08 February 2014

"You're Being Watched"

Title: "Cameras"
Artist: SpY

Street art is one of my favorite types of art. I guess one reason being is that it's accessible to anyone, even your average Joe and Jane from any walk of life. Not only that but it doesn't really require you take time out of your day, it's something you see when you're just going about your business  running errands and such. It's just always a welcomed surprise in my book whenever I happen upon a piece of street art is all I'm saying.

I guess I should mention what I mean by "street art" aka graffiti pieces, installation pieces, street performers it all comes in a variety of packages and bows but I enjoy it all. I'm sure many of you have heard of Banksy a household name in the graffiti street art scene. If you haven't ya best go look 'im up, he's pretty damn legit all around the world. I'll talk about him some other time, right now I want to talk about an installation street artist by the name of "SpY". I initially learned about this street artist through the site LostatEMinor, and I have been intrigued since. This is what lead me to want to learn more about this street art vigilant, and so a Google search it was.

SpY is often referred to as the "Spanish Banksy", although he has somewhat of a different style/flair/dare I even say approach compared to Banksy. But I'm not going to get all into that, I did find a good article  titled "SpY's "Cameras: is Less Obnoxious than any Street Art by Banksy" on the site TheCreatorsProject that does go a bit further into details regarding that subject. Although the author obviously isn't  such a fan of Banksy it's still a good read and an interesting opinion, even though I don't necessarily agree with everything the author states. At the end of the day I like the art I like regardless of anyone elses' opinion. But that's enough about that.

Anywho SpY has been an active street artist since around the time I was born (mid 80s). He started with graffiti but progressed towards other mediums such as installations after some time. After reading about SpY I definitely have a new appreciation for his work, mostly because of the reasons behind the work he does and how he goes about it. For example the first piece of his that caught my attention is an installation piece called "Cameras" which can be found in his Native country in the city of Madrid. What caught my attention about the piece was of course the cameras themselves, but it was the message behind the work that incited my interest in this artist. It was the thoughts that began going through my mind when I first saw the piece and after I learned of the message SpY was trying to convey with the installation that all fueled my interest.

The message SpY was trying to convey with this piece....
'"The piece invites reflection about our present and daily interaction with technology and who is behind. The cameras are a symbol that represents it, however it is clear that we are surrounded by devices that act as tools of surveillance.

'There are mixed reactions from people: some just value it’s aesthetics and others reflected on its representation, most people wondered if the cameras are on, and some even interacted with the piece thinking they are being recorded.

'I like to generate some type of reaction with my work, I try to awake and create a more lucid conscience with my interventions. Irony and humour is a way to make the receiver an accomplice, create a dialogue and make one think that the work communicates something with which one identifies. They are small bits of intention that make the person who receives them see their routine as an urbanite hatching.

'If the passer-by who sees the piece likes it, they see the work as a romantic act and will take part of the intervention with them.'" 

(Found ^this quote^ on the site UK Daily Mail)

I guess you could say I fall in the "reflects on the representation" boat. Nowadays privacy is a precious commodity, and I like how SpY represents this feeling with his piece. I also really like this piece because as SpY said people are actually interacting with his piece of art, not knowing it's a piece of art. (I'll admit I'd probably give all those cameras the bird) There's just something about the element of the viewer interacting with the piece that really gets me, in a good way of course. Reminded me of an artist, a Mr. Marcel Duchamp whom I had learned about in an Art History class I took. 

Duchamp once said 
"The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act" (quote originally found here). 

Sounds like SpY + Duchamp would be buddies eh?

I would so love to one day produce art that the viewer could interact with. I hadn't ever thought of that element until seeing SpY's piece, inspiration my friends, inspiration it can be found anywhere and sometimes it'll teach you about yourself. I can definitely say I took part of the intervention with me, so I guess SpY did do exactly what he sought out to do, and I am merely 1 person who just happened to see this piece online. I can't imagine how many other people out there have taken part of this intervention with them. 

That's another thing that fascinates me about SpY and his work he calls his works "interventions". The TheCreatorsProject article I mentioned earlier goes into more detail about SpY's approach which is yet another reason I admire this artist. Not to go too into the subject, but SpY's approach when selecting locations for his installations is to choose places that are "in the heart of the city". You're not going to find too many pieces (if any) in a main part of town where all the tourists go and such, you're going to find his work on a little side street, like I mentioned the "heart of the city". The areas where the cities average Joe lives. I like that he keeps his work for those average Joes and Janes, as it gets back to one of my first points as to why I love street art to begin with.

Before I forget let me mention that I read in numerous places that all of SpY's cameras are looking upon the home of a well known drug dealer in the area. He's just so damn clever.

But enough "tell" let's do some "show"

Intensely awesome right?!

That's definitely not all folks. There are many more amazing pieces to be seen by this talented artist and I highly suggest you go check them out! I got all of the above pictures directly from SpY's website, click the link to be taken directly to his site to see his other works and to learn more about this brilliant urban artist!!

Until next time friends...Cheers!!!