Get Your Hands Dirty: An Interview with the Dirty Hands Crew

Bahrain Confidential explores the mind of the artists behind the ‘Dirty Hands Crew’.

Did you study art formally? Tell us about your education and training.

Kojak: Some of us did but most of us didn’t. I, personally did not study art formally, I’m a self taught artist who grew up in an environment where hip hop, graffiti, and break dance were a big part of everyday life and I fell in love with it. I started practicing and sketching on paper until I developed my own style and then started painting on walls.

Tell us more about your collaboration, how did it come about?

Kojak: We all knew each other prior to becoming a crew, some of us were close friends even. I always wanted for us to team up and collaborate specially since we each have a unique style that matches perfectly with each others styles. I called them up and they all loved the idea and were so positive and excited of working together and its been a delight working as a crew since then.

Marylou: Our collaboration is about sharing, love and passion of art. We were initially friends and meet many times saying we have to work together because were lucky to share the same passion.

Mustafa: We were all friends to begin with and I have admired their work and dedication to their craft. I was waiting for the chance to collaborate on a project together and true enough, there came a project that gave us the freedom to paint together.

Sarah: I always wanted to work with Mustafa – he told me to push my travel tickets to do this awesome thing, and I met these awesome people. This is my all time favorite collaboration so far.

Arnaud: We saw each other doing a project in a different part of the island. From there, we really wanted to work together and the magic just happened!

Why ‘Dirty Hands Crew’? What’s the inspiration behind this?

Marylou: We initially joked about never having clean hands throughout the week! We always got splashes of paint on our hands, even when we thought it’s all gone! However, it came as a nice metaphor as each one of us being the five fingers of the hand, bound together!

Can you describe your artistic process? How do you know when an artwork is finished?

Arnaud: An artwork is never finished! It’s like a song – you can always improve or modify it. One day you’ll do it jazzy and the next day you want it to sound more hardcore; it’s the same with cuisine. I believe that perfection doesn’t exist!

Mustafa: It all depends on the project really. It’s different all the time. At times, it’s a very straight forward approach so I sketch, fill and detail. Other times, it’s all about improvising and letting the artwork evolve as it pleases.

Which part of Bahrain is your favourite and why?

Kojak: I would have to say that Bahrain’s charm is in its people. I was so impressed with the amount of support and positive feedback we received from everyone here! People are so welcoming to new things and are very acceptant of other cultures, its amazes me.

Sarah: In my opinion, locations in Bahrain are not as important as its people. Honestly, it is the people you meet and have a connection with that is my favorite part of Bahrain.

Dirty Hands Crew is composed of five talented artists: Kojak, Marylou, Mustapha, Arnaud and Sarah.
IG: @dirty.hands.crew