Island Graffiti

Posted by Wooster Collective

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The Wooster Collective talks to Jace about working on street art on a tropical island.


Jace is an artist from Réunion Island (a little east of Madagascar). We don't know what it is-perhaps a little island craziness-but Jace's characters are always up to something mischievous. They are blowing things up, riding rocket ships, falling out of windows. Each piece always relates to the surrounding environment and adds color and fun. Check out his website and his little books-they are a great way to see his work-or get yourself to Réunion Island.

Wooster: Why did you choose the specific placement?

Jace: This place is on the main road that crosses Mayotte Island (in Indian Ocean near Madagascar). This means, a lot of people can watch it. But what I liked the most is that this house lived: It has been built with recycled materials, written, painted, sticked. There are tires on roof to prevent damage from typhoons; one of the doors is made from barrels. It's so "roots;" so far from European and American construction.

W: What do you think your piece adds to or subtracts from to the community?

J: I guess a lot of people stop and take picture of it, and the guy [who owns the building] is proud of this small piece of art. Seriously, what I first saw is that children enjoyed it and that's enough for me.

W: What type of reaction did you get from the community?

J: First, I needed to get permission to paint this one because I respect people's property even if it seems to be "trashed," so I tried to find the guy who works there (because in fact this was a garage). After a day of prospecting the guy give me his permission, then when I was painting another guy came from behind and told me that he was the owner and didn't understand what I was doing. After a few minutes of discussion, he let me finish the job. A lot of children surrounded me and a pretty girl told me that drawing skull was forbidden. (At school pupils weren't allowed to draw skulls. Oops! Sorry, little miss!) When the job was finished, some children struck some sort of kung fu pose.

W: Why did you choose the subject matter you did?

J: Well, this one wasn't necessarily adapted to this special spot. I was very limited with the color and for the occasion they fit in well with the area. The fact that I choose a spray can and cockroach has no real meaning, except perhaps that I discovered some old dead rat in the hole between the road and the house. It wasn't a very clean area.

W: What is inspiring to you now?

J: Traveling is a great source of inspiration, try to find the special exotic spot. some weird stuff that you could paint on, always trying to pass the limits.

To see more of Jace's work, check out his websites here or here. To see more great street art, check out the Wooster Collective.