BSA in Print : “Community Service” – The Art of C215

“On these hard streets a man discarded can’t possibly feel like a citizen of any community. I’ve wandered these streets in my own disconnected delerium and not seen the homeless man lying inside the contorted cardboard box. Layered in sweatshirts and drowsy beneath the roaring traffic on the bridge his eyes flicker above the edge of the box and we are jolted by each others’ suddenness. It’s a split second, and maybe unnerving, but not uncaring. I am, after all, only another man, and here we are on the same street. Given the right chain of events, I could be the one peering out over the tattered edge. Am I changed by this moment? Sometimes I am.” – Steven P. Harrington

So began the introduction by Steven P. Harrington to the book “Community Service”, a monograph of the French Street Artist named C215 that was released last year. It was one of three published works that BSA was honored to write for and provide images for in 2011.

C215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The multi-layered and luminescent stencil portraits that C215 has created in neighborhoods of cities all over the world have made his work well-known and respected by peers in the Street Art world. For us, his technique and human touch has been so inspiring that it was an automatic response when he asked us to write the introduction and conduct an extensive interview with him for his book.  Along with photographs of his work by Jaime Rojo, the work that C215 considers to be “community service” is captured in print by an international roster of many of today’s top street art photographers.

Together they all tell a story about a moment, this moment on the street with one of the best, and we were proud to be a part of it in 2011.

C215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Excerpted from the interview for “Community Service”:

Steven P. Harrington: Some people have said that Street Art is transforming contemporary life. Is that one of it’s roles?

C215: I think that an observant person seeing these small works will never return to an ordinary view of the streets. The day you become interested in street art is a kind of point of no return. The German poet Novalis said, “If you look for your favorite color, you will see it everywhere”. I could say the same about graffiti. Street art is changing urban perception for sure, and if you begin to photograph something you have found and show it to someone else, you are so happy to share it.

C215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Steven P. Harrington: When you create portraits of people, often they are people who are in the margins of a society. Can you talk about how you decide which people you will portray in a certain environment?

C215: This is a personal artistic attitude: I try to interact with context, so I place in the streets elements and characters that belong especially to the streets. I like to show things and people that society aims at keeping hidden: homeless, smokers, street kids, etcetera. It is also the result of a certain personal ideology, being socially inadapted myself.

Regarding the pictures I use, it is always a completely subjective choice, based on my own emotions. I’m always expressing my personal feelings through an image everyone can understand. The work has to remain one of self-expression, even when it is also useful for the community. Changing the city by adding color and faces to it is a good compromise.

C215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Community Service” the art of C215, featuring photography by Vitostreet (FR), Chrixcel (FR), RomanyWG (GBR), Luna Park(US), Jaime Rojo (US), Lois Stavsky (US), Jessica Stewart (IT), Vinny Cornelli (US), Elodie Wilhem (CHE), Lionel Belluteau (FR), Unusualimage (GBR), and Gregory J. Smith(BR). With introduction and interview by Steven P. Harrington from Brooklyn Street Art, a preface by Marc & Sara Schiller from Wooster Collective, and Thierry Froger, collector.

Please follow and like us: