With more than 10 years as a well-known name on the London graffiti scene, INSA has now established himself as an artist in his own right. He has become recognized more recently for his “Graffiti Fetish” work, which explores the idea of graffiti/art as an obsession and uses the traditional fetish image of the stiletto high heel as a recurring motif.
His work has been seen in sold-out exhibitions in London, New York and L.A., and he’s had numerous collaborative projects with selected brands at the forefront of design such as Oki-Ni, Kid Robot and Kangol. INSA speaks to DUB on some of his recent accomplishments. His fetish motif of asses and thighs with high heels has graced the likes of cars, girls, blockbuster movies and sneakers. If there was ever a time to grab some of INSA’s work, it’s now...because next year you won’t be able to afford it!
Location: London, England
DUB: First, where did the name INSA come from?
INSA: It just evolved. I had a few tags as a kid, and this one just stuck. I liked the four letters, and the fact it had no other meaning in English—it’s my very own word.
DUB: When did your art move from walls to other media like sneakers?
INSA: It was quite a long process—painting lots of walls, going to college, getting busted, painting more walls, traveling the world to paint other country’s walls. This was all before I started to think about my work more artistically. It was about five years ago that I first started taking what I had learned from walls and applied it to canvases. I had a load of ideas and concepts that I wanted to work on, and they required more than walls and streets to get them across.
DUB: What’s up with the thighs and asses?
INSA: The thighs and asses all stem from the heels, really. About the time I started to do canvases, I started to put up a heel instead of my tag. I had this concept that writing graffiti was like having a fetish…an INSA-tiable obsession! I had painted some pieces that were INSA spelled out in high heels, and the logo of a high heel represented fetish to me, so I just took the heel and used that. The heels developed into legs in heels with big butts, then masses of legs and heels and butts all wrapping together to make continuous patterns I could cover walls, canvases and objects in.