Photo by Dirk Steenkamp
Raoul Goetze is a Cape Town tattooer at Wildfire Tattoos, an artist, and a member of the band Wild Eastern Arches. He is also one of the artist exhibiting work at the Doors of Perception art exhibition on the 23rd of May at Revolution Woodstock. We caught up with him to chat about the upcoming exhibition, art, music and what ‘psychedelic’ means. Meet Raoul Goetze…
How is your artwork coming along for the Doors of Perception art exhibition? Any hints for what we can expect to see?
I’m always in two minds when it comes to executing ideas. It’s a constant debate on how I will try translate the visuals in my head to a tangible form, so consequently it becomes a bit of an irrational completion, which is definitely part of the process I guess. So yeah, my artworks are getting there for the exhibition. For Doors of Perception, I’m trying to explore what really happens chemically when psychedelic drugs are introduced to the brain.
You are quite a creative person: tattooing, making art, and playing in a band. What else do you get up to in your spare time?
Well, I really love everything I’m involved with, so when I have free time, I don’t really consider it as spare time seeing that I wouldn’t mind drawing or playing guitar in that time. Otherwise I probably end up with friends talking about all these things over a couple of beers anyways. I am involved with Psych Night, which probably comes with playing in a band as well.
Why do you make art?
I’m a visual person. I have a need to translate whatever goes on in my head to a visual format.
Tell us about Psych Night…
Psych Night is a collective hosting events celebrating psychedelia, whether it’s music or any other art form. We’re a group of like-minded friends all involved in music industry some way or another. Psych Night hosts flagship events at The Assembly bi-monthly and have smaller events in between at various venues. Apart from a photography exhibition on Austin Psych Fest by Mark Reitz, Doors of Perception will be our first event exploring psychedelic inspired art.
Cape Town is quite an “international” city i.e. the city gets thousands of tourists every year. Being a tattooer at Wildfire Tattoos on Long Street, you must get quite a few strange tourists walking in. What are a few of the weirder/strange/funny comments or requests that you have heard working there?
Apart from some tourists just being extremely odd, there have just been too many. From asking for a South African tribal to just the extend of a language barrier where nothing that comes out of their mouths sound human or appropriate.
How would you describe your favorite type of tattoo to do? Do you have a personal favorite tattoo that you’ve done?
I don’t necessarily have a favourite tattoo that I’ve done, but when I get a chance to interpret a subject matter in my own way, I obviously enjoy the tattoo more seeing that it’ll automatically turn into a style that I would like to do. I really enjoy doing traditional tattoos, also with some sort of geometric elements in them.
What is your opinion on tattooing in South Africa? Do you think that we’re at the level we should be? How do you think we match up to international standards?
I think people underestimate the talent locally. We definitely match up to international standards. You will obviously always get tattoo artists and shops that never went the right route of doing things and poor quality tattoos are the result, but the same problem occurs internationally as well, if not more. The few artists that are truly great with what they do reach international standards without out a doubt. It’s just a matter of doing research and finding the right ones to get tattooed by.
Can you tell us more about your band Wild Eastern Arches? What do you play? How many of you are there? What genre do you play? etc.
We’re a psychedelic band that started in 2012. Our music draws inspiration from various fields such as 70s rock n roll, a bit experimental and I guess shoegaze as well. Psychedelic would probably just be a term used as a main vessel to merge all our individual influences together. We consist of 5 members. I play guitar and bass.
Favourite tattooer, artist, and band?
Favourite tattooer and artist would be Thomas Hooper. Favourite band, either Zeppelin, The Black Angels or Night Beats.
You make ‘psychedelic’ art, and play in a ‘psychedelic’ band. What is your definition of ‘Psychedelic’?
Photo by Mark Reitz
Photo by Dirk Steenkamp