Brussels-based Grégory Decock first canvassed the streets of Marseille at the age of sixteen. When he moved to Brussels, he started drawing and painting on signs, boards and asphalt. To celebrate 10 years of sign-pimping activities, we had a talk with Gregory about Situationist inspiration, diversity as Brussels’ forte and sharing poetry with the people.
Order our latest edition and get one of the few remaining special edition made by Gregory “The 25 Brussels facades vandalised by their owners”.
When and where did you begin painting in the streets?
It was in 1995, in Marseille, when I was about16 years old. I mainly did it in empty factories around my neighbourhood.
“Tout doit disparaître”, 2012, Paris.
How come you’re attracted to the streets?
Maybe it has to do with the fact that it is a common space. It belongs to the people, to everyone. It’s the best way to share poetry with the people.
“La montée d’adrénaline”, Brussels. 2011
Did you have any artists that you looked to for inspiration?
When in need of inspiration, I look at the history of art. The Situationists, for example, which I really discovered through Greil Marcus’ book, “Lipstick Traces.” And I’m hugely inspired by Francis Alÿs too.
“No Way”, Etangs d’Ixelles, Flagey, Brussels, collaboration with Sébastien Bonin, 2010
How would you define your practice today?
It’s a multidisciplinary practice: anything is possible. I’m not limited to resources of meaterial. I’m always trying to find a better way or form to speak, to interact with the context and surroundings of the place where I’m doing an action.
“Resist in Peace”, 2007, Bruxelles
What influences and shapes your work on a daily basis?
Reading and walking in the streets.“Un passage piéton pour le livre des records”, Arles, France, Collaboration with Guillaume Delaunay and Thomas Bouffier, 2010.
You’re marking your 10 years in the game with a t-shirt. Anything else planned?
Perhaps a website and a book.
“Gazon Maudit”, Parc de Forest, Brussels, collaboration with Hugues Maréchal (Bad Beuys Entertainment), 2008.
If you had to pinpoint one event that marked your last 10 years, what would it be?
It would be finishing my Hollywood project with Pierre de Belgique: a bunch of postcards sent from L.A. to each apartment of the Hollywood building in the Marolles. The postcards have a picture of their respective building taken by a tourist. And there is a book too.
“Hollywood”, Place Poelaert, Brussels, collaboration with Pierre de Belgique, 2011.
ECHO, Scrubbed algaes Venise, 2011
How would you compare the local scene in Brussels to those in other European countries?
Brussels’ force lies in its diversity. After two days in town you can feel local, because everybody is completely different. For me, every passerby is also a big part of the local scene.
“Gardez la Monnaie”, La Monnaie – Royal opera house of Brussels, collaboration with Jérôme Vallin, 2008.
How do your parents see what you do?
They thinks it’s fun.
Office inventory project, 2010
To what extent is the illegal component of what you do something you take into consideration?
From my part, taking a risk is the price to pay to feel freedom.