Tuesday, February 9, 2010

January 2010: Tona Goes Global

One of my favorite attributes of street artists is their drive to explore and get up in new places. Uncharted territory brims with new places to paint, stick, and paste. German artist Tona exemplifies this initiative. While he considers Hamburg his home base, you can find his work in many countries across several different continents. He writes:
“It all started with graffiti in 1999. In 2002, I began doing stencils; I’m still doing them.
”You can see most of my work in Hamburg, but I’ve worked in other cities like Berlin, London, Vienna, Athens, Paris, Valencia, Tel Aviv. Thanks to all my folks putting stuff up, I have stickers up around the world.”
”I do all my work by myself, but I love putting up posters with some other people. Doing collaborations other artists is also fun. There are some very nice t-shirt collaborations with my friend Kotton in Berlin. I like trading with people around the world.”
”I tried a lot of techniques to do stencils and every one is different, so I combine various styles. I love doing multi-layers, but there’s nothing as nice as a good single layer stencil!”

”One time, I was in Vienna driving around with a bike putting some stickers up. Suddenly, a police car stopped next to me and the police man shouted: ‘Stop! This is illegal!’ I answered, ‘Oh! Sorry, Didn’t know about that!’ When he heard my German accent, he said: ‘You shitty German! Just go to your fucking country and put up your stickers there!’"

”I love it when spots are high or little bit hidden for tiles or installations. Posters are most fun when they fit into the urban area.”

Wow, Tona! I'm glad you escaped the clutches of that angry policeman. For more photos from around the world, take a peek at his Flickr.

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