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10 Minutes with TOGO

Why have you decided to become an artist? Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were an artist?
There’s really only one reason to do art and that’s because you have no choice. You’re just driven to do it and nothing else is going to work. In this way I feel driven to do it because I can’t excuse why I do it. It’s just something I have to do.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I have been a pizza delivery driver, burger maker, construction labourer, real estate photographer, government social worker, travel show videographer, graphic designer. Basically I've done everything and anything to keep the art going.

What are your ideal working conditions?
Hotel bathroom.

What’s your background? Do you have a formal art education or are you self-taught?
For oneself, it's less about the art and more the compulsion of action and being unruly, there are no classes for this.

How has your work changed over time? Has your skill or ideology changed?
Although my fine art practice is quite recent, my ideology over 10 years stays the same - To create contemporary artworks linked with the aesthetics and concepts of graffiti.

Where do you find inspiration?
In the idea, the strategy, the preparation, the uncertainty, the mission, the thrill, the action, the chase, the cuts, the bruises, the friends, the memories.

What do you think are your strongest abilities contributing to the success of your work?
I think that by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations over and over again, there is something so valuable in doing that. It’s facing your fears and coming out on top. It’s overcoming challenges and going one better. It’s finding out who you are and what you can really do.

Do you do a lot of research or dive straight into a new painting?
It's a combination of the two. I like to dive straight into a new painting that becomes research for the new painting.

Tell us about an exciting project you have recently completed?
I am for once thrilled about my new studio work. These series of paintings are a culmination of years of ideas finally put into practice.... and they worked! The dot series named 'Forget Me Not's are vinyl flooring that I have reclaimed from my first studio space in Wellington and have framed and painted myself. The chainlink fencing series named 'Dellowed' are abstract works that I layer with chain link fencing - a huge element and feature surrounding street and urban art - to create new depth within the pieces.

Can you tell us about any exciting projects on the horizon?
The 'Go Show' has just been commissioned for the Brisbane Street Art Festival and we will be performing there over two weeks in May. The 'Go Show' is a riveting graffiti experience that was created to exhibit the many struggles and triumphs of this art form in a way that most people never get to experience. There are so many highs and lows, so many intense emotions that come with doing graffiti. I am constantly questioning and addressing all the mental and physical conflicts that come with doing graffiti. While I still haven't figured it out, the show is a release and a way to grasp why we do and what we do.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our followers?
Why do some artists go to the street and other artists go to a studio? Some people want to pretend it’s a movie and other artists walk in to the world and say ‘show me’.

Quickfire Questions:

Tea or Coffee? Tea
Spray can or paint brush? Paint brush
Out for dinner or out for brunch? Out for dinner
A movie at the cinema or a movie on the couch? A movie at the cinema
Night on the town or a BBQ at a friends? a BBQ at a friends
Fish n chips or pizza? pizza
Jeans or Tracksuit? Tracksuit
Abstract or realism? Abstract
Minimalist or maximalist? Minimalist
Day at the Museum or Day at the Mall? Day at the Museum
Online / instore? instore

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