Street art and graffiti have almost always received a bad reputation for tarnishing the urban landscape. Most artists have to conceal their artistic process by cover of night, and try to maintain anonymity for fear of prosecution. The existing laws worldwide are harsh on street artists and the punishments are exceedingly excessive, and thus creates a criminal stigma that pervades the practice, forcing it to remain below the surface of accepted society. Street artists and graffiti writers are starting to take a stand – if they can’t paint on public surfaces, they’ll create surfaces on which to work themselves – and Cellograff was born.
Stringing cellophane between trees, poles, light posts, pillars, and any other form of structure creates a fresh canvas that incorporates itself into the urban landscape without damaging the surroundings. When you remove the vandalism and damage to public property, you remove the criminal element, and make it safer to create street art outside during the day. Take that, law enforcement!
I’m not sure exactly how this phenomenon began, but it is said that in 2006 Kanos and Reci Xelecce formed the Politically Correct crew and wanted to add their artistic mark to the streets of Paris without vandalism or permanently scarring the environment. They decided to string up temporary canvas using cellophane and began the trend. Kanos was later joined by Astro and took a more graffiti oriented slant to their work. Several crews in Europe are spreading the technique around so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this in the near future. It’s amazing what they can create and the possibilities are virtually endless! What I’d love to see is more work that includes the landscape around it as an artistic element of the piece itself – wouldn’t that be cool!
To learn more about Kanos & Astro, and to check out more of their work, visit their website.
Here are some great examples of cellograff (most are from Paris)…