New York City street artist(s) Poster Boy is changing the very concept of being an “artist” by creating a decentralized movement in the scene, where anyone and everyone is welcome to take on the moniker as they manipulate their environment – like an open authorship, creating a collective under one unified name. “No copyright, no authorship…A social thing, as opposed to being an artist making things for bored rich people to hang above their couch.”
It all began with the drudgery of work commutes, creating pieces on the way to and from a job that, ironically was working in an art studio for a well-established artist. Working with 2″ stainless steel razor blades and vinyl stickers, the anonymous artists slice ads and repaste them in improvised compositions to alter the messages and meanings of images in public spaces. Working conditions are risky, so quick movements and spontaneously shrewed creative decisions are crucial to each piece. Little by little, people started noticing and blogging about it, and then one day, garnered media attention. They decided to start putting the work up on Flickr and it spread like wildfire since then. The more attention they got, the more intense the works became. By the time the second year rolled around, the group had grown to four or five members.
There is some talk about showcasing individual work in a gallery show setting, to be able to reach out an audience that is less familiar with the subtleties of street art and culture, and create a stronger impact, with focused works that are designed to create dialogue. Trying to show to an audience that already exists is kind of “preaching to the choir” so to speak, so branching out to the public, rather than street art aficionados bears quite a bit more weight, and really starts to spread the message, and further the evolution of expression.
Although they’ve been asked to work on some very lucrative works on commission by some of the companies they’ve targeted, the hypocrisy of the deals themselves undermine the entire point of their efforts, and so they continuously decline. And rightly so! I’d be pretty pissed to see them cave just to make a fistful of easy money.
We’re not going to say which company and how much but it was definitely enough. It was definitely a whole salary. A year’s salary for one person. And we just couldn’t do it. It was very enticing. It was bigger than making money and giving in that easily. We want to see how far we can take it with no budget without taking any kind of offers like that.
I can’t wait to see where Poster Boy take this. The evolution of street art, and public expression is an incredible antidote of rebellion against the wacked-out system in which we live, and continually accept as what it should be, at the bequest of others, who have nothing to do with our every day living.
Poster Boy also made a guest cameo appearance on “Exit Through The Giftshop”. Watch the whole documentary on YouTube.
Check out the famous Flickr gallery for more great work.
Great interview with Poster Boy by Patrick Raycraft at Hartford Courant.
To read the piece the BBC wrote, check it out here.
And finally, while you’re at it, might as well read the New York Magazine article too.