Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 2009: SpY in Madrid

For SpY, street art is all about how you look at things. Why stop at tags when you can warp the ordinary into something extraordinary? A football pitch with curved edges becomes a novel half-pipe for skateboarders. Who says graffiti should only be enjoyed by the sighted? Clever braille messages stuck all over the city leave unexpected messages for the blind. Even the little man on the traffic lights deserves a break sometimes; in SpY's world, it looks like the guy is hailing a cab. No matter the medium, SpY can find a way to transform everyday spaces into something unique. Urbanist and art professor Javier Abarca writes:
“Subtlety is not something that we're used to finding in the current street art scene. On some occasions, it comes off as intrusive as outdoor publicity, that inescapable machine whose existence is usually wielded as an argument to justify the presence of independent art in the street. But this isn’t the case with SpY. The participation of this man from Madrid doesn’t jump out at you. Rather, it waits until you run into it. It isn’t a monologue but a dialogue, between the artist and the environment, between the passer-by and the piece.”

"SpY began to act in the street while he was still an adolescent in Madrid during the mid-eighties. By the beginning of the early nineties, he had established himself as the leading figure of the still young state graffiti scene, offering works with an impeccable style and a solidity that even today are still not very common. Although this chapter closed a while back, SpY has not forgotten his roots. He is conscious that graffiti is a priceless, vital and artistic school and above all, an intensive and prolonged training in the exercise of observation and creative development of the urban environment."

"Around the mid-nineties SpY felt that he was outgrowing traditional graffiti as a means of expression. He soon began to play with the infinite possibilities that the surroundings offered his senses, recently freed from this narrow methodology. A maturation process began that has born his best fruit throughout the current decade."

"His work involves taking over urban elements through transformation or replica, commentary on urban reality and the interference in their communicative codes. The bulk of his production comes from observing the city and an appreciation of its components, not as inert elements but as a palette of materials overflowing with possibilities. The will of the game, the careful attention to the context of each piece and a constructive, not invasive, attitude characterize, without a doubt, his performance."

"Like the best examples of public art, the participation of SpY forms a whole with its context. It is in the fusion of these two elements, as well as in the chance encounter between the spectator and work, where the core of his proposal is found. For this reason, this man from Madrid does not produce work for exhibition in galleries and limits himself to exposing graphic documentation, which takes the form of very cared-for, large-sized photographs."

"SpY’s pieces want to be a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urbanite. They are pinches of intention that are hidden in a corner for those who want to let themselves be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to make the passer-by smile, incite reflexion, and to favor an enlightened conscience."

Gracias, SpY y Javier! For more photos and info, check out SpY's website.

1 comment:

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