«THE UNKNOWN» by STRANGE BIRD

STRANGE BIRD Interview about their project «The Unknown» – 26-04-2021

Street Art piece that has modified the urban space: The Unknown

Location: Schaerbeek / Bruxelles 

Year : 2021

1- If you had to choose a Street Art piece that you created, as a transformation of the urban space, which one would you choose? How does this Street Art piece denote urban space metamorphosis?

If I chose this work, it is because it has a direct link with the wall on which it is placed. Before on this wall there was tiling but over time the tiling was destroyed, until it completely disappeared. Our character begins this transformation. He also begins to disappear, as if the wall contaminated him.

Strange Bird – «The unknown» 2021 – @strange.bird.bxl – https://www.instagram.com/strange.bird.bxl/tagged/

2- Why did you make this Street Art piece in this urban space? Was it the town hall or the property owner who authorized or asked you to create it? Can we consider this work as illegal/vandalism or legal, what is your criteria?

The place has imposed itself on this work. This artwork was already prepared for a long time but I was looking for the perfect wall visually. When I discovered this place, I knew that this work had to go on this wall, it made sense.

This is work done without permission. But even if it can be considered illegal, I consider it legitimate. Because the wall has suffered the damage of time. I just put the tiles back where it used to be.

3- What is the message you want to communicate through this Street Art piece? Is it related to the urban space where you did it?

I don’t really like to talk about a «message» in relation to my works. I obviously have an intention, an emotion that emerges from each of my characters. But it seems to me more important that the passers-by form their own idea of ​​the intention. Everyone sees what they want to see based on their experience, from the moment they discover it, …

4- How was this work integrated into the urban space? What was the interaction that the inhabitants of this city had with your project? Did they participate in its creation?

I think this work fits into the urban space because it takes up the “codes” of this space: the tiles. But beyond that, just like the wall, the character deteriorates.

I’m used to working solo. So I don’t involve the inhabitants. It is at the same time a personal project, very intimate but also unassuming. I put it in the street and the interactions that passers-by have with my works remain between my works and passers-by

5- Do you think it is important that the local people participate during the production of your work and that they become artists modifying the urban space or do you prefer to carry out your projects alone without anyone seeing you?

If they want to change the urban space, then they do. I prefer to work alone. On the other hand, I do not pose my projects at night but in broad daylight. Often when people pass by, I only receive compliments. I think I’m just as lucky to run into cops during the day as I’m at night so it doesn’t bother passers-by so much to do it in broad daylight.

Strange Bird – «The unknown» 2021 – @strange.bird.bxl – https://www.instagram.com/strange.bird.bxl/tagged/

6- According to you, what is the criteria that determines your Street Art work modifies the urban space and why is your work considered aesthetically well done?

I consider my work to be aesthetically well done when the optical illusion is working perfectly. And it is also at this time that the work modifies the urban space. Because from a distance one can believe that it is only a character drawing on the walls. But the closer we get, the more our eye is held by this sculpture that we had not seen and that we did not expect.

7-What is the “historical future” of your work? Should we take care of it, preserve it and repaint it as if it were a museum’s piece of art? Or should it be allowed to age with the city itself?

When I create a work in my studio, it is mine. But from the moment I put it down in the street, it no longer belongs to me. He makes her life, he belongs to the street. I know that my works are fleeting, because they are thought of like that. Just like us, my characters are born, live and disappear. Some can live a year and a half on the city walls and others last no more than three days. It’s life.

8- How does your work add value to the urban space in which it is produced?

The choice of spaces and walls is very important to me. I only put my works on damaged, dirty, tagged walls or spaces … I feel like I am allowing passers-by to take another look at these walls and at urban art in general.

9- What were the difficulties that you encountered during the completion of your work modifying the urban space?

I especially had difficulties at the beginning of my practice with the collage of the sculptures. Certain was too heavy and so I already found myself with a character on the wall and a broken hand after 2 min. But I worked on that point and now it fits perfectly. Basically, I have very few surprises or difficulties because I will locate the places beforehand and I know my equipment. I know what to do and in less than 10 minutes I’m off.

10- Why is urban art important to modify the urban space? What sort of projects are you planning to do in the future ?

The strange Bird project continues to evolve. At the moment, I am working on wall abolition. A man who “reconnects” two different places. It’s a bit complicated to explain in a few lines but the visual will speak for itself.

Interview conducted by Art Bill – journalist and owner of Street Art In Action.

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