Uncapped: For Whom it Tolls, Japan’s BELX2

Posted on: August 27th, 2015 at 9:33 am by
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This lady is so dope. I barely know how to introduce her, so how about a huge Uncapped welcome to BELX2. Straight from Japan. It’s about to get a little tricky up in here. (I’ve left the Japanese lettering so friends in Japan can enjoy as well.); translation here we go…

BOWERY BOOGIE: BELX2, thank you so much for joining us. We definitely have a challenge with the language barrier, but the art helps tell the story. First off, everyone’s fave – can you tell us where you got your name? どこで名前を得たの?

BELX2: 私の本名から。日本語の鈴は英語でBELL→BELLはLが2つあるから、BELx2。ゴッドファーザー(命名した人)はJELLOとANSERというoldskoolのgraffiti writers. 彼らは私と日本の初期graffiti sceneの師匠だった。

This art name is based from my real name. My real name has SUZU(鈴) in it, and what SUZU means in English is BELL. Since {bell} spells with double L , then my name turns out like BEL x 2 (L times twice).The persons who named my art name are JELLO and ANSER, who are my mentors.

BB: For whom it tolls. Your style is so unique; the female characters you paint are seriously bad ass. That said, how would you describe your style? あなたのスタイルを説明するとしたら、どんな?

BX: 古い。lol 女の子とかのスタイルは95年から throwupやレター、ピエロのスタイルは98年から始めた。私はoldskoolや、NYCスタイルのレターが大好きで たくさん見てきた。女の子とかのスタイルは、それに影響を受けた. 他に強い影響を受けたのは、Frank Frazzetaのart bookだ。なぜなら4歳から12歳までの唯一の楽しみだったから。

My style is old school. Started letter style from ’95 and clown style from ’98 I really love the old school and NYC graffiti letter. I got a lot of influence from B-boy character and NYC graff letter style. I was looking at the book of paintings of Frank Frazetta from 4 to 12 years old.

BB: Frank Frazetta, pioneering illustrator of sci-fi and comics. I can see how your work reflects that. For those who are not familiar with Brooklyn’s own Frazetta – here is some of his art with a link to the museum dedicated to his work… 

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BB: What is the scene like in Japan? 日本のシーンの好きなところは?

BX: まだ少ない。しかし成長はしている。
It is still little, but it is growing.

BB: You art will definitely impact the scene’s growth. Must be flattering, although do you have trouble now being part of such a small group of female writers?  少ない女性ライターの1人という事で、苦労(問題)はありますか?

BX:  私は缶を持って街に立つ時、女性であることを考えない。なぜならそれは邪魔だからです。
過去にgraffiti woman bookに誘われたのも断った。描いてる時の私は男だから。
20年前にそれに気付いた。

When I have a can in my hand in the street, I don’t see myself as a woman. Why so? Because it is annoying. In the past, I have been invited by the women graffiti book, and I rejected the invitation. When I draw, I am a man. I realized this 20 years ago.

BB: Wow. That kind of segregation exists here as well, but definitely not to that extent. The female graff writers are generally well-respected and recognized. Hopefully, one day you can feel comfortable drawing as a woman. Have you been to NY? I see you have collaborated with NY writers – tell us who and how that came about? NYに行ったことありますか?私はNYのライターとのコラボ作品を見たことがありますが、誰と、そして行ったきっかけは?

BX: . 私はNYCに一度も行ったことがありません。しかし、行く必要があると思っています。今までにコラボレーションをしたNYCのwriters はOver, Onske, Kepts, YE, NOVER, JN, Joves, KEZ5, Queen Jakee, June457, GL, SMURF, TOTEM2, SKEME, RF, JR, SPIN, Cistone, madone, DOSER, NEVER…
コラボレーションをした理由は、お互いにloveだから。誘ったり誘われたり色々です。

No, I haven’t been to New york yet. But I think there is a need to go. I have been invited to work with a lot of writers from New York such as Over, Onske, Kepts, YE, NOVER, JN, Joves, KEZ5, Queen Jakee, June457, GL, SMURF, TOTEM2, SKEME, RF, JR, SPIN,Cistone, madone, DOSER, NEVER…

BB: Nice! Bring yo butt over here, woman! The answer to this next question might change after you come to NYC! We can be a bad influence. :)  Where and what have you tagged that looking back was probably not your best decision…

BX: 年前に、私は日本の神社と街路樹にタギングをした。その後すぐにガンになった。私は自然の物にタギングしないと決めた。自然を大切にしましょう。笑

16 years ago, I did graffiti tagging on the Japanese temples and street trees. Immediately after, it became a cancer [visually]. I decided not to tag the things in the mother nature. Let’s treasure mother nature.

BB: Temples? Girl. Bad idea and yes, agreed. We don’t treasure Mother Nature enough. Glad you grew from that experience. I want a Bel X original! Do you do commissioned pieces? 個人的にBELXの作品が欲しい!!作成依頼は受けてるの?

BX:  サポートをどうもありがとう。作成依頼も受け付けている。何故なら成長に繋がることがあるから。

Thank you for your support. I do the commissioned pieces. I like the new challenge because it will stimulate and help me to have new growth on my graffiti.

BB: That chick with the red hair and black nails- favorite for sure. 
それは、私のポートレートみたいな赤毛で黒いネールのキャラね!!
わたしのもの!!ウインク

BX: . ありがとう。私も赤毛と黒のネイルは好き。あと、シャープな女性も。(wink) lol yea. I also love the red hair and black nail and barbed lady too (wink)!

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BB: What is the Sakuragi Hall of Fame? And the Joe Conzo expo. “Born in the Bronx” in Tokyo?
桜木町はどんなですか?それと、Joe Conzoの展示会 ”born in the Bronx” は、東京で開催されるの?

BX:  桜木町は無くなった。私はbuffの復讐の為に横浜に引っ越した。born in the Bronxは2006年に東京の青山で開催された。その時にライブペイントを依頼され、引き受けた。
彼の写真はとてもクールだった。
Sakuragi is gone. I’m in Yokohama for revenge. “Born in the Bronx, It was held in Tokyo Aoyama in 2006. I was invited to live paint.

BB: Like 5 PTZ gone? That’s too bad. So the famed photographer of the Cold Crush Crew, among others, had an expo. in Tokyo and you were a featured guest? That is quite an honor. BX STAND UP!

Tell me about Suima and Kepts? Are they part of your crew?SuimaとKeptsについて教えて欲しいんだけど、彼らはあなたのクルーの一員?

BX: うん、彼らはNFGの家族だ。
しかし彼らのことは彼らに聞いて。(ウィンク)
Yes, They are all part of NFG family. But if you want to know about them, you need to ask them.

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 BB: Fair enough. Where can people follow your work? どのソーシャルメディアであなたとコンタクト取れる?

BX: インスタグラム
instagram: @belx2_1993

BB: BELX2 – ありがとう (Arigatou = thank you). This was challenging, but definitely worth it. For all y’all who worked your way through the Hiragana and Kanji– welcome to the gallery and kudos for making it this far. 

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