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Brooklyn Street Art

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Spider Tag Uses Electricity to Trace a New Direction In The Dark

Posted on March 29, 2017

It’s good to see artists stretch themselves creatively, going outside of their comfort zone, hopefully, and discovering new techniques and approaches to their art.

“You cannot stay at the same level as when you first practiced your truth, life won’t let you.”

~ Kamal Ravikant, Live Your Truth

Spanish Street Artist Spider Tag has appeared here on BSA for many years constructing his outside constellations in abandoned buildings and community gardens and elsewhere with nails and yarn. If you didn’t see the geometric shapes there on intersecting planes before, he was willing to demarcate their dimensions with bright red lines for your benefit.

Spider Tag. Malmo, Sweden. March 2017. (photo © Spider Tag)

Recently in a new modern neighborhood of Malmö, Sweden called Västra Hamnen, Spidertag decided to use a curiously amenable neon cable material to try out a new public installation. He says the total exhibition lasted about 30 minutes, until the battery died, but it was a successful experiment he is eager to expand upon. “I used nails, a hammer and 50 metres of neon cable,” he says, “I thought it was a perfect spot with the buildings in the horizon.”

Spider Tag. Malmo, Sweden. March 2017. (photo © Spider Tag)

We asked Spider Tag about this new direction and about his practice as an artist working in public space and he reveals that it is not always easy to make a change with your art:

BSA: What inspired you to take this new direction into the darkness?
Spidertag: From 2008 to 2015 I was using yarn and exploring different directions, from geometric, abstract or minimalism in the urban environment and in countryside, taking video documentation and short film. I felt that I had to change the yarn. Even though many people told me that it was a mistake for me to change my art practice because people recognize me for a certain style or practice, I didn´t care. For more than a year I jumped into a bad period in which I didn´t find a solution. It was a scary moment, because I thought that I was losing my sense of direction.

I tried with metal and other materials, but didn’t like the result. And as in a superhero´s classic comic book, by luck or by mistake, I discovered the neon cable. Eureka! Since that moment, I’ve been exploring the use of the light with other materials -hammer, nails and paint- that I´ve used since the beginning of my career. The cool thing for me is that this new material has the same flexible use, but it’s more unique. It is also new and modern in the Street Arts movement.

I had experimented with black lights and yarn back in 2012 in the Alps and in Madrid. So, this is a continuation but with a new power.

Spider Tag. Malmo, Sweden. March 2017. (photo © Spider Tag)

BSA: Do you discover shapes and geometric relationships as you are creating the piece, or do you have the composition diagrammed out in your head before you begin?
Spider Tag: I work with the space. That´s the key in street art, especially when you do illegal work or without permission, because you choose the place. In my case I choose it because the surface, the material, inspire me. I work with sketches and also improvise, but it’s the personal background, the ideas that you look forward to realize and the open eyes to found the perfect place that I follow as a patron…”

Spider Tag. Malmo, Sweden. March 2017. (photo © Spider Tag)

BSA: Sometimes when we see your work, we realize that you are outlining shapes that already exist but we couldn’t see them before.
Spidertag: I walk the streets scanning the surfaces with my mind. There are straight lines everywhere, abandoned spots that are perfect for what I want to do. And when you find these, half of your work is done…

BSA: Have you an interest in creating text or perhaps figures or recognizable icons?
Spider Tag:
Yes, but it’s not my field…

BSA: What do you like the most about creating your art in public space?
Spidertag: I enjoy the exploring the moment, walking or being on the bike or skating. And now, also the magical moment when I press the button and the darkness changes with the lights…

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