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When we caught up with DMOTE in Newtown last year, we had a little chin wag over a few pots of Resch’s at Earls Juke Joint and talked about the neighbourhood where he lives these days in Brooklyn. The main topic of conversation was about a game at his local bar, The Diamond, called shuffleboard.
So it was fitting that this time around we met up over in Brooklyn. After a tour of his neighbourhood and a few rooftop adventures, we ended up back at The Diamond, being given a quick tutorial on the rules of shuffleboard before a marathon session.
Besides being a stand up and solid dude, DMOTE is also a staple figure in the graffiti landscape. DMOTE helped to build a scene in Australia that has become infamous around the world.
Through combining his graffiti roots with a fine art approach, DMOTE has had an amazing journey through his career. From the early days of graffiti writing back in 1985, to travelling the world and working with other artists along the way, to being creative director at RVCA and recently releasing the book Dmote I’m over Here, which gives the reader a glimpse into his world.
“The graffiti writing subculture isn’t easily digested by the mainstream. The actions and movements of those involved are internal and directed only at our peers and our shared ethos and intentions are very rarely discussed outside this tight group. Our lifestyle is diverse and undefined; we are ageless, without specific race or gender and not determined by economic backgrounds, nationality or geography. We are unconventional travellers. The one thing that levels and unites us is the love to write our names again and again both locally and internationally. This project is a glimpse of my travels, friendships, style and shows a momentary escape from my daily life.”
DMOTE gives us the local rundown of his neighbourhood and the best ways to experience NYC:
One of my favourite things to do to take in the city, is to grab a six pack and watch the sun go down over the East River, best vantage points to do this is Transmitter Street Park Wharf or hitting up a rooftop by the water in Greenpoint is not a bad a view either.
If you wanna look at graffiti, Morgan St L stop is probably the best but really the best graffiti in New York is everywhere so look up and around to find a gem.
Another great way to see what the real New York looks like is to jump on board the 7 train or the 4 train and ride it to the end of the line and back, both elevated tracks that have plenty to look at either side.
Coney Island is still a great place and always interesting to take stroll around in winter.
Also New York has the best art to see for free in the world so Chelsea and LES are great places to start looking, all government museums like the MET, BROOKLYN, MCNYC are donation based, however they don't advertise it but if you offer they take it, enjoy!
DMOTE continues to be a great innovator of the graffiti subculture.
Great catching up with this legend and thanks for the tips on shuffleboard, I’ll get you next time!
Photographs by Sebastian Montalvog