It is so nice to film beers..
by Freddie Fraser Forsyth
I have just returned from a week long trip to Sydney, Australia with Horfe, Roid & Will Robson Scott. Having worked with all three for the past 3 years now on the Crack & Shine projects and Topsafe it was a great experience for us as a group to travel across the world and get a show done and begin work on another book. While Roid and WRS are close friends and they both have huge successes to come in the future, 2011 was most definitely the year Horfe, the abominable Frenchman, came to the fore. After 10 years of developing on the streets of Paris, his ideas and weird style have begun to take shape in the gallery.
Flat footed, Horfe walks like a cross between a comedy skit rapper and a Ralph Steadman inspired manlizard. This is accompanied by a rendition of an assortment of 1990s British pop and current day R&B hits being bumbled out of his hairy mouth at any given time of the day. Horfe is a joker. He doesn’t really wash or change clothes, he paints at the speed of a roadrunner, desperate to get his ideas in to reality. Cartoons, Parisian street bombing, Anime, Robert Crumb. He is a dreamer, constantly anxious; a modern day romantic, he loves a bit of public displays of affection with his girl, but he hates the hair on girls assholes. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t brush his teeth. He also does a splendid Donald Duck impression.
After seeing a piece of his on Hurt You Bad in the spring of 2009 (it was a yellow straight letter piece, but the more catching element was the Tyrannosaurus Rex with Bart Simpson’s head) I was determined to meet him and get him involved with Topsafe. You could tell from his work that he was a bomber at heart, with simple letterforms and always painted quickly and messily, but what stood out was his pieces- he was doing illegal trucks and pieces that were hugely ambitious in terms of concept and size- but it was obvious that he was using shitty paint and it was more often than not done illegally. Seeing shit like that on the streets as a Londoner was really different anyway- the style wasn’t quite perfect but it had the beginnings of something unique.
A couple of months later I travelled with WRS to Paris to meet Horfe for the first time. It was apparent that he was preoccupied with his ongoing beef with other crews in Paris and he wasn’t enjoying his time at university, where he was in his first year of a fine art course. Despite his issues within the graff scene and trying to figure out his way with his art, he was ambitious and you could tell that he really wanted to succeed in something outside of graff, however he did that very typical thing that writers say and constantly tell me that he was going to quit bombing one day soon. Course you are mate.
One thing that stands out about Horfe is his general demeanour (I believe these days it’s called SWAG) despite his age, he is in his late 20s, he sort of strolls through cities like TopCat, very brazenly, tagging, racking and singing to himself. Revok, from LA, sums up his carefree attitude, “I first met Horfe in 2006 during my first visit to Paris. As soon as arriving I started noticing him up. He basically was doing the best spots with the best style (he kind of graffiti I like). We met shortly after my arrival and we went painting together. He took me down into the subway tunnels and into the stations, When we bumped into some workers on the tracks they began yelling “Guardian-guardian” i assessed they were calling security or something, Horfe, totally unfazed walked right up to them and asked them for a light for his cigarette. The workers were at first taken back, but after a moment were sharing a smoke and laughing it up with Horfe. A few minutes later he called me over and said “Don’t worry, these guys are my new friends, I told them we are going to paint the station. They (the workers) said be careful and don’t get hurt on the tracks” – right then I knew I liked this guy.”
Sydney was his 4th show of the year, he could easily of done 40, he works crazy hard, crazy fast. More out of anxiety than anything else. In the 3 years we have known each other he has come so far, and finally seen what he calls “his universe” reach the paper and walls he approaches. As he says, his hand has caught with his brain. Here’s to a supercool 2012 mon petit cornichon.
Crack & Shine Presents Roid & Horfe in Australia
shot by Will Robson-Scott
edited by Kieran Gee Finch
with thanks to Revok