Last month we took a trip up to Auckland for a catch-up with friends and family, and I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to record some stories in preparation for my return to work this March. As I’ve always loved street and graffiti art, I had the chance to meet the lovely Misha Uteev aka Wert 159. Misha’s a talented graffiti artist (born in Russia and based in Auckland), and his colourful portraiture-style graffiti can be found around New Zealand, Europe (and now Doha too!). He also has an architecture degree which contributes to his unique perspective on graffiti and its function and place in society. I found him to be extremely knowledgeable and passionate about both art forms. And as he took me on a bit of a tour around Auckland’s Karangahape Road he chatted about his background as a graffiti writer, Russia, the difference between street art and graffiti, and his views on graffiti as a medium which benefits society and enhances our urban landscapes.
You can listen to the audio story below. Plus you can also read more about the broader graffiti/street art scene which also features the perspective of Erin Forsyth aka Eyesore in an article that I wrote here.
Misha told me that his inspiration comes through electronic music rather than hip-hop (where graffiti has it’s origins) and referred to Pendulm as one of his favourite artists.