You have a cool new series of tees with us that dropped worldwide this past weekend, explain the idea behind the designs:
It was a concept to work with the KIKSTYO season theme “BACK TO SCHOOL” …like when I was younger, scribbling in my book during a boring history lesson. Something I think we all did at school! The series is called REWRITE HISTORY for that reason…just imagining icons we all learn about…but drawn to be rocking sneakers! I enjoyed this project a lot ‘cos it really took me back to a great time… young and stupid but with my whole life ahead of me!
Tell us a little bit about your background:
I am born in Johannesburg but I went to school in Cape Town, South Africa, After high school I studied 3D industrial design at college but now I prefer working with 2D graphics & graffiti…I liked doing product design, but its really technical & focused work, graphics more ‘instant’… a more spontaneous kind of creativity you know? I got into customising sneakers as a way to combine my all my interests, then I joined the Sneaker Pimps tour in 2006 and after that I opened SHELFLIFE with my homeboy…which is a sneaker/graffiti store in Cape Town.
Why do you call your self DR.ZVLV?
I started with a graffiti tag “ZULU237″, to me the word ZULU said something about where I was from & what I was about, being that the word has many cultural meanings: The South African tribe, the New York hip-hop movement, plus it has the military function phonetic alphabet Z for ZULU and the time zone, GREENWICH MEANTIME (GMT) is know in the military as: “ZULU TIME”. In the world of graffiti, ZVLV is the military way of writing ZULU. It’s a mechanism for symbolic warfare.
It was when FUTURA2000 called me “Doctor” that I added DR. to my name. Now I am known as DR.ZVLV. all cultures in one statement in reference to me. Its like like multi-layered concept or a mathematic equation. STATED & INDOCTRINATED!
What is your current work for the new people to know Dr. Zvlv?
Well all my work can be described as two sides of the same coin…art vs branding. I try to push the boundaries where they meet. It all depends on which side of the coin you are looking at but really I see it as the same thing…communication on the next level.
How do you describe your style?
I am able to be versatile, using many different styles & tools to design with. I always try to have a strong concept or message… so in a word I guess you could say my style is conceptual.
We know you did work with Rammellzee, how did it come out?
I met Ramm in New York in 2006 when I was on tour with Sneaker Pimps…I tried to get him to paint a pair of kicks but he only wanted to display his alphabetic letter sculptures & perform on stage! He took me to a storage facility uptown where he kept all the sculptures all piled up to the ceiling! It was totally insane… I nearly got stabbed by a falling letter “L”! haha After that we started talking a bit and whatever but it wasn’t until I started building Lego letters that we started working together on an actual IKONKLAST PANZERIST LETTER RACER “D”…then he put me down as a member D-ONE in the TMK/ ALPHAS BET crew. I studied with him for 6 months just before he died…he was an amazing genius & he schooled me! … and in the future, children will learn about RAMMELLZEE in history class!
What are your up coming projects?
I have a sneaker project with PUMA being launched worldwide to list sneaker boutiques. Dropping in August! So watch this space! plus I am working on a digital graffiti project that will cause a major shift in how graffiti is perceived and documented.
What’s your life goal?
Let me answer that by saying I want to travel as much as possible by doing what I love to do. Everything else is a byproduct. Simple!
How do you view the world with all that is going on now?
Its change…not good, not bad either, just change! …we are tiny microbes in this infinite and powerful universe… so buckle your seat-belts this ride is going to get bumpy! but my heart bleeds for people that are affected by it…truly upsetting what happened in Fukushima!
Would you give us some message to Japanese fans and those through out the world as well.
DR.ZVLV stands for culture and races for thunder. Seek and you shall find…the rabbit hole leads from the subways into in the sky. No brakes on this train ….by design!!!
The International Exclusive KIKS TYO x DR.ZVLV “REWRITE HISTORY” Series is Available Now: