Meeting Seth

Painter but above all reporter, Seth, a multi-talented street artist, is inspired by his travels to transcribe the poetry of his adventures in the street. Artistik Rezo takes us to meet him.

When and how was “Seth” born, why did you choose this nickname?

I started with the graffiti scene in the 90s. I chose “Seth” because I thought the name had a universal connotation. It is found in many cultures, as the Egyptian god, or the central character of the Bible. The name “Seth” is also pronounced like the number 7 in French, my lucky number.

How did you get into street art? And why painting more precisely?

I come from the graffiti culture, I was watching the development of street art. I traveled to Latin America where I discovered the social dimension of painting in the public space. It is in this perspective that I continued to paint in the street.

Paris 13e © Seth

Where do you find the inspiration for your work?

Like everyone else, I have many influences. My travels, my encounters with artists and craftsmen that I admire around the world have inspired me a lot. My style is the fruit of these years of travel, sharing, discoveries that finally allowed me to discover myself and to do what I do today. I hope that the road is not finished and that I will continue to evolve my style.

Why don’t you show the face of your characters most of the time? What message do you want to convey?

I want to open doors. I want the viewer to ask questions, to identify themselves (hence the absence of faces), to wonder about the meaning of my paintings and to give them their own interpretation. My paintings always have a more or less hidden meaning but it is up to each person to appropriate it (or not).

What is your mode of operation? Are the walls chosen randomly or is the place an extension of the work?

I like to play with the place where I express myself. The wall is as important as the painting. The context and the painting dialogue and respond to each other.

What reactions do you hope to provoke with your work?

I want the viewer to question my paintings. I want them to say not “Oh, how well done” but “What does it mean? Everyone can appropriate my paintings, and interpret them in their own way. That’s the principle of poetry.

You work all over the world, what is your favorite destination for street art?

I don’t have a favorite destination, each trip will bring me a lot of discoveries. I like to be guided by chance.

And which country has enriched you the most?

As far as urban painting is concerned, it was Brazil in the early 2000s. There were paintings everywhere in the street and an incredible urban art scene, from tagging to monumental frescos.

© Seth

How would you describe the current society and how would you like it to evolve?

Frankly, I don’t know. I prefer to turn away from these questions, even if I follow the news very closely. I have my own opinions on this but I prefer not to share them. My work is about imagination and creativity.

Interview by Zoé Lunven

Find Seth on his Instagram, here.