RMP 2014 Muralist Interviews: Poland’s Robert “Tone” Proch

by | Jun 24, 2014 | ART

Since his start painting walls in his Polish hometown at age 15, Robert “Tone” Proch has exhibited across Europe, including at Munich’s famed Stroke Art Fair.

Since his start painting walls in his Polish hometown at age 15, Robert “Tone” Proch has exhibited across Europe, including at Munich’s famed Stroke Art Fair. Now, on his first trip to the United States, Proch is excited to be participating in the Richmond Mural Project 2014.

Proch is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland, where he studied animation, and many of his works reflect inspiration from animated works. Along with raising his newborn baby, Proch plans to paint a wall with Chazme back in Poland this year, as well as participate in the Urban Forms Festival in Lodz.

Here’s a short interview we did with Proch as he painted here in RVA – keep in mind English is far from his first language. Either way, the conversation did shed some light into the brilliant mind of a great artist. You can find Proch’s RMP 2014 piece, “Dance With Uncle Sam,” at 501 E. Grace St at

RVA: How did you get involved with the Richmond Mural Project?

Robert Proch: I just received an invitation from Shane while in Hamburg and he wrote me like last year. So since, I don’t know, August maybe September of 2013, we’ve been in touch and preparing for this year.

And how long have you been doing walls? Were you a graffiti kid before, or is it just a natural transition of the artwork you were doing in your studio?

Well, it was always going in parallel with studio work. The first time I went out at 2002 like 12 years ago now, but it all started with studio stuff like regular painting.

You were in art school for a while…

I’ve been studying animated theme at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan in Poland. Yeah, I graduated it but right now, yeah, just the wave of art with animation is without recently.

There’s so many great muralists coming out of Poland; do you have any ideas why that is? There’s like five or six of you guys – three of you here today.

Yeah, we know each other well. We’ve done already many walls, we’ve known each other for many years. Of course, we’ve been painting like a regular small walls, and at some point, we’ve been just invited to few projects to work together, and right now, we are following each other, exchanging for every walls, so, already right now, every one of us had the opportunity to work with each other. So yeah, and let’s hope it’s going to roll.

It’s exciting?

Yeah, this is good to see how the guys are making their own progress and it’s all going so good for everyone. We are just happy that we can continue this way.

This being your first time in the States, what do you think of Richmond?

I don’t have any, like a point of [reference] as it comes to the compare to other cities but it’s a really, really American way. I feel like in some kind of movie all the time because I’ve seen this only in the television, American reality, all those small differences I can see on every corner. It’s pretty exciting.

So, I guess you’re getting pretty busy – what have you done earlier this year before the project and what are working on after this project this year?

The last big wall I have done was mural. I was doing it with Sepe, together with him, and right now, we are also heading back to Poland, where I’m about to do a wall with Chazme, it’s going to be in Poland also. And, what next? Then, there’s going to be also one wall in Switzerland, dated for September. And as well, another wall in Poland in Lodz for Urban Forms Festival, yeah. So this is also, September, and uh, I’m also having a social in London, but it’s dated for end of year, so pretty much to do.

And then, dealing with your newborn child too. So that’s a lot there, huh?

Yeah, it’s a lot of, yeah, it’s, of course a big possibility, but the studio works, the studio work I’m doing, it slightly goes along with it, because my studio is in my home, so I see my family, and it works pretty well, as I’ve seen in the last months. But of course, I have to keep the limits when it comes to the mural trips, because it’s yeah. This is the hard time, and really important and really hard to be away. I’m trying to be around as much as possible.

There’s a lot of muralists around the world – are there muralists that you love looking at? People that you’re following yourself? Inspiration from?

Well, as it comes to inspiration, I think the biggest influence I’ve got is from my friends, because we’re really close to each other, and we’re following each other very closely. But of course there’s, I don’t know, various: [Corner Harrington], Dave Cho, Satwan is very interesting to me. Ahh…ehh..

I’m sure there’s a lot of that.

Yeah, yeah, but these are definitely, those guys are the first that came to my mind. So yeah, and of course, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of more appearing all the time. So yeah, that’s good, right?

Well hopefully in the future there’ll be more opportunities for you in the States, and people get to know who you are and everything, you know?

Hope so, hope so too. It’s really great to be here!

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner is the former editor of GayRVA and RVAMag from 2013 - 2017. He’s now the Richmond Bureau Chief for Radio IQ, a state-wide NPR outlet based in Roanoke. You can reach him at BradKutnerNPR@gmail.com

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