About a year ago now I found myself sitting in the rain on an overturned shopping trolley in Oxford St, Sydney, speaking with the French letter magician Horfé. It was a strange situation, just minutes before the opening of the group show that would mark his Australian gallery debut. It’s a big transition from bombing the Parisian cityscape to playing host to Sydney’s investment art types and Horfé’s naturally restless demeanour was amplified by the anticipation of the impending crowd. In between trying to clear raindrops out of my recorder we spoke about his rapidly untangling ideas that form the conceptual basis for his personal take of graffiti that is just as indebted to Dali as it is Dondi.
So you’ve been working within the gallery recently?
I started to in March  ’cause someone offered me the opportunity to do it in Paris where I’ve been painting the streets for years. Then I started like this and it worked pretty well, so I decided to continue. Then after that I tried to imagine something interesting, something with many many subjects in it. So I did a couple of drawing and tried to make something with many many subjects in it, different things that I like. Then I transform them, stretch them, paint them, or black and white them. And yeah, that’s the show.
How long have you been painting for?
I’ve done graffiti for twelve years, and I’ve been drawing for four years.
So you’ve got a pretty huge international reputation, I’d put that down in part to the internet as much as anything because it gives people that sort of global access. What are your thoughts on that?
I don’t know, I think the scene around graff is that there has been too much about graffiti writers who use tons of colours in their pieces, and they’ve made so many many pieces everywhere. If you just do it simply how people like graff, meaning illegal, straight street graff, simple one colour impact. That’s what I started to do in Paris seven years ago when I started to find my own style. Well I tried, I didn’t really succeed, but I tried. And I think people looked at my work and put pictures on the internet because there is a good impact. And every time I’m doing something, I’m doing a series, it’s like I find something that works and it’s like my drawings, I’m stretching it and doing all different versions of it, and then I do something else.
Do you consider yourself an influence? Do you care what people think?
No, I realise that I was influencing people, but I don’t know, I’ve been influenced too. Thanks to media things I’m a kind of a reference of my generation. And it’s also because I work a lot at what I do and my things are also very accessible, you can find them easily in the streets.
You’ve painted a lot with Roids and your style always seem to work with each other, even though you’re both so different. How do you manage that?
Yeah we’re very different. But actually for me it’s not really a question of style. I don’t really appreciate painting with someone that looks more like me than another guy, it’s just a feeling and I really like to paint with [Roids] because he’s searching his own codes too. And we both have a lot of influences from other things than graff, we like to talk about films and details from books and artists that we both like. That’s why I really enjoy painting with him, and I’m really happy to work with him. He’s exactly my age and totally on the other side of graff that I could have chosen too. We have a lot of things in common and we can be a good combination.
You’re known so much for your street work, when you put your stuff in the gallery are you looking for recognition from the art world or are your shows just for writers?
I think a will for recognition – you have to say yes for sure. Because when you do things in the street you want it, but you also want other people to see it inside of the game of graff, to show the other graff writers that you are here for good. But if I show some things in a gallery it’s because I prefer to have not so much money and show in galleries than work for some bullshit company and have people always tell you what to do and never take any risks. I take my own risks, and if people with galleries want to work with me then it gives me another layer of production of what I like to do. Drawings, paintings, making experiences, meeting people. And like you say, if I’m famous for the street part it’s because I worked hard for it. I’m pretty much happy to be able to work in a gallery because it’s totally another atmosphere to be able to work on something else. So it’s linked, because I have the same lines in my drawings, but I’d almost never do in the streets something that is in here, and I’ll never do a throw-up on a canvas.
You’ve travelled a lot, any favourite cities to paint in?
Paris. It’s good to be home. I have a lot of countries to discover still, and there are a lot of cultures that likes way graff more than Paris but it’s so good to be home and know that you’re doing it in a city that you’ve been in since you were a kid. I didn’t discover graffiti through traveling, I discovered graffiti in my city and the roots there are exactly what’s good for graff. It’s illegal, and when you get caught there you don’t get persecuted like crazy like years of jail or whatever, it’s a good scene there.
What’s next? I think it’s continuing to do what I like, trying to get money where it is, and keep doing projects with my friends and people that I like, and I hope to be able to reach people. I want to turn over to a new page, that’s what’s next.