The 8th subject from my artists series is Falko of The Villainous Animators from Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, South Africa. Falko started writing in 1989 and is undoubtedly the pioneering forefather of African graffiti. Traditional New York style graffiti was a huge part of his formative years, but today he is focused on taking his herd around the world.

Falko paints strategically placed African Elephants, using these majestic creatures as a vehicle to present a diverse range of daily scenarios and broad spectrum of emotions. He invariably uses the elements of the space to inform his work. Recently he has painted in the Kalahari Desert with the Bushmen, in London last August and Mumbai where this portrait was painted at the National institute of Fashion and Technology.

Falko’s vision is to take his herd to every continent, to countries that afford him the opportunity to put the herd in unusual contexts. He is currently working on a project called OnceUponATown in which he travels to paint in remote towns in South Africa. This has included #Nkandala in the shadows of the presidents controversial home, and with the Ndebele in Mpumalanga. I’m looking forward ‘Falko’s return’ to the UK this summer


The 3rd subject from my artist series is my close friend and creative confidante Benji Reid. I met Benji over a decade ago, and today he is one of a handful of people I will go to for the realness when it comes to my art.

Benji was a popper in the then nationally renowned Broken Glass crew, notably winning the European popping championship in 1988 at the age of 18. He went on to join Black Mime, an avant-garde physical theatre company that incorporated mime, music and movement, exploring issues that affected young black people in London. It was here that he first started to incorporate dance theatre and theatre direction.

Benji alongside Robert Hylton, Jonzi D, Frank Wilson, DJ Pogo, and Billy Biznizz are considered some of the pioneers of Hip Hop Theatre bringing together popping and storytelling, presented in a theatre context.

Benji went on to direct and perform in numerous physical theatre pieces, exploring the human condition in a myriad of languages, pulling from Butho to popping and physical storytelling at its most bare.

After some time documenting his theatre shows he started to take photography more seriously about 4 years ago, mostly using his daughter as a subject. Today his powerful, thought provoking and dynamic portraits are born from this rich creative fusion of Choreography and photography. He describes himself as a ‘Choreo-photolist’. Through photography, Benji continues to take risks, bare his soul and ask important questions and it’s truly inspiring for me to watch his growth in this craft.

Thanks to @artunderthehood for the spot


The 7th subject from my artists series is Sidd Sap. Sidd started writing in 2012, primarily as a means of expression and to beautify the city. Writing is in its infancy in India and has been imported as part of the ‘Hip Hop package’ in much the same way it was in Europe in the 80’s. He is committed to raising the profile and respect for the artform, and holds free workshops for the kids in his city. Sidd has been an invaluable fixer during our stay in Mumbai.


The 6th subject from my artist’s series is Marcus Golden Barnes AKA Puno STD. I painted with him and other members of STD a little over a decade ago. F-fwd to ’07 and there was a cloud over the scene. 2 writers were killed and many writers were being sent to prison. With a desire to raise everyone’s spirits during this dark time Keep The Faith Graffiti Magazine launched in ’09.

With the first being well received Marcus followed up with KTF 2 in early ’11 but by Dec’ of that year his mum’s home had been searched by the police and he was arrested for ‘Encouraging the commission of criminal damage’ via KTF and the associated website/blog. A first for that charge to be used against a publication. His trial was a test case – a chance to set a precedent in UK law.

After over 3 years on bail the case went to trial in Feb ’15. The maximum sentence he faced was 7 years as this charge came under the Serious Crimes Act. Freedom of speech/freedom of expression were two very big arguments explored during the trial… effectively they tried to prosecute him for publishing photos of graffiti and the tone of his language – and attempting to assert his ‘intention’, which, to them, was the intention to encourage people to paint trains. BTP even tried to prove what his state of mind was in ’07 – ’09 when the mag was in fruition… effectively trying to prove a ‘thought crime’…#1984 in real life. In the end a Not Guilty verdict was reached and a precedent for defending freedom of speech was set.

Having worked in journalism since ’03, he now works for publications including The Independent, Vice and Mixmag magazine. He is a renowned music journalist and is European editor at Fest300, a website focused on festival culture, and also runs his my own ‘online periodical’ @dltmagic. He is managing a couple of young artists and also working in the area of mental health awareness in the music industry.

He in no way sees himself as a victim, but admits it was tough and the stress nearly broke him mentally. He concludes “maybe without all that bollocks I wouldn’t be where I am now, so in a weird way I’m grateful that it happened”


The first subject in my current artists series is of the talented @carleendesozer. I first met Carleen about 18yrs ago when she blagged a graffiti job with Haringey arts council. They didn’t know that she couldn’t write Graff to save her life but as she says ‘Dreph was the legit graffiti writer they had also hired. So he taught me how to write and my cover was never blown.’ An that’s what I admire bout this gifted, resourceful and tenacious artist.

