A Conversation With Kashink & Overunder aka OU33

By | June 3, 2013 at 1:17 am | No comments | ART, Featured Post, Interviews, Street Art | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Interviewed by Eric Estrada

It’s funny how something as simple as a conversation between friends can instantly morph into internet content but that is exactly what happened the other night as Kishink, myself and David LaChapelle’s that transitioned into the multiple run ins with the law we have had; instances where were caught doing something illegal but NARROWLY escaped unscathed and uncharged and why segregation is cool. The following is what ensued subsequently that I can relay to you. All else will remain secret.

Overunder: Isn’t it crazy how you find yourselves in predicaments where you’re just like “I’m just going to sit here and wait it out.” I’m in a very uncomfortable position in a strange place… I remember running from the cops, I was in Seattle painting this spot and the sun started to come up. I had to run down this super steep hill and uh… I’m running down towards this house and it was one of those things where you could run to a behind a corner of the house and be gone for a split second then they would turn the corner and could see you. They were running after me and I would run to the other side outside the house and they would follow me and then I run to another side. Like totally on some Tom & Jerry shit. So I noticed this hole that’s about a foot and a half tall, barely enough to squeeze your body in and I just dove into it head first and fell through the wall about 5 or 6 feet deep or so into this basement. I hit and it was just pitch black, as soon as I hit the ground I didn’t move and I could see the cops walking around back and forth above me thinking I was DONE and I was just running so I was trying to stay as quiet as possible.

Meanwhile I’m feeling all these cobwebs all over me thinking to myself how I would have to be in there for the next hour or two until I can peek my nose out and scope out if the cops left or not. But that’s what it’s about, everyone who does graffiti has some sort of memory of a close call like that. It’s like a rite of passage.

ISM: So how did you two meet. You (Overunder) live in Nevada and Kashink is from Paris. How does that happen?

Kashink: In Paris, (Overunders real name) was on this crazy far bike trip from Lisbon to Copenhagen which is VERY FAR…in Europe. When he was in Paris he wrote me to see if I wanted to paint. We had talked before on Flickr and we knew each others work and liked each others style so we ended up painting together and getting along. From there he stayed at my place for a couple days. We kept in touch and last year I visited him for the first time in Reno and…that’s that. That was four years ago.
ISM: What’s you favorite thing about his work?

Kashink: I like his lines a lot like he’s into thin lines a lot and I’m into BOLLLDD, thick lines and plain colors…flat colors and everything. He’s just more into little details, tiny lines and everything. That’s what I like a lot about his work. Our styles match really good because of the difference also the colors…we use a lot of colors.

ISM: In some of your paintings there are words and phrases. What do they represent. Are they your thoughts? Maybe things your overheard sometime that day? What are they?

Kashink: Yes, they’re the thoughts I think the characters are thinking. That they could be thinking. I want the audience to figure out on their own why they are thinking that way, the situation…how it happened and how contrast it could be sometimes. Like you don’t expect a bald, fat, hairy guy to be in love…to be sensitive…calling his mom or…having secrets he doesn’t want anyone to know.

ISM: They remind me a bit of Barry Mcgee.

Kashink: Yeah, probably… I think I like the work of his wife, the one that passed away a little better. I think she influenced him a lot with her work because before that he was more into bombing more so than characters. After he met her and his work became more interesting…finer that it was before.

Overunder: He was working on trains with oil bars and he was very influenced by the line. Very quick ways to create and communicate design with the simplest line structure. That’s where you do very well.

Kashink: Yeah…probably, I don’t know but that’s something definitely in the U.S. There’s something about artists. I told Eric this earlier today but it’s like if you have a talent. If you know how to do something really well artistically, creatively or whatever people will support you somehow. They’ll go out of their way to tell you that they like what you are doing and you should keep doing what you’re doing. That doesn’t happen a lot in Paris because France is really old and has such a strong history that it’s hard to break away from that.

People sometimes stop and talk to me & that’s why I like painting on the street because I want to share what I’m doing with everyone. I like to talk to them and see how they feel about what I’m doing on a street where they actually live, a place where they’ll pass by everyday because I may be there for however long I’m there painting but after I’m gone they will be left with the piece and have to see it everyday.

ISM: I just asked Kashink what was her favorite thing about your work & I want to ask you the same. What do you like best about Kashink’s work?

Overunder:I love that, have a difference of style which leads me to put in too much dark. I try to outline things but she’s really good at painting flat. I always approach things from a form based…sculptural element where I just want to round everything out and give it dimension and her stuff does that in a flat sort of way so I pull a lot from that and I really love that along with her sense of color, composition and flattening…yeah.

I’m a guy, I want to give it more body. I want it to be like BOOM…POW. She finds a way to do the curves in a organized way.

ISM: The next question is another directed at both of you. For Over; What are your top five things about Los Angeles & for Kashink; What are your favorite things about the states.

Kashink: You first…

Overunder: Top five things…David’s beautiful garden.

The fact that you can come here and be health conscious and still get good food like Lettuce Wrapped Burgers…you can be a Gluten-Free Lactose intolerant type person and you can still eat anywhere.

Kashink: Three is Job Opportunities.

Overunder: Yeah, all the opportunities for creative types.

Four is learning to fall in love with your car for the first time. Going on a romantic date on the 101.
Five is…SEGREGATION IS COOL!! I’m amazed that the city is so segregated as far as commercially segregated where its like YOU’RE IN THE FASHION DISTRICT!! YOU’RE IN THE ARTS DISTRICT! Then you cross the street and its all fabrics, then you cross the street and its all Pinatas. Everything is in such organized, tight little pockets that its like walking into an anal retentive persons closet, everything has its place…I love it.

Kashink: Ok, my turn. The first thing I like about the U.S. is…I like the rental cars.

Overunder: You like spilling paint in the rental cars.

Kashink: Yeah, (laughing) I like my Dodge, we don’t have those in France whatsoever so that’s pretty cool.

I like Hispanic Culture, we don’t have much of that in France either. I like Hispanic Culture because I speak Spanish. I like the arts and traditions or whatever. I like the positivity of the people that I’ve met here…some of them at least. Ive been trying to stay positive the whole way, that’s what I really like about being here. You end up meeting positive people and you know…they bring you to positive things too. I like the potential of walls. There’s so many walls. In Paris…Paris is so tiny and walls are alot harder to get.

ISM: You’re a woman with a mustache. How did that come to be and why do you wear it?

Kashink: It stated off with the idea that there is not too many women in the graffiti art world. I like the idea of gender confusion. Ever since I was a kid I never was really into the idea of dresses and all of that kind of stuff. I was kind of a tomboy when I was a kid. The mustache is kind of a wink to the artists ” traditional’ mustache like Salvador Dali but its mostly for gender confusion. I like the absurdity of having your eyebrows all worked up and everything but these (the mustache) are the same hair formations but somewhere else you know? I like the contrast between my female and masculine parts. I believe that we have that in all of us and its funny how it comes out sometimes in a way that you don’t even realize.

I try to bring contrast into my work to bring unexpected things like those characters that are in love and I paint men only, never women. I try to put them into situations that people will think are weird, or unexpected, or surprising. I painted a bunch of murals involving gay couples for example and its something still looked at being provocative.

-Eric Estrada

All photos shot by Tatsu

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