Drash mag #3 is here !
- La relève - skateboard
- Andrew Reynolds - skateboard
- Mr.X - art
- David Widart - photography
- Christopher de bethune - favorite item
- The Casualties - music
- RampJam - festival
- Samuel Partaix - speed dating
- Hans Claessens - the legend
Belgium is not dead !
ART : Mr.X
Pink crucifix, fluorescent skeletons and strange marine animals, it is signed Mr.X.
You cannot yet classify him with old-timers, but it is clear that the guy is no longer a novice. He handles spray paint and Posca in his own way and we like it!
His style was built over tests and experiments. “Little by little, we come to something that is unlike anything else. The movement and the choice of colours are now natural. I don’t question myself anymore, it flows.” The lines are incisive and biting; the colours explosive.
An 80’s style was undoubtedly imprinted on his retina when he was younger and watched movies like Footlose. Everything came out when he got his first markers in hand. “It was instinctive.”
Although his work is thorough, it is far from academically rigorous.No art school or evening classes for Mr.X. He worked in finance until the economic crisis of 2008, when he suddenly found himself at home with nothing to do.“The thing that really launched me was completely dying of boredom at home. My wife decided to buy me some markers… that’s how it started.” And it has not stopped since. He bought more and more stuff : more colours, more markers, more spray paint.
To work, an artist needs a workshop. Two square meters is better than nothing. “There was a spare closet in our old apartment and that’s where I settled. I put a lamp in it and skateboards were just the width of the room. It became my cocoon. I am neurotic about details, so working on a small format was perfect.”
It is in this closet that the magic happens. But since Mr.X has left its four walls to exhibit his work and indulge in live painting, an activity not always easy when you are a detail freak. “At first, you are not always able to capture exactly what you set out to. But now, I managed to pass by this and in three hours I can do something right – people are happy and I like it too.”
He now counts nearly 30 exhibitions and displays on his list, including prestigious events such as the O’Neill 60 years of innovation art world tour. Moving outdoors has also allowed him to work on more substantial formats: surfboards, cars, murals, etc. “I think that when you feel comfortable, you want to go bigger, more complex, to put more colours, more shades … this is the natural progression.” Whatever the project, there isonly one motto: fun.
"You must do what you love, not what others would like to see. I have a terrible time making requests, for example. I never create what the people want … except when they tell me I have carte blanche. In that case they must realize that there is a high probability that there will be a lot of pink in the production.”
Mr.X might be a computer scientist, butdrawing on a computer is not for him – he prefers to have paint on his fingers! Especially since the end result rarely looks like the sketch. The list of things he hates includes: making drafts, straight lines and symmetry. He often finds inspiration in music (The Ramones, Rancid, The Misfits, Transplants…) and it’s common for him to refer to songs and groups he’s listening to in his drawings.
"The longer it goes, the better things become. I don’t know if there is a good road, but if there is, we must be on it."
And on the road, he made some friends: the guys from Kapow! Within this collective, which he joined in 2011, you can also find Monk, Strook , Mr. Mong , Gijs Vanhee, Sam Scarpulla , Topo and others. Mr.X is now a full member of this gangband of street culture (as they say in the subtitle of their website). “We always have projects in the pipe, but besides that we also really want to grow as a proper entity, do our cultural stuff.” Something to follow!
Whether for a special event, a custom job, or in his spare time, Mr.X never stops drawing. (Well, he also confessed that he cooks for his wife from time to time…that’s the least he could do.) But the important thing is not to become too scattered, “I cannot start more than two pieces at the same time. I note everything on a list and work through it in order. If I don’t do that, I never finish anything.” Even if this full-time job doesn’t allow him to live yet, he cannot get rid of it, it became an obsession as he says. For the delight of our eyes. But not for them alone… he loves reviving broken boards, but when painting a new deck he prefers that we fix the wheels and go ride with it. “That what it’s made for.”
Everyone on his board then, but do not forget to visit Mr.X’ website and give him a high five during one of his upcoming events.