A growing attention to his work from street art sites around the world. However, In his own site, an error message states clear: “sorry this artist does not exist”. It is timeless and performative, it could easily be pre and post street art, or both. Fra Biancoshock, the artist himself, deny being an artist, neither calls his work “art”.
So let’s ask. Do you consider yourself an artist, a street artist?
I don’t consider myself an artist, or a street artist. I’m not an expert, I don’t read art book, I am not good at drawing. On top of that, I don’t recognize my work as part of that phenomenon that is crossing the country (Italy) without any logicalness, called street art.
Annoyed or bored with the street art boom, are you?
I do find boring this art that repeat itself. Within street art everything looks a bit too similar. The problem is that 90% of street art is fashion; it has no message, it starts from second hand ideas and its target is to be sold, as a product. In Italy a bunch of artists are defined “the dads” of the movement, but on my opinion, there is no proper movement. The funny thing is that similar sentences are coming from TV, from local media. Even some major critic has spent important words for these artists, so that in a matter of days some great museum was ready to exhibit street art, just a few days after hosting XVII century canvases. How silly. This operation was just to exploit the boom, make cash out of it.
Do you see in what you do a sort of “post” street art?
Frankly I don’t categorize my production. I am not sure wether is post, certainly is not really street art. My work are called by me “experience”, not art. From street art I like to borrow the word “street”, cos is the setting for the most of my stuff.
Let’s make one step back: where are you coming from, how did you start?
From Milan and from writing. Writing was a great training; I met fantastic people… but I was not mad for lettering or shape perfection. After 5-6 years spent on walls and trains, I felt necessary to change style and get to a wider, different public. So I came up with Fra Biancoshock, all by my self. It’s not my ego, it’s just my own feelings, my own vision. All this until I met Elfo (another Italian artist of this kind). For the first time working with somebody else felt natural, having similar ideas. At the moment, we are having some common project.
From what I see, you can’t really stop, can you? Where this inspiration is coming from?
I work 40h per week. All the rest is for me, on my things, in a small workspace. It is a great thing for me to have this alter ego, this strong passion. I can express my feelings, I can mentally escape. Many are warning me about the risks of coming up with too many ideas, or too fast. They say that I can’t focus or develop enough if I produce so much. They say that I risk of giving great ideas to others too. Artist are known for quality, not numbers. Well, I’m not an artist. Having 200 ideas per years, why realize only 20 of them? One day might be my turn, and I want to be there with all my “experiences”.
Today in 2012, how do you see street art and which scenario do you foresee?
At this stage, or it renew or it decline, soonish, I think. All that Banksy-like production is starting to have no appeal. It’s becoming too cheap: many youngsters go around spraying stencils and by opening a blog they suddenly feel street artists. Advertisement has exploited the magic, now it’s just fashion, money. I don’t know about the future. I can only hope. I hope street art will not be seen as a business. I wish some chance, some improvement based on ideas, not favouritism. I wish that marketing or architecture will catch the good principals of street art. Personally I wish to leave my own tribute around, some emotions for those who can appreciate.
By Vlady Art