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Brooklyn Street Art

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Follow @AnneFrank : Street Art, Twitter and History

Posted on October 6, 2010

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. http://4rbyf.th8.us #optimism #hope #beauty

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103 characters and her followers would have had an update of exactly what Anne Frank was thinking. The inner life of this girl, as recorded in her diary, has inspired many an artist, author, movie director, painter, and writer to contemplate their own.

Irish stencil Street Artist Vango has just imagined Anne Frank as she might be today – sending her personal thoughts and observations, status updates. It’s a tricky minefield of human history to tread for an artist and the implications of a wireless data stream available to all are still being assessed by contemporary culture.  As our historical touchstones are viewed through these new screens, sometimes it can be jolting and will raise questions. What parallels exist today, and what has been fundamentally changed by our creation?

Vango "Follow <a href=@ Anne Frank" (Photo © Vango)” width=”740″ height=”987″ />
Vango “Follow @AnneFrank” (Photo © Vango)

Brooklyn Street Art: With this new stencil you have updated an image of Anne Frank using what we are calling “social media”. What inspired you to create this piece?
Vango: Well, I always like merging the past with the present in my work and I especially like painting historic characters using the modern equivalent of their chosen medium. Today everyone ‘s on Twitter or Facebook expressing themselves to the world, which is a positive thing, except 99% of what they say is irrelevant bulls**t. On the flip side, 65 years ago this young girl actually had something to say that was unheard in her lifetime.
BSA
Brooklyn Street Art: Tell us a bit about the Street Art scene in Ireland.
Vango: Obviously Ireland isn’t known for Street Art but there are some talented artists emerging, especially in the last year or two like KARMA, ADW, Canvaz, Maser and of course Conor Harrington.
BSA
Brooklyn Street Art: Who would you cite as an inspiration as an artist?
Vango: As a stencil artist it’s hard not to mention Banksy. Lots of stencil artists are reluctant to admit that Banksy had an influence on them at the risk of sounding like stale copy cats. That’s understandable but I’d rather be honest and admit that Banksy had a major role in my decision to pick up a can. The guy makes it look so easy again  and again and the least he deserves is homage from newbie stencil artists.
BSA
Brooklyn Street Art: Why do you think Street Art is important and relevant in today’s art world?
Vango: It’s there for everyone to see, like it or not. It demands to be noticed and as you can tell it’s succeeding. You can be on a train, walking to work or driving home and see art that’s just as thought provoking as art you have to go out of your way to find. I think that ‘s important because nobody seems to have time anymore. If you have a job and a favorite TV show, your day is spent.