Peace & Outrage
From Hope to Demagogue.
Last year I intended to round off my series of SPYO posts with one on the Shepard Fairey “Peace” mural at Jagtvej 69 – one of “the birds” makes an appearance there too.
Today seemed an appropriate day to finally get that done.
I had the idea to put together a little map of the various locations at which I’ve taken photographs of the Spyo BIRDS on my routes through the city. I’ve used OpenStreetMap before, but it isn’t possible to add multiple locations or images to markers using their web interface. Mapbox, a platform that builds on OpenStreetMaps, turned out to be a wonderful solution. With a little help from one of their tutorials, I’ve easily been able to set up what I had in mind.
Click on a marker to see the photograph for that location, and follow the link to the relevant 100 Days of Something post.
This one seems fairly new.
Painted background fill and sprayed outlines.
A few things fitting into place for me after reading the Politiken Spyo article yesterday. The birds seem to be something from the years since that 2010 interview. Before that it seems to have been mainly banners – with a strong element, that’s continued, of social commentary. 1
I CAN’T BREATHE
YOUR MONEY, UP MY ASS
ONE MAN’S TRASH, ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE
The lettering shaped by the width of the paint roller, the reach of the telescope handle, the number of letters and the amount of space available.
I’m not sure how the birds came into the picture. A Spy vs. Spy reference? Spyo, SPYONE. They’re often strikingly serene though.
The birds and banners have made quite a distinctive mark on Copenhagen, and even Aarhus: One of them was adopted as the motto for the 10th SPOR Festival in 2014.
DO IT ANYWAY
Ever since the FNUG・SPY photograph and my subsequent ASCII experiments, I’ve suddenly been noticing those bird heads all over town. They distinguish themselves from most sprayed graffiti not only by their painted style, but also their placement, which is often close to the top of the space they’re painted on, or at least quite high up. They’re quite literally raised above the rest.
The more I’ve been noticing them, the more I’ve begun to wonder about the artist. A little searching on the web turned up this Politiken article from 2010. At the time he’d been at it for six years, and that was six years ago, almost to the day.
The Daily FNUG
Looking again at another of the FNUG bird heads, I realize that the ragged style is intended, and not just a result of the bricked surfaces they’re painted on. This one is in any case painted on a smooth surface.