Graffiti writer who has tagged too many surfaces to keep count, or a mindful professional who works hard to master their craft? French graffiti artist, Dezio, blurs the ever-present stereotypes and the rough image of graffiti artists with his honest and reflective look onto his path as a graffiti writer. After listening to what he has to say, it becomes apparent that you can be one in the same. “There is nothing real gangster or bad ass about graffiti,” Dezio explains, “it’s just being a kid and getting your name up without paying society, and that’s what I love about it.”


Growing up in Paris, as an artistic child who was constantly drawing, Dezio recalls his love for graffiti was established at the age of 15. “The idea of seeing and showing my drawings to as many people as I could really got me hooked,” recalls Dezio. At the time, however, there was not a strong presence of graffiti writers in the French capital. It took Dezio a few years to come to understand that there was so much history and depth in his chosen art outlet. “It wasn’t till I met up with Extreme MCT SCC TRC, that I got to understand more about the culture and discover that this was happening in many other countries, and that people had been documenting and writing about it for over 30 years,” says Dezio. Since then, he has taken a scholarly approach to developing his graffiti skills, including meeting up with various writers who have been all over the world in order for him to attain a genuine grasp of his art. It seems as though if there were a book of what to do to become a true graffiti artist, Dezio would be diligently following it down to the last word, or maybe even be the author. It can be argued that the only thing sinful about his drive as an artist is his glutinous approach. He says that from an early age, he’s “been obsessed like an obese kid, ingurgitating as much as I can. I saw and read as many books and documentaries as I could and my goal is to keep doing so for as long as I can.”


These days Dezio has been spending his time devouring Chinese cuisine, along with the rest of the culture, as he is living and working in Shanghai, China. When asked about what his influences are when it comes to his graffiti writing, Dezio has a hard time listing off specific people, places or things: “My influences are taken from my daily life as my mind is constantly assembling and disassembling my environment no matter where I am or what I am doing.” Although, the young Parisian poetically admits that his new residence undoubtedly affects his street writing, “I guess that being in China now influences me, both by the lack of good quality materials to paint, the absence of graffiti in the streets, and the general beauty in the Chinese culture,” he says, “everything is just a beautiful mess.”

Something that is anything but a mess, is Dezio’s thought process when it comes to one of his spraycan creations. He carefully explains how his graffiti often reflects the differing layers and elements in everyday objects, “I can start with block letters then have one letter as an illustration, to finish with a throw-up style O,” says Dezio. He compares his art to something as seemingly simple as a building: ”there is a general aspect that ties everything together, but every floor is unique,” he explains. It is clear that Dezio is very attuned to his surroundings, and why and how he sprays what he does. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that graffiti is just mindless vandalism,” says Dezio, “I guess you can argue that it is pointless vandalism, but it’s not mindless, as everything is often thought out.”


A person gets a sense of how mindful graffiti writing is when you hear Dezio speak of his many adventures of tagging while trying to avoid getting caught –something that comes with the territory of graffiti writing. “I’ll tell you one of my more recent ones where luckily I didn’t get arrested,” says Dezio. What followed was a lengthy story- which resembles a meticulously planned bank heist scene in a blockbuster thriller- involving, Dezio and his homeboy staking out a guarded bus lot, a foot chase, destruction of evidence –in the form of spraycans, and a getaway car. All said and done, Dezio realizes that “[they] were lucky to have escaped, as I don’t really feel like exploring the insides of the Chinese justice department.”

For the time being, Dezio continues to live and work in China. He says that he has no set plans for the near future, but graffiti wise, he is focusing in on Chinese characters. Trying to understand how they work and “getting them into a graffiti vibe.”

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Isha Thompson

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  1. Thanx, Nice work with the site. I’d just like to add a little shout out to my friends and to those who I like and support :

    First to my crews : KCW, MCT, TDP, DD, AJT, XIT

    Popil my quail, Sytoze, Tofe, Otis, Mtwo, Keax, Ques, Cuper, Marco93, Djuk, Paro, Michto, Hobz, Extrem, Kiser, Drize, Cleb-Art, 100Tens, Kikil, Puls, Skeci, Jef, Asem, Trime, Ceso, Debo, Gemo, Ponsho, Yvoar, Uno, O’cest, Senk1 (croatia), Morka (croatia), Bruno (Croatia), Muldy, Ipnoz, TRBDSG, HG, Simone, Taré (Norway), Krek (Norway), Cazoe et Swing (San Francisco), Persue (Bunny Kitty – USA), Onetime (NY), Setup (NY), Barby (NY), Rime (LA), Kemos (USA), Desy, Mask, Yoda, Persu (OCT), Tonce, Ecraze, Sew, Meyl, Joker (Guangzhou), Sk2(Guangzhou), X2r(Guangzhou), Yys (Guangzhou), Sice (Guangzhou), Hobsek (Hong Kong), Orsek (Hong Kong), Kaps crew (Guangzhou), Gabe (Guangzhou), Mai26 (Guangzhou), Syan (Hong Kong), Exem (hong kong), Noe (Taiwan), Mirk, Doez, Jamer, Pire (Nante – France) and the others not mentioned but who know who they are.

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