1xRun Thru Interview
King Kalakaua by Roids + Madsteez
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this piece, this was created during last year’s Pow Wow correct?
Roids: I’d not met Madsteez before but we share some mutual friends and I’d been shown his work loads of times and absolutely loved it, So was pretty glad to hear we’d get the chance to hang out in Hawaii at powwow 2013. I think i was probably having a little whinge to him about being bored of painting straight pieces all the time and he suggested we work together on the wall.
Madsteez: Pow Wow Hawaii is hands down the best fuckn’ (for lack of a better term) street art event ever! Last year when it finally came down to start painting, I wanted to localize and paint a portrait of Hawaii’s last King, King Kalakaua. Little did I know, Hawaiian royalty, gods and goddesses are off limits unless you follow protocol. Thankfully, Hawaiian graffiti legends Prime and Estria took me under their wing and offered their guidance. Before I knew it, I found myself in King Kalakaua’s crypt having a conversation with the King beyond the grave through a spiritual Kahu. The King held me by the neck and gave me his permission for the mural as long as I made him look good and I made sure I told his story besides just his portrait. I don’t know if was fear, anxiety or what but my experience with the after life left my legs trembling like Bambi’s little sticks out on the icey pond. I was in way over my head. Not only did I have the pressure of making the King look good but now I had to tell his story too.
1xRUN: How long did this piece take and what materials were used?
Roids: It was created over 4 days and was a mix of roller paint and spray paint.
1xRun: Tell us how this piece came together…
Roids: As Mark already had his shit together, for me it was really a case of working on a typographic piece and aesthetic that was worthy of sitting next to what he had planned, whilst hopefully complimenting it and finding points of reference that were relevant to the king and the life he lead. I did a few rough type layouts the day before then we just got on with it.
Madsteez:As fate would have it, I heard that Roids, wasn’t super stoked on his current wall. I humbly asked him to jump ship to the King Kalakaua wall and without hesitation he was on the project. Roids is a true pioneer, visionary and I never would have thought in a million years I would be collaborating with him. When we were finished with the mural it was an absolute miracle because smiling from the heavens was the Kings approval in the form of a perfect rainbow directly above.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Roids: I feel the spontaneity really pushed this piece in the right direction, Not really having a chance to over think it and just going with what felt right at the time. Also working with Mark for the first time. It was real fun painting it and getting to see his process and in turn sharing ideas and techniques. especially plastic bag shoes (not good in Hawaiian heat)
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Roids: Because it is like liquid Hawaii skilfully printed on paper.
Madsteez: Because the King says so!
1xRun: Describe this print in one gut reaction word.
1xRun: This will be each of your second year joining the Pow Wow Hawaii family, who are some of the artists you’re really excited to see painting out there?
Roids: I’m excited to see everyone there, old faces and new.
Madsteez: I’m super excited to see Wayne White. I recently saw his documentary and was absolutely blown away by his lifelong body of work and was so inspired. Pee Wee was one of my favorite shows growing up and to meet one of the guy responsible for warping my childhood is a dream come true.
1xRun: Do you have any plans for your wall out there or are you just going to improvise it when you get there?
Roids: I’m partnering up with my fellow south Londoner Insa this year , and we have a 5 day gif-iti mural we are planning.
Madsteez: I have a couple ideas but wanted to kind of let the WEEN!verse take its course and see what happens.
1xRun: You’re both been staying busy per usual, what have you been doing lately?
Roids: At the moment I’m trying to knuckle down with studio work, with hopefully a couple of solo shows later in the year and some group shows in the US and Europe.
Madsteez: I’m currently working on an sports inspired mural for a private collector. The collection is already nuts with murals by Shepard Fairey, El Mac, Mear One, Risk, and Retna to name a few.
1xRun: Aside from Pow Wow 2014, what are your plans for the new year?
Roid: Stay in Hawaii as long as possible !
Madsteez: Hopefully, I’ll finally have my solo show that I’ve been slowing painting for the past 2 year.
Photos courtesy of Madsteez.
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Find out more @ http://1xrun.com/runs/King_Kalakaua