“No Limit” in Borås, Update 1 : Temporary, Anamorphic David Zinn


No Limits is in its second year in Borås, Sweden, and the mural festival has been a success aside from two days of rain that displaced the travel plans of a number of the artists. Primarily a beautification project and less about hard-core street art culture, No Limits has the support of city and business officials and much of the citizenry in this downtown district of a town built on the textile industry.


David Zinn. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While many of last year’s and this year’s murals are of the 3 and 4-story high variety, we were interested in finding the small interventions of commercial illustrator David Zinn popping up from concrete throughout the downtown district and thought you might enjoy his ability to mess with your optics and open another door to a world just beneath the bricks.

“I don’t care whether it lasts or not,” says Zinn as we look around the granite flooring of a main square in the Centrum of Borås . “It’s supposed to go away.” By the fading coloring, you can tell that it will definitely be ethereal.


David Zinn. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you position your camera around this camera-ready art, you discover that it works best when you find the correct angle that produces a three-dimensional effect – something he refers to as anamorphic art. “It’s meant to be seen from a specific viewpoint,” Zinn explains while a couple of people walk over to see what we are looking at and pointing to.

“Ideally, you’ll get the feeling that it is actually a hole in the ground.” He stops to assist a visitor who is trying to get a good cell phone shot – “Yeah, you want this line to point up to here, so a little to the left,” he says as he crouches and mimics the position the shooter should take for best effect.


David Zinn. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The work is fantasy, perhaps something that will remind you of illustrations from children’s books. He envisions the surprise element of a discovered creature from the perspective of a child when he plans his installations.

“I’d rather that a person who is on their cellphone walks right over it and misses it if it also means that a kid who is bored and is actually wishing something interesting would happen that day – that he would be like ‘Hey, what the heck is this?’ with a lot of excitement. They get to enjoy it because no one leads them by the hand to experience this piece of art.”


David Zinn. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A no-nonsense and agreeable sort, Zinn is a self-taught artist living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who happens to be in this small Swedish town 25 minutes from Gothenburg doing drawings on the street. He says he doesn’t make art for art’s sake, eschews the idea of a museum experience, and prefers to make temporary works that disappear. “ This was the first form of art that I could find that escapes that proscribed way of telling people how to experience art.” He has made one exception here – his first permanent (or semi-permanent) piece is at the base of a former textile mill here that is now used as a library, science center, and museum, among other things.

Clearly, Zinn is making the work for people to capture and share through photography as well as to discover hidden spots, and in the short time we have been here the local residents are happily discovering the pieces thanks to a map prepared by the well-organized