Thè Orion | Interview
Read our exclusive interview with stencil artist Thè Orion and find out more about his street art activity.
You have been a stencil artist for almost 10 years. One of your works refers to the evolution of art, and the present time is defined, in your vision, by street art. So, Thè Orion is here and now. How was your journey? Did you reach the final destination?
It wasn’t just a journey, it was more like a detour hitchhike towards the furthest point, where you end a search and follow a vision, if I think about it. Somehow I can say I arrived where I wanted, but time constantly changes the final destination, thus creating its own constellation.
It took me nearly a decade of self-discovery, recently accepting the fact I was performing a revolution movement around astronomy, fact I hardly noticed in the tribute to Yuri Gagarin.
An exciting era which still remains intact; that final result, worries, work, attention. I select and sometimes accept certain project proposals which offer me the possibility of testing or developing new techniques, but this is clearly not a source of income, not my objective.
I am aware that what I create will leave a trace in the history of Romanian street art, perhaps this is why I’ve sought to improve myself, each work being increasingly closer to the original idea.
And yes, I was born in Tulcea. Not so many people talk about this city.
“I don’t see any God up here” – the words of astronaut Yuri Gagarin seem to have impressed you and generated the Cosmos motif in your artworks. What do you think is “up there”?
Nothing else but stars in a huge vacuum and a possibility.
Before discovering spray and stencil, I was captivated by astronomy. In 7th grade I was already playing with my own telescope, making all sorts of observations and imagination tests. My passion began earlier, but I never took it seriously, I wanted something else for my stencils.
Being so attracted to this science, I simply could not deny the major influence it had on my thinking. I accepted this idea and for 3 days, under a bridge, I began one of my best works yet, which in time seems to gain more and more attention, especially internationally, than it had then.
Incidentally, the result was one that fit me.
What is man in your vision and how do you define the relationship between humans and Cosmos?
Man… is a silhouette. Nothing and everything, limited by his own mind.
Without the night, we wouldn’t have known the existence of stars, of the universe. He who doesn’t find time to stop and discover, astonished, is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.
You were silent for a while, then you impressed us with your work at the 2013 Timişoara International Street Art Festival, and at TIMAF 2013. Tell us more about your comeback and the meaning of your recent works.
Generally speaking, I needed silence.
I chose to stay away, both in real life and virtually, just standing “there” for long periods of time, sketching things in my thoughts. I remained “there” for a long time, and was asked if everything is okay with me, often just being physically present. However, I was calm in many quiet places, in nature.
You can do many things when you are calm and certain of what you want. New ideas and a unique style were carefully developed, in an undetermined period, in silence.
It’s not enough having patience with such things, the concentration is crucial. Normally, I would have published some works a long time ago, even a couple of times, considering the tense moments, the lack of continuity I’ve been through. The reason I brought to an end the endless revisions of anything I created was the opportunity to participate, for the third time, at F.I.S.A. Timișoara.
I do not know yet who my character is, he is always in the shadows, always acting behind the shadows. I would say he is a guardian vandal, who points towards the things outside the “bubble” where we live, great things that establish the law of the universe and require a better understanding. Or maybe it’s just a shadow seeking its master.
From your own experience, what kind of relationship is created between the viewer and your works? What are the reactions?
In recent years, I tried to test my main ideas in Brașov, and I found people to be honest.
Also, there I encountered the first reactions to the project, when it was still in a work in progress phase, opening new opportunities in my mind of what could follow.
It’s interesting how people respond to the emergence of the human element, be it just a silhouette. It generates a universal attraction, as in the universe, even if its nature remains unknown.
What disappoints you about the environment in which you work? Where do you think there is a need for change, so that things can get better, at least for art?
Regardless of the possibilities, I could adapt to the situation. You have to.
I detest that glow in people’s eyes when they hear about “foreign artists” and the ignorant approach of Romanian street art festival organizers regarding Romanian artists. There is no respect and attention for us.
Obviously, this hatred includes politics, with the welcomed propaganda posters „Lost Future, Hope, Progress” and „Mountain Escu”.
There will also be others in the future.
How will you continue your journey?
All images © Thè Orion
[Originally posted on November 9, 2013 on The re:art Facebook page; Revised for the current version].