br />

Sweden/Germany<br />

Profile<br />

@montanacans<br />

@fjaka.studio<br />

Website<br />

www.montana-cans.com/procreate<br />

102 <strong>Montana</strong> Color Swatches for Procreate

The collaboration with the Swedish design studio<br />

fjaka is an exciting opportunity for <strong>Montana</strong> Cans to<br />

expand our reach and provide artists with a new<br />

way to access our high-quality spray paint colors<br />

and effects. With Procreate’s popularity among<br />

digital artists, we saw an opportunity to provide a<br />

convenient way for artists to incorporate our colors<br />

and effects into their digital artwork.<br />

← User friendly for<br />

those who know, and<br />

those who know a little<br />

less when it comes<br />

to digital creation.<br />

↓ Flairs, fades, or precision.<br />

The Level Cap<br />

system is at a hand's<br />

reach digitally also.<br />

Download here →<br />

Our <strong>Montana</strong> GOLD and <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

colors are known for their high pigmentation<br />

and quality, and we wanted to make these<br />

colors easily accessible to digital artists as<br />

well. The digital color swatches for Procreate accurately<br />

represent the colors of our spray paint, allowing<br />

artists to use the same colors in their digital work as<br />

they would with our physical spray paint.<br />

These brushes mimic the effects of <strong>Montana</strong><br />

Level Caps 1 to 6, giving artists the<br />

ability to create a range of spray paint<br />

effects digitally.<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Color Swatches for Procreate<br />


← The digital marker<br />

sizes, just like the<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> ACRYLIC<br />

markers on your<br />

tablet.<br />

↓ Ready for the human<br />

touch.<br />

In addition to the digital color swatches, we<br />

also created brushes that imitate the effects of different<br />

spray paint nozzle sizes. These brushes mimic the<br />

effects of <strong>Montana</strong> Level Caps 1 to 6, giving artists the<br />

ability to create a range of spray paint effects digitally.<br />

↓ With easy to use<br />

tools that will take<br />

your artwork to the<br />

next level.<br />

104 <strong>Montana</strong> Color Swatches for Procreate

Overall, this collaboration with Fjaka and<br />

Procreate represents <strong>Montana</strong> Cans’ commitment to<br />

providing high-quality spray paint products to artists in<br />

new and innovative ways. We are thrilled to see the<br />

creativity that artists will unleash with our colors and<br />

effects in the digital realm.<br />

Download the ready-made procreate files for<br />

swatches and brushes here:<br />

montana-cans.com/procreate<br />

↑ From the screen to<br />

the streets. Or is that<br />

from the streets to<br />

the screen?<br />

← As used by HOM-<br />

BRE SUK.<br />

You’re done<br />

good luck!<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Color Swatches for Procreate<br />


HAFEN-<br />

DAMPF<br />

Essen<br />

2022<br />

Profile<br />

@hafendampf_essen<br />

Location<br />

Essen, Germany<br />

Photography<br />

Hafendampf<br />

10 years<br />

of steam<br />

↑ All eyes are on you.<br />

For this wall, it’s hard<br />

to know who is looking<br />

at who. The viewer or<br />

the artwork?<br />

The Hafendampf Jam in Essen Germany has been making people happy for 10 years now.<br />

2022 which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the event at Langenberger Strasse<br />

Essen was no exception. In fact, it was double the fun as a second day was also added to<br />

quickly get some of that style and dynamic <strong>Montana</strong> GOLD and BLACK color on the<br />

