Photos courtesy of Street Grapes.
On a walk through the streets of New York City, you’ve probably seen and stopped to look at the trippy and visually pleasant art of Street Grapes. Maybe you didn’t know the artist, but now that all changes! Read on to find out more about Street Grapes!
According2G: Tell us a little bit about your background.
Street Grapes: I immigrated to the states about 5 years ago from Russia and have been living on the East Coast ever since.
A2G: Can you tell us some of your heroes/influences?
SG: I am influenced by many art forms, ranging from Russian folk art to classic graffiti art. A lot of my artwork is done for rather aesthetic purposes, though I do try to put meaning into all of my work. Some of my art you could call illustration. Stickers though, are my way of getting my work out. It’s my propaganda – easy and convenient. All artists of the world [are inspirations]. There are those individuals, of course, who stand out on my list, but I don’t like to consider anyone my favorite; every artist has something beautiful to offer. The images, the sounds and the people which I encounter every day inspire me. Everyone has a story to tell.
A2G: What’s on your Ipod/Netflix?
SG: I listen to music all day,every day. Not a day goes by when I don’t listen to a song. My music library ranges from The Beatles to The Chemical Brothers and J-Live, I like variety. Some of the movies you could find in my library are Fearless, Smoke, Fight Club and many more.
A2G: What’s the best thing to happen to you as a result of your art?
SG: Meeting many enthusiastic and interesting people throughout my journey in art. Making connections, discovering new perspectives. It’s like constantly digging for records, searching for new things.
A2G: Any memorable moments from doing street art?
SG: I remember once hanging out with a few friends on a warm summer night, and later going out to put up some posters around town. I spotted this really nice place near the local hipster hangout area; the place, the crowd and vibe were all right. As I started to glue away, a girl came up to me and asked me what I was doing, and that she really liked the artwork. She told me that she has seen my work all around town, and has been supposedly looking for me for a while. She said she really wanted to know who the person behind Street Grapes was. She pointed out her stickers right next to mine on the back of a sign right near us. We talked for a while. It was nice meeting a fan on street while out and about.
A2G: Any close calls?
SG: Oh yes, some very close calls. No matter what you do in life, there will be risks.
A2G: Is street art a crime?
SG: Today everything is a crime – isn’t it? Some people do really feel that way, that street art is a crime, and nothing else. That doesn’t bother me; people can have their own opinions. I feel like in the end, the majority appreciates what I do. I love doing what I do, and I love sharing my art. I just happen to be doing it in an unconventional way. The thing with street art is that sometimes it can become a thrilling sport. Sometimes you get caught up; we all do at one point.
A2G:What is the message you are trying to convey in your art?
SG: I just want to make people question my work. The more intriguing I can make my artwork, the better. There is no particular message. I have never tried to take on the political or rebellious agenda. I want to inspire people with my work – whether it is through my eccentric stickers, or though my more thoughtful design and painting work. I want to motivate people to look for more, look further.
A2G: What is your favorite medium for art?
SG: All of my work has hand drawn foundations. I don’t think I would ever want to switch over to a digital pad. There is just a special feel to doing things by hand. All of my design, I first hand draw with India ink pens. I love the possibility of a pen, a simple, yet such a useful tool. Acrylics would have to be my favorite medium though; I love painting. When I paint I am less worried about perfection and perfect, clean lines unlike in my design work. Painting allows me to focus on expression while keeping my style.
A2G: Any rituals before going out at night?
SG: I like going out with friends. I hate going out by myself.
A2G: Future plans?
SG: Keep doing my thing, while exploring new things and taking on new journeys. Hopefully becoming more professional and organized about my art career. I want to take on new projects, bigger projects, try new things. Sometimes I get tired of my graphic and digitalized art work. I want to set aside more time for painting; move on to bigger scales.