Contemporary Artist and Muralist. Skateboarder. It is not an overstatement to say that Billy Gee is a true living urban legend, using his brushes and spray cans to paint over the grey, dull areas of urban scenery. His Art has massively contributed towards putting Athens in the modern cultural map and gained him personal recognition and respect. Countless solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad surely showcase his talent and prove that hard work has paid off. But it doesn’t stop there.
Billy Gee is also a professional skateboarder, who has participated in skateboarding videos and has been photographed for very well-known magazines, where he was also regularly writing articles for. He has taken part and helped organise many skateboarding contests, winning awards, spreading the values and ideology of skateboarding.
When I was living in Athens, I used to read Athens Voice Magazine while I was commuting with the bus and the train. Billy Gee was writing articles there as a freelancer and it was the first time I got to “meet” him, got to know his work. Almost 20 years later, I decided to contact him and ask him whether he would like to be hosted on Magnaze magazine. His response was immediate and so enthusiastic, and after a few emails, it is my honour to introduce Billy Gee to you. Hope you enjoy our conversation and of course, his marvellous paintings!
Tell us some things about you. And most importantly, your motto.
People call me Billy Gee the last 26 years, I never have a motto, I just follow my path and represent Skateboarding and Painting Cultures!
You involve various sea elements in your art, like the whales and boats. What’s your connection to the sea? What does it represent to you?
I love all kind of animals, they really inspire me for my paintings, but for me the sea life always put me in another world. I spent a lot of time when I was kid on a Greek island called Serifos, because my father has roots from there, so all day I was playing with my friends on the sea, swimming a lot, fishing, jumping from the rocks, totally free amazing time.
Amongst your truly impressive drawings, I found out that you made a portrait of Nikos Kazantzakis, who is actually my favorite writer, a truly remarkable spirit. He said that truly free is someone who doesn't fear anything, who doesn't hope for anything. Do you agree with that statement? What is freedom for you?
This portrait is just a commission work for a restaurant in Athens, for sure I give a mad respect to Nikos Kazantzakis, I never thought to make a portrait of him, but it happened! Today I do not agree 100% with this because lives are changing so much and after lock down the new world order is coming, that’s why today I think that people need to hope!
For me freedom is when you take your board or your spray cans, go out and create for your soul ….. do it for you, not for the media!
Now, some really short questions, please fill in the missing parts.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Kid memories, movies, comics, life facts, dreams and ladies
When I draw..
I stop Time
When I skate..
I feel forever young
What makes me smile?
Love yourself, progression, learning and the Greek sun!
I cannot get this song out of my head:
Come as you are from Nirvana
What does mankind need to be happy?
Be healthy and do what you really want to do and fight for this!
Favorite spot in Athens to hang out?
Columbia Atelier, an abandoned place in Athens, you can check it on YouTube
Any last words ?
Peace all over the world…..
Check more from Billy Gee:
Instagram : billy_gee