newly renovated sections of the A44 motorway retainer wall.<br />

106 Recap Hafendampf

Steaming up the place with style<br />

Countless talented artists came from far and wide to<br />

rock the spot and keep the tradition of the steaming harbor<br />

alive. Names like Nomad, Amit, Fnack, Semor, Pout,<br />

and Most, among many others all came down to get down.<br />

Styles for miles, or at least as long as the wall space<br />

allowed as roads were laid dormant and passers-by were<br />

forced to take a look at the burners being created before<br />

them. Even though the temperatures supplied by<br />

mother nature may not have been so accommodating.<br />

↗ MOST letting us<br />

know that he still has<br />

the graffiti steering<br />

wheel firmly in his<br />

grasp.<br />

→ Two is company,<br />

three is a crowd. Four<br />

characters if you<br />

count the magician<br />

featured in the center.<br />

↓ Up and down, up and<br />

down. Walls this high<br />

make painting a piece<br />

like doing exercise.<br />

Recap Hafendampf<br />


↑ With a different perspective,<br />

this production<br />

has nearly come<br />

to its end. But first a<br />

quick pic for the paparazzi.<br />

↑ Stop, look, and lis-<br />

↑ ten. With the road<br />

partially closed, the locals<br />

had all the time in<br />

the world to watch the<br />

productions unfold.<br />

108 Recap Hafendampf

1<br />

2 3<br />

1 A bit of everything<br />

with that special intergalactic<br />

flavor.<br />

2 Layer upon layer,<br />

this piece explores<br />

the many levels of<br />

graffiti while sticking<br />

to some of the traditional<br />

elements.<br />

3 If all good things<br />

come in small packages,<br />

then why<br />

does SEMOR have<br />

good things both big<br />

and small?<br />

4 Aaa ha. So that’s<br />

how he does it. An insight<br />

into how a<br />

MOST piece comes<br />

together.<br />

4 5 6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

5 “Everybody’s got<br />

their own arrow”.<br />

Some like to make it a<br />

feature though.<br />

6 Taking the danger<br />

level up a notch, it is<br />

not often you encounter<br />

wildlife at the wall.<br />

7 A fine example of<br />

how at HAFENDAMPF<br />

there is always a lot<br />

going on visually.<br />

8 A small departure<br />

from the solid colors<br />

and opaque styles of<br />

the day, proving fades<br />

still got it going on too.<br />

Recap Hafendampf<br />


4<br />

1<br />

5<br />

6<br />

4 Merging classic elements<br />

with contemporary<br />

funk. Graffiti never<br />

sleeps.<br />

5 Two burners and a<br />

character in the middle.<br />

A formula that never<br />

gets old.<br />

2<br />

6 Far from scary, this<br />

DEMON is easy on<br />

the eye.<br />

1 FNACK keeping it horizontally<br />

on track<br />

with his edgy signature<br />

style.<br />

2 Rules are meant to<br />

be broken. 3D’s going<br />

up, down and around<br />

to the side just to<br />

keep us guessing.<br />

3<br />

3 Another take on the<br />

collaborative green/<br />

orange/purple colorway.<br />

Always keeping<br />

it fresh.<br />

110 Recap Hafendampf

↑ When you can’t see<br />

the trees for the forest.<br />

Camouflaged in color<br />

is never a bad thing.<br />

↓ Cars, skeletons, and<br />

monsters. What do<br />

they all have in common?<br />

Graffiti!<br />

Keeping it warm in the cold<br />

Never a dull moment, Essen knows what’s up when it<br />

comes to color, style and graffiti development. That<br />

was HAFENDAMPF 2022, may there be many more for<br />

years to come.<br />

→ There vis no instruction<br />

manual for<br />

this one. Taking “what<br />

was” and creating a<br />

new “what is”.<br />

Recap Hafendampf<br />


Max<br />

Solca<br />

Wall Update by Swedish graffiti artist<br />

Profile<br />

@maxsolca<br />

Location<br />

Malmö, Sweden<br />

Photography<br />

Max Solca<br />

112 Artist in focus/Interview Max solca

Some may think that graffiti writing and all its unwritten rules should be intertwined into<br />

a visual code that can only be understood, read, and appreciated by the initiated. Like<br />

those who well and truly know their way around a <strong>Montana</strong> GOLD or a <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK<br />

can and can tell the difference between a New York Fat Cap and a Level 6 cap. By the<br />

streets, for the streets… And then there is Max Solca, an innovative Swedish artist that<br />

has a humorous way of combining fresh graffiti, with illustration, clarity, and quirky<br />

messages for the graffiti writer and the general public all at once. And as for the unwritten<br />

