Interview: @ArtUnderTheHood — Reppin Street Art

Graf­fiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost noth­ing. And even if you don’t come up with a pic­ture to cure world pover­ty you can make someone smile while they’re hav­ing a piss.” Bank­sy — Banging Your Head Again­st a Brick Wall

Read our new and excit­ing inter­view with TREUF-ONE, the founder of  ‘Art Under The Hood’. Dis­cov­er what this pro­ject is all about, and get some real insight into the eclectic and express­ive cul­ture of Graf­fiti art. How rel­ev­ant is street art and what is it reflect­ing? Enjoy and watch out for more from Art Under The Hood!

Q. What is Art Under The hood all about? Who foun­ded it and for what pur­pose?

Art Under The Hood is many things , though ini­tially it was an idea and thought of a page doc­u­ment­ing out­door con­tex­tu­al art and the jour­ney. I star­ted it after nearly being killed by a guy in a people car­ri­er 5 years ago. While heal­ing up, I star­ted tak­ing pics of graf­fiti & street art and got my first name shout on a piece by writer DASR n RELS (Pri­or to this I only recall friends in school who could write cool let­ters and char­ac­ters. We all liked a book named Sub­way Art by Martha Cooper) In essence Art Under The Hood was and still is a jour­ney filled with meet­ings, encoun­ters & con­nec­tions with some of the most amaz­ing leg­al and illeg­al artists cur­rently on and in the scene. I came up with the con­cept of tours early in 2010 as a way of sup­port­ing and keep­ing what I do non-com­mer­cial and under­ground while at the same time find­ing ways to sup­port artists with expos­ure on leg­al spaces I had secured -part of AUTH’s pur­pose was and still is to share this jour­ney and art with the pub­lic . Over time it has become so much more. It’s a part of the glob­al art move­ment and street art and graf­fiti his­tory run and foun­ded by a smart arse seri­al hob­by­ist who finally found a way of not con­form­ing and doing what makes him mostly happy.

Q. What is it about Graf­fiti that makes it a cru­cial cre­at­ive out­let and artist­ic devel­op­ment for young­sters grow­ing up in Lon­don?

There is much dis­cip­line in being a known graffiti/street artist for those inter­ested in it or in find­ing out more about it although I am not sure I con­sider it to be cru­cial as there are many cre­at­ive arts and out­lets — poetry dance etc.. Some graf­fiti is a way of life and often in urb­an cul­tures and poorer areas glob­ally it’s a cre­at­ive out­let and a rebel­lion too.

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Q. What can we learn from street art, and how could you edu­ca­tion­ally include it into a Hip Hop Ed cur­riculum?

The core roots of Hip Hop to me are about push­ing bound­ar­ies and break­ing con­ven­tions and actu­ally it’s about ini­ti­at­ing change and power with and for the people. Politi­cians and gov­ern­ments are often con­ser­vat­ive, dog­mat­ic and stag­nant and Hip Hop chal­lenges that.

Q. How can street art­work raise aware­ness into soci­etal issues, draw atten­tion to the struggles loc­al work­ing class people face?

Glob­ally all dif­fer­ent artists impact soci­ety with socio-polit­ic­al images and state­ments. Power­ful scenes and in many ways leave mes­sages in their self expres­sions — Because much of it is out­side and people doc­u­ment and blog it many more get to see it. Any issue can be raised with the right cause and artists involved.

Q.  How does street art reflect and express hip hop cul­ture and the his­tory of the mar­gin­al­ized?

Graffiti/art is one of the 5 ele­ments of Hip Hop and obvi­ously it has a his­tory that has evolved and yet kept some­thing core at its essence. Many people are mar­gin­al­ized and graf­fiti found a way of people being able to express it and at the same time glob­ally bring people togeth­er.

Q. How does graf­fiti increase com­munity cohe­sion and res­ist­ance again­st the rul­ing class?

There is a small ele­ment in this scene that doesn’t increase com­munity cohe­sion at all and is quite nasty at a street Level — in a 100% of my exper­i­ence in the scene — this neg­at­ive ele­ment is about 2% with­in the 98%. There are great artists and teach­ers who run work­shops or many leg­al & illeg­al writers and crews, the Art form itself and put­ting it out or up is a part of the res­ist­ance — Power To The People — United Artists — The Secret Soci­ety of Super Vil­lain Artists — Art Under The Hood — TRUE­F1

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Lana Bell

Lana Bell

Author / Poetry Edit­or at I Am Hip-Hop 
Lana Bell, is an eight­een year old Lon­don­er who is based in Bris­tol. She is an emer­ging Spoken Word Artist, and the Poetry Edit­or for I Am Hip-Hop Magazine. She has been writ­ing for a dec­ade; though she has only been per­form­ing on from the age of fif­teen. She got into Hip-Hop music at four­teen, and she found a massive interest in Old Skl Sounds and the out­let that Hip-Hop music offered her.

About Lana Bell

Lana Bell
Lana Bell, is an eighteen year old Londoner who is based in Bristol. She is an emerging Spoken Word Artist, and the Poetry Editor for I Am Hip-Hop Magazine. She has been writing for a decade; though she has only been performing on from the age of fifteen. She got into Hip-Hop music at fourteen, and she found a massive interest in Old Skl Sounds and the outlet that Hip-Hop music offered her.

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