London has witnessed a surge in statement based illegal art in the past year or so, not just letters or mere words but often whole sentences and even punctuation. Elbow Toe scribbled haikus; Mobstr stencilled witty check lists; Ron English pasted up dis-embodied private secrets in speech bubbles and thought balloons. There has even been a very polite voice on lurid mini stickers urging us to “Please be nice to each other” and “Please say please thank you”. You may be thinking “basic information - graff worships the font, dude” but what we are talking here is a bombing mode that unlike graff eschews repetition, each intervention an original.
Chief protagonist of this prosaic prose vandalism is, let’s not quibble about definitions, sticker artist Curly. In a movement that lionises those most “up”, sticker artist Curly has captured a safari park’s worth of attention in the past year with more than a 1,000 wordy pronouncements stuck on street furniture all over the World. His stickers have the air of insider jokes, very market aware, very art joke infused, very tuned in to sensitive matters impacting a street artists’ credibility yet at times his thoughts betray an air of self-effacing vulnerability.
Getting wind of a planned Summer visit to the UK, Graffoto managed to secure an interview which the sticker prince elected to conduct via his preferred media, the United States Postal Service label. Curly led Graffoto a merry jaunt around London and into one or two tensely balanced and rather risky situations, we hope you find the results worthwhile.
We start with the most important issue – have you ever been busted?
Only by the NYPD
Another answer that nearly got your photographer in the pooh after the artist legged it: Is it ok to do stickers if you can't skate?
Skateboards are for suburban pre-teens
The answer to “Will stickers ever become appreciated as graffiti?” had me wondering if this Curly character was out to get me lynched:
Why would anyone want that? Graff is for pussies. Art-fags have balls
Pressing on with the interview, do you know Banksy?
You mean in the biblical sense? Yes of course. But I make him wear a mask, so I have never seen his face
Should stickers be political?
If that sells
Do you think it is important for stickers to have a message?
Conceptualism is a vastly over-rated concept
Are all your stickers installed illegally?
Technically this is illegal but nobody cares
Will stickers ever become appreciated as art?
Only by those boring enough to care
Should street stickers be protected by perspex?
Perspex is a perfect surface to get up on
Do you think a sticker artist will ever have a solo gallery show?
If you can’t get a solo gallery show, you’re not really an artist
Could any of the candidates in the US presidential nominations benefit from a sticker campaign?
I would love some free pizza from Herman Cain
When did you get into stickering
What makes a good location for a sticker?
Wherever a good photo can be taken
The best graff writers get to paint naked girls, would you consider stickering girls?
Only on really big ones
Any technical tips for aspiring sticker artists?
Take amazing photos and post them to flickr
Is There Room For Humour On Stickers?
Only This One (Respekt IZM - no proper graff was really harmed in the making of this interview)
Is there a hop-hop/graffiti style link between stickers and music?
I listen exclusively to Leonard Cohen
Fine point or chisel tip?
What ever is handy
where did you get your name from?
The logo came first then I needed a name. It was between “Curly” and “really poorly done cursive f”. The logo came about because even a talentless toy could write it.
(yeah – Graffoto had to google cursive too, means “joined up” ). Any views on the absence of stickers from Museums?
What absence? I’m in Art In The Streets in LA
Will museums not truly represent the commoners art until they have a Curly in their collection?
Museums will not truly represent the elite until they have a Curly in their collection
Are you a disciple of Jenny Holzer's Truism-ism?
I’m a post-truist but I’ll always tell the truth
How can we convince Graffoto’s reader that you are the original Curly and not just some kind of wannabe copiest?
My style is unique and impossible to imitate
We conclude this interview with a quaint relic of innocence illustrating Curly’s failure to grasp the dog-fuck-dog nature of the street art “market”, at his request we include this sticker grovelling to someone he’s never met:
He’s not a sticker guy, but this interview concept has been blatantly stolen from Lush, so he probably deserves a shout out
Hunting for suitable spots for “Curlies” resulted in the discovery of ancient and weathered Curlies south of the river and way out West which Curly himself had forgotten. Cap doffed at that level of getting up. Cynics and moaners constantly gripe about street artists prostituting themselves putting up lame commercial shit in the usual art bordello locations. In the process of giving this novel interview, Curly vandalised property on Fed stations, post boxes, tube panels (window down!), HOFs, museums and art galleries. What was most impressive was that Curly went all-city EXCEPT Shoreditch – avoiding the most boringly obvious location for a publicity seeking street art whore to get up, way to go!
Curly In Action, possibly.