Q. What does your artwork represent?
I’m a graffiti writer/artist from Kolkata going by the name Dxtr (sounds the same as Dexter) in the streets. Graffiti is a form of art, more like typography, it’s an element of hip hop. For me, graffiti is a game of lettering because different graffiti artists have different styles of lettering and composition. A graffiti artist keeps a different and unique name, which is called a tag name, by which he/she is recognised in the streets, and now on social media platforms. Every artist’s motive or plan is to make a graffiti of their tag name on walls, whether legally or illegally because that’s what graffiti is. Graffiti is still underrated and unsupported in Kolkata especially, marked as illegal act like vandalism when it’s not,, Ireally hope I change this scenario someday and make people like graffiti and support local artists who are struggling.
Q. What inspires you?
In the beginning, I used to keep searching for different graffiti artists on Facebook and Instagram and I found a lot of them. Most of them were foreign artists but I found one artist from Kolkata whose tag was Srek and his style of lettering was absolutely old school and they were amazing! Little did I know that he stays close to my place because in his posts he didn’t reveal his face. I followed him, observed his style and everything, got so inspired that I researched more about old school graffitis and I loved them. I also practiced many other styles and developed my own fonts. All this inspiration helped me understand the fundamentals and make my own graffiti fonts. Srek is like my mentor, he inspires me and we’ve painted together too. I also take inspiration from professional foreign artists like Some, Smoe, Boogie, 1UP, Rasko, and many more, they all have got a unique style and perfection in their art. There are no limitations of learning, no limitations of getting inspired, I get inspired by every small thing around me, sometimes my surroundings give me ideas on my art, and I also get inspired by the underrated and growing artists, their struggle can be felt. Thank you for having me 🙂
Q. What does your art mean to you?
I started making, or rather practicing how to make graffiti back in 2014 when I was in class 8. Everyday it was an interesting day just because I used to practice making graffitis but it was difficult since I had nobody to teach me, found out that 90% of the people didn’t know what graffiti is and some of them didn’t really understand or like it. I was progressing step by step when one of my school teacher found me out making graffiti while he was teaching, he was quite impressed and since then till the end of class 12 he has sent me in every possible intra and inter school fests for art competition. Thankful that I have placed in most of the fests every year. I got a reputation just for making graffitis, people who were unknown to me knew me by my tag name. Slowly I started tagging in the streets with a spraycan when I was in class 9, tried out making graffitis on different surfaces and also made some graffiti stickers.
I started taking orders from whoever wanted me to write their names in graffiti, or if they wanted my stickers. In 2018 I started customizing my shoes and got some orders from my friends and others who wanted me to customize their shoes. I keep making graffitis in my Blackbook (sketchbook) and tagging my name in the streets. I’ve also made graffitis on the walls and big canvases. Recently I’ve been working with TinderU in two of their events and also with Redbull. Lately, I’ve started making digital graffiti on my phone and lots to come in the near future. If I talk about what graffiti means to me, I’d say it means my whole life, because just because of graffiti I got a name, I got a reputation and people know me just because of this. Before I knew about graffiti, I didn’t know who I was and what I was doing, but I really felt the change in me when I started making ’em. I love graffiti more than anything, faced a hell lot of problems from home but I thank God that I still didn’t give up. Whenever I’m mentally unstable, graffiti helps me a lot to get through it. Grateful for all those who have supported me and gave me chances to show up.
Checkout more artworks at: https://gogomagazine.in/category/magazine/arts-volume-3/