Wednesday, February 10, 2010

January 2010: Mobstr in Newcastle

For centuries, authors toyed with the notion of watchful Big Brother. That's the reality to some extent in London. With CCTV, authorities can monitor citizens out and about in the city center and beyond. But do the costs outweigh the benefits? English street artist Mobstr took a break from working outdoors, but now he's back in full force questioning the merits of an all-knowing government. Today, he explains to us why he loves what he does. He writes:
”I started doing street art when I was running away from something terrible. I found myself on a train, scared shitless. I didn’t notice at first, but there was a black spray can on the seat next to me. I still don’t know why, but when I exited the train, I took the can with me. A little bit away from the station, I stopped in a quiet street to plan what to do next. It was then that I decided that I needed to mark my situation so I wrote, with the black can, in scrawny little writing on a wall, ‘I never want to experience fear like this again’. Later on, I thought back to that street. Mostly our streets are monotonous and dull. What I wrote changed that, even if in the slightest and simplest way. Our surroundings have a lot of potential, yet our society gives the aesthetics of (most) concrete and brick an undeserved respect. That was when I started street art. Having said that, some buildings are beautiful and, in my opinion, it will be hard to improve them by painting on them.”
”Currently, I am in the north of England in Newcastle. I don’t have enough money or time at the moment to go elsewhere so all my current work goes up around Newcastle. I always work by myself. I find other people slow me down. I slow myself down. If I could work without myself, I’d probably get shit loads more done.”
”I don’t know if I have a style. My work always starts in the same way: by thinking too much. If I am having writer’s block, I’ll go for a 4 hour walk and look at everything. I’ll take notes as the ideas come and let them develop. I guess, maybe, my inspiration comes from very mundane stimuli. My style is my thought. I’ll learn whatever is necessary to bring the thought into actuality. There was a stretch of time when coincidentally things kept going terribly for both my friend and I. We decided to get a map of the world out close our eyes and point at random on the map. Wherever we pointed we would go. We ended up going to Luxembourg and getting all our shit robbed. We realised the gods really were against us, so we decided to push it. We built a boat with the intention of going to France. This failed very, very badly but only when we had got a substantial distance into the English Channel. Thankfully, we were rescued by the coast guards. The distance between France and England is only 21 miles. If the weather hadn’t been so bad, I think we might have made it. With those adventures in mind, sticking to 4 hour walks and the mundane for inspiration probably works better for me.”
”I woke up once with one shoe on, wearing only a t-shirt and boxers at four in the morning, leaning against a wall. After assessing the situation, I realised I was a good two miles from my house. I had duct taped a black spray can to my leg with big black letters on it spelling: USE ME. (That hurt to get off!) I didn’t need much more encouragement than that.... so I obliged. That was pretty strange.”
”For the last few months it has been hard to get out onto the street, as I've been working on a very non-street art related project. It has been tough having to divert my energy away from street art for these months. I also dug a tunnel between my house and my neighbours’ to see if I could. Part of the challenge was to do it without them noticing. But now I’ve got this big beautiful piece almost ready and I’ve devised an equally beautiful plan to pull it off. So when the fucking rain/ snow/ hail bla bla bla stops, that stretch of wall is mine.”

Thanks, Mobstr! For more photos, visit his Flickr.

1 comment:

  1. Nice write-up/interview there. Gives good insight into the world of Mobstr.