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We last heard from STATIC in London (covered), the British Duo will be opening their solo shows titled “The Conquest” in Tokyo and Osaka and participating in a group show called “WALLS” in Hiroshima in September.
In addition, they are planning to stop by various locations around Japan to paint walls.
Before touring Japan, we asked Craig and Tom a few questions about themselves, their upcoming shows, etc.

SAN: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how and when you got into the art field.

Craig: Following the foundation art course we both did after Sixth Form college, Tom and I took different paths which led us to Edinburgh and Liverpool respectively. In Edinburgh, Tom spent 3 years doing a Fine Art course and I spent 3 years in Liverpool where I completed a Graphic Communication course. Both of us learnt very different skills and processes that we would later put to good use when we started working together as STATIC, but before that we spent a year doing things totally unrelated to what we wanted to do. As a result, when the opportunity came to set up our own studio we jumped at the chance and have not looked back since.

SAN: What is the most important thing for Static to make your artworks?

Craig: We like to mix ideas and imagery together to create something new and visually exciting. The important thing is having a strong starting point and then taking it somewhere unexpected, blending references and familiar elements together in a way that will connect with our audience. We’ve always been interested in telling a story through the images we create and it’s always interesting to hear how people interpret some of the themes and imagery we use in different ways.

SAN: What is the artistic process of working in a duo? I think it’s different from working alone.

Craig: Even at art college we were sharing ideas with each other so it’s difficult for us to say how working as a duo is different to working alone. It’s now 6 years since we started working as STATIC and the way we work has changed with the studio spaces we have worked in. Our current studio in East London, has allowed us to work on bigger pieces and has enough space for our third member, Millie the Beagle, to join us every now and again.

‘Moments of Clarity’ series

SAN: Working by hands or computers! Which is more comfortable for you? And why?

Craig: Our work combines elements and layers that are built up and created from mostly spray paint and acrylic, with a few other mediums used depending on the surface or series. We’re happiest when we are working with our hands and directly in contact with the piece, either by screen printing or spray painting, as this is when the actual piece is created. A lot of our work goes through a process that involves image manipulation and creation on the computer and then it is either cut as a stencil by hand or made into a silk screen. It’s only when you start choosing the colours and printing or painting onto the surface that the piece comes to life with textures and subtleties from the layers that overlap and fit together. Because of this, we’re always looking to explore new ways of building images and the surfaces we print onto etc which means our work evolves and pushes us to experiment beyond what we’ve done previously.

SAN: Who influenced you the most in your art? Any current favourite artist?

Tom: New influences come and go but there are a few artists that always inspire me and who progress with every body of work, I don’t have a favourite artist but a few that I really like and look forward to seeing new work from are Connor Harrington, Ian Francis Eelus and Blu.

Craig: Coming from a more graphic design back ground, I’ve always loved the work of Faile who have created a really strong visual language that is identifiably theirs. But, I’ve always found it amazing that people have been using art as a form of expression and story telling since the dawn of time and I’ll take any opportunity I can to visit shows and exhibitions by a range of artists to appreciate and interpret the thought processes that they have gone through to create the final piece; be it an oil painting, a screen print, a sculpture, photograph or charcoal drawing on paper, each one is different and has a completely new attribute that I’ll make a note of and try to introduce in the next piece we work on.

The ‘Little Vandals’ series

SAN: Please tell us the theme of your upcoming solo shows in Tokyo and Osaka.
In addition, are you planning to do something special for the shows?

Craig: ‘The Conquest’ is our second solo show with Gallery Kawamatsu and as well as show-casing some ‘Mini’ versions of our layered glass pattern pieces from our ‘Moments of Clarity’ series, we will also be launching 4 new prints that have taken the starting point of ‘Little Vandals’. One of these prints will be available exclusively through Gallery Kawamatsu and we have designed it in a way that means we can customise them with stencils for anyone who buys one on the opening 2 nights of our Tokyo show and also the first night of our Osaka show at Red Gallery. The ‘Little Vandals’ are an extension of our ‘Luxury Vandals’ series and feature younger subjects exploring the world around them and learning from doing. There will also be a selection of prints on paper, cardboard and aluminium as well as new stencils that we will be putting to use in various locations as part of the commission service we are offering during our 2 week trip of Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima.

SAN: Please give your message to our readers who love your works of art?

Craig: We’d like to thank you for your continued support since our first visit in 2010 and we’re looking forward to bringing our new work out this September and spending time with our friends and making new ones along the way too.The ‘Little Vandals’ series is about exploration and we think that no matter what age you are, or what job you do, everyone has a ‘Little Vandal’ that wants to re-arrange the stars somewhere inside them and we hope that you’ll come along to our shows and make this trip to Japan as memorable as the last!

Rom Levy

About Rom Levy

Rom is the founder & editor in chief of StreetArtNews. In 2009, he launched the ‘StreetArtNews’ website to promote underground art, which widened his scope to work with a larger roster of street artists on events and exhibitions. He is noted as one of the latest figures to help popularize street art and as an authority on the latest trends in urban contemporary art.