We recently caught up with renowned NYC graffiti writers Mint&Serf at their book release event last month at Ace Hotel. Read below to learn a bit about what inspired both artists in the process of putting together Support, Therapy, and Instability.
Congratulations on the release of your first published book. Can you tell us how the book’s namesake came about?
Mint: Graffiti is not about being perfect, it’s about the instability of the outlaw lifestyle we live and the chaos that it brings along with it. Graffiti is my life’s turbulence exploded on a wall. The same form of expression that shakes my world also brings me peace.
How did the two of you meet in 1997, and what prompted you both to collaborate as Mint&Serf?
Serf: We both met as teenagers in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. I was born there and Mint moved there with his family from Moscow in 1990.
What was the catalyst that sparked each of you to pursue and partake in graffiti?
Mint: I had an apartment in Brooklyn, and decided to repaint my bedroom wall. Jason came by with a couple of our neighborhood friends, and we started painting. Eventually we said, “All right, let’s catch tags in the neighborhood.” We ended up walking around at 8:30PM on a Thursday night and quickly found ourselves getting chased by a Jewish Community Watch Group. They ended up calling the police.
Serf: That was probably the first time we did graffiti together.
Would it be fair to say, this book is your answer to the continued sterilization of graffiti?
Our book strips graffiti to its bare gristle and expression, while getting away from polished graffiti murals and calculated street art. The series attempts to look at the narrative of expressions, rather than graffiti as a decorative aesthetic that often lacks visceral meaning.
Support, Therapy, and Instability is available for purchase here.