If you stroll through any major European city, you will most likely find a paste-up, sticker, or tile by Hamburg-based artist Tona. So of course I was not surprised to find some of his signature artworks in Athens. However, the sheer amount of them seemed extraordinary. I got in touch with Tona and found out that he stayed in Greece for almost a month in 2013. Here are some impressions of his experience. More of his artworks from around the world can be found on Flickr.
When did you come to Greece and how long did you stay for?
I went to Greece in February  and stayed for almost one month…I’ve been in Thessaloniki, Athens and some small islands.
Was it your first time there?
Did you already leave behind some artworks before? And did you connect with some people from the local scene?
Yeah sure I did some stuff the last time, too. I know some people but I didn’t do action with them.
Why did you decide to spend such a long time in Greece?
I like Greece a lot and I’ve been there before…so I wanted to see the change/crisis they’re talking about with my own eyes.
What was your impression of the impact of the crisis?
Everything is more expensive now and there’ve been lots of demonstrations and strikes…and a lot of people that are living on the streets.
Which impression did Athens leave on you?
I still like Athens a lot, its a crazy city with lots of street art and graffiti.
How was it to work as an artist in the streets there?
Its fun. some people where stopping and digging what I did in the streets.
How does it compare to Hamburg and other places you have visited – also the general street art scene?
Like I said above there’s a lot of graffiti and street art in Athens so I loved working there. But I think every city got its own pros and contras…same there. I love Athens because it’s crazy and a lot of political movements are happening there. The cons are: too much heroin and police in the streets.
This interview was conducted via email in August 2013.
Questions by Julia Tulke.