For the occasion of his upcoming exhibition in Paris, we had a quick chat with the artist COMBO aka culture kidnapper and we did the interview that you can read below.
StreetLove THE ARTIST
Combo is now living in the North of Paris for almost 2 years, after having spent a while in the South of France, between Nice and Marseille.
To explain his artist name, Combo told us the following story:
Normally a combo is the short name for combination and it relates very well what is happening in his head.
He has been involved in street art since 2003.
Wow 10 year anniversary this year (2013), I should celebrate!
He began making street art the day when he wanted to take his revenge against one of his professors, by painting her car… but (un)fortunately he didn’t find her car on the school carpark!
He had a lot of paint at this time and a lots of adrenaline, so he painted out all his district and his High School…
He was around 16yo when he created his first piece of art.
Always working alone, he describes himself as a « street professional » but compared with others, he’s doing this for free.
He has already exhibited in a gallery a few times, and his artwork is different from what he does in the streets.
To promote his artwork, Combo uses:
His website: combo-streetart.com but also Facebook, FlickR, Tumblr and Twitter
StreetLove THE ART
When he’s not in the streets, he works on canvas or wood… he paints, draws, pastes posters… his artwork is generally eclectic.
He is taking his inspiration from a lot of different things, like advertising or music. Also from some famous artists like Ai weiwei or less famous (but still great pieces) that he saw on galleries and Internet helps him a lot for this.
Do you remember your first street art?
Yes, it was in Nice (South of France) when I went to my High School during an hour in class, and I painted out all the corridors. It was so fun to see others students looking amazed when they saw the walls that I did that in other HIgh Schools too!
And what helps me a lot, was the lack of teachers because of budget cuts. I think I was the only one that liked Chirac President at this time!
When doing street art, Combo is going size L or even XL and he thinks it’s never big enough!
During these 2 last years, he pasted about 200 posters on the Paris streets…
When I like, I don’t count!
He works mostly on Series, and prefers doing ‘collection’, meaning to work on an idea and to explore it on different supports, with different techniques.
Most of his graffiti pieces are in Spain, Italy, Morocco and France and his collages are in France (too), Switzerland, China and the Ukraine.
Do you have any ideas for your next street art?
I have enough ideas to make 15 artists work for the next 10 years!
What is your preferred street art theme?
Stupidity of humans, I like to denounce all that is pissing me off, like racism, homophobia… I try to fight at my level.
StreetLove THE TECHNIQUE
His favorite support for street art is a big wall, on a busy footpath – it’s great!
To work, he’s using a bucket with glue, a brush, and when he’s going out, people thinks he’s a cleaner ^^
He needs 10 mins to put a piece on a wall, because if he needs more, he will have to run after.
Any artistic tips you can tell us?
Always work at day time, it freaks people out and you will always have a solution to make your way out of trouble, if needed!
StreetLove THE FUN
He’s the kind of artist focused on what he’s doing, nothing else, so no music or disturbing things like that.
His favorite color is red and his artistic references are Ai weiwei of course, but also Zidane (famous French footballer who used to play for Marseille) and the photographer of Kim Jung.
He loves all kinds of music which makes noise, a lot!
3 things Combo loves in general: 4 seasons pizzas, polar bears and coral – well, 3 things on the way to becoming extinct with climatic change…
3 things Combo hates: pigeons, the metro and also pigeons who take the metro!
Do you have a message for the StreetLove team?
Thanks a lot for your interest, and we see each other soon on the streets or
at a street art exhibition!