Calle “Klive” and Lasse “Kaos” make up the artist duo Graffiti Stockholm, a small design company founded in 2008. They started getting offers through word-of-mouth rumors and today they earn a steady income doing what they love.
Every painting is a new challenge, and they have painted on everything from coffee machines to 800 square meters feature walls. No matter the venue, location or person – everyone from business people, company owners and private individuals have shown interest – but there’s a large scale of people who still don’t consider graffiti as a real art form.
How is the graffiti climate in Sweden?
Klive – Sweden is a country where graffiti still is pretty unaccepted, so it hasn’t evolved as much as if you would compare it to any other European country where it’s considered more as a professional art form and therefore has been able to progress whilst in Sweden it’s been standing still. There is a big interest for it though, and real “graffiti” art work is more appreciated then just tagged names on walls. But it’s a way of expressing yourself, and what we’ve done is to turn what we love doing into a steady income.
Kaos – We have three official legal walls in Stockholm, but when those are full or occupied people create their own walls. Graffiti lovers have to be pretty creative.
Have you had the opportunity to paint in any other European country?
Kaos – We’ve been invited to countries like Spain, Poland, Holland and Belgium for different graffiti and music festivals. It’s fun to get to see other artist’s work and be inspired, but to also get to show up your own stuff.
Do you tag your work?
Klive – Sometimes your work speaks for itself, like Banksy, tagging isn’t always necessary. If we’re working with Graffiti Sthlm, we go under that name. But we also do paint jobs separately, that’s when we use our private artist names, Klive and Kaos. You don’t want to go completely incognito when you’ve created something you’re proud of so tagging becomes like an alias for your work.
How often do you get work offers?
Klive – That’s a difficult question. If we i.e. send out 15 offers, we might get two. But it really differs, we get a lot of offers through rumors. We constantly have something to do, so business is going really good.
How do people react to your pricing?
Klive – There are people who’ve grown up with graffiti and appreciate the time and dedication and also the price tag, then there are those who are starting to realize it’s an advanced art form and at first get chocked by the price. We don’t overcharge whatsoever, we just feel like people don’t always expect graffiti to cost so much. But there is a lot of time, dedication and effort that goes into creating something. It’s not a cheap art form, safety equipment, spray cans, and creating sketches all cost.
I know that you’ve done graffiti workshops, is this something you do often?
Klive – I used to work as a graffiti teacher at a school, and I’ve held workshops for students. The response has always been positive and there is a market for it – but it’s time consuming especially when you have a business on the side. We’ve done company events, painted for a crowd wearing black and white suits, which we really liked doing.
What do you do when you have to correct a wrong in a painting? Is it easy to go back and change things up with spray paint?
Kaos – We can always go back and erase by painting over the wrong – but only during the first stages, not when it’s done and you’re regretting something, by then it’s too late. It’s just as you would do with Tip-Ex, quite easy.
Do you have a personal style?
Kaos – We paint on everything, coffee machines for example. We get a kick out of trying new things, and getting better at what we’re doing.
Klive – We always try to find new challenges, some we do with pen, some with spray paint and some with both. We don’t limit ourselves to mainly canvas or walls. I like painting geometrical things but also portraits.
How would the future for Swedish graffiti look like if you decided?
Klive – It would be great if more people realized that this is a real art form.
Kaos – There should be more legal walls.
Tags: art, graffiti, graffiti stockholm, graffiti sweden, Stockholm
Swedish freelance journalist and artist Derya Aktas thrives from finding inspirational stories and hidden gems around the world. Meeting and interviewing interesting people is something she loves with her job. When she's not painting or writing, she spends her free time backpacking, hiking and getting out of her comfort zone.
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