welcome to 2010acious. i wanted to start the year off with someone who spends all year round photographing graffiti. with thousands of photos, and probably one of the most comprehensive collections of graff pics in chicago. he also contributes to upset magazine. going by the name EMENFUCKOS on the internets, he kindly agreed to answer some of my questions. after the juuuuuump…..
PC: what first got you interested in graffiti, and photography?
EF: The first time I took notice of graffiti was I was around 9-10 years old and I saw Page and Dasl Xmen street smackers on grand and Christiana while on my way to Sunday school. Later on in high school I started sketching wack letters that I thought looked sick as fuck but in reality they weren’t. I started painting chill spots and I started to take my camera to flick the dope pieces I would see. As I got more into graffiti the more I began to notice the work out on the streets more often. Before I knew it the camera never left my hand everywhere I went so did my camera. There was times that I would ride the train up to the Irving Park brown line stop ride the Red, then go down south to ride the Pink line to Kedzie. I would travel a lot more when I started then I do now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve really slacked compared to my earlier days, but I try to keep up with as much as I can. As I walked around lookin for graffiti I noticed my photos started getting better and when I stumbled upon flickr I really got me into the aspect of photography and as a lot of people have told me it has pushed me to become more “Artsy” in my photos. Flickr also introduced me to Street art.
PC: just how many photos do you have? and do you have any plans for them other than internet documentation?
EF: In total I have around 60,000 photos in total and about 15,000 of those are graff flicks that range from legal walls to street spots. I’ve talked about creating a book or magazine that showcases what I have documented over the last couple of years.
Plans are in the works for a solo show this year all that’s stopping me from do it is FUNDS! So keep your eyes and ears open because it just might happen!
PC: in your opinion, what makes chicago stand out in the national/global graffiti stage?
EF: Chicago is one of the most overlooked cities when it comes to graffiti and everything also we’re often overshadowed by cities like New York and L.A. Chicago’s graff scene has produced some of the hardest hitting graff writers anywhere because of our buff. The buff here in Chicago is on top of shit. Theres times that I’ve been on the train a few and missed a spot and 20 minutes later when I come back the shit has caught the buff. There have also been times when a person has hit me up to catch a fill and I go up there and it has already been buffed after a couple hours. Out of towners that crush other cities come through to Chicago and cant keep up with the heads from here (with the exception of a few).
PC: if you had to choose 5 artists to use as examples of graffiti in chicago, who would they be?
EF: To choose 5 people that represent Chicago graffiti as a whole is hard because everyone has their own views on why some other people should be in the top 5.
Sivel– The man been crushing longer then ive been live
Now I’ll let everyone decide the rest because I could probably go on forever.
PC: who was the hardest working writer in chicago in ’09?
EF: Its always hard to choose when it comes to hardest working writer there was quite a few that busted their ass from the first day of the year to the last so ill name a couple. BigL made a huge comeback this year dude was just crushing along with noteef and gram. Also, Fact has been tearing the city a new one he’s a consistent bomber who is dedicated to what he does. There are so many more people and there is so little time to discuss why they should also be the hardest working writers in Chicago
PC: what were some of your favorite pieces from the last year?
EF: Here’s a couple of flicks that I caught that I really liked there are tons of others also but these are just a few of my favorites
*PC: fact is one of my favorite writers in the city right now. he has a style that you dont see that much out side chicago. and as emen said, the man is everywhere. in that picture also is a bigL piece, he’s the one writer mentioned that i dont link to cause many of the other pics include a bigL.