August 3, 2016

RCF1 / TSUGI (English)


Tsugi magazine July 2016

"RCF1’s first graffiti pieces appeared during the eighties along Parisian suburban railroad tracks. This child of the sixties chose spray paint as his tool of choice to write his name in the most stylized manner on every city wall. Art galleries now display his artwork and he is often commissioned to paint giant murals in wich the impact of music is clearly present. Soul deejay in his spare time, he explains his artistic path and connection with music. 

 I was born a tad late to actually live through the Punk explosion although its influence on me has been quite strong. Graffiti art came to me through an article in a magazine about Futura 2000 painting live on stage for The Clash. At that time I was studying art but couldn't see an artistic movement that matched my generation other than comics. The Beatles had Peter Blake for Sergeant Pepper, Punk had Jamie Reid... Spray Paint appeared like the iconic tool for our generation's aesthetics. Spray painting on trains anonymously at night, like an underground movement, was of course a massive part of the excitement.

As a reference to this period I chose a ‘Clash’ line for nom de plume, RCF1 stands for Rudie Can't Fail. It also refers to the Rude Boy scene I was into, bands like The Specials, record labels like Trojan as well as Soul music. I was a Mod. I also used stencils to spray scooters but that tool wouldn't allow me to cover large surfaces as I wanted.
Not being a talented musician myself, Graffiti Art allowed me to feel part of a scene. I've done live painting for a lot of different music festivals since the 90's. During summer of '92, Mick Jones came to say hello while I was painting in a festival in Switzerland. I also worked for a few bands including Mano Negra.

RCF1 Cartier Foundation Paris 2009

Although people usually associate Graffiti Art with Hip Hop I reckon I've stayed aside of it. Rhythm'n'Blues and Northern Soul were more appealing to me for the exclusive side of secret playlists and rare vinyl 45's. I was commissioned to create flyers for Reggae Sound Systems but I left the scene after the arrival of Ragamuffin which was too violent in Paris. Many of my friends were going to rave parties then Techno but I preferred the Indie and Britpop bands for their 60's influences. Later I named my Dj residence Adored after the Stone Roses.

People knew the P2B crew to be nothing close to Hip Hop. Although New York classic graffiti style was our favourite we wanted to do it our way using our own references. None of us ever painted B-Boys, Pitbulls or Bling. SHUN did Oi! Oi! Oi! wholecars on train, HONET was into Skinheads and POCH is known for Punk bands. The year 2000 saw the first ever Street Art exhibition where we appeared alongside Space Invader, ZEVS and André. The term Street Art then was all new, looking back it's quite funny to see how this has now turned into mainstream commercial stuff.

Although there is a connection, my artwork is different from what I've painted in the streets. To me Graffiti is a practice, close to nihilism and there's no sense in projecting it on a canvas. My last show was about the Mod culture influence, it showed painted photo prints of the subculture's icons such as Lambrettas, roundels and parkas. A wall displayed paintings of my favourite 45's. Adam Gibbons (Lack Of Afro) played an amazing Dj set for the opening and also Dean Chalkley from Black Cat Club with whom I sometimes deejay played in the gallery. The next show will exhibit artwork about dancers and club scenes as an answer to November the 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, which personally affected me."

In 10 songs:

Dexy's Midnight Runners: Dance Stance
Soundtrack for a teenager on a 50cc Vespa trying to find his personality.

Bo Diddley: Bring it to Jerôme
I once tried to play maracas.

Milton Wright: Keep it up
Bad taste gone good is funky.

The Kinks: See my friends
The day Rock music became adult.

The Beatles : Helter Skelter
Pure tension.

The Intrigues: Girl, let's stay together
The magic of Soul music.

The Iketts: The Camel walk
To me Ike Turner at his best.

Robert Parker: Tip toe
He also wrote Happy Feet and Barefootin'. Foot fetish music.

Curtis Knight: How would you feel
Early Hendrix on conscious lyrics. Wow.

Betty Everett: You're no good
My parents were running a nightclub and my Mum used to listen to that song while pregnant with me. Must have left a trace somewhere.

RCF1 / Jean Moderne Mod show Superette Gallery Paris 2015

No comments: