Wednesday, December 9, 2009

November 2009: Martin Sobey in NYC

When you think of street art, what comes to mind: spray paint? Wheatpaste? Stickers? What about origami? NoHo-based artist Martin Sobey expands the definition of street art with his awe-inspiring collages. Whether he's covering a wall, a pole, or the side of a bridge, his intricate collages capture the eye and the imagination. He writes:
"I started doing street art about 2 1/2 years ago, but I've been interested in graffiti and public art for years. I work by myself- it just happens that way because of the nature of my stuff- but I have no problems working with friends and assistants on large scale projects. I'm also open to collaborations and I love interactive stuff."
"My style developed, like most people's, over time. Before I started making the art I'm doing now, I was on a path towards commercial photography. As that career path started to feel insurmountable (considering the film to digital change-over that most photographers have gone through), I started making abstract photographs with my first point-and-shoot 5.3 MP digital camera, a gift. I really clung to the notion that I could make this non-objective art for free- no film or processing fees, etc. As my aesthetic grew stronger, so did my ideas about art and photography. Eventually I started working using multiple photographs and then to the outdoors. I also take the works down after they have deteriorated for a while. Photographing the works is just another aspect of the art."
"I make everything in my studio in NoHo, in Manhattan, NY - which is like my second home. From there it goes into the public realm, usually in my neighborhood. I like to be present in the area- an actual artist who is not necessarily anonymous. I enjoy the dialogue with strangers that starts when I'm installing or photographing the art. The kind of work I do can be done anywhere, though. I love working in nature too and I've done a few installations in Northern California, Connecticut and Utah."
"I recently took part in an event called 'Public Ad Campaign' in New York- an illegal takeover of more than 100 street level billboards by over 100 artists, that are currently being used for advertising posters, but also illegally- supposedly- because the owners haven't got the permits from the city. Anyway, when all was said and done, I got busted by 2 cop cars 6 blocks away from the site! Hell yes, it was worth it!"
"I've always got something cooking, but my direction is more towards larger scale works, and implementing more of the ideas I haven't had a chance to get to yet!"

Thanks, Martin! If you've got any Connecticut installations planned, let a sister know! For more information, visit his blog.

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