A UNIQUE KIND OF GRAF­FITI

Ekaruna - - The Artist -

Le­banon’s cul­tural di­ver­sity and the very history of Le­banese graf­fiti are what dis­tin­guish it from any other coun­try. “It started re­ally re­cently here,” EpS re­calls, “dur­ing the 2006 war. And there are few of us ‘writ­ers’ (i.e. graf­fiti artists) yet, maybe 10 to 15 ac­tive ones. This led to a graf­fiti cul­ture that is un­til to­day ex­empt of most flaws you might en­counter in Paris or New York. There is no vi­o­lence, only healthy com­pe­ti­tion. Most of us are friends; at worst we are ac­quain­tances, and we paint to­gether on a pretty reg­u­lar ba­sis. We learn a lot from each other. I’m a late­comer to the scene, and from the be­gin­ning my friend Phat 2, who is one of the most pro­lific writ­ers here, has taught me a lot. Since then, I have mostly been work­ing with M3alim, since our styles mix re­ally well, and we share the same vi­sion and un­der­stand­ing of time con­straints, ma­te­rial and or­ga­ni­za­tion. Over­all, I think it’s the best at­mos­phere we could hope for, and if we keep mak­ing Beirut more beau­ti­ful while re­spect­ing other artists, there is no rea­son for this to change.”

Even though in the past year work has been tak­ing most of his time, along with surf­ing and free­lance graphic de­sign, EpS does not in­tend to leave the streets any time soon, and he and his fel­low writ­ers seem ded­i­cated to turn­ing Beirut into a ma­jor street art city. “I’m con­fi­dent that the fu­ture holds only good news for us, if we keep work­ing hard. On a per­sonal level, I have re­cently de­vel­oped a few char­ac­ters that are both aes­thetic and re­ally quick to paint. My guess is you will soon know what I’m talk­ing about…Watch out for the mon­key!”

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