rules, he doesn’t play by those either.<br />

→ Solca telling us that<br />

the message has<br />

been the same since<br />

the beginning of mankind.<br />

Graffiti for everyone<br />

For quite a while we have had our eyes on Solca as his<br />

artworks impressed us, made us smirk, or even<br />

outright laugh at their clever motifs. Even though at<br />

times it is very funny, his work is well-executed and<br />

always seems to maintain a healthy dose of graffiti<br />

letter style and innovation. Innovations like the use of<br />

the phrase “Stay focused” while the piece itself has<br />

been painted in a manner that starts in focus, and ends<br />

out of focus. Or the black and chrome freight train<br />

design that said “Move your ass”. A design that was<br />

complimented by the inclusion of an illustrative naked<br />

human rear end at each side that holds the letters<br />

together as book ends do.<br />

↓ For big kids and little<br />

ones. Max Solca<br />

speaks everyone's visual<br />

language and<br />

particularly his own.<br />

More than just one word at a time<br />

You will never find the name Max Solca in one of his<br />

works. For Solca, just like well-branded footwear, it is<br />

the visual elements or the integrated phrase that will<br />

give him away and remind you of the last time you<br />

smiled to yourself at one of his previous pieces. With<br />

this turning on its head of the traditional style writing<br />

rule to create a name, write it, and then repeat, Solca<br />

opens the doors to an audience well beyond the graffiti<br />

community. Most of his works are legible to any untrained<br />

eye, so it is not just the graffiti, street art, or<br />

urban art communities he is engaging with, it’s everyone!<br />

From the most innocent grandmother, a graffiti<br />

writer, or the most devilishly cheeky 3-year-old who also<br />

can’t help but laugh at the site of a cartoon cat sticking<br />

the middle finger up at the viewer while taking a pee.<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Max solca<br />


A reference to jurassic<br />

times, a symbol<br />

of authority, or are<br />

dinosaurs, spray<br />

cans, and walls just<br />

a cool assortment<br />

of motifs? Solca<br />

keeps us guessing.<br />

114 Artist in focus/Interview Max solca

Mostly the idea comes first, then how to do it as clearly as possible. Some paintings<br />

don’t need a phrase and some paintings don’t need an image. It’s always fun when the<br />

receiver can understand without being too obvious.<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Max solca<br />


Turning tradition on its head<br />

Where does he come up with this stuff? And what lit the<br />

fire to take his graffiti down this path? It got us curious<br />

and thinking. Only the man himself could answer these<br />

questions so we decided to ask and see where it takes<br />

us. Here is what he had to say.<br />

→ “Shit Happens”. It<br />

sure does, whichever<br />

way up you experience<br />

it.<br />

An interview with Max Solca<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cans<br />

For those of us who did not know of Max Solca before<br />

seeing your works on the <strong>Montana</strong> Cans Blog, in what<br />

style did your graffiti start?<br />

Max Solca<br />

It started when I was small, like most kids exploring<br />

graffiti for the first time. My friends and I painted along<br />

the subway line in Stockholm in the late 90s. There were<br />

endless possibilities if you wanted to be seen.<br />

MC<br />

Was it always in a similar vein?<br />

MS<br />

Yeah, my technique got better and the objects got<br />

riskier but I kept my interest in the subways in Stockholm.<br />

MC<br />

How did it get to the way it is now?<br />

MS<br />

I felt a bit done after 10 years and at the same time I<br />

discovered comics. I realized that a painting could<br />

communicate so much more, so I applied to a Comic<br />

School and moved to Malmö. I studied there for 2 years<br />

and after that, 2 more years in a Graphic course. During<br />

that time I developed my expression with spray cans by<br />

doing characters with quotes and paintings with<br />

biographic content, and ”killed my darlings” to express<br />

it as simply and specifically as possible.<br />

MC<br />

You are from Malmö Sweden, a city (and country) with<br />

lots of talented graffiti style writers. How is your work<br />

received among your peers? And how much consideration<br />

do you give the opinions of others?<br />

MS<br />

I am very aware of my place in the Graff scene here in<br />

Malmö. I know almost everyone and because of my<br />

different appearance, I don’t think I’m in anybody’s way.<br />

I see the great tradition of graffiti and I love it. The illegal<br />

climate here is relatively relaxed and you can talk your<br />

way out of trouble if you’re in the mood.<br />

MC<br />

If we consider some of the unwritten rules of graffiti,<br />

like basing your work on the tag, not going over some<br />

116 Artist in focus/Interview Max solca

→ Every graffiti writer<br />

knows this feeling.<br />

That moment of guilt<br />

when an insect is accidentally<br />

trapped in<br />

your paint stroke.<br />

← We can only assume<br />

that Solca has<br />

been to a rave or two<br />

in his time with this<br />

visual nod to Techno<br />

music.<br />

→ “Spraying causes<br />

addiction”. A visual<br />

play on cigarette<br />

packaging with a<br />

message that is all to<br />

familiar amongst<br />

graffiti writers.<br />

During that time I developed my expression with spray cans by doing<br />

characters with quotes and paintings with biographic content, and<br />

”killed my darlings” to express it as simply and specifically as possible.<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Max solca<br />


