The Killer Gerbil

Having formed a coalition with the heavy weights in major industries, all across the globe, The Killer Gerbil has left visible traces of his art work on Adidas sneakers, Volkswagen cars, Motorola cell phones, Oakley glasses and more. His signature character of The Killer Gerbil, created in 2003, is a street rat that kills empty spaces with colors and forms, with the means of beautifying. All inspired by his pet gerbils.

Now with an applaudable resume under his belt, the young Singaporean artist (Luthfi Mustafah) has taken it upon himself to help eradicate the negative connotations affiliated with street art and graffiti. He believes in bringing the gallery to the streets in the hope of capturing the attention of the people and keeping them in tune for as long as possible.

“People here are so busy in their fast paced lifestyle that they don’t really bother with what others are up to. However, there are some who stop in their tracks, and out of curiosity exchange chats and actually appreciate and accept proper finished pieces.”

Format: Did you first gain notoriety through posting your signature Killer Gerbil stickers or through serving up fly doses of graffiti around the city?
The Killer Gerbil: Most probably I was known for sticker slapping from different cities, and now graffiti and murals.

Format: Seeing as Singapore has been identified as one of the cleanest countries in the world; how does the public respond to your talent of writing on public walls?
The Killer Gerbil: People here are so busy in their fast paced lifestyle that they don’t really bother with what others are up to. However, there are some who stop in their tracks, and out of curiosity exchange chats and actually appreciate and accept proper finished pieces.

Format: Your work has that raw, minimalist style; where does that come from?
The Killer Gerbil: I think it naturally comes from my behavior. I’m anal when it comes to cleanliness and tidiness.

Format: How much of your work is based on spontaneity verses a well thought out plan?
The Killer Gerbil: I would say most of the time my work is based on a bit of both; because I somehow visualize what I want to create or do in my mind before execution, and then surprise myself later on.

Format: In terms of the artwork you designed for Motorola phone tattoos, what kind of personality were you trying to portray on the phone?
The Killer Gerbil: For the Motorola phone tattoos, I used my characters in an oriental fashion to represent me as an Asian artist.

Format: From designing t-shirts to sneakers to street art to toys, what other products are you hoping to make your mark on?
The Killer Gerbil: I would definitely love to experiment on home interior, using my art, if I get that chance. Anything from appliances to furniture. Basically everything in a home.

Format: Having designed for some of the biggest names in the business (Motorola, Nike, Adidas, Volkswagen and the list goes on) who would you like to build alliances with next?
The Killer Gerbil: I’m open to anyone who is crazy enough to have my Killer Gerbils riding on their labels. (Secretly, I’m dying to collaborate with Vans).

Format: When and where is your next exhibition?
The Killer Gerbil: Currently I’m working on a project with Adidas as a resident artist here in Singapore, to create in store artwork.

Format: The Killer Gerbil represents the misunderstood culture of graffiti, what, in your opinion, is awfully misunderstood?
The Killer Gerbil: That graffiti’s all about public destruction and all that negativity, and it cannot be taken seriously as art. On my part, I do what I do and hope it will educate the masses for a better future.

More Info: http://www.thekillergerbil.com/

Deepi Harish

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