Behind Enemie Lines
RISE has often been described as the ‘Banksy of Newport’ but in truth, Enemie is much more deserved of the title in terms of style, subject and delivery.
He’s been painting his humourous and anti-establishment messages around the streets in the ‘Port for years, bringing equal parts joy and ire (dependant on your view of street art).
After doing a google search to find out more about the artist, it’s clear he has had a few brushes with the law in the past - and not all to do with painting related activities. Whilst I don’t condone his non-artistic activities, we think it’s important to find out a bit more on the individual before drawing up any pre conceptions and conclusions.
So I reached out to him for a brief online chat, about as face to face as anonymous street artists go, to better understand the person under the hood and what motivates him.
JF: What is the aim of ‘Enemie’?
Enemie: No aim really. it’s like a hobby, some people play football some people take photos of trains, I paint walls.
JF: How did you get into painting on walls?
Enemie: I got bored of paper I like working on a big scale.. so walls seemed the next best thing.
JF: Where do you get the inspiration for you images?
Enemie: Where ever, books newspapers, sometimes just things I see everyday, or something someone says mostly I look at other stencil artists work and get ideas from artists like, dolk, banksy , pobel e.t.c.
JF: So would you say your painting is art or graffiti?
Enemie: Artificial graffiti 😏
JF: I’m a massive fan of your poppy soldier piece up by the handpost. Is there a story behind it?
Enemie: I got a lot of respect for the soldiers that served for our country, people forget to realise how lucky they are, thanks to them, I did it for Poppy Day last year sometime a little sign of respect, to show that not all graffiti has to be negative not all graffiti is Sarah loves John scribbled on a wall somewhere, 👌👍
JF: Haha. But I do love John 😉
JF: You’ve had a few brushes with the law in the past relating to your street art. Being a little older do you regret any of your actions?
Enemie: No, I have never been arrested for graffiti my me and my mate got caught a few years ago. We were painting over by Pill, a police car came round the corner and I got away on a bike. He stayed and took the rap for me, but still I regret nothing.
JF: What does Newport mean to you?
Enemie: Everything, Newport city is my roots it’s everything I know.
JF: If you could change one thing in the city, what would it be?
Enemie: The weather 😊
JF: Any big plans for 2018?
Enemie: Just working on some new projects, I like to keep busy 👍
JF: Do you have any pieces for sale if so where can people get hold of them?
Enemie: No, I’ve sold bits before, I don’t like selling the work I do. I don’t know why but I hate making money from painting”. Even if I sold my best piece for a tenner that took me 3 days to to I still feel like I’m getting too much, almost like a daylight robbery.
JF: Thanks for your time
Enemie: No probs mate, been a pleasure. 👍
I can only speak for the experiences I have had with Enemie. Through our online conversations and he has always been polite and forecoming. Whilst I can’t justify some of his actions, there is no doubt in my mind that this is a person that lives for his art. I for one am looking forward to seeing more of his work in 2018.
You can see more of his work on the streets of Newport or online at https://www.instagram.com/enemie_npt