← “Home is where<br />

clean boxers are”.<br />

Common amongst<br />

graffiti nomads who<br />

know all to well the<br />

feeling of needing a<br />

shower and a change<br />

of clothes.<br />

↓ A policeman’s POV.<br />

You snooze, you lose.<br />

← Don’t interrupt me.<br />

I’m on holiday and I’m<br />

chillin. Solca’s character<br />

gives the viewer<br />

the middle toe.<br />

118 Artist in focus/Interview Max solca

↑ There is a solution<br />

to every graffiti problem<br />

which Solca reminds<br />

us with style.<br />

“No problemo”.<br />

→ When art history<br />

and the streets collide.<br />

“Da Vinci Mode”<br />

takes the European<br />

double handed technique<br />

twice as far.<br />

← “Euro Disco”. Solca<br />

gives the green light<br />

for dancing under the<br />

bridge.<br />

← No words required.<br />

High fiving dogs that<br />

can skate, with<br />

clouds, rainbows,<br />

and illustrated walls.<br />

Who cares what it’s<br />

about, it looks good<br />

regardless.<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Max solca<br />


Mostly the idea comes first, then how to do it as clearly as possible.<br />

Some paintings don’t need a phrase and some paintings don’t<br />

need an image. It’s always fun when the receiver can understand<br />

without being too obvious.<br />

120 Artist in focus/Interview Max solca

thing you can’t burn, a panel is more valuable than a<br />

wall, and so on. Do any of these play a role in your<br />

painting practice? And if so, which rule(s) and why these<br />

particular rules?<br />

MS<br />

Those rules are also very much written here in Malmö.<br />

And I think you have to respect them. For example, if<br />

someone took a risk by painting a wall on the streets,<br />

you can’t go over it even if you have permission. You can<br />

adapt it to your work or ignore it, but who wants to see<br />

legal graff everywhere they go?<br />

MC<br />

Do you see what you do as part of traditional graffiti?<br />

MS<br />

Yeah! I will never let go of it, because I love it, and<br />

style-wise, I think it’s the most direct way to appear<br />

visually.<br />

MC<br />

Often you incorporate phrases and images in a concept.<br />

What comes first, the image element, or the words and<br />

phrases element?<br />

MS<br />

Mostly the idea comes first, then how to do it as clearly<br />

as possible. Some paintings don’t need a phrase and<br />

some paintings don’t need an image. It’s always fun<br />

when the receiver can understand without being too<br />

obvious.<br />

MC<br />

When was the last time you were “wowed” by somebody<br />

else’s work? Who was it and what is it that inspired you?<br />

MS<br />

That depends on whether it is Letter based or image-based.<br />

I like Superspray´s productions because<br />

they are playful and very well done, and Imonboy´s<br />

graff-related paintings make me laugh. Ernestillm is<br />

also totally amazing, although his paintings are too<br />

good for me to relate to, style-wise that is.<br />

MC<br />

If you could go to one concert to see your favorite<br />

music, what would it be?<br />

MS<br />

Masumi Hara playing ”Just like an Angel” would be<br />

overwhelming!<br />

MC<br />

What is your favorite <strong>Montana</strong> can and cap combination?<br />

MS<br />

I like ”Beast” and its magic coverage although it’s<br />

almost fluorescent. But ”Nappies” is probably my<br />

favorite. The standard cap (black with a white dot) is<br />

amazing because you can make perfect lines with<br />

almost no precision. But if I had to choose one, it would<br />

be the original black cap with the orange dot on the can.<br />

I can do everything I want with it.<br />

Steering graffiti in a new direction<br />

Paths that remind us to not take<br />

things too seriously and to take our<br />

messages to the masses, not just<br />

to graffiti writers.<br />

It is clear to say that artists like Max Solca play an important role in steering modern-day graffiti down new paths.<br />

Paths that remind us to not take things too seriously and to take our messages to the masses, not just to graffiti<br />

writers. However, paths that are as equally driven by the pursuit of the perfect piece(s), or at least very much in line<br />

with the knowledge of graffiti aesthetics. And for those that like the old paths of tradition, pure letter forms, and<br />

elevation through competition, the undeniable humor in Solca’s work can potentially inspire words of acclaim<br />

rather than words driven by the fear of being burned. Regardless of the viewpoint, Max Solca ticks so many of the<br />

creative boxes that it is not possible to see his work without noticing it. We look forward to seeing which direction<br />

he takes it and which clever takes on the English language he manages to conjure up next. Or any other language<br />

