KEF! is a German graffiti artist, based in London. He approaches street art as a spiritual practice, painting lines inspired by Nature. KEF! artwork is really unique, it’s all about the “flow”, about “positive energy”.
(ISSA) -What you choose to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
(KEF!) – Hot chocolate please.
-Introduce yourself to us 🙂
I’m KEF! and I come from a small village not very far from Aachen in Germany. I’m living in London since 2013 where I work as a freelance artist.
– Where does your tag name come from?
10 years ago, I started to tag, a classic tagging in the street, and I needed a short name. I looked in a dictionary, I can’t remember which language it was (laughs), but it was written that “Kef” means “scar in your skin”, and I felt that a tag is like a scar, something difficult to get rid of. Plus, I liked the letters “K”, “E” and “F”, so it had to be Kef. I added the “!” just to be a little bit different.
-How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Anything else?
It’s always a difficult question, I think I’m between Street Art, Design, and Graffiti. But, to be honest, I don’t like to be classified.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
I started Graffiti when I was 14 or maybe 15, but when I was in my early 20’s I decided to do it more seriously. I played with many street tools art like stickers and so on. For me, it has been a natural progression. It just happened. It’s important for me not to push an idea too far, I has to remain “natural”. I just let it flow, see where it ends and be “authentic”.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I start complaining about the long list of things I have to do during the day (laughs).
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
Ambient music or Chillstep. Something “with flow”, harmonious, hypnotic. But it can also be industrial techno as my artworks are sometime as rough as harmonious.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you?
I’m really into spiritual things, especially Buddhism, or anything regarding Nature. I think, Nature is my main source of inspiration.
-Before going to paint, what is on your check list to take along?
First thing, I pick my mask to protect myself, sometimes an overall protection and gloves too. I’m still young, but I met 50 years old artists that have real serious skin and health issues as they didn’t protect themselves, I don’t want that. And of course, I take some paint and my mobile phone.
-Do you have an artist you admire and what for?
I really love Paul Klee, a German artist. I can see a lot of freedom on his work, freedom is very important for me.
-Which cities do you think are the most inspirational in Street Art?
In London, the Street Art is very strong, but I have the feeling that it is becoming too commercial now. I do prefer the Berlin scene: street art is still more underground there. I never went to Sao Paulo but I heard it’s a great place for Street Art! I hope a reader of I Support Street Art will invite me to paint there (laughs).
-Do you have other passions apart from art?
Again, I’m into Buddhism and peaceful philosophies. I also like to explore the cities during the night and enjoy the silence.
-What is your wildest project that you dream of achieving some day?
Can it be unrealistic? (laughs). Then I would love to paint a 1km wide and 1km high wall, where all the people gather to share peace and harmonious feeling. This wall would have a good vibrant energy.
-Does your art include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns?
I paint lines, but I paint them in smooth and harmonious ways, I try to express a lot of harmony, but also energy. My work is related to Nature, I just let if flow. It is like it is. In nature everything is perfect so I try to find the perfect esthetic expression like in Nature.
-What is your reaction when you realise someone has vandalised your creation?
I smile; it’s natural that some people have problems with themselves. I have compassion for them, no anger. But I don’t really care, it’s normal that this happens. You know, I mainly paint for myself.
-What do you think people first think or feel when they see one of your works on the street?
They might feel that it’s different, weird but nice for the eyes. Some people told me that it really touched them deep inside, like a somekind of connection.
– If you were a president what would you change in this world?
I can’t change things, and if I would change them someone else will probably be unhappy so I don’t want to be a president (laughs).
– What kind of responsibility do you feel you have towards society as an artist?
I’m doing this because it’s the only way I found to express myself about our need for more peace in our Society. A street is an open space, not like an Art Gallery. This is why I like to use the street: there, my message can be shared better because it is accessible to everybody.
-Do you have any interesting creative plans for the future?
Travel more, for the rest, I keep it secret (laughs).
It’s been great to get to know more about the mind and person behind such talented and inspiring works. Thank you !
‘’I Support Street Art’’ team.