Interview with Kaff-eine

After the Funeral, ink on cafe wall, Brunswick July 2012

Kaff-eine is another of my favourite Melbourne street artists. Since first discovering Kaff’s characters pasted in Melbourne’s alleyways, I quickly fell in love with her work.

Kaff-eine paints using a number of different media, including aerosol, pigment ink, watercolor and acrylic paint. Her characters light up drab grey walls and alleys and bring real character to Melbourne’s streets. Her characters evoke emotion and feeling, in particular the sorrowful character cradling a dying swan is one of my favourite works!

‘Reveal’, aerosol + acrylic paint on cardboard February 2012

Kaff-eine has been part of numerous group shows, and has her first ever solo show opening in November called “Boneyard” at “Just Another Project Space” in Prahran. I can’t wait!

I caught up with Kaff-eine a few weeks ago and had a great chat. Here’s some of what we talked about:

LM: Tell me about your background. How did you get into street art? 

Kaff-eine: I’d stopped drawing a decade beforehand. I was at Uni, discovering new street art all around Melbourne as I went to and from Uni, but never thinking about painting myself. Then I met a new bunch of friends who really encouraged me to get back into drawing, and a couple were into street art, so I thought about drawing again, kind of followed my street artist friends around, tried it and loved it. It changed the way I saw urban spaces, and my own artwork. I started pasting my work up, but discovered that I preferred to paint directly onto surfaces. So I’ve been doing it ever since.

A Funeral in December, aerosol on disused shop wall, Brunswick July 2012

LM: What does your name mean? 

Kaff-eine: Aw it’s pretty basic. Everyone who knows me knows that caffeine is my drug of choice. So I tweaked the name a bit, and used it. Without caffeine there’s no Kaff-eine! And the hyphen works too, I think in German it translates as something like ‘coffee one’. So yep, that’s suitable too.

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