Inocent Kidd is a young Frenchman for whom graffiti is above all a philosophy of life. His singular path pushes him to develop a graphic design that he expresses through the practice of tattooing. It is incarcerated in a prison in Colombia that he begins a real practice of the discipline. His know-how earned him the respect of his fellow inmates whom he tattooed with his drawings. Now incarcerated in France, he maintains his intellectual freedom through his art. He has chosen to illustrate his daily life in a way that is as radical as his living conditions allow.
This is the story of a French citizen who, forced to serve a sentence in La Picota prison, Bogotá, has mastered the hand-poked tattoo to survive and establish his status behind bars. His handle – – Inocent Kidd – is even more ironic when we consider that he’s a graffiti writer. His incredible experience has made him a prison tattoo icon, he’s even launched his own line of merch and soon, a book detailing his journey. Mtn-world were able to contact Innocent Kidd to find out more about this fascinating story.
I always kept my life as a writer on the down low, I never published anything on social networks or in magazines. I started painting in 2006 in my city in France and in Asturias, where I have family. I started on the street, but very quickly when I was 13 or 14 years old, I started painting trains and I got into trains. Listening to tracks by Hurto at that time was always going to encourage me to hit steel. My first trains were FEVEs in Asturias and loads of SNCF trains in my city, Lyon. I painted several subway systems and trains in various cities around Europe. I’ve got good memories of the subways in Naples with my friend the SOM, Lisbon with COLA and Madrid with my panas the TBR – shout out Lacos, Zune, Waze and Nids. Here in Colombia I was able to paint the Medellín metro, a few years before I was locked up. Since there are no overground trains in this country, I got back into throw-ups and silvers on the street.
For a European it is not easy at all to end up in a jail in Latin America. Here, people know everyone by a name or nickname, if anyone arrives and nobody knows anything about them, they might be suspected of being a snitch. For me it wasn’t easy at first, but because I speak the language, I knew how to make friends and through the tattoos, I’ve made the rest of the inmates trust me a little more. The most important thing is avoiding other people’s conversations and gossiping, minding your own business. That’s the most important thing in a jail, wherever it may be.
My tattoo style is clearly influenced by my graffiti. Very graphic, almost minimalist, simple things that can be understood at a glance. In fact, I feel similar when I’m tattooing and painting graffiti: I know that my piece will travel. Because we’re all awaiting extradition, I know that if I tattoo someone, very soon they will be in another country showing off their tattoo and explaining who did it and how. I think that a tattoo, like graffiti, marks a moment, a story, a memory. ( extrait de l'interview paru dans MTN-WORLD.COM )