Introducing MIKAEL BRANDRUP aka KETS X Interview & Photos

Since many years we supply and support the ROSKILDE FESTIVAL Graffiti Camp with Premium Spraypaint! This years artists and guests are slowly arriiving and we will report from there with a few big updates, photos and videos. One artist who is about to paint there is MIKAEL BRANDRUP aka KETS, a Danish visual artist, graphic designer, and entrepreneur who lives in Los Angeles. MIKAEL B  has exhibited at galleries in Europe and the United States such as Taglialatella Galleries, Gregorio Escalante Gallery, Corey Helford Gallery, and Gabba Gallery. He works in both the fine art world and in the urban contemporary genres.

We took the chance to have a conversation with him while staying in Europe through his participation at the RF GRAFF ROSKILDE FESTIVAL Graffiti Camp!

Please introduce yourself, where you from and how you stepped into graffiti art?

I'm Mikael B also know as Kets. I'm originally from Copenhagen but I moved to LA 5 years ago.

Growing up in the 80's and 90's I got obsessed with the hip hop culture including everything from graffiti, breakdancing, MC'ing and DJ'ing.

I've been drawing since I could hold a pen and seeing all the graffiti blowing up in Copenhagen in the 90's inspired me to start experimenting with spray cans and letter styles my self. After drawing tons of letter sketches in the year 2000 I painted my first graffiti piece and I haven't stopped since. Graffiti became a very important part of my life, couldn't live without it.

What does graffiti art and the movement means to you?

Ever since I started painting graffiti in 2000 I always had in my mind to show people that graffiti is so much more than letters, characters and vandalism in the city. I didn't want people only to associate graffiti with vandalism, I got tired of hearing that. However that fact gives the graffiti movement it's own unique raw and fascinating story that is unlike any other art form. And that's also one of the reasons why graffiti is growing everyday. It's a newer art form that inspires new genres. You can say post graffiti that leads to urban contemporary.

Graffiti means everything to me. I'm super proud to represent and contribute to the movement. It's my mission to keep going and keep showing that graffiti is the most interesting and authentic art form. Seeing the graffiti on the streets getting into galleries and museums and also making it's way into international brand campaigns and playing vital roles in the commercial world makes me proud. That's what I'm fighting for. I want to open new doors and create new opportunities for artists like me and the upcoming ones.

Do you had any masters back then starting with graffiti?

The first writers I came to know that inspired me was Bates, Swet, CMP, CanTwo and Dare. 

What´s your favorite colors?

Aaaahhh man it changes everyday! These days I'm using a lot of neon colors especially fluorescent magenta.

When you decided to go out of the comfort zone, changing formats and medias such as canvas?

Six years ago I took one of the biggest decisions in my life - it was actually a whole string of life changing decisions.

I wanted to sell my design agency which I had with my brother. And I wanted to dedicate all my time to my art and start up my own art brand (Mikael B. Inc) including my studio practice to do canvas works, sculptures and more. AND I wanted to move to other side of the world and live my dream. 

How much graffiti nowadays is in your current artworks? 

Maybe you don't see the graffiti in my canvas pieces at first glance. But for every single piece I create I think graffiti. Having that that graffiti background helps me with everything from composition, color schemes, flow and balance. Especially the overall flow - the swinging and the bending that also represents my letter style.

How you would describe your art in terms of genres and style?

The style that I have developed is a mix of my graffiti and graphic design background. Those two creative worlds slowly melted together into what defines my signature style today. I call it post graffiti and urban contemporary.

What´s your idea to paint at Roskilde Festival 2019?

This year I'm a part of the big curated single walls (10x4m) which gives me the opportunity to do a more conceptual mural.

You will see my signature geometric mural style with some elements and even some canvas brush details - but all with spray paint.

Energetic but still calm. Colorful but with loads of grey and earth tones to make my favorite neon colors pop.

Thanks for the interview!

It was my pleasure!

Check out his wall at this years ROSKILDE FESTIVAL and some more graffiti, mural and fine art works below in the gallery section!