Bustart And The Creation Of Graffitipop
"In the beginning of my street art days I painted many artworks with political and social critic as a topic, with my Graffitipop artworks my main subject matter is love and happiness."
Bustart started his career in the streets of Switzerland, cultivating a love and understanding of graffiti culture. After developing his technique over some time by adding in elements of pop culture, cartoons, and lettering- he created his own style of art that he dubbed: Graffitipop, which has graced everything from 130 foot walls in Berlin, to vinyl toys, Air Jordans, and gin bottles - and we have a feeling Bustart is just getting started making his mark all over the world.
Do you prefer to work in a studio or on the streets?
I always prefer the streets for my artwork but in the last few years I started appreciating my studio in the cold winter days.
How would you describe your style of art?
My style is a mix of graffiti, pop art and cartoons, I call my style Graffitipop.
What is your favorite subject matter to paint?
In the beginning of my streetart days I painted many artworks with political and social critic as a topic, with my Graffitipop artworks my main subject matter is love and happiness.
What is at the top of your playlist right now?
Funky Notes, DJ Z-Trip and my whole 80s playlist.
What are 3 things you can’t work without?
I can always work. I just need my hand, but working is alway better accompanied with music and good weather.
Can you recall your earliest exposure to art and what inspired you to become an artist?
I grew up in Basel Switzerland which had always had a rich history in graffiti. I was inspired from early on seeing those works on the streets. My Father is also a fan of art and he took me to art fairs as a kid. This might be probably the biggest inspiration thinking about it.
What would you say is the difference between graffiti and street art?
Graffiti is everything that is letter based, street art is everything that is figurative, the medium and tool does not matter in my eyes.
How has your work evolved over time?
I started with classic graffiti in 1999. In 2005 I started with figurative works and did everything: portraits, comic works, installations, paste ups, stickers, stencils and much much more. It was in 2011 when I wanted to find my own style and not be limited in the progress. This is why I have started to paint everything in one and serve it on a colorful plate.
How does your creative process change when you are collaborating with other artists?
This is different each time. In some cases one of the artists takes the lead, in others the outcome is just one piece and both artists mix up their work or we give us a theme and everybody creates something that goes with it. Since my style is already a mash up it is easy for me to mix in other artists.
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve seen or experienced during your time spent on a scaffold?
I prefer to be on a lift instead of scaffolding. Working on scaffolding is always tricky, moving loads of paint from layer to layer without having the possibility to step back and the lines between the layers makes this not my favorite playground. My most memorable story on a lift might be the one wall I painted in Berlin. This wall measures 130 feet and being up that high was absolutely scary and beautiful at the same time.
You have left your mark all over the world, do you have a favorite piece that you’ve done?
Every piece is special but my favorites are the huge walls I have in New York, Berlin and Le Locle. To paint walls where not many artists have painted before is alway a highlight so Dubai, Egypt, Aserbaidschan and India have to make the list as well.
Looking back on your career so far, did you ever think you would have the type of success as an artist that you have achieved?
Absolutely not. I always want to live free and survive from my work and therefore worked as hard as I could to achieve this dream. The beginning was a struggle and I always had the fear to go back to my regular work but the struggle changed into survival. This turned into a living and now I have to set an alarm clock to get to my studio to work on 1 of my 100 projects, answering tons of mails or traveling to a new place in this world. I still can't really believe how happy I am to be in this position and I guess questions like this make me reflect and appreciate it.