MadC Interview - by Michal Okonski - Jan. 13 2009
MadC is one of the most talented graffiti artists in Germany. She puts in more work and travels further and more often than most of us. She's got style and can control. Germany has some of the world's biggest aerosol artists, and MadC is one of their up-and-coming stars. She spends five months out of the year traveling to paint. In addition, she always paints with talented writers from around the world. MadC is an artist to look out for in the years to come.
Art Primo: What do you write and how long have you been writing?
MadC: I write MadC, I started in 1998.
AP: Do you represent any crews? What are they and how long have you been down?
MC: I am member of the Bandits crew (Germany, France, USA, Australia) since 2001
and the Wallnuts crew (USA, Germany) since 2007.
AP: Where do you call home? And how long have you lived there?
MC: Hard to say as I travel constantly and do live in different countries.
However, I was born in Germany and that's where my base is for sure.
AP: How would you describe your style of art?
MC:I mostly do semi-wildstyles but my aim is to gain control over all
techniques and skills provided by can, cap and surface: styles (wild,
bubble, simple...), tags, character (cartoon and photo realistic),
backgrounds... I love details, keep the pieces clean, think about color
combinations carefully and never leave a piece unfinished.
AP: What influences did you have when you first started?
MC: I got my influences from the very few books and magazines I got hold on back
in the days. I was blown away by the works of Dare, Swet, Seen, Toast and
Amok. They still do influence my work.
AP: The characters, backgrounds and pieces that you've done are very
well thought out and executed. What type of artistic background do you
have and how has that helped you with graffiti? And what were you doing
before you started painting graffiti?
MC: I studied design and animation and earn my living with it. Even as a child
and before I started using spray cans I was painting and drawing a lot. I
took a lot of life drawing classes over the last 10 years as I think it is
horrible when people are proficient in a technique but haven't got the eye
for proportion, which happens very often. The outline always has to be the
most important bit, no matter if it is a piece or a character.
AP: How often do you travel to paint?
MC: Very often. In 2008 it was about 5 month of travelling in the whole.
AP: Have you had any close calls with authorities while painting? And can
you tell us one of those stories?
MC:I was caught while painting a train once during my first 2 years as a
writer. Ever since I was the faster runner.
AP: How do the authorities approach graffiti where you live? And do you
feel that it helps clean the streets or encourages more vandalism?
MC: That is very different from place to place. Even within the same country,
sometimes the same city. In some parts of the city it is much more tolerated
than in others. Mostly that's where no tourists go to. Overall they
tightened the laws within Germany during the last 2 years and surveillance
is more and more common. However, I haven't seen much change in the streets.
The people still go out to bomb and piece. Especially Berlin is amazing. You
won't see many cities in Europe with such a big vandal squad and it is still
bombed like no other city.
AP: What makes you want to keep doing graffiti?
MC: My aim is to gain control over all techniques as I said before. That alone
will keep me going for quite a while. Also I am a collector. I want to paint
hundreds of different places and surfaces and want to try all possible color
combinations and style variations. I simply don't want to stand still. I
want to develop and learn as much as I can as fast as I can. Pushing my own
limits is like a drug. Hence, I will probably never stop.
AP: Where do you believe the line is drawn between what is a paintable
surface and what is off limits?
MC: For me private property is a no-go as well as historical buildings.
Everything public or abandoned places are paintable without a bad
AP: What do you think about the current state of graffiti? And how has
it changed since you first started?
MC: Because of the internet you don't necessarily have local styles anymore.
People get influenced by others living thousands of miles away. That is a
pity somehow as it all starts to become one soup. On the other hand it
pushed the quality regarding technique. People saw what the Maclaim crew or
Daim did with spray cans and went crazy with photorealism. Also thanks to
the development of spray paint just for our purpose, transparent colours and
all kinds of caps, the possibilities became almost endless. Sometimes the
letters are still the same as 10 years ago, but they look more professional
because of fadings, shadows or the illusion of 3D. Regarding style I would
say the letters got more flow over the years thanks to the influence of
Dare, Swet, Smash 137, Seen's Psycho pieces or Revok, Persue and Sever. I
have no idea where it is going to. But there are a lot of talented and eager
young writers out there who will make sure it will go on and develop
AP: Do you have any favorite colors or color combinations that you like
to paint with?
MC: My favorite color combination is yellow and black. It always works and
burns. I also love red - best combined with white. And pink, as it always
AP: The Ice Age wall that you did is very impressive. How long did that
take you to complete? What made you want to do an Ice Age themed wall?
MC: I can't really say as I stopped counting the hours. I never spent so much
time on a wall before as it is not just very detailed but 115 foot long and
10,5 feet high. And for once I didn't want to make any compromise. Counting
the days, I worked on it about 2-3 weeks I think. I love movies and paint
about 2-3 movie walls each year. Peter de Sève is one of the greatest
character designers and illustrators and the Ice Age movie gave me a lot of
ideas how to integrate my letters in the topic (like the piece on ice). Also
it was my biggest challenge yet to create so many different fur textures
with cans only and without using special caps or anything.
AP: Do you have any pieces that you are especially proud of? If so, what
MC: For now it is the Ice Age wall and its pieces. Otherwise there is always
something I do and don't like about a piece. But as long as it has something
new to it, I am happy with it.
AP: What do you get more pleasure from, piecing or bombing?
MC: Both. For piecing, perfection and technique are more important and fun, for
bombing it is the feeling and the energy of working fast.
AP: How would you describe the cultural differences towards graffiti
where you live versus the rest of the world?
MC: In many ways graffiti is accepted as an art form in Germany. You have a lot
of galleries showing writers and street artists. We provide the best paint
which had a big influence on the rest of the world. Unfortunately regular
German citizens are often narrow minded and influenced by tabloids when it
comes to graffiti. They surely would call the police had they seen you
bombing. Or even when you work on a commission. That didn't happen to me in
Spain, South Africa, not even Austria. Even the British police was more
relaxed. Germany simply has too many laws and regulations I guess and
property is something that is valued too highly.
AP: What projects are you working on? And what can we expect to see from
you in the future?
MC: There will be a lot to be seen in 2009. I am getting my gallery work
together at the moment. I spent a lot of time in the studio. I work on
concepts for some huge productions, some involve other writers, some are
just my own projects. Also I am planning another trip to Africa and Asia. I
want to go to more exotic countries where graffiti is hard to be found.
Which countries that will be I do not know yet.
AP:Do you have any last words or anything else you would like to say?
MC: Don't hate, create!
MadC has tons of flicks and art available online. Be sure to check out her website Here.