Interview with Jef Aérosol





Jef Aérosol was born in Nantes (France, 1957) and has been living and working in Lille since 1984. He is a stencil artist, one of the main technique used by the first generation of street artists who started working on the outdoor in the early 80s - making the streets a free and open exhibition arena. Jef sprayed his first stencil way back in 1982, in the city of Tours. He portrays intimacy like no other, catching the truth of an instant. Jef has cut and sprayed stunning portraits of cultural icons or anonymous people all over the world. He remains a reference and an influence among street artists of the younger generations. His works have been widely published and exhibited worldwide.










Hi Jef Aérosol, today MoW has selected eight of your artworks inspired by music. Can you tell MoW why you chose to create artworks inspired by music?

Hi MoW. I chose to create artworks inspired by music because music and visual arts have always been intermingled in my life. I started playing the guitar at the age of 12 and, so far as I can remember, I've always painted.

The reason why I chose to represent theses musicians is primarily a combination of circumstances. For example, Bowie being English (sadly recently passed away) and as I was going to Brighton. I chose this stencil to honor Bowie and found this shop called Ziggy, so it was the perfect match. I usually make my characters alive and reborn through my travels and unusual encounters.

Do you have a favorite piece between the ones presented today?

Nope, I refuse to favor or prefer a piece among all the ones I've painted so far. My favorite one might be the next !

Why is music important to you, in your life and in your art? 

Being born in the 50s means being a teenager in the 60s. I was very lucky to grow up at a time when so much was going on in terms of cultural and social changes. The rock and pop revolution had a tremendous influence on me at the time and I'm still pretty much under that influence today. As I said before, music and visual arts have always been intermingled in my life. So it's quite natural that music and musicians are still extremely present in my art today.

Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by music/musicians ?

Even though I also paint a lot of anonymous characters, I never seem to get sick or tired of painting portraits of musicians, so I guess there will be some more in the future, yep.

Can you tell Mow more about your techniques and how long does it takes you to make an artwork?

My technique ? I'm a stencil artist. It means that I spraypaint through stencils cut out in card or paper. How long it takes ? This is not important, only the result matters...

Watch Live Performance JEF AEROSOL - Joe Strummer - Espace Pierre Cardin Paris 2013 below

Do you listen to music when your working ?

I listen to music, I also listen to the silence a lot. And I listen to the radio quite a lot too. 

I listen to all kinds of music : classical, jazz, blues, soul, rythm'n'blues, folk, rock, psychedelic, punk, pop, garage, sixties obscure nuggets, traditional, bluegrass, cajun, country, irish, fado, flamenco, african, funk, chanson française, boogie, rockabilly, new wave, experimental, etc...

What is the song you liked the most lately? 

'Tangerine' by Christophe (featuring Alan Vega)

What album ?

Christophe : "Les vestiges du Chaos"

What was the last gig you went to ?

Iggy Pop (Grand Rex, Paris)

Are you a musician yourself? 

Yes I am.

 Could you tell us more about your music.

I've played in various bands : rock, folk, irish trad, acoustic pop... Music has always been part of my life. I stopped playing in bands about 10 years ago, mainly because rehearsing, touring and recording is very time-demanding. But I still play now and then. Last time was a couple of days ago, with my brother Bernard Perroy and my friend Henry Padovani, at the opening of my exhibition at Maison Elsa Triolet-Aragon.