KYLAM (Kill Yourself Like A Man), Why this artist name? What does that mean?
This name came to me when I started putting up posters in the street. I wanted it to reach people, in the manner of an advertising slogan. Kill Yourself Like A Man is an idea that encompasses many things, everyone is able to find the direction it wishes, whether first or second degree. For my part, I have a constant need to believe in the human, but it leads me to think dark thoughts like a mass suicide to feed the rats and pigeons … I shortened that name slogan, I use both, one symbolically and as a second signature.
You are based in Paris, tell me more about the underground art scene in Paris. Do you think there is room for emerging artists ?
In general, Paris has not really an underground scene. Most people dream of drilling in Paris, to be “artist”. To be an artist has a certain social status and most people are trying to gain credibility by oscillating between shlag and hype, and stealing what has been done better elsewhere. There is still small resistant families in each area but not really new movements … except that of MDMA maybe …
In short, the art scene here is a handjob (laugh). There is an obvious lack of space to showcase when you’re a young artist. You can choose between galleries that have a huge credibility (almost impossible to expose) or bars where you do not want your artwork stained with tomato sauce … It is probably for this reason that I expose more in Belgium or the Netherlands, where there is a real scene for new artists (concept stores with integrated galleries.) The only exposure I had in Paris was in an office, “Inside the office.”
What are your major influences?
I have many influences. I am very interested in strong symbols of civilization, whether old or new. We can see in my references large religious icons, sacred myths and alchemy as well as everything related to conspiracy theories, the power of money, idiocratie, vices, control of the mind, conditioning by advertising. And of course typography.
When you draw, what is your creative process ?
First of all I must admit I can not draw, in the purist sense, I do not look for the perfect line or curve, I like what is thrown, raw, automatic. Behind every creation, there is still a concept, a reflection, several possible point of view, several reading directions. My character, represent that message or idea in a biased manner, in a more playful look.
You prefer graffitis on the wall or on canvas? Why ?
I do not really do graffiti in my work. For making it for a few years, I think it’s a fairly closed practice where the technique, the flow and aesthetics take precedence over the idea or concept. I felt some frustration, a need to go further and evolve. I found some sensitivity and something stronger by painting with a brush and manipulating the ink.
Painting on a canvas is an act that I find noble, it is another step that I consider important and I want to develop it more seriously.
You’re a music lover. Does music influence your work as an artist?
I listen to a lot of electronic music but I do not know if it is reflected in my work. Certainly I always create in a sound environment. I can not live without it, I am a big consumer of music, mostly underground, I know a few hits, but only when they are chopped and screwed.
Do you know the project SAFEWALLS? Who is your favorite artist in our selection?
Yes, I hesitate a lot between Ron English and Jon Burgerman, two artists whose work I am following.
If you had to create a Cirque du Soleil (with unlimited budget!) What would you explore?
I would reproduce a pagan ritual with hooded actors preparing a sacrifice for the arrival of Satan on earth … Oh shit wait, George Bush has already done it ?