for that matter.<br />

Artist in focus/Interview Max solca<br />


An update with<br />

Funco<br />

(aka FUNC88) from Paris<br />

Location<br />

Paris, France<br />

Photography<br />

Funco<br />

Profile<br />

@koolfunc88<br />

↓ Where does it start<br />

and where does it end?<br />

Just one of Funco’s<br />

graffiti investigations,<br />

this piece takes us<br />

with arrows from the<br />

past to organic<br />

blotches and spaces<br />

of the future.<br />

122 Artist in focus Funco

It has been a long time since FUNCO aka FUNC88,<br />

has been bracing the vertical surfaces of Paris and<br />

the world with his name. As a prolific member of the<br />

ULTRABOYZ Crew, he has worked his way through a<br />

collection of his favorite <strong>Montana</strong> GOLD, BLACK,<br />


cans in the search for a new way to create. During this<br />

time it was not only his preference for the type of cans<br />

that changed, so too has his style, his approach, and his<br />

ethos toward graffiti. What was once a classic endeavor<br />

for graffiti style writing perfection has become a more<br />

instinctive and organic process where the only judge of<br />

his work worth taking into consideration is himself.<br />

What was once a classic endeavor<br />

for graffiti style writing perfection<br />

has become a more instinctive and<br />

organic process where the only<br />

judge of his work worth taking into<br />

consideration is himself.<br />

← Clever role reversal.<br />

FUNCO takes the traditional<br />

graffiti focus<br />

on the positive space<br />

(the fill-in) and draws<br />

the viewer down to the<br />

negative space below<br />

it (the background). All<br />

while maintaining a balance<br />

from left to right.<br />

Upon reflecting on the works made in 2022,<br />

FUNCO has also put pen to paper to give us a little<br />

more insight into how he himself sees the work he<br />

creates today. This is what he had to say.<br />

“As time flies, I tend to see beauty<br />

in different places when it comes<br />

to shapes and forms. In 2022 I<br />

didn’t see letters, composition,<br />

and piecing like I used to. Nor did I<br />

comprehend it anymore as I previously<br />

did. It may sound weird but<br />

my usual letter tracing and painting<br />

routine felt obsolete. It was<br />

repetitive and I want more than<br />

this from my artwork, or at least I<br />

want to try to do things differently<br />

and have more fun with it.”<br />

FUNCO<br />

→ Far from obsolete,<br />

FUNCO breaks the<br />

traditions of graffiti<br />

repetition and yet<br />

manages to create a<br />

recognizable form that<br />

is always a one-off.<br />

Artist in focus Funco<br />


↑ A limited palette<br />

brings FUNCO to his<br />

goal.<br />

↗ Embracing the<br />

influence of the<br />

elements, it is no<br />

longer a race to an<br />

expected result. Drips,<br />

blotches, wind flair, or<br />

cans that are running<br />

empty are welcomed.<br />

↗ As his gestures<br />

change, so do the<br />

movements of his<br />

body, so do the the<br />

results of his application<br />

of the paint.<br />

→ Even though FUNCO<br />

builds up a surface of<br />

layers, with each layer<br />

he creates an illusion<br />

of decay.<br />

The work has become some form of decayed<br />

graffiti<br />

“I started to make all my pre-programmed graffiti<br />

patterns disappear and attempt to camouflage everything.<br />

I call these last paintings ‘Corroded Culbutos’.<br />

They are not necessarily well balanced, didn’t follow a<br />

logical structure (if we talk about standards), and<br />

appeared to be all burned out and nibbled on. Possibly,<br />

they relate more to elements within nature like blobs,<br />

humus, or rotted roots. The work has become some<br />

form of decayed graffiti.”<br />

FUNCO<br />

I started to create paintings based on<br />

feelings<br />

“I came to a point where I started<br />

letting my mind roam free with all<br />

my gestures. I started to create<br />

paintings based on feelings rather<br />

than following traditional steps in<br />

the search of an expected result.<br />

I need a bit of surprise in the action of painting and<br />

I’m not against a little help from the elements (rain/<br />

wind or whatever…) It always makes things interesting.<br />

Even my tools have changed, I’m not concerned<br />

anymore about a particular cap, I go with whatever<br />

comes on the can or is in my bag at the time.”<br />

FUNCO<br />

124 Artist in focus Funco

Artist in focus Funco<br />


“Recently, I fell in love with the <strong>Montana</strong> TARBLACK<br />

cans and they have since become one of my favorites!<br />

ULTRAWIDE help me to add texture on a large scale and<br />

I used them mixed with other <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK colors on<br />

