An interview with Hot in Public: Graffiti as a school of life
Hot in public aka Coal explain us how the Graffiti Culture and Street Art can play an education role for the Society and how they can be used e used as a form of protest and as a way to express an identity.
Why the name ‘’Hot in public’’? Or is it better to call you Coal? What’s the difference among the two?
In 2005 I founded an Association with some friends. That’s why the name ‘’Hot in public’’. At that time, I started to promote this name a bit. After few years, the Association broke up and I decided to use the name as a tag, instead of tagging Coal which I used since ’97.
When and why did you approach to the discipline of writing?
My first approach was in ’95, when at the high school. I kept watching my neighbor “scribbling” some cool stuff on sheets; deciding somehow to ask him what he was doin’.He told me that stuff was called writing and he was studying his tag (which was Kes from the GS crew). I immediately started studying and doodling. After a while, I discovered I had new fun. When I started, I took my ration of insults (which I consider as educative) and the lesson learned from the expert friends I met . All of this was certainly stimulating to deepen this culture.
What’s your main source of inspiration while painting?
A bit of everything… starting from the news I hear or depending from the mood of the day. Sometimes I do paint to free myself rather than communicate thoughts and ideas… it depends on the context and the moment itself.
How would you define your style? Tell us about it …
That’s a good question ???? I don’t know how to define it … it depends. Atm I use a graphic and clean style which, according to a friend, remind to some digital graphic made with Illustrator (but to be honest I’m not able to use it). I do really like this thing, but better say that I try to use a style that reminds the “cold” digital world that I make “warm” through my topics or subjects.
Besides the walls do you use other supports? Which techniques do you prefer?
Over the years I used different supports also painting canvas and stuff with various techniques. Definitely the surface that I prefer the most is the wall and the technique expressing myself more easily is aerosol .
Have you finalised your style? Are you planning to evolve it further?
I don’t think my stylistic evolution could be ever considered whole. That’s one of the reason I constantly paint. I honestly cannot say which direction I’ll take, but I imagine depends on many factors; such as the lifetime and the people I’ll meet.
Do you reckon the art of writing or in general the street art, can play an educational role among the young generation? Which is the social message behind your works? Which one behind the street art in general?
My works have definitely an educational role. The Graffiti Culture and the Street Art in general teaches us to have a different approach and attitude towards the “street” and the society. They make you reflect on various concepts related to public and private, to legal and illegal. They could also be used as a way to protest and to express the identity affirmation.
Talking about nowadays, what has been changed? What’s new compared to some years ago?
Today the society has changed and the world of Graffiti too. Personally, I grew up with rules passed on by people more experienced than me. These had been handed down by the pioneer of writing, people that ‘’imported’’ this culture to Italy for the first time. I’d like to highlight this step as one of the core point as the writing was very different from nowadays. When I started the reality was very different. The values and the rules of a culture are not innate; they are handed down from person to person. It’s happening often in this area (and not only), to hear a lot of complains about the new school having no more respect for the old school and blah blah blah … and I do believe we have our responsibility in that situation as we should have ‘’teached’’ them the right way. Another actual topic is about the social networks.Those are not the “evil”; they are all around and in general as many others, it’s important to make a conscious use of them. Their influence in the street culture is not bad… The point is that the street is the street. When I’m around I like to find the way looking at murals,’’bombing’’, ‘’throwups’’ and tags.
Have you already had the chance or are you planning to follow many of your colleagues exhibiting your works in some galleries or at events?
Yes, it’s something that I do every now and then.I have nothing against it. The point is that at some stage I get bored to not paint on the wall … that’s why I’m into the events as I can express myself on the support I prefer.
What would you say to a young guy approaching to this noble art for the first time?
Often for work I’m asked to leave a message to the youth and the advice is always the same: walk around looking, observing and studying the images. And …. of course, drawing and painting as much as possible.