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Interview with FUZI UV-TPK

2:00 PM PST on December 11, 2013

FUZI, famed graffiti/tattoo master of the ignorant style, is from Paris but has been visiting L.A. for personal, professional, and inspirational reasons for a minute now. On the Professional tip, on December 18th FUZI will be tattooing a handful of lucky people at a special location in the city of Los Angeles. Yeah, ignorant Xmas is real. A couple of spots are still available, email to inquire.

It's been a busy end of 2013 for FUZI-- recent tattoo clients include Os Gemeos, Diplo, Justice, Kavinsky and Kevin Lyons; FUZI's art exhibition, Devoration, opened in Paris on December 5th. So where does FUZI get his inspiration? What does he think of LA? Does he like tacos? Read on...


You’ve been coming to L.A. on the regular for a while now. When did you first come to L.A. and what were your first impressions?
I first visited L.A. to visit Zio. She showed me all sides of L.A.—from eating foie gras cotton candy at the Bazaar to visiting Bukowski’s childhood home in Mid-City to exploring the cement banks of the river in downtown and everything in between. My first impression was that it was huge, sunny, relaxed, and totally different from European cities. It’s such a unique place, and I fell in love with the lifestyle and architecture. I’ve been lucky to be able to visit a lot of times since then, and each time I discover something new.

Who or what in L.A. inspires you?
I am really intrigued by all of the different cultures, particularly cholo style and gang graffiti. I also like DEFER’s style, which is rooted in this culture, but taken to a different level. Estevan Oriol is an inspiration—not only for his photography and style, but for his work ethic. L.A. authors like Bukowski and Bret Easton Ellis have also influenced my work at times. And I’m really inspired by the ambience in downtown L.A.

You’ve tattooed in some interesting places, creating a sense of theater and mystery for your clients. What are some of your favorite places that you’ve tattooed?
I believe that the moment when you create something matters as much as the result, and I want to leave a mark on the memory not just the skin. One of my favorite places to tattoo in was in the Freedom Tunnel in NYC. It has always been a place of myth to me, and so it was a special experience. A TV reporter followed me, and used the footage in a TV documentary on tattoos that just aired on Arte. Tattooing on the rooftop while Estevan Oriol filmed me was a great experience too. And tattooing Zio in an abandoned subway station in Paris was very memorable.

Image from Devoration.

They say it takes a very intelligent actor to play a stupid person—is the same true of being an Ignorant Style artist? Does it take a great artist or can someone truly ignorant be a master?
Yes, anyone can be a master. There are plenty of self-taught artists who created amazing works, but many of them were in insane asylums and completely unaware of art history or their roles in it. And you can spend all the money in the world and go to art school and know everything about art, and still create terrible art with no soul.  I’m aware of what I’m doing and use the term Ignorant Style to explain the approach and throw people’s criticisms back at them. I embrace the term. People might not understand what I’m doing, but I understand it and I’m going to do it regardless of what they think.

Your background is in graffiti, but your ability to communicate so much with a small number of strokes is reminiscent of the great cartoonists. Do you read comics? Do you have inspirations or favorites from that world?
Comics were big inspirations in my graffiti—I used to steal comics just before painting subways and add the cartoons to my pieces. I still love reading comics. I just ordered a few of the old Real Deals, and I love looking at them. I’m actually working on a comic of my own now.


What is your lucky number?
2122, UV’s crew number.

What is your favorite taco?
I’ve only had tacos twice in my life. The first was just after a shoot with Estevan Oriol, and we went to his favorite taco place, Ciro’s. I had the three hard-shell taco plate, and it was super good. I recently had tacos again at Candelaria in Paris. The tacos were good, but I prefer the ones in L.A.

You can find FUZI's personal website here.

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