Eine is one of Londons most prolific and original street artists who specialises in the central element of all graffiti the form of letters. Internationally known since Barack Obama was gifted an Eine piece by the British Prime Minister to mark a state visit, he has recently launched his first foray into 3D artworks, collaborating with one of London’s most forward thinking collectives, Flourescent Smogg.
Eine developed his distinct typographic style during a period of vandalism on the streets of London but now specialises in producing huge letters on shop fronts, his bright, colourful letters transforming streets around the world.
In lieu of the release of ‘E is the Magic Number’, we sat down for a chat with Eine whilst he was preparing for his show in San Fransisco to find out what made him decide to venture into the realm of sculpture for the first time, what his artwork would sound like and where he feels this exploration into sculpture will take him next.
Where are you from, and where are you now?
I was born in London, I now live in San Francisco.
Having worked in 2D for so long, what has inspired you to explore the realms of object making as opposed to image making?
Basically, Sick Boy made me do it. He has been producing 3D things for a while and started bugging me. I didn’t want to make something that was just a fancy paper weight, which is why I’d never done something like that before… Sick Boy convinced me we could do something cool, and we did!
Your most famous works have existed in the streets, so how does it feel to be creating works that will sit in a completely different kind of public sphere?
I come from graffiti and not the art world, so my paintings have always been in the public sphere or in places they are not supposed to be. It felt weirder having my works in the gallery environment, but I think I have now managed to create two different types of work, my studio stuff and the street stuff.
The main difference for me, is that these pieces are able to be owned (by the person that buys them) as opposed to your street art pieces that theoretically can never be owned. What is your opinion on this?
I agree. The street stuff is for the excitement, for fun and will get painted over at some point. I never sign my street pieces as they are not meant to represent me in the gallery or museum world. However, the stuff I make in my studio is for those places, they are signed dated and titled as I want these to represent me long after I have gone.
What positive aspects do you feel this exploration and expansion of your practice will bring to you as an artist?
It means I don’t have to have a real job, however we work pretty hard and long hours but it’s fun.
When you have previously created your street pieces, do you see them in terms of 2D images, or does their existence (often on physical objects or surfaces) create a parallel with sculpture for you?
No, its all 2D. The wall decides on the shape of the words or phrase.
How did you decide on the title of this new body of work?
E is pretty magic, so is the number 3.
Where do you feel this kind of practice will lead you next, is 3D something you wish to continue working in?
We have this idea working well and we are going to try something bigger and better next time. 3D is something that I’m going to be spending more time playing around with.
How do you think sculptural works will affect your street art practice, could this lead to a combination of practices, 3D street pieces, raised relief images and sculptures that protrude from the wall?
That kind of stuff is much easier for people to steal or councils to remove, which means it can be an expensive waste of time. Maybe with permission and grants it could happen…
If your artworks were music, what would they sound like?
Something that’s loud and easy to ignore.
For more info on Eine go here.
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