Street art piece
Street Art Museum Amsterdam
Good / Legible
The wall is hidden behind the tree, which creates a new ambiance for the artwork in each season. The idea is to create curiosity about the artwork in summer time, after which the artwork will show at the darkest time of the year in winter. At the bottom of the grey wall is a classic graffiti piece dated to 1997, by the notorious Amsterdam writer, JUICE. Although discussed with stakeholders, Stolyarova refused to paint over the piece as a way to continue dialogue on whether contemporary ‘street art’ and ‘classic graffiti’ are related, contrary to assertions made by the curators of the exhibition, Graffiti. New York meets the Dam, happening that same year at Amsterdam Museum. SUSO33’s work creates a sense of continuity and transition from the bottom to the top of the wall, giving recognition to the existing graffiti, while connecting past, present, legal and illegal art forms, without violating graffiti’s old school respect ethics. To the surprise of everyone on production, JUICE made an appearance on the second-last to of painting to refresh his piece. One of SAMA’s young local graffiti artists, Metin Bagirgan, assisted with the lift and was holding back the tree so that SUSO33 could paint.
The blue in the throw-up is used by Suso33 to create an interplay. The artwork depicts human silhouettes casting shadows in black colour. The mural covers the two thirds of the building's side wall being situated above another artwork - graffiti in orange and blue.
Suso33's silhouettes are a dinstinguished mark of the artist: these anthropomorphised figures floats between the term of Ausencias (absences) and Presencias (presences). The former intentionally fleeting, immaterial figures composed of aerosols, water or light, appearing in alleys and abandoned areas. The latter are more physical, appearing in solid aerosols and gradient shadows in groups on larger public walls. Through his Ausencias and Presencias, SUSO33 explores juxtapositions of solitude and individualism versus community and collectivism, suggesting an underlying message that personal social isolation and marginalisation may be overcome by a broader collective spirit of openness and coming together.
This work is also special because of its character of continuous visual change: it is what is known as living graffiti/street art, i.e. a work of art capable of dialoguing with the natural environment that surrounds it, whose aesthetic appearance varies according to the changes in its surroundings. In this case, SUSO33's silhouettes form the leaves lost by the trees in autumn and winter, reinforcing the presence/absence binomial mentioned above with the metaphor of bare and/or blossoming trees.