For over 15 years, Rcf1 stays loyal to his unconventional Graffiti aesthetic. The originality of his work comes with no doubt from his Alternative Rock background, from an interest for the cultures of transgression, but also from a great sensibility to social context that surrounds him. In 1990, he founded in Paris the P2B crew (Poseurs 2 Bombes) with Sero and Stone. Later on joinded by Darco, Honet, Stak, and Popay. Together they will constitute an very innovative Graffiti crew, by creating new forms, more European, but keeping the best of the American Graffiti tradition. Rcf1’s work is like Ska music, an artistic expression mixing cultures and joyfully vindictive. In his latest paintings created for the Speerstra Gallery, "animals", Rcf1 combines acrilic and spraypaint, making his bestiary a wild and animal expression of human behaviours.
© C. Maréchal 2010 / Speerstra Gallery
It is the first time you exhibit your work in Switzerland? In fact, I have already come to Switzerland, it was in 1991, during the Leysin Festival for a painting performance. It was an international festival, I only spoke English during a week, so I didn’t feel I was in Switzerland! In the staff, there was Mick Jones, he was playing with Big Audio Dynamite. It’s Mick Jones that wrote “Rudie Can’t Fail” when he was singing with The Clash. So, one day he saw me, with my clothes covered in paint, and he presents himself to me: “ I love Graffiti, I’m looking for the guy that paints “RCF” on the canvases for the festival, I’m a friend of Futura 2000, I’m Mick Jones.” Wow! He seemed very touched that an artist has chosen a title of his song as artist name.
So, have you adapted your new work for the Swiss public? An artist should never try to adapt himself. I try as contrary to be as sincere as possible, the most loyal to myself. This is my human vision of things, the magic of art can touch people that do not share the same experience, but curiously, find an echo to their own lives. Because you are yourself and not in the demonstration. I have nothing of a Finnish unemployment but Kaurismaki’s films talk to me, I have not lived the Spring of Prague but I understand Kundera’s novels.
What is the title of your exhibition? and why this title? “Animals”, because I like to draw animals, as tribal totems. Taking their strength, to find vibrations through an owl, a bear …And also, “Animals” named after the 60’s British Rock band. It’s the white Europe playing it’s version of U.S. black music, with their own codes.
Have you used new techniques of painting? What are the medium used? The spray is my native language. On canvases I use oil painting and spray in order to highlight my work. But it’s my technique, the important is what it tells us. Some of the paintings include characters in collaboration with Léna, my companion.
What symbolizes for you this bestiary in this new series of paintings? Symbols to look for, for the public to find it out.
© C. Maréchal / Speerstra Gallery