Graffiti is illegal. It costs us honest taxpayers trillions every year to clean up and only bad people do it. One such bad person is Ruby Rain, perhaps better known by her alias ‘FOEPAH’. Ruby is a 19 year old artist from the Blue Mountains who studies at National Art School in Sydney, Australia. She makes a bunch of really beautiful, cheeky, clever things, and some she sticks up in public places without permission. She should be locked up.
DSM: So why do you call yo’self ‘F O E PA H’, when ‘Ruby Rain’ is already such a kickass name?
RR: It basically means ‘a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct’.
Also I liked the sound and look of the word spelt wrong.
DSM: What shit do you love to do and how did you get into it?
RR: I draw and paint and make street art, i.e. paste-ups (essentially, paper works which I glue up on street walls). I originally got into making paste ups purely out of boredom, and a panic to stay productive creatively through my uni year leave. This medium of art-making is extremely satisfying to me.
DSM: Explain your street art. Why do u often choose to paste your art up in public places in dingy urine-stained alleyways instead of shiny galleries?
RR: My graffiti is meant to be (hopefully) visually pleasing and surprising, and a little humorous. I enjoy the weird reactions from people, especially people I don’t know directly. I live in a smallish town, so it’s funny seeing and hearing people’s attitudes towards them.
In painting and drawing I often like working on an already textured surface, so when pasting I find the look of paper-works on brick walls extremely gratifying aesthetically.
‘And who couldn’t find a huge brick wall exciting! Endless possibilities! …Or maybe I’m just a bit of a dweeb…’
DSM: You’re only 19, yet you have a very distinct style. How did u find it, and what kinds of things inspire your art?
RR: I’m not entirely sure, I think my style is just something that has developed through my drawings over time, and through experimentation. It’s sometimes easy to later be embarrassed by my works, after putting them up (obviously very publicly).
‘I’m learning to swallow the shyness and put it out there anyway because it’s something I love doing.’
It’s an art genre/culture I want to be part of. And in the end, I selfishly love seeing my art meshed into an urban environment.
Other street artists have definitely inspired my art. But also the odd local characters in town and people in my day to day life supply a beauty, as well as a humour in their styles and the shit they say, which is a bit fun to throw back at them by sticking up on a wall. Often a little sarcastically.
DSM: What’s the plan for the future with the beautiful shit u do?
RR: I plan on pasting, drawing and painting as much as I can. It’s what I do. Hopefully continue my studying and practicing in fine arts, and annoying locals with random street art for as long as I’m in town, and possibly wherever I venture to next as well.
RR: In the alleys, nooks ‘n crannies of Katoomba!