The Montana Black Artist Series Presents: Func’88Graphic designer, but also graffiti writer and illustrator based in Paris, Func’88 started as it name says, in the year of 1988. Living the “golden age” of graffiti in France has been “the best times without being too nostalgic,” he affirmed. Trying to perpetuate the spirit of the old Parisian style, Func adds a modern ultra touch. For him, the 80’s were days full of innocence and discoveries, in terms of creation. This time, we had the chance to talk to him about his work, his style and about his upcoming limited artist edition of the Montana Black. MONTANA BLACK ARTIST EDITION 13 FUNC88
Montana: How does the influence of writing in the streets of France in the 80’s have affected your vision of how street art and graffiti is conceived these days?
Func’88: Graffiti was in its full grown of creation and was considered as a “miserable sub-culture.” Definitely an underground activity, only reserved to renegade teenagers. There’s also the fact that it was no social media or internet. The only way to see pieces was to spend hours moving your ass off to the right places.
It’s a totally different vision from today’s graffiti and street art conception. Now, you can get every-fucking-thing on your phone and don’t really have to go outside, even to get your spray cans.
Talking about style, everybody is biting everybody’s style because of its fashion standards. In our early times this was considered as “Toy” and you were putting your reputation on the edge by doing it. Rules have changed but as I already said, would be some nostalgic talk and I don’t want to fall into this because I love the way real graffiti goes right now somehow. Vandals have never been so hardcore, hand styles are pretty much insane these days, same for the throwies and letters are going mad as well. Actual writers have assimilated the past 35 years of graffiti and recreate a whole range of creative forms based on elders work. I still got love for Graffiti.
“All I need is an original stock cap and some spraypaints, the rest is just gimmick…” FUNC’88
What is the best part of being a graffiti artist?
Func’88: Passion. I think that the only way to survive in this life is having a passion for something. Without passion your life sucks! I’m an old guy now and when I take a look at some people of my generation, I am really stoked to be part of this “graffiti movement.” It’s like a fountain of youth. It takes you out of the regular boring life of Mr. Nobody. No matter what, graffiti is consensual and acceptable by the masses. Even if is still an outcast activity; I like this way of life.
What does ‘Montana Cans meant to you when you started doing graffiti? and what does it mean now, the fact that you are part of the artist edition series?
Func’88: Montana Cans didn’t exist back then. I started with some Duplicolor and Motip spray cans. We were racking them back in the days. So far, I still can remember the MoTip got the first “softcap” I could see in the early 90’s. A female softcap by the way. Duplis got the regular stock cap and it stills my favorite ever.
I also remember when the first Montana Cans appeared because of the Jayone logo was on it and now I got my own. I am super stoked and honestly I couldn’t see it coming. We (Ultraboyz) have been working with Montana Cans for a few years now, mostly my boys Form, Green, Felipe and Demski.
I was introduced by them to the brand and were kind enough to send me free stuff and support my graffiti activities. I’m proud to represent Montana Cans in Paris. My favorite one is the BLACK so when the idea of an artist edition came along, i obviously chose it and pick the 3940 Magic color because it’s a tone I frequently used in my pieces and I love the name –”Black Magic.” I’m thankful to Montana Cans for supporting writers like me, without big mediatic coverage and outside of the so-called “street-art” circuit. It’s real dedication to Graffiti. Just plain and simple.
What can you tell me about the Ultraboyz? Are you guys working on something together at the moment?
Func’88: The Ultraboyz is more like a family. We don’t see each other that often, as we live far away from each other but we are driven by the same ideas and concepts. It’’s more like an ideology, a way of thinking. We truly don’t have the same styles, but when we paint together it matches perfectly.
Beyond all that, it’s not just about graffiti, we tried to put the Ultraboyz mark on our daily graphic and creative work. We would love to work on something together as soon as possible, even if is just a big ass wall!
How music influenced your work?
Func’88: Music has always been a motor to my creation since the very first steps. I’m floating between Black Sabbath and Three 6 Mafia with a touch of Roxy Music, so I guess it’s kind of hard to define it by the music I am listening to though.
If you could tell something—and advice or a warning—to your 15 years old ‘you’, what do you think that could be?
Func’88: “Go ahead. Go to the same way, but push it even further and don’t hesitate to take risks graphically speaking. Don’t wait too long to get more drawing skills and work it out as soon as possible.” –I will say that.
If you could define graffiti in one word…?
Func’88: “Freedom”, I guess…
When we asked Func about the future, he sticks with the idea of keep doing his own daily illustration projects and keep a good stage with graffiti burners. For him, graffiti is a passion and a hobby, so he doesn’t need plans and he lives based on his own mood. Spontaneously speaking, Func’88 has no schedules and that is why “freedom” is part of his daily basis vocabulary: “Ain’t no money, career or fame involved.”
Interview by Maria Enriqueta Arias
All photograpies by ©heliosfiguerolagarcia