Friday, August 28, 2009

Berlin: Poet GFA

Poet GFA is a graf writer/artist from Berlin who's style and technique I really admire. And I've been hunting Poet since I got to Berlin. I went to several graf shops, and asked about where I could see his work around Berlin - which was generally met with blank stares and shaking heads. o I thought I was lucky to catch a glimpse of a few of Poet's throw ups from out the U-Bahn window.
Then other day I went back to Yard 5 to get sooky -la-la Masto a t-shirt, and I thought I'd give it one last try. I asked after him, and the guy that works there took my email address and said he'd give it to Poet to contact me. I couldn't believe my luck, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. This is Poet GFA, Berlin King. What are the chances? Good apparently! Poet sent me an email, and invited me to come to visit his studio. How could I refuse?

Thankfully his studio is quite close to where I am staying, so after a hard day a Niketown, I jumped on Ol' MacGuyver and rode to Poet's studio. He met me outside and showed me into his studio. Although it was quite a small studio, I was surprised by how many giant canvases he had in there. We chatted, and he showed me some of his artwork. First off he showed me his miniature Berlin Walls. He has organised the manufacture of miniature pieces of the Berlin Wall, much like mini trains, that you can buy and paint yourself. They are made of a lightweight concrete type material (not exactly sure what). The ultimate souvenir for any writer who visits Berlin. He had a few that he had done himself, and they were so beautiful.
Then he showed me his canvases. He had quite a few (mostly bigger than 1x1m), and as he showed me each piece, he explained the meaning and the technique in detail. Oh course when he showed me the first Poet brain, I was very excited. Obviously to me this is his signature piece - but I really love the way he makes the word Poet into many shapes. The Poet brain is really an extension of a style he's been practicing for a long time.A rather large 1.5x1.5m canvas really took my fancy. A Poet brain of course.
Painted on matt black, the brain is colourful and has a gloss black and white outline. I couldn't leave without it. I've been looking for a piece for above my bed for a long time, and I think this is perfect. There's something very reassuring about sleeping under the watchful eye of a giant poetic brain. Sort of makes me think that even when you are alseep, your mind is still working - just in a different way.

It was really great to listen to Poet's insights about graf in Berlin, art and how he works. He was humble about the impact of his work, and was quite shocked that his work was admired by people so far away. I feel really lucky to have met him, and now I have a little piece of Poet to take home with me.

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