Graffiti artist SOAP takes images into hyperreality

Most graffiti that we witness day-to-day resembles schoolboy scrawl hurriedly finished before being busted by the teacher. But Polish-born Adam Klodzinski, aka SOAP, takes the art form into hyperreality, with photo-realistic images of anything from celebs like Rihanna and Naomi Campbell to abstracted montages and urban landscapes.

Whatever the project, the self-taught artist always includes his perspective-skewing trademark tag – or self-portrait — that he refers to as “Little Adam”. Metro chats to SOAP – whose debut exhibition opens in London this week – about run-ins with the cops and why he would like to take his canvas to a politically controversial place.

Graffiti artists normally have to keep an eye out for the boys in blue. Have you had any close calls?

Back in the day, I used to graffiti trains and in some other illegal places and we were always chased by police. And this one time, they were shooting at me – it was crazy, man [Laughs].

Really? Sounds a bit over the top.

Yeah, because I was running so quickly that they couldn’t stop me, so they started shooting in the air. But they couldn’t catch me anyway. It wasn’t a nice experience and I didn’t want to get shot for art.

That’s understandable. Why is it that some artists still prefer to paint illegally?

Well, it’s the choice of the artist. I’ve got friends who paint similar stuff to me but they don’t feel the need to be famous or make money from it. I loved doing it and wanted to make a living from it. It’s lifestyle but for other artists it’s about the adrenaline — it’s like doing a bungee jump.

In the past, you’ve created images of celebrities, so have you thought about doing something fun with politicians?

I would like to do a controversial exhibition that covers some of history’s craziest leaders. Politicians run our world and I think art is a form of expression that they can’t touch.

Which politicians would you like to ridicule?

The most dirty ones! Vladimir Putin or George Bush, the annoying ones.

How would you mock them?

I would turn Putin into a ballerina — he would love that [chuckles]. And I heard that George Bush is part of an odd Masonic-style sect that prays to an owl. So I would like to paint him in an owl onesie. I thought that would be quite cool.


Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.


Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.


SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…


3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…