TRANS 1 and NOIR: An Exclusive Interview with A.I.M.O.
You and TRANS 1 bring such a beautiful dichotomy to your work. Can you kindly tell our readers how you found one another as artists? As you know I was primarily a train writer applying my name on the transit systems across the globe. When the time came to hang up my gloves from the train scene I decided to channel my energy into walls. It was a hard transition to make but a court case and jail term meant I had no other options. I guess I had always kept my eye on certain "wall" writers due to their flare, energy and flow. I had heard of TRANS 1 and admired his work for quite some time. His photo realism art blew my mind and I felt that his work needed a letter form to compliment his productions. The power of FLICKR gave us an opportunity to contact each other and it went from there really. He had a mutual respect for the work I had put in for the British train scene and agreed it would be good to create a something together.
Addicted To Steel has been a great read. What made you decide to tell your story? How has the public received it since it's initial release? For years I had always wanted to tell the story of a train writer. With the power of the internet you can look at graffiti on trains all day long but there is always something missing. I look at the images but want to learn about the mission, the drama and funny side behind what it seen. The judge when sentencing me advised that "now you can write your biography." With this in mind, the seed was planted and upon my release from jail I started to write about my missions around the world. Never to this day did I expect the book to be received as well as it did. Book sales have exceeded all my wildest dreams and the media coverage has been overwhelming. It just shows that there is an appetite for biographical books about graffiti instead of the usual picture heavy books.
When in NY, you painted nearly every day. Do you sketch out your design before you lay down the color? What was your most memorable wall here? Nearly? It's every day when we visit NY. I'm not your traditional graffiti artist who designs, plans and executes their wall. I tend to turn up on the day, take a look at the space I have to create something and then sketch accordingly. The colour combination for me is organic like my style. I choose how the piece will look moments before its finished. It's nice to test yourself instead of draw the same outline over and over like many writers do. I believe in movement and progression not flogging the same old outline year after year. As for my most memorable wall in NY, they all are. NY is my spiritual home and I'm blessed every time I paint there.
TRANS 1: Do you generally use a black and white colour palette? Always. My mind is monochrome. I like the darkness of my images but believe it or not I never use black or white paint. My colour range are greys.
NOIR: Do you compliment TRANS 1 with adding colour, generally speaking? I try to give our work a twist. With TRANS working his monochrome magic, I like to throw wild colour schemes that compliment his characters. When it's "balls to the wall" the concentration is fierce so I like to step back and see what craziness we have created together.
Did either of you attend art school or are you both self-taught artists? TRANS comes from a graphic design background but I was self taught and still being schooled today. If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be with and why? I think for us NYC in the late seventies to mid eighties is what makes us tick. We are humbled and blessed when we meet old school legends that paved the way for guys like us to do what we do today. There are too many names that we would love to collaborate with but DONDI, IZ THE WIZ and CASE 2 come to mind. These guys were true pioneers of our game and I can safely say true Kings. What is next for you both? We will continue to push ourselves in directions that makes us happy and fulfill our potential. We will continue to visit NY as much as we can and hopefully showcase our work in galleries soon.
If my readers want to see more of your work, where can they go? We mainly showcase our work on Instagram as its instantaneous like our work. We found websites took too long organize and keep updated. Our art is on the street for folks to find rather than document on fancy websites. Many photographers across the world keep in touch with us so they know where we are painting. Our work mainly gets documented by them rather than by us. We like the fact that photographers go out of their way to locate us and get that exclusive shot. Instagram: @noir_bt @trans1graffiti