Born in Korea, moved with his family to Washington DC at the innocent age of one year and lives in New York since 1989. Multidisciplinary artist Rostarr shouldn’t be a stranger to you, if typography, calligraphy or graffiti makes your heart jump. We had a good chat when Ro passed by the Lodown office while he was in Berlin for the Diesel Alrite launch and could follow up with the e-mail interview:
Q: What are your typographic / graffiti references & influence?
A: I was a fan of Arabic calligraphy as well as many other Asian/Eastern writing styles since my design school days at SVA studying typography & Iconography (1989-1994), but even before that, in the early 1980’s I was influenced by NYC hip hop culture, I admired the hand styles of NYC writing legends like Phase II, Lee Quinones, Kase II, Rammellzee, etc. but I am not a Graffiti nor Street artist, I wasn’t interested in making words in my artwork or writing my name in different styles on the street. However, I was a B-Boy then and my older brother did graffiti and that influence will always be a part of me. Fast forward to 2001, I started to make an artistic shift into abstract calligraphy and it continues to be something that teaches me something every time I do it.
Q: You did the artwork for Diesel Alrite at such a large scale. Going into this process: Did you envision the artwork cut off in separate pieces already for the individual watch or did you go for the 60ft painting first?
A: Yes, eventually through having numerous meetings with Andrea Rosso and Neville Wakefield (the curator), it was evident that we needed the artwork to translate to the scale of a watchband & bezel without losing the details of the artwork/paintings.
Q: How many Krinks did you go through while painting the canvas?
A: I used around 50-60 markers (K-51 Black) for the 3 canvases.
Q: How would you define your visual language Graphysics?
A: Graphysics is a portmanteau of two words: Graphic Arts + Physics, basically Energy (infusing energy/motion into art) at best, this is what I’m attempting to do with my works.
Q: What means Flow to you?
A: Freedom of thinking & time and just being in the moment of creation.
Win one exclusive Replica with Rostarr’s Design from the Alrite project with Diesel and Fossil!
All you have to do is write an E-Mail until the 25th of January at latest (+ name a font which is at least 400 years old for bonus points) to bug (at) lodownmagazine.com and the subject „Rostarr ALRITE“.