An anonymous tagger known only as Mommas Boy has been leaving his mark all over North and Central Dunedin. Jess Thompson tracked him down.
The moral of meeting Mommas Boy: Never talk to your heroes.
A close friend of mine managed to get me in contact with the infamous Banksy of Dunedin, ‘Mommas Boy <3’. We exchanged a few emails, and the more questions I asked, the deeper my heart sunk. I suppose I should have seen this coming, given his title, but it turns out Mommas Boy is not as spicy as I’d hoped he’d be. He denied it, but I have it on good authority that he’s just some fucking High School kid.
JT: Who is Momma?
MB: Momma is my mother, love her to death.
JT: Do you have Daddy issues?
MB: Not a big fan of my dad haha
JT: Why the broken heart? Are you ok?
MB: I’m a sad boy, broken heart stuff. Also I think that’s what makes the tag stand out. I feel like most taggers around the world want to appear "hard", but I’d rather be like, this is me, I got feelings and shit.
JT: What are your favourite places to tag?
MB: I like to tag in places that people will see, I think thats why a lot of people are noticing my tags. I like high risk high reward, "it might be difficult to tag this spot but heaps of people will see it."
JT: Do you ever do other art? Or is it just Mommas Boy 5eva?
MB: I love all kinds of art (thanks for calling tagging art) I’ve been painting for many years and got a mad passion for music. Right now im planning/working on starting a clothing brand and wanna make some form of an album too.
JT: Why do you do this?
MB: I like being noticed, makes me feel happy when people say stuff like "yooo ive seen that everywhere". Also the thrill is cool, and if you’re going to have a boring blank wall there, why not let other people do what they want with it?
JT: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
MB: It just sorta sums me up. re question 3
JT: What does your mother think of this?
MB: I low key think shes catching on, she’s seen me with markers and spray paint before and asked me questions about "the elusive mommas boy" haha. Still love her to death though.
JT: How do you reach some of the very tall places you tag?
MB: You gotta take some risks, high risk high reward. Although, I have hurt myself before trying to get places.
JT: Have you ever been caught?
MB: Not yet, although at this rate probably at some point. Been eyeing up some walls on the town hall ;)
JT: Where is the very first Mommas Boy graffiti you ever did?
MB: I think by those public toilets near that ski shop ally. Although it took a couple days of tagging to settle on a name.
JT: Do you ever feel bad about vandalising private property?
MB: I will only tag places that dont worry me or I know have money to fix it if they wanted too. I would never tag volunteering, charity places or similar.
JT: Do you consider what you do as art?
MB: I consider everything to be art. But what art has value is decided by the viewer. Some other tagger might think what I do is art but some angry 80 year old man might think its rubbish. And some people might even hire a crane to remove it haha.
JT: What do you want to be when you get out of the Momma's Boy phase?
MB: I want to paint bigger pieces and more "artistic" pieces. Also see question 5. Fuck it, I might have to tag the OUSA building.