Monday, April 12, 2010


We've had ENUE COD up on the roof over the past
few weeks. We thought we'd ask him a few questions
and he was kind enough to answer 'em...

RTL: You started writing in the early nineties,
how have you seen things change in the graff / art

world since then?

ENUE: I think now, in general, graffiti and other
forms of art are definitely more of a marketable
commodity. It's not just graffiti, but most things
people do in general, from making music to dancing
around in your underwear in your bedroom. I think
our society kind of found a way to turn every facet of
life pretty much into some sort of revenue-generating
entity with the influence of the internet and the whole
"connected" generation. Everything you do can have a
potential audience now that the internet exists. That's
both cool, and sorta not cool.

When I became interested in doing graffiti, the aspiration
was basically...just to do graffiti. Go out, bug out and write
on stuff. And you kind of learned from what you saw first
hand. The pool of influence was more localized, and it was
more of a personal experience because to link up with
someone meant that you actually had to run into them,
get to know them enough to establish trust and so-forth.
If that person lived 3 towns away it was kind of a big deal.
Now it's common to be like... "Yo...I'm talkin to my dude in
Berlin in one window, and talking to another dude from
Australia in another window. I never actually met these dudes
in person, but they're cool." That's kinda crazy if you really
think about it, but it's the norm today.

I think graffiti can have the same debates as anything else
that's been developing over the past 20 or 30 years and has
changed dramatically with the adaptation of technology.
It's not just the graffiti world or art world that's changed
since the 90s, it's the world in general. Some things have
changed for the better, some things have changed for the
worse, but things are definitely different, and really the only
thing you can do is embrace the change and keep it moving.

RTL: It was through skateboarding you were introduced to
the graffiti world- do you think you would have found
it otherwise?

ENUE: I was aware of graffiti before I was aware of skate-
boarding to some degree. I've always sort of been into drawing,
my dad used to dabble with tattooing and I was super into
Transformers and stuff as a kid but couldn't afford all the
dope ones so I'd draw my own. In 86 I saw some older kids at the
park trying suicide flips and head spins. I was in 1st grade and
got Run-DMC "Raising Hell" on cassette for my birthday.
I'd draw my little bubble letters. "Fresh" with a dude rocking
a moonwalk. Whenever we'd go into the city for a school trip or
if I was lucky..a baseball game, I always liked to look at the
highways for the graf but I didn't actually start my attempts at
writing graffiti till I was a little older, like 13 or 14. But I think
I would have been drawn to it at some point in my life, since I
was always fascinated with it, and had a bit of a love for mischief
as a kid.

RTL: There was a moment for you where you decided to focus
more on piecing not just tagging- what triggered that for you?

ENUE: I think piecing is what drew me in. Not really teched out
pieces, but the parking lot silvers and dope chunky simple styles
you'd see around Manhattan and along the Westside Highway
and BQE. Tags are essential to graffiti and are still pretty much
my favorite things to look at, but I got into trying to do simple
pieces and stuff like that. I wasn't old enough to see the NYC
Subway trains first hand but I did get to see a massive amount
of graffiti with style that the early 90s had. When I think of the
most personally influential pieces to me, most of it was done
within the early 90s era, or was featured in Subway or Spraycan Art.

RTL: You took a break from graffiti for a few years, what was the
main thing that brought you back to it? Did you ever really
or just kept it more low-key?

ENUE: When you let graffiti consume your life it can turn into
a major source of stress, but when you have to deal with real life
adult responsibilities like work and bills and all that good stuff,
graffiti can be a temporary escape from all that. I was kind of going
through some personal things after my dad passed away and basically
graffiti became my primary output again. I kind of stopped actively
painting for about 5 or 6 years but I always kept a blackbook and
doodled, I was just into some other forms of creative output as well.

RTL: You've done a bit of travel because of your graff - where have
you been and what were the best spots?

ENUE: Toronto and Montreal are fun for me because of the people
up there and the not-so-automatically-negative mindset when it
comes to painting on a wall with spraypaint. In NY, you could be
painting a McDonalds logo for Mayor Bloomberg, but if you're doing
it with spraypaint, you're automatically a potential criminal. I haven't
been to as many places as I'd like but everywhere I've been has been
cool because it's different then where I'm at. Doing a piece in a
completely non-english speaking country is kind of surreal. Taipei
was really cool. I hope I get to go to more places where I won't be
able to verbally communicate.

RTL: Anything you'd like to projects, news, shout outs?

ENUE: Big ups to my COD, FC, XMEN, KAOS, NSF fambizzles.
Cop like 20 cases of Enrique's BONGGGG!!! from the new batch
of Ironlak colors because it pops like BONGGG!!!, and look out
for my album dropping December 33rd, 2022.