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A french born artist, Suby One is a long-time passionate about graffiti.
Originally from Mulhouse, Suby One quickly moved to Vitry Sur Seine, where he spent most of his childhood. Premonitory? For several years, the city has been boasting being the “world capital of Street Art” because of the numerous muralls painted all over the city’s walls.
Initiated in his early teens to the handling of sprays, Suby One quickly joins a vandal crew with whom he paints all the trains and other subway trains possible. The period is not the quietest, painting sessions are sustained and violence between rival crews is frequent.
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Suby One flirts with justice twice before his majority, and again after, but that doesn’t take him away from the world of graffiti.
It was during a trip to Vietnam, where his grandmother lived, that Suby One discovered the country where his family originated from. He decides to settle there the following year, attracted by the vibrant development of the country and especially of Saigon, the “rebel” city of the South where everything happens. Suby One is eager to participate in the local art scene and quickly becomes one of the driving forces behind graffiti.
Suby One grafts most often with his crew, sharing the available walls. Vietnam still considers this art as vandal, and it is not easy, as in many cities of the world, to find walls to paint.
Nevertheless, in just a few years, Suby One has sprayed his its murals and graffiti all over the city, whether on the street, in vacant lots and construction sites, or in the trendy restaurants and bars of Saigon.
After opening his own gallery, Suby One became an importer of sprays. In addition to the immediately available stock, this allows him to be at the heart of the scene and rub shoulders with all the local and international players. His experience is recognized by his peers, as is his commitment to the movement.
Friendly, accessible and benevolent, Suby One is an essential artist who has skillfully juggled and built artistic bridges between France and Vietnam.
Suby one is one of the most popular street and graffiti artists in Vietnam. An inveterate graffiti artist, Suby One is omnipresent on the walls of Saigon as in many trendy places.
Meet with SubyOne
How do you define yourself and why ?
I define myself primarily as a graffiti artist. I discovered graffiti when I was 12 years old and I’ve been practicing this art for more than 20 years. This one also made me discover art in general.
As an artist I am rather eclectic, I never confine myself to one medium, I like to learn, to discover. Picasso used to say “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
I paint, I sculpt, I also do installations. I don’t have a precise style, I’m constantly evolving.
What’s your story? What are your reasons for painting?
I am the child of emigrants, my parents fled the Vietnam war and found France as a host country. We landed in the suburbs of Paris, in Vitry sur Seine.
It was in Vitry that I discovered graffiti, but above all this urban culture from the United States, Hip Hop. Among these disciplines, graffiti represented me the best. I always drew. My father was an artist, but because of the weight of traditions, of war, he gave up. Even today I am unable to make realistic portraits as he did.
I used to follow the grown-ups from my neighborhood during their nighttime parties tagging the city, where I quickly learned, I had facilities. I joined the Crew, I then tagged the city, and very quickly painted the Parisian metro. I have done about a hundred trains and subways of Paris and its region.
Adrenaline, adventure, risk, it was the best drug.
What is inspiring you?
I draw inspiration from everything, where my eyes rest, my gaze is lost. I mix, I inspire myself and I regurgitate it all to my own liking. It is a medley of my experience, my roots, my desires.
What is inspiring you?
What is your favorite playground ?
My playground today is no longer illegal. As a result, I’ve learned to paint slowly, take my time.
I like to paint walls where I live.
What equipment and techniques do you use ?
It all starts with a good pencil and paper. Then the spray, of course. And today I can paint very well in oil, as well as sculpting Artoys.
What’s the most important project you’ve worked on? Why ?
I’d say my first show, to celebrate the 20 of one of my crews. During this exhibition, I presented for the first time my work Graffiti Abstract and my sculptures. The reception was not great, nobody understood what this graffiti artist was doing. Nevertheless, I had good feedback from art initiates, which pushed me to continue.I’ve always painted, even canvases. But I never kept them, I offered them to friends.
Who are the main artists who inspired you at first ?
My big brothers. Then names like Mode2, Bando, Skeme.
Who are the main artists that thrill you today?
Today the artists who thrill me are more contemporary artists like Richter, Paul Kremer, and ancient painters like Carravagio, and the American Colorfield School…
In your opinion, does urban art have an impact on people’s lives ?
I often say that Urban art is the last great artistic movement, but as it is not academic, it is not yet considered as an art in its own right.
But it is an art, which provokes, which disturbs, which generates emotions, which changes the urban landscape. You don’t need to be an initiate to love this free art, which you see on every street corner. You don’t need a school to practice it either.
Do you think your work questions society? In which way does it ?
I don’t have the answer, but my works express my vision, my existence in this urban environment, my position in society. It is very personal, I have no universal message, except that of a painter who leaves his mark, the trace of his passage on earth.
The Drip’in concept is to bring urban art into the home. Our emblematic object is a white train, which we leave freely in the hands of the artists. Why did you choose to collaborate on this “Cover It Project” ?
The train is my first love, so it was easy, like a comeback. The challenge is also to make people discover our art on a train. When I was younger, the goal was to have, to see his painting on a moving train, running over Paris.
Having a piece of art painted like this train at home is like having the train at the station stop.
Exclusive objects by SubyOne