The brief? To be inspired by Brugal, a new rum launching around the UK, on a four giant wooden canvases.
“Was pretty dopers to paint a massive space just off Princes St in Edinburgh,” said Lyken who trained at Dundee Uni and loves the vibe of urban art.
“I was painting right on the dancefloor in front of a DJ booth once so I’m fairly sure a bunch of folk will have woken up with multi coloured acrylic smeared across them as they bumped into the board!”
“So what do you think about being pimped by the man?” I asked. This latest commission had come courtesy of Edrington, the Perthshire whisky gurus (Macallan, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, etc) who recently acquired their first rum.
“Hey, no problem. It’s a pleasure to get to work on such a massive scale in a great part of Edinburgh where maybe some new faces will see my work for the first time.”
“As an artist, it’s a real blast to be out there. Plus the money helps. One day I’ll be able to buy my friends real presents rather than giving them the equivalent of a home made card made with macaroni & glitter.”
On the other side of the large square installation, there was Rekur and Syrkus. They do large-scale pieces together, full of chunky shapes and weird, twisted characters. They are inspired by pop, Japanese, street, and Rockabilly culture and love meeting artists and traveling when they can.
Conzo, has also been around the world with his art.
“”I am from a little town outside Glasgow known for its inbreeding, missing green lights and love for sausage rolls. Add in a few spraycan markers into the equation and you have an idea of what inspires my style.”
Vues, the fifth artist on show in Castle Street, is a Canadian artist who lives and works in Scotland. He has painted internationally and recently won a place in the Scotland ‘Secret Wars’ team for the renowned Euro League of 2009/2010.
“It’s like performance art,” said Vues. “You get to see folk’s reactions as you’re painting. That inspires you more.”
Street artists, like their brethern, Hip Hop Dancers are never more happy when battling. At Graff-Offs, or Street Wars, they do international competitions against tough competitors.
This year’s venue was Glasgow’s Sub Club: “Sixteen cities all over Europe throughout 2010 will battle it out for the right to call themselves European Champions of Live Art,” announced Secret Wars Euro League.
Armed with sponsorships, live TV in different countries from Lisbon to Poland, merchandising, rappers and groupies. It’s a different world for talented artists of today.
“Ha, what can I say,” said Conzo, cheesing. “We went, we partied, we battled and painted.”
This article is brought to you courtesy of one pimped t-shirt by Conzo; a very fine whole bottle of Brugal, and a blue Brugal t-shirt. Peace, out.