The most famous french book “Paris Tonkar” will be soon reedited. I wanted to know more about this project and interview one of the author of the third worlwide graffiti book: Tarek Ben Yakhlef.
Tarek you are one of the authors of the most famous French graffiti book. How do you were connected with the graffiti and why did you choose to present this art on a book?
Sorry for my English, but I’ll try answering clearly and explaining my story. Well, I discovered graffiti art in London subway during my first travel in this country in 1986. I was living in Brixton and the subway line near my house was fully painted by writers. I don’t remember which writers were in this area but I was very impressed by them style and it was for me the first time that I observed this kind of graffiti in subway. I was young in 1986 (15 years old) and for me graffiti wasn’t visible in subway. In Paris, after my journey in London (one week alone to discover the city and all subway’s line), I tried to do like English writers on my books and few times in my street. At the beginning, I was alone and after a few weeks with one of my friend, we practice in the subway (only a few times) and always more in the street. Three years later, I decided to write a book about this art because I need to speak on graffiti not like a graffiti writer but like an author. I love art and I need to write to feel good. So, I start to take pictures in French subway, on RER line, in city and suburbs with Sylvain Doriath who was a writer. With him, I met a lot of writers and after that the adventure of Paris Tonkar began ! My experience and my desire to write a book became the first French book on graffiti and first one in Europe. I was 19 years old. read more