What does 1UP mean?
1UP has different meanings for us, it means one level higher, or to
surpass something, or to have another extra life, a secret life besides
the normal daily life 🙂
Also, in the long form it means One United Power. It means that everyone
is working together for one cause. Individual names or needs are not
very important in our collective.
What counts are the goals and needs of the crew.
How many members does 1UP have?
We don’t talk about that, but I can say that most of us are from Berlin
and we still keep the family close. But we have four members currently
living in Scandinavia 🙂
In how many cities/countries?
Mainly in Berlin, a few in Paris, Frankfurt and a few in Scandinavia.
How can one become a member? Can anyone become a member?
To become a member, you have to go through years of friendship, travel
and actions. It’s a big question of confidence, attitude towards life,
but also political attitude.
For us it is important to teach and live the right values.
How many countries/cities/works/paintings has 1UP painted?
We have painted all continents and countless countries. From Brazil to
Mongolia, from Syria to Sector 11 in India, from Mexico City to
Guatemala. And so on and so forth.
We believe we have painted about 30,000 pieces in the last 20 years.
Why did 1UP start? When did it start and how?
It started 20 years ago in Berlin-Kreuzberg, when three guys who painted
day and night were thinking about the perfect crew name.
One day the idea 1UP came up and all three liked it immediately.
At that time it was very unusual to start a crew name with a 1, because
you can’t put too much style in the 1.
Does 1UP have anything to do with the Berlin Kids?
We were good friends back then and had a lot of crazy adventures and
trips together. They quit the crew after a few years. But we are still
very good friends with some of them.
What is the message of 1UP?
We are basically politically liberal and socially minded. Everyone is
equal and should be able to do what they want.
Also many of us live veggie or vegan.
What is the goal?
There is no goal, we are very happy with what we have already achieved
and how our crew has developed.
Why do you use graffiti?
It’s the fastest way to paint large spots, and it’s always fun to play
with colors and styles.
Some of the IUP productions seem to have been made without permits. Why
Sometimes we paint legally when we are offered a good wall or invited to
a nice festival or exhibition. But most of it happens at night on the
street or in train yards.
What do you think if someone doesn’t like 1UP’s paintings?
Everyone can decide for themselves what they like or don’t like.
What do you want to do in Malmö?
We are really looking forward to meeting new people and having a lovely,
creative time together. Also, of course, we want to paint some beautiful
What do you want to do with us?
Maybe we can paint a piece together if there is a nice legal wall.
How did you guys get into working with algae/coral?
A friend of ours was working in Bali with the Coral Foundation and we
had the idea to do a huge 1UP underwater. It was a great adventure and
worked out really well.
We also sold 150 very nice prints of it in New York and donated the
money to the foundation.
Looking forward to meet you guys!
1UP was found at Urbannation in Berlin by young artists in Malmö december 2023 who invited them to Urbanarts4 and made this Interview.