Biancoshock | Interview
We had the great opportunity to talk to Biancoshock, about his experience at Nuart Festival 2014 and about ephemeralism and his activity. Enjoy an exclusive interview for The re:art and click on the photos to enlarge.
We would like to start with your recent works for Nuart Festival 2014, “Social Reich” and “Egocentric”. The first, according to what you told BSA, refers to social control by representing two different iconic movements, the Nazi period and the Facebook age, while the second shows this no-exit red carpet, shaped as a square. Why did you specifically choose to create these interventions in Norway? We ask this question, as we saw that many participating artists rather approached local issues, while you seem to speak a more universal language about human behavior, social constraints and so on. Please share some insights regarding the two works and your presence there.
These two interventions were conceived several months ago, but I was waiting for an important opportunity to show them. They are two installations speaking about universal themes, social networks and the contemporary egocentrism.
When I started this artistic adventure my purpose was to take part in the most important festival in the world: Nuart.
When they invited me, I decided to create two works that could be provocative, with an emotional impact and understood by everyone. In my opinion, artists often don’t make their emotions explicit. I’m not ashamed to say that Nuart was an unforgettable and emotional experience and I can only say thanks to them for this opportunity.
SOCIAL REICH, Nuart Festival 2014, Stavanger, Norway / Photo: Ian Cox.
EGOCENTRIC, Nuart Festival 2014, Stavanger, Norway.
Interview for Nuart 2014
You’ve always avoided to give a name to what you do and who you are (“Sorry, this artist does not exist”), until ephemeralism appeared in your vocabulary to now define the “unconventional experiences”, your interventions in public space. In order to be ephemeral, you say that a work has to have a meaning, that it must be simple and convey emotions. What themes do you usually approach and why is it important for you to not do this at home, but on the street? And would you like others to follow your example since “everybody can be an ephemeralist”?
For many years I didn’t define myself as an artist and my works as art. In my opinion it has always been important to demonstrate that the most important things are ideas, creativity and emotions. To talk about that is not essential to be an artist.
After many years I also realized that my works were spread all over the world and at that moment I decided to declare my existence. I exist, but I’m not a street artist. My project is Ephemeralism, a concept which, in my opinion,
Everyone has to find his way to communicate their ideas and feelings, it is not important how they do this, but it is essential to not remain passive and sile
I have not been studying art, I don’t have particular technical skills… so yes, everyone could be an ephemeralist.
IN-GLOBALIZED, Prague, 2013
WELCOME TO THE INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF YOUR HOME, 2012
Your work is about generating a reaction. People usually interact directly with your work, whether through performance or depending on the nature of the intervention, as in the case of the worldwide success “Antistress for free”. We are seeing many positive reactions, but are they usually the type of feedback you like to receive? For example, there is a dose of humor in most works, but they also refer to uncomfortable subjects, to serious problems we are facing in today’s society. So if a viewer laughs and moves on with his socially correct life, did the work reach its purpose? What about the difference between the ordinary public and the one that sees your art in a gallery?
I don’t feel like exposing in galleries, I believe that my pieces could be better expressed on streets. My audience are ordinary people with no special arts skills.
“Antistress for free” is certainly one of my most known intervention and is a perfect example of simplicity and interaction with the viewer.
My works should always convey an idea and provoke a reaction, either positive or negative, that could be a laugh or a grimace of dissent. In my point of view, it is not important if you like my work or not, to me it’s important that my works shock you a few seconds: Then you can continue walking or driving on your way, in your ordinary life.
ANTISTRESS FOR FREE, Milan, 2013
We read an article where you were talking about what makes people happy nowadays. And it is this illusion that if you have a job, afford a car and a vacation once a year, why would you ask for more? Where do you think society fails most today? What about the things we forget to be happy about?
In today’s society people feel happy if they have the new iPhone or if they have a nicer car than their friends.
For this reason they must accept several compromises, including having a job that does not satisfy them. In other worse situations, other people may not have the money necessary to maintain their family.
I have a common job that I need to invest money in my artistic project. This is the reason why I don’t have the opportunity to have a house, a nice car, etc. etc. I’m convinced and proud of my choice, but I cannot say to be happy about this situation and is not easy to continue.
I still dream of a world where talent and passion are enough to be happy.
IF I WASN’T LOOKING FOR USELESS ANNOYANCES, I WOULD BE A PAINTER, Milan, 2013
L-L-L LIVE-LEAVE-LEAVES, Milan, 2014
Knowing your graffiti background, it was very unexpected to see “The Cleaner” project. We also saw different references to cleaning public space rather than adding one’s work – a graffiti piece, for example. Why do you feel the need to “clean” the urban space?
“The cleaner” is a parody of the world of graffiti. Many people who don’t know me insulted me, saying that I was a fool: nothing more true but, I love, respect and admire graffiti: to me is like a religion.
This is a provocation to 360° about a crazy guy who cleans instead of dirty, speaking as a writer
Urban clean? I believe that the dirt in a city is provoked by disinterest of the authorities towards the works of requalify, institutional passiveness that don’t invest on creative projects but in public works not completed as well.
This is the dirt of the city and of society. Graffiti is a culture that uses walls and trains to tell of our time: it’s not dirty, it’s just graffiti.
HARDCORE, Milan, 2014
GRAFFITI PUZZLE, Milan, 2014
Other works include characters and heroes that we grew up with. You’ve killed Santa, turned Pacman into a homeless guy, Ken is tired of being a toy-boy, Snoopy writes all sort of messages on walls, Hello Kitty is a prostitute and Ronald McDonald literally hits the trash. Let’s talk a bit about how these “heroes” influence us when we are little and their role in our evolution. What do you think about cartoons and this kind of icons in general? Did you use to like or believe in any of these ones when you were young?
Many years ago I made this series. I did it simply because I like to talk through images, characters and objects universally known.
I think that the figure of the hero is a figure that greatly influences the mind of teenagers, and for this reason, everyone should be careful when deciding to create new heroes.
When I was a child there were heroes who represented those years, it is not a coincidence that today we have heroes like Hello Kitty or Par
HELL OF KITTY, Milano, 2012
What would you never accept as an artist versus what would be the biggest challenge, your must-happen project?
I don’t accept to be a puppet in the hands of art world’s sharks or of corporations. In these last years I was contacted for projects sponsor
I’m still a utopian: I prefer to remain without money and without success, but with the respect of the common people. One of my claims is that the satisfactions don’t
EPHEMERALISM solo exhibition, 2014
We hope that we made our readers curious enough to follow your activity from now on. Where can we see your works next? Tell us about future plans, projects, events, and if we missed something.
After Nuart I decided to stop for a while my activity to be able to think of something new. As I said before, Nuart was an important event in my career and for some aspects it was as an arrival point. I believe that now is the time to experiment with new ways to communicate to ordinary people and I need time to study better the urban space trying to create something new.
In any case I cannot sit too long and I have a lot of works already completed: I realized some in Poland, Slovenia, and of course in my Milan. I’m really close with two international urban artists that I love: stay tuned.
So, stay connect, stay ephemeral!
STOP TO SAY – START TO DO IT, Ljubljana, 2014
Images © Biancoshock / Photos by Myst-R and Ian Cox (the first photo).