BOMB IT 2 Artist Victor Ash just might embody artistic evolution. Bursting onto the graffiti scene in the early 1980s, he went by Ash2 and Saho, and ran with the popular Parisian crew, BBC. He has since expanded his style, focusing on large- scale murals involving themes of human nature and perception. We caught up with Ash amidst his busy schedule, where he briefed us on his latest projects, his artistic transition, and themes that inspire his work.
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BOMB IT: What have you been up to since we filmed you in Bomb IT 2?
Victor Ash: Loads of things happened, new murals in several cities across the world, meeting new exciting people and new directions in my work.
BI: Can you talk about your recent works? What kinds of themes are you exploring with them?
VA: Since last year I have been working mostly with the theme of “animals faces,” playing with the idea of the animals looking at the viewer and the viewer looking back, I try to symbolize the human interactions we have with nature and nature with humans.
BI: There’s a lot of incrimination of graffiti and street artists in the news. As you’ve matured as an artist, do you feel your stance on graffiti and public space has changed? Why or why not?
VA: I started to paint outside when I was a teen. Looking for an identity, I liked the thrill the revolt and the energy I found there. Also, I like to be in direct contact with the public, it creates a communication that you wouldn’t get by staying in a studio. Now I’m not active illegally in the streets because what I do is too big and takes too long to do but I still paint in the streets, just not illegally.. I understand why others keep on doing it, but personally I find challenges elsewhere and getting responsibilities like having children and family forces you to work and think in other ways.
BI: What recent or current events have inspired your work?
VA: Many things happening are worth commenting on. I get most of my inspiration from the information I received about the current state of the world, my work has to reflect the time we are living, and getting informed about the world is important for my themes.
BI: What inspired the change in your work?
VA: In the 80’s I was a teen, focusing in the aesthetics of graffiti, it was great, but after some years I realized that it was not enough just doing letters and characters for me to keep interested in painting and I had to look further in my development to keep it exciting.
BI: What have been some public responses to your current street art and murals?
VA: In general the response is positive, if it was always negative I would do something else with my life.
BI: What advice or insight would you give to emerging street and graffiti artists?
VA: Keep on doing it as long as it matters for you and others.