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Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

Herakut says “Find Your Own Voice”

Posted on April 30, 2012

German Street Artists and collaborators Hera and Akut have been in San Francisco recently for their solo show “Loving the Exiled” and while there they also had time to get up in the street. With roots in crews in the graffiti scene when they were both in their mid-teens, the two are twice that now and have a strong practice of fine and street art that takes them around the world. With distinctly different styles, the tension and contrast compliment one another in their mainly figurative work, and each considers the other a perfect counterbalance in an ongoing conversation.

Herakut (Photo © Jennifer Goff)

While preparing for their show at the 941 Geary Gallery, photographer Jennifer Goff captured some of the newest street work  for BSA readers. We had the opportunity to interview Herakut and learn about their process, their preferred materials, their prose, and the importance of finding your own voice as an artist.

Our thanks to Herakut for stealing away some time to speak with us and to Jennifer for her photography.

Brooklyn Street Art: Your work is truly collaborative and integrated. In what way does it seem like a conversation between two people?
HERAKUT:
In every way. And there are more voices than just our two. We open up the dialogue when we come across a great thought, quote it and work with it, like we did in SF with the poem “LASH” by the exiled Iranian writer Mehrangiz Rassapour – a woman who has seen a lot of pain. She added some strong thoughts to our conversation and raised questions for us to come clear with.

Herakut (Photo © Jennifer Goff)

Brooklyn Street Art: There are a number of loners – single graff/Street Artists on the street today, as well as those who like to run with a partner or a crew. Which approach helps an artist to develop their own voice?
HERAKUT:
Only when you have found your own voice you have something to contribute to a conversation, right? So, fit is probably best to find your own artistic identity first because then you know what it is that you are lacking. Akut and Hera are like Ying and Yang. That is what makes the work in our duo so effective. We don´t step on each other´s feet, because we have separate territories.

 

Herakut (photo © Jennifer Goff)

Herakut (Photo © Jennifer Goff)

Brooklyn Street Art: If you had very similar styles, do you think it would bore you? Do you think the tension between the more fine art approach of Akut and the raw expression of Hera is what we see in a finished piece?
HERAKUT: Yes, the contrast between our styles highlights each one. And the is another bonus to being so different from each other – there is no competition between the two of us. We don´t try to exceed the other, we try to add on to the other one´s work.

Brooklyn Street Art: It seems like your work has some of the same cadences and lyricism found in the written word. Have you illustrated a classic piece of literature or poetry? Do you want to?
HERAKUT:
It´s like we are sitting in this boat in a stream and we grab and work with whatever happens to be floating close to us. We don´t stretch out too far, it has to find its way to us naturally. Therefore, we don´t even check for it´s qualities in terms of having a classic value. If it sounds good, we´ll work with it, like with this line “COWARDS DIE MANY TIMES BEFORE THEIR DEATHS”. Loved it, and then later found out it was something Shakespeare had written. Supposedly.

 

Herakut with Rusk (Photo © Jennifer Goff)

Herakut with Rusk (Photo © Jennifer Goff)

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes your pieces contain text – are those pieces of poems? A bit of inspiration?
HERAKUT: 
When we really quote, we always try to reference to the writer. Other then that we use our own words. They are the titles of each piece, but more so – it´s the words that add the twist to the painting. It is another layer of communication and we don´t want to miss out on that one, since communication is the whole reason for us to create art.

Brooklyn Street Art: Most favorite surface : wood, concrete, canvas, bricks, rusty metal.
HERAKUT:
Brick is not a good one, because it causes too much disturbance on the realism bits. It´s too busy to begin with. Like wood. And wood is often so beautiful that it doesn´t need anything to it. Just like rust. Rust is actually a performance art created by water and air. Pretty good combo. For us concrete is probably the best one. There is something very frustrating about it. So many horrible walls and boundaries have been built of concrete. It´s not a friendly medium. It needs to be attacked, we think.

Herakut with Rusk (Photo © Jennifer Goff)

Herakut with Rusk (Photo © Jennifer Goff)

Herakut with Rusk (Photo © Jennifer Goff)

“Loving the Exiled” is currently on view at the 941 Geary Gallery in San Francisco. Click here for more details regarding this exhibition. With our sincere thank yous to Jennifer for sharing her photos with us.

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