a regular basis.<br />

I have a different approach to my<br />

paintings these days that is probably<br />

quite noticeable. I’m not rejecting<br />

my previous graffiti practice or<br />

trying to get rid of it.<br />

I have a different approach to my paintings<br />

these days that is probably quite noticeable. I’m not<br />

rejecting my previous graffiti practice or trying to get rid<br />

of it. It’s just that for me, an evolution has occurred. Or<br />

even a mutation. I assume a few resurgent bits and<br />

pieces can be seen under those new potato-like forms<br />

and their accompanying corrosive color clouds”.<br />

FUNCO<br />

↓ Small elements of<br />

the past creep in to<br />

create the new look.<br />

Solid black lines<br />

compliment the color<br />

organisms within<br />

them.<br />

→ These new FUNCO<br />

pieces still have the<br />

funk. They are just<br />

mutated with color<br />

and texture.<br />

126 Artist in focus Funco

↑ With geometry and<br />

symmetry not being<br />

the main focus, when<br />

they are present, their<br />

presence is felt.<br />

← A work in progress,<br />

or is it finished?<br />

Without the presence<br />

of the traditional<br />

elements and rules of<br />

graffiti writing,<br />

viewers are forced to<br />

look at FUNCO’s work<br />

with fresh eyes.<br />

It’s a bold move to step away from the<br />

classic pre-programmed aesthetic beauty<br />

of graffiti and focus on another type of<br />

beauty that is connected more to how it<br />

feels rather than how it looks. But if anyone<br />

seems to be doing this successfully, it’s<br />

FUNCO. We look forward to seeing where<br />

this journey takes him.<br />

Artist in focus Funco<br />



Location<br />

Frankfurt, Germany, Berliner Str. 37<br />

Photography<br />

Dominik Dresel, Alexander Krziwanie<br />

Profile<br />

@montanastorefrankfurt<br />

Frankfurt, Germany – The newest addition<br />

to the Frankfurt graffiti and art community<br />

has arrived with the opening of the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

Store Frankfurt. Located at Berliner<br />

Str. 37, the store offers a unique shopping<br />

experience for artists and enthusiasts,<br />

carrying the full range of <strong>Montana</strong> Cans<br />

products, including the popular <strong>Montana</strong><br />

GOLD, <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK, TECH, and EFFECT<br />

sprays, as well as markers and inks.<br />


frankfurt, Germany – The newest addition to the<br />

Frankfurt graffiti and art community has arrived<br />

with the opening of the <strong>Montana</strong> Store Frankfurt.<br />

Located at Berliner Str. 37, the store offers<br />

a unique shopping experience for artists and enthusiasts,<br />

carrying the full range of <strong>Montana</strong> Cans products,<br />

including the popular <strong>Montana</strong> GOLD, <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK,<br />

TECH, and EFFECT sprays, as well as markers and inks.<br />

The store is operated, with a team of knowledgeable<br />

and passionate staff who can provide advice and<br />

guidance on the use of <strong>Montana</strong> Cans products. In<br />

addition, the store will constantly showcase local<br />

artists’ work through exhibitions and events, creating a<br />

platform for the Frankfurt Graffiti community.<br />

We believe that the store will be a<br />

hub for the graffiti and art community<br />

in the Rhein Main Region, offering<br />

the best possible stock, products<br />

and services.<br />

With the full range of <strong>Montana</strong> Cans<br />

products and selected local merchandise<br />

available, the store provides<br />

all tools Graffiti writers and<br />

artists need.<br />

“We’re proud to elaborate the <strong>Montana</strong> Store<br />

experience in Frankfurt,” said shop owner Fabian Pohl,<br />

who runs also the <strong>Montana</strong> Store Vienna since 2018.<br />

“We believe that the store will be a hub for the graffiti<br />

and art community in the Rhein Main Region, offering<br />

the best possible stock, products and services.”<br />

The <strong>Montana</strong> Store Frankfurt is a creative hub<br />

where artists can connect and collaborate. With the full<br />

range of <strong>Montana</strong> Cans products and selected local<br />

merchandise available, the store provides all tools<br />

Graffiti writers and artists need. For more information<br />

on the <strong>Montana</strong> Store Frankfurt, visit the store at<br />

Berliner Str. 37 or check out the Store’s IG.<br />



german quality spray paint since 1996<br />

Latest<br />

Products<br />

1<br />

ULTRA WIDE 750ml<br />

“Shark” & “Halloween”<br />

The <strong>Montana</strong> ULTRA WIDE 750ml color range now welcomes the addition<br />

of Shark and Halloween. With the same color characteristics and compatibility,<br />

the equivalent colors of the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK 400ml can range, Shark<br />

and Halloween now extend the possibilities of painting fast, painting high,<br />

and having more fun. Taking the color range from 10 to 12 colors, the UL-<br />

TRA WIDE colors now consist of Kicking Yellow, Snow White, Silverchrome,<br />

Black, Red, Blue, Royal Purple, Nappies, Light Blue, Power Green, Shark,<br />

and Halloween.<br />

Still the original<br />


the <strong>Montana</strong> ULTRA<br />

WIDE range just keeps<br />

getting stronger.<br />

2<br />

A complimentary vision.<br />

A fully loaded<br />

display box of LAIA’s<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> BLACK Artist<br />

