With the recent collaboration between Komono and Jean-Michel Basquiat we thought it would be good to catch up with a well known Glasgow based (street) artist and who better to speak to than the infamous Bullet Beard. For those of you who have yet to hear of Bullet Beard you can see him in action in this snippet from BBC's 'The Street' that aired earlier this year:
Here are a few of the things we had a chat about.
Hi Bullet Beard, Thanks for taking time out to answer a few questions for us here at Twisted Time! You said in our first conversation that your don't consider yourself to be a street artist as of late, what do you like to be known as these days? Artist?
I've been in and out of the street art/graffiti scene since I was a about 15. Its something that pervades all aspects of your life and it never really leaves, just takes a nap from time-to-time. For the past 3 years I have made my living as a sign-painter and muralist. I use a lot of the same techniques when painting commercially. Surprisingly I've found that the line between sign painting and street art is so thin it may as well not exist.
You're from Glasgow originally, Yes ? Where did you grow up and how did this influence your style of graffiti or work?
I was born and raised in Glasgow and spend most summers in Toronto with my Canadian family. It was there that I was first exposed to graffiti and street art. I photographed everything I saw while there, from little stickers on lamp posts to big productions. Every year I'd come home with rolls and rolls of film and me and my friends would examine every last detail of the style of lettering and the colours and as all hungry young artists do, we copied all the bits we liked and tried to make them our own.
Has Scotland's political activity influenced your work at all?
My parents were politically minded people when I was growing up. My dad was a member of the Communist Party and I attended a lot of rallies. I have my own views on what needs to change politically but I don't feel I have to proselytise. I will be voting Yes in September.
You are not shy about your love for Glasgow/Scotland, Describe Glasgow in 5 words:
We don't suffer fools gladly.
Are you on a high or a comedown from the common wealth games?
I live in the Gallowgate area of Glasgow so my neighbourhood was pretty much the epicentre of the off-games activities. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and it showed that Glasgow can take care of business when need be. If it gives us more confidence to find our place on the world stage then it was all worth it.
Twisted Time have just launched a new Komono collection this month inspired by the work of Jean Michel Basquiat - What do you think of it?
'Philistines' is one of JM Basquiat's best paintings. The Samo crown in gold is a nice touch too. The idea of a precious metal being sacrificed for his logo definitely reflects a bit of the Basquiat attitude.
You use abstract text and typography in your work as well as imagery, are you a secret poet?
I like playing with popular phrases and subverting aspects of their meaning. I like the sarcastic tone of Banksy and the introspective quotes of Bukowski so I try and meet it all somewhere in the middle.
Are you wearing a watch right now, if so describe the style and brand?
Unfortunately in my line of work it isn't a good idea to wear expensive clothes or accessories as they tend to get broken or covered in paint. I have broken 1 watch, lost 2 phones and rendered 1 camera un-focusable through painting in the rain, falling off of ladders and running from the authorities.
Who should we be keeping our eyes on in the Glasgow/Scotland art scene?
Glasgow is absolutely buzzing with talent, there are too many to name at once but I love the work of Undesirable Type, The Worst, Conzo, Little Book of Transfers, Studio Native.
Do you have any up and coming projects in the near future that we should look out for?
Bulletbeard & The Black Hand coming to a derelict shopfront near you Autumn/Winter 2014.
Thanks for doing a Q&A for us BulletBeard! You can keep an eye on what Bullet Beard is up to on his Tumblr and Instagram pages.