The word - w_o_r_d - rolling in the mouth and on the lips and on the walls and in the minds of distracted bystanders, all hungry for meaning and significance. Great creator of life, written and decoded - the word IS. Street artists have always used words, names, identities, writing - manuscripts! But mobstr leads us to several levels above the sidewalk, and people do not even know what rose them so high - to other buildings, skyscrapers, stratosphere, satellites! The people only realise this metaphysical ascend at the time to go down: this dust there - is this I?
here follows a little interview:
arxvis: i find what you do skyscraper art: high on metaphysics and -whatever it is that i understand of- semiotic.. writing about writing and meaning with a poetic touch, using the urban landscape and images, and a socio-cultural language that's at the same time anarchistic and analytical. who are you? what's your drive?
mobstr: I'm just some guy who really, really enjoys painting on walls. My drive is to paint on as much as possible with as little as possible.
a: how was it for you, that moviment from the streets into the musea? i mean, literally and emotionally, considering the strong socio-political discourse in your art. of course this is nothing new, there are many examples of artists coming from the streets into the galleries, but how was it for you?
m: In truth that movement has barely happened. I can count the amount of times I've put work into galleries on the fingers of one hand. There is great pretense associated with the gallery world and I am not sure if I am quite ready to start talking that kind of bullshit yet.
a: what do you think of the growing number of street artists being subsidised by governments [there's a term for it, i think, i'll try to remember - maybe you know it?], making huge wall paintings in many cities of the world? do you find the work done good? which street artists do you like?
m: Firstly I believe there should be no rules to art Through whatever channel you decide to show your art so be it. There is a big difference between these large city-organised murals and the unsanctioned stuff. I really dig the art you discover whilst walking down that same old street but one day someone has turned a lamp post into a giant cigarette. For me, street art is the little subversions which incorporate the street; that play with its surroundings. Most of these large global murals could be painted on a wall in a gallery and it wouldn't make much difference but that is not to say I don't like them. They are refreshing additions to the urban landscape.
a: what do you think of art history - is it something that interests you? if so, which visual artists do you most like?
m: Yeah I have taken an interest in it. I can't really answer the second question as it changes from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute but right now Jackson Pollock popped into my mind. Not only did he produce visually stunning work but he was the first person to bring that style to the art world. The technique to that style was unbelievably simple yet once he had defined it as his, even though it is the easiest thing to copy, no one could get away with copying it. That, in my opinion, is genius. Talking about Jackson Pollock reminds me of Henri Michaux's mescaline drawings which too I like for various reasons.
a: are you also a reader? as opposed from 'writer', in a broader sense ; )
m: I think it was Aldous Huxley who wrote about language being a bridge between the islands of individuals. The written word is a crossing from your isolated existence to another person's reality... that's got to be important.
a: you have a very clear political message, going throughout your work. how do you manage the wish to change society with the necessity of staying anonymous?
m: Its funny you say that as I am not aware of a clear political message going throughout my work. What is is? Paint on walls - it's a lot of fun? I do not wish to change society, I just wish to subvert it.
a: well, the 'political message' in your work might be subtle&poetic, but you do have texts that make the viewer more aware of the underlying schemes of society. it's not something yelly, though. think of the taxes piece, or the high 'buff this.. and this', or the wall you've created for the street bystanders to put their own messages. what attracts me to your work is exactly the 'dialogue' quality it has: most street writers have a lot to say (even if it's just a name!), but they do not invite the viewer for a 'discussion' or 'conversation', like i find that you do. the sequence of 'once upon a time', for instance, is a perfect piece: it's not only the story being told (as they say now: in real time), but the abstract visual that it creates - a true street painting, with a secret - because 'erased' - story! so, what do you think of my digressions on your work?
m: I try not to look too deep into my work and leave that to other people. What I set out to do is subtle. Maybe make someone smile or simply just look at a wall or signpost slightly differently. From that maybe larger questions arise, maybe not. I would like to think the work hints at an underlying truth but I am not going to enforce that fact.
and check here mobstr exciting progressions
for the portuguese version of this interview, click here