Edition design cans in<br />

front of one her signature<br />

artworks.<br />

BLACK Artist Edition 23 Laia<br />

High Pressure Graffiti Spray Paint<br />

The 23rd edition of the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK Artist Edition can featuring<br />

LAIA. The Barcelona-born Spanish graffiti artist is not only a prolific<br />

style writer and art maker, but she is also the reason why <strong>Montana</strong><br />

BLACK Artist Edition can users and collectors have a great reason to<br />

have a smile on their dials. Choosing the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK color Yellow<br />

BLK1030 was probably not much of a surprise for any fan of LAIA’s<br />

fun-loving artwork. A color often used by the artist, yellow not only features<br />

frequently in the happy yet very clever letters of her graffiti writing<br />

practice, but it is also a color heavily used in her design work including<br />

her <strong>Montana</strong> Cans Cotton Bag designs. LAIA isn’t all fun and games<br />

though. Apart from being prolific, her creative concepts are also quirky,<br />

innovative, and symbolic. Often using known pop culture icons like the<br />

smiley face, LAIA’s creative reach has extended well beyond her adopted<br />

city of Valencia. Dynamic colors applied in opaque solid modes complement<br />

the refined images that have found their way on art prints, canvases,<br />

walls, bags, and even clothing. Rainbows, smiling faces, drips,<br />

bubbles, and arrows are just some of the universal elements that LAIA<br />

has managed to give her personal touch.<br />

130 Products <strong>Montana</strong>-cans.com

3<br />

BLACK Artist Edition 24 Hownosm<br />

High Pressure Graffiti Spray Paint<br />

The 24th release of the <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK Artist Edition cans featuring the<br />

New York based artists HOW and NOSM. Choosing the color P3000 Power<br />

Red was no surprise as one of the most powerful reds, a color which is at<br />

the cornerstone of their color schemes. As well as gradients of pink and<br />

grey, red is one of the three iconic colors (including black and white) adopted<br />

by the duo first due to practicality, and later by choice. Combinations<br />

of red, black, and white as eye-catching as they are, function like a<br />

calling card for their world-renowned murals and fine art. Raoul and Davide<br />

Perré are not only identical twin brothers, but they are also the ultimate<br />

example of creative partnership, synergy, and discipline. They have<br />

been working as a team for as long as they have been alive. Outgrowing<br />

their native Spain and adopted home Germany, the duo set a path to the<br />

U.S.A relatively early on in their career and they have called New York<br />

home ever since.<br />

No turning your back<br />

on style, the TAG<br />

t-shirt design by<br />

SICOER levels the<br />

playing field when it<br />

comes to apparel.<br />

4<br />


High-quality 100% organic cotton base t-shirt<br />

The Polish artist SICOER has carved his name in contemporary graffiti history<br />

with his commitment and achievements in taking the graffiti discipline<br />

of tagging to new heights. As a featured <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK Limited Edition<br />

artists series can designer, if anyone hadn't heard of him before, they well<br />

and truly know about him now! The logical conclusion was to capture his<br />

unique hand style on the <strong>Montana</strong> Cans tag t-shirt with white print on a black<br />

high-quality 100% organic cotton base.<br />

5<br />

T-Shirt – I paint what I want<br />

to see<br />

High-quality 100% organic cotton base t-shirt<br />

The Spanish artist FRESH enters the realm of graffiti writers<br />

that have be chosen to design a limited-edition t-shirt<br />

for the <strong>Montana</strong> cans apparel range. Her message: I paint<br />

what I want to see, features a high quality 4-color screen<br />

print on a white t-shirt base that is made of sturdy 180g/m²<br />

100% cotton. Created in the much-loved unisex t-shirt sizing,<br />

these shirts are a stylish and comfortable fit regardless<br />

of who is wearing them. Ranging from S to XXL, this<br />

is yet another collectible shirt that is perfect for wear in<br />

any season, or any occasion.<br />

Never predictable. A<br />

FRESH approach to<br />

the <strong>Montana</strong> t-shirt<br />

range.<br />

Products montana-cans.com<br />


6<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Key Holder<br />

Secure <strong>Montana</strong> Key Holder<br />

In the call for the never-ending challenge to keep your keys secure and together<br />

with style, the <strong>Montana</strong> Key Holder takes the <strong>Montana</strong> TYPO logo to<br />

a new home. Perfectly placed on the flat strong black synthetic cord, the<br />

white and green colorway is carefully complimented with a strong matt<br />

black metal loop to attach all your keys. While on the other side, a strong<br />

matt black metal carabiner ensures safe fastening to bags, belts, clothes,<br />

or other preferred materials.<br />

7<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Foldable RPET Bag<br />

High-quality Foldable RPET Bag<br />

The <strong>Montana</strong> Foldable RPET Bag is one of the latest carrying solution in the<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> bag range. This strong flexible bag can not only carry between 10<br />

to 12 spray cans or up to 5kg of weight but it can also be folded up for easy<br />

and discrete storage. Made of RPET Recycled PET plastic bottles (3 for<br />

each bag), when the bag is open it spans 46 x 42 x 12cm and is approximately<br />

12 x 10 cm when folded up. The light gray printed cut fence design PAINT<br />

WHERE IT AINT by Sellout Industries makes for a perfect addition as this<br />

bag combines function and aesthetics at an affordable price.<br />

8<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Cotton<br />

Bag donut print<br />

High-quality 100% cotton bag<br />

The <strong>Montana</strong> Cotton Bag DONUT PRINT series is<br />

the latest addition to the Cotton bag range.<br />

Available in the colors BLK400-5250 Knock Out<br />

Blue, BLK400-2093 Code Red, and BLK400<br />

-9001 Black, this series pays small homage to<br />

the big innovation of the color donut ring on the<br />

top of cans. The white print is centrally placed<br />

on the applicable colored cotton bag in the same<br />

style as that if the print on the color donut on<br />

each <strong>Montana</strong> BLACK can. The familiar 38 x<br />

42cm sizing and high quality 100% cotton means<br />

this is a practical collector's item in the making.<br />

These light-weight but sturdy bags make transporting<br />

your valuables easy and efficient.<br />

132 Products <strong>Montana</strong>-cans.com

9<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> SWIM Shorts BRICK WALL & GOSPEL<br />

100% Polyester swim short<br />

The <strong>Montana</strong> Swim Short BRICK WALL and the recent design by Greek Artist Gospel pair style and<br />

practicality with comfort. Each of these swim shorts boasts a unique printed pattern on 100% polyester<br />

fabric, which is easy to care for. The soft mesh lining provides comfort in the water, while two<br />

front pockets and a zip-up back pocket offer ample storage. With a quality elastic waistband and<br />

durable waist cord, the shorts ensure a secure fit.<br />

10<br />

Enamel Mug by SOBEKCIS<br />


Painting in the sun is not only fun, but it can also be exhausting. Avoid dehydration<br />

or broken cups with the <strong>Montana</strong> Enamel Mug "MONTANA<br />

CANS TAG" by artist due Sobekcis. This sturdy metal mug is coated in durable<br />

beige enamel, that is cook-top, dishwasher and campfire-friendly.<br />

Embellished with decorative spray paint over-spray and the <strong>Montana</strong><br />

Cans TAG in the light grey and black colorway, this almost unbreakable<br />

vessel is travel-ready, or perfect for home and studio use. Hand-made in<br />

Europe, its 95mm radius and 80mm height offers 300ml of hot or cold liquid<br />

filling capacity. At 170gm of weight (unfilled), taking a drink break has<br />

never been so easy.<br />

11<br />

<strong>Montana</strong> Sticker roll<br />

“Hello my name is ...”<br />

The "hello my name is ..." sticker, made from<br />

coated label paper, is on the roll of 500 pcs.<br />

The roll is perforated, so you can easily share<br />

them also in smaller units. A single <strong>Montana</strong><br />

Hello my Name Stickers measures 12cm x 9cm.<br />

Keep your name rolling<br />

on with the Hello<br />

My Name Is <strong>Montana</strong><br />

Sticker Roll.<br />

Products montana-cans.com<br />





#montanablack #germanspraypaint<br />



@ edward.nightingale 141


@ slac.off @ edward.nightingale 143

<strong>LOOKBOOK</strong> / EDITION <strong>#08</strong> / <strong>2023</strong><br />


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