Wednesday, July 11
Interview with Bandit
How did you start making stencils?

In Belgium, I had seen small stencils around and I liked the impact, the instantaneity of those stencils. I had never been into graffiti but stencils appealed to me. Then 3 years ago, I found the Banksy website and that inspired me, I realised what could be done: bigger stencils. I thought about how i could make stencils of that scale and I started using a projector to draw my designs.

what was your first stencil?

My first one was a picture of Bob Sagget outside a school saying "Welcome back, boys and girls". I did it just before the first school day in September.
Around that time I also did a picture of Picasso on the town's cultural centre. It said "Picasso would prove us right". That one got covered up the very next day.

Why on the streets?

For the kick! When you go out in the streets, you own that moment. You don't normally get that feeling in everyday life. It's a way to break from the routine and to feel accomplished.

What message are you trying to convey?

I'm looking for a reaction from the public. Once a 13 year old girl sent me an email saying that her and her mum loved my paintings "they always make me think" she said. That's what I like about doing stencils.

Can you describe your work briefly?

Big stencils with a big impact. Black and white only, I think that colour is a waste of time.

What is your philosophy regarding street art?

Street art is about getting your thoughts out there, to counter advertising, to claim your piece of space and share it with people.

What or who are your main sources of inspiration?

Banksy. he's the main one, I love what he does. But normaly, ideas just pop into my head at the most unexpected times, when I have a shower... Good music is also great for inspiration.

Is there anyone you're looking forward to meeting at Difusor?

Everyone, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's way of doing things. I'm also looking forward to seeing the final result, the walls.

Any artists you'd like to collaborate with?

Faile and Blek. Blek because of his experience, I'd learn a lot with him.

Any interesting plans for the future?

I'm going to do some work for a gallery in Belgium and an art shop specialized in graffiti called Artifex. There has been talks of doing something for Montana too, and for Subaquatica gallery in Madrid, canvases and T-shirts.

Have you had any trouble with the police?

I live in a small town where there's a lot of police. I've been very lucky so far; on a few occasions, the police turned up only minutes after we finished a piece.
Although, I feel the council likes my work... they often clean up all the graffiti around my stencils and leave my pieces intact!

If you could hit any spot at all, what would you do and where?

Highway tunnels! Because nobody does graffiti there, it's too dangerous. I could come up with good ideas for these.

What do you think of the zero tolerance that's being enforced against graffiti in cities like Barcelona and New York?

The problem is that people are less likely now to take the chance and do really good and big pieces so we're left with quick and small stuff and tags. It's stupid, tags are precisely what people want to get rid of and now there are more of them because people don't bother doing anything else.