Sunday, August 31, 2008
Urban Art - Moss Graffiti!
A new type of urban art has come down the pike and I'm slapping my forehead thinking, "Why didn't *I* think of this??!!" Unless you’re really a hipster avant-gardener art rogue, you’ve probably never heard of Moss Graffiti.
As the name suggests, this is a graffiti-like rendering which is done with moss, rather than ink. In order to make your own green piece of urban art, you only need a good moss graffiti recipe, and it’s actually quite simple. Basically you’ll need some pieces of moss, some beer and sugar; you just need to mix the ingredients in a blender until you get a smooth “moss milkshake”.
One or two clumps (about a small handful) of moss
2 cups of buttermilk
2 cups of water (or beer)
1/2 tsp. sugar
container with lid
When you’re done, you just need to pick an appropriate wall (damp and shady) and paint the moss mixture in the wall, using your favorite technique (paintbrush or stencil). After a few weeks, the moss will regroup along the pattern you’ve painted, and you’ll get a perfect moss graffiti. How cool is that?
Eco-minded street artist Edina Tokodi is putting a new spin on green guerilla tactics in the trendy art enclave of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Tokodi’s site-specific moss installations of prancing animal figures and camouflage outgrowths are the talk of a local urban neighborhood typically accustomed to gallery hype and commercial real estate take-overs. Unlike the market-driven art featured in sterile, white box galleries, the work of Tokodi is meant to be touched, felt, and in turn touch you in the playful ways that her animated installations call to mind a more familiar, environmentally friendly state in the barren patches of urban existence.
Tokodi believes strongly that the reactions of passersby (or the lack of any reaction at all) is really an indicator of a deeper malaise that we need to pay attention to and reseed with “mentally healthy garden states” and direct interactive engagement.
The artist states:
“I think that our distance from nature is already a cliché. City dwellers often have no relationship with animals or greenery. As a public artist I feel a sense of duty to draw attention to deficiencies in our everyday life. As a cultivator of eco-urban sensitivity, I usually go back to the sites to visit my “plants” or “moss”, sometimes to repair them a bit, but nothing more generally as they tend to get enough water from the air, condensation, and rain - especially in certain seasons. I also like to let them live by themselves. From the moment I put them on the street they start to have their own life. For me, the reaction of life on the street is also very important. I am curious about how people receive them, if they just leave them alone, or if they want to, take care of them or dismantle them. This is what makes my work similar to graffiti, although I am searching for a deeper social meaning and a dialogue with memories of the animals and gardens of my past in a small town in Central Europe. I believe that if everyone had a garden of their own to cultivate, we would have a much more balanced relation to our territories. Of course, a garden can be many things.”
Edina Tokodi studied graphic art and design at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts and also completed urban design course work in Milan, Italy. Her work can be seen on the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and in unexpected outcroppings on a street near you.
Click HERE to read more about this fascinating new green art form!
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