After 20 years apart, the AAGH crew – Sickboy (Bristol) x Dr. Dog (Tokyo), reunite with a show at Dareshack. ‘Continental Drifters’ is a recollection of the 2001 energy, featuring five exclusive pieces and a collaborative work on the window gallery [AKA Vapour box], which is on 24/7.
Sickboy is one of the leading artists to emerge from Bristol’s infamous graffiti scene to worldwide recognition. Exploring form, shape and colour collide, humorous character based interventions create abstract and absurd realities in various media. With a legacy that reaches back to 1995, Sickboy was first recognised for his symbology and text based work on the streets of Bristol. The iconic red and yellow street logo ‘The Temple’ as well as his ‘Save the Youth’ slogan have featured on walls and wheelie bins across the world.
Founding member of Bristol’s AAGH crew in 1999 with fellow northerner Sickboy after an invite to Banksy and Inkie’s seminal Walls on Fire graffiti jam in 1998. Spamdog currently lives and works in Tokyo getting up with a unique blend of influences from the early Hull Warehouse graffiti scene, Dada, manga, Japanese advertisement, comix and pop to surreal comedy Big Night Out, and Monty Python.
What does AAGH crew mean?
‘Ave A Go Heroes’.
How did you both meet?
In front of a wall in Bedminster with a bag of paint and a head full of dreams.
What changed from 20 years ago to now?
Seemingly everything on the surface but absolutely nothing underneath.
What’s key when working collaborative?
Give and take.
What’s your opinion about NFT?
Someone tried to explain it round a campfire last week and it seems like a diversion if you ask me. Having said that if you want to do all the legwork for me and sell my work I’m all ears. Speak to my agent.
What would you do if you had no constraints at all?
[To Dr. Dog] Why Dog?
Spam was my original tag in the 90s. I got the dog part after one of the senior Hull crew writers found me curled up asleep under a kitchen table one morning after a night out in Bristol. The name stuck and I love that I got it from a hero and friend of mine.
What made you go to Japan 20 years ago?
[To Sickboy] How do we ‘Save the Youth’?
Through art and freedom of expression, I feel it’s possible to channel our energy.
As a kid, I could have gone off the rails but to find a subculture like graffiti, I was able to focus on something that for me was more honest to who I was, and what I wanted to be. Much like skate culture, you surround yourself with healthy competition, and the independent DIY aspect of scenes like that allow you to be consistently inspired.
What does the temple mean to you?
I first painted the Temple in 1999 after a trip to Barcelona. I had the epiphany when seeing architectural forms by Gaudi that were about making architecture more humanistic and natural. I realised that the onion dome used in some of his works is such a complex architectural form, and I wanted to use it to represent beauty on brutalist more machine-based surfaces. I liked to juxtaposition.
It has stayed with me since then as a logo, and I have painted it around the world. Even if my views have changed slightly at the core, it’s still representative of me.
You can visit ‘Continental Drifters’ at Dareshack on Wine Street, BS1 2BD, Bristol.
For opening hours and how to get there, click here.
For enquiries, please contact us here.