Tigre

Tigre

We all take different things way from camping trips. Irritable personalities, a better relationship with nature, burns, broken tent poles – the list goes on. On a camping trip to Beziers in 1987, Tigre found himself looking at his first tag. And in 1991, he found himself with his first mural. Named after Tigger, a favorite in the Winnie-the-Pooh series, Tigre was dubbed thus for his ‘crazy like Tigger’ personality. The 29 year-old writer, out of Midi-Pyrenees, France, began as an illegal graffiti writer, scooting around under authority’s nose to develop his style, despite limited access to most of his necessary tools, one of which was spray-paint. As a result, he found himself preparing his pieces on paper before throwing them up, describing his pieces as “works of preparation and planning.”

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Citing Spraycan Art and Subway Art as his graffiti bibles, Tigre drew his influences from books like these, as well as from Paris RER D Line, the 93 MC’s, the RCA, SDA and SACMA Crews. Wanting a change of scenery, Tigre moved to the south of France in 1994, meeting fellow writers KAR and AST, with whom he formed the Be Wild Crew. In 1999, new writers joined (Ska, REFU, FUSE, BOON, NORE, GRAAL) and Tigre found himself doing more and more legal projects, devoting his time to mural pieces, eventually turning graffiti writing into a social past time.

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These days, graffiti is a past time for Tigre, who writes out of enjoyment for the most part. A lot of his known work is in the form of massive murals done through collaborations with other crew members. His love for tigers is apparent; he signs the giant feline in different forms, dependent on the content of his pieces. Some have evil conations, while others are friendly and animated. His characters are for the most part, unthreatening and approachable. Each piece looks thought out and well-developed, following Tigre’s ‘preparation’ methodology. Tigre uses soft, non-abrasive colors, with each mural hinting at a mystical world, existing just beyond its second dimension. Despite the detail that Tigre applies to each mural, the characters he uses, as well as the detailing of his tags, are reminiscent of afternoon cartoon characters, or rather comic strips (think Darkwing Duck, but the evil version. Scary, but still censored…). There is a ruggedness about his work, that flatters the presentation of each mural, which otherwise would seem too plotted. Keeping under the radar, Tigre’s pieces and collaborations keep getting bigger and harder to pass by- as a result, they keep getting more and more definitive.

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Although he’s no longer hustling for spray-paint, Tigre is growing, and will keep growing until the length of the wall is covered. For a leisure past time, nobody’s going to protest if Tigre goes full-time.

Steph McBride

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