In 2000 she started selling paintings at Portobello Market after leaving her day job. This venture evolved into painting on clothing and making accesories. She became known in Portobello as the afro lady cause she would slap an afro character on everything…lol. This is where things really took off as there were few people painting black figures on clothing back then. After 4 years she briefly opened up a clothing boutique in Stratford, again using fashion as a vehicle to sell her work. After a brief spell in the TV industry she took time out in LA in 2004. There she continued making work and on her return decided to focus on improving her airbrushing skills. By 2005 she was airbrushing all over London and after a couple of years decided to really focus on developing her career. Her influences are Hip Hop culture, magazines and fashion, Airbrush art.. think LL Cool J’s jacket in ‘Round the way girl’, American comics, photography and fairground art. I reconnected with Carleen about a year ago and had seen the few bits and pieces she had produced up to that point. She told me that she was intending to paint more on the street. One year later it’s pretty amazing to see the quality, scale and ideas in the paintings that she is producing. In such a short space of time she has inspired so many. From tattooing to large scale murals, logos and Cd covers, Carleen thrives on the challenge of trying her hand at new media. She draws from her imagination and when asked what motivates her, her response was ‘Rebellion.…My mother told me I would never be successful drawing black people’


I first came across Abe Odedina’s work on his insta page about a year ago. We recently met in person at the opening of his recent show ‘Eye to Eye’ and as a fan of his work, he is the natural choice as the 4th subject in the artists series.

Abe was born in Ibadan, Nigeria and currently lives in Brixton and Salvador Bahia. He is a trained architect and started painting on a trip to Brazil in 2007 where he was inspired by the popular arts of Bahia and Pernambuco. Now a full-time painter, he describes himself as a folk artist. The ideas inspiring his work are rooted in the rich figurative and oral traditions of African art, infused with a trace of magic realism. His work celebrates the power of the everyday and the mythical. He says he paints to communicate and that his work is made to stimulate conversation, embracing the understanding that a viewer will bring to the painting.

He paints with acrylic on plywood, making flat surfaces with vibrant, stylised subjects. I love his use of colour and use of symbolism to create figurative and imaginative pictorial statements. His bold and hybrid visual language has evolved from the energy of the streets and surfaces from cities like Lagos, Salvador de Bahia, and Port-au-Prince: the walls of temples, beer parlours, and love motels – advertisements for barbers, vulcanisers, and healers.

It was a pleasure to finally meet this prolific and talented visual storyteller and I look forward to collaborating with him In the near future.


I’m honored to present Bunny Bread as the subject of the second portrait from my current artists series.

As a second-generation West London graffiti writer, Bunny then known as ‘State Of Art’ was one third of the legendary Non Stop crew. Together with Fade2 and Cane101, Non-Stop were active between 1983 and 1987. They pushed the bar, and to my mind controlled the ball court hall of fame in Ladbroke Grove during those active years. In ‘87 Bunny and Cane partnered with Rich and Rage from No Limitz, painting the incredible production ‘The earths edge’ in Trellick Towers. Bunny refers to those times as a ’throwing down of the gauntlet’. Earths edge stayed untouched for over two decades, a testament to the influence and respect the scene had for Non Stop. After writing, Bunny and friend Nak formed ‘Airheads’, successfully producing airbrush painted artwork and clothing.

Bunny was also at the beginning of the West London Broken Beat scene in the late 90’s / naughties. During this time he and friends formed the Uprock and Jazzrefreshed music movements, holding events and supporting Broken Beat, Hip Hop, Funk, Soul and Jazz.
Bunny has a distinctive sense of style, embodying the DIY ethic of 1980’s London street style. Post Hip hop he has reverted back to his earlier influences of the 2Tone movement, a nod to a time when our African and Caribbean parents dressed sharp, clean and slick.

Today Bunny is focused on film and photography and is currently running createnotdestroy.com . There is no doubt that the 80’s/90’s battle mentality underpins everything he has turned his hand to.


The 5th subject from my artists series is Moh Awudu for me the strongest contemporary muralists in West Africa and founder of @GhanaGraffiti collective.

When I last visited Ghana two decades ago, the only artwork I remember seeing in the streets was sign painting and barbershop signs. Today It’s beautiful to see a developing graffiti and street art scene here. I first came across Moh’s work via pics online of his interactive street performances at the annual @chalewoteofficial street art festival.

Moh is from the 441 area of Nima in Accra, Ghana. Historically Nima has a negative reputation and with the negative perception of Islam globally, Moh does not shy away from addressing pertinent issues such as violence, crime, poverty, lack of education, poor sanitation and child abuse. He uses art as a platform to tell Ghanas story, with the intention of provoking discussion that will lead to solutions. Ghana is a peacful place with a rich history..however Moh often presents a forward facing and futuristic vision of Africa, with depictions of strong focusued females, flying taxis and multistorey solarpowered buildings, utilising Africa’s rich natural resources. He says he is not concerened soley with aesthetics but rather uses social commentary as a vehicle to educate the public about social problems. He runs free workshops to inspire kids in his local community giving them the oppotunities he feels he didn’t have growing up. He is a mentor to many young people and it’s fantastic to see some kind of apprentiship going on with a few of them.

Moh started making art in ’96 and was one of the first to start airbrushing on T-shirts and clothing in Ghana. Today he makes a living from commissions and traditional paintings. He has also developed live art performances, collaborating with other creatives at events and festivals.

It as an honour to be invited into Ghana Graffiti and to paint a piece together..Im looking forward to building some more with my bro in the near future.
Meda w’ase papaapa nua ?