EGS Interview

EGS (@oldhelsinki) is a self-proclaimed graffiti anthropologist, with works found in over 50 countries all over the world. Starting his graffiti practice in the 80s, he is now the most recognized Finnish graffiti artist. He has sought inspiration in local graffiti scenes worldwide and collected global graffiti folklore for his own art. Vroom & Varossieau Gallery asked the Finnish artist some questions and we talked about his recent activities, inspiration, and work in the Shapeshifters exhibition.

Hi EGS! First of all, how are you and what have you been up to?

EGS: At the moment, I am working with project called This Could Go on Forever for Serlachius Museum in Finland. The This Could Go on Forever collection tells of three-letter journeys in different environments, created with different materials.

A work executed with spray paint on the wall of an Estonian industrial building is documented, and a three-part glass sculpture based on it has been created in Riihimäki. The finished sculpture, in turn, will be taken on my next next trip to Estonia, and a new painting based on it will be created, which will then be documented, and so on. 

This Could Go on Forever consists of a documentary film depicting the process, photographs of graffiti paintings and the three-part glass sculptures based on them.

In your book "EGS: Writing Stories With Three Letters" you mention how you once got inspiration from your old broken fridge to make a glass sculpture. How did you first start working with glass and do you blow them yourself? Do you sometimes make glassworks based on a painting and vice versa?

EGS: I have been working with glass since 2015. I was invited to take part in glass blowing workshop and got hooked on immediatly. I work with 3 blowers at Lasismi in Riihimäki, Finland. I sculpt the hot glass myself while the blowers blow. I sculpt all my own works. And yes, my glass works are often based on my other works graffiti and studio paintings. I have also painted graffiti pieces using glass sculptures as a sketch. 

 "those three letters are still fundamental to my art and the stories I tell."

What other places do you draw inspiration from? A certain period in time, a certain art movement, or do you get inspiration from everything?

EGS: Can a word without a meaning have a message? As an aspiring graffiti artist I began writing meaningless three letter word EGS almost 30 years ago. Whether it is dynamic ink drawings, glass sculptures or a classic graffiti piece, those three letters are still fundamental to my art and the stories I tell. For me it is important to stay anonymous in the digital world. Three letters E, G and S have become my own alphabet that I write stories with.

Travel/maps are a recurring theme in your portfolio. You have placed your iconic letters "EGS" all over the world in any imaginable spot. Which spot has been the most special to you?

EGS: It is hard to choose one. Three most memorable places are Nuuk, Greenland, Tirana, Albania and Ulan Bataar, Mongolia.

The Shapeshifters exhibition includes a wonderful set of works by you: three glass sculptures in front of the "International Pen Pals 3" painting. Could you tell us something about the painting? Where does the title derive from?

EGS: In the late eighties and early nineties I was communicating with other graffiti writers around the world with letters. We posted each other photos and information about our local graffiti scenes. It was very analogue and unique way on communicating.

Do you have any upcoming shows and other future plans?

My solo show ”EGS - This Could Go on Forever” opens at Serlachius Museums in Finland on the 23rd of September. I will show my works with Urban Spree Galerie at the KIAF art fair in Seoul, Korea between 2-5 September, 2022.

It was great to have a talk with EGS and talk about his recent activities, inspirations, and future plans. If you are interested in works by EGS, you can email us at Make sure to follow EGS on the socials to stay up-to-date with everything.