UK-based artist Mobstr seeks the fine line between art and advertising. Just simple sentences that make you think, criticize advertising, and sometimes all cliches in street art. As we can see in the pictures, his work consists of a minimalistic style with black stenciled grafitti letters on a billboard or wall. However, such simple sarcastic and ironic messages can provoke a lot more…
Mobstr’s inspiring work strongly reminds me of the 1988 horror classic ‘They Live’ by John Carpenter. In the plot the protagonist discovers a pair of sunglasses that let him encounter what’s really going on in black and white vision – aliens trying to take over the world through thought control and subliminal messages like ‘Obey’, ‘Conform’, ‘Consume’, ‘Marry and Reproduce’. Okay, that might seem a bit farfetched and we don’t need a pair of glasses (sorry Google) to add to reality in this case. However, that does not say the basic idea ‘of black and white slogans’ can be effective and that is exactly what Mobstr demonstrates.
His goal is to make those billboard frames as counter-productive as possible. “I think ‘What is the last thing a billboard would say?’ and then I put that on it”, Mobstr explains in this interview with the blog Public Ad Campaign. “We’re indoctrinated with the belief that grafitti (or now known as street art) is a bloght on our space yet the majority of use happily walk around the visual bombardment of advertising without a moment of questioning is justification.”
Why is grafitti considered pollution of walls, while the act of making is more pure as an art form in itself? I’d say that it an interesting philosophical question, but that it also marks a shift in the way we relate to public space. Mobstr’s work even got picked up by New Castle’s local authorities, that’s the way to embed counter culture. And he makes a little fun of us bloggers as well with his work ‘Reblog This’. Want to see more of Mobstr’s work? Check out his website.