Like all of you, captured in your own tower under Corona quarantine, here at the Berlin Mafia editorial desk we also miss the feeling of the streets, hanging around Kotti or Friedrichshain on a lazy afternoon, drinking beers in the local späti before partying or simply walking around the corner. But certainly something our gang miss the most is the opportunity to see some fresh new street art. Berlin holds the title of East Europe’s Graffiti Capital, and like any other modern city around it’s walls are in constant change, sprayed, painted, tagged, pasted and marked by thousands of street artist that live in the capital of Germany.
Berlin Mafia want to pay homage to all those Street artist living in Berlin, those who are part of this big urban gallery; and we do it by starting a series of blogposts about many of them, today, a close friend to our editorial Godfather: Riser 61.
“Hi, my tag is Riser and 61 is my crew!”
Why Riser 61?
“My first tag was Johnny5 taken from the cult 80s movie “Short Circuit”. After writing this name for a year or so, I had to make it a little shorter… for obvious reasons… so my new name became Jone, which I wrote till 6 years ago. “
After that “Jone” decided to change his name again, something that it’s very regular in the street art world, as street artist try to keep their identity as secret as possible. “I started writing Riser
because it has a nice sound and meaning. But i always liked variety so I may be writing something new in no time!”
I met Riser working together last year, we used to offer some stencil workshops and guided walks around Berlin and for some months we were walking big groups of tourist as a couple almost daily. It was during one of those days that we started to paint together and I realise the amazing style of Riser, classic and modern typography creation, he can paint characters and cartoons that come from his head to the wall in seconds, with out even drafting them.
“My lettering style in the graffiti terms would be something between classic wildstyle and funky. But i never liked terms and i never liked to stick in one specific ‘style’. My greatest inspiration has always been comics and more specifically I love the 70s and 80s stuff from the states and Japan. My characters play between the American style lines and the Japanese dynamics.
How long have you been in Berlin?
“I moved in Berlin in 2010, when Berlin was already an ‘old thing’ for the locals. I immediately loved the city and its vibe but mostly I liked the feeling of freedom one gets in Berlin.”
Riser comes from the south of Europe, and like any other artist, felt in love with Berlin Street Style quite fast.
I asked him to share some of his favourite street artist in Berlin, but to be fear that’s a hard question:
“Berlin has a lot to offer in Graffiti and the list of Artists would be really really long.
Let’s say I get inspired from innovators like Riots1394
or great stylewriters like Dejoe
Many Graffiti artist keep a Black Book with their drafts, could we see yours?
I don’t really keep a Black book. I paint on what I find in the moment. I have friends that keep sketches from 25 years ago and I truly envy them for the commitment. I wish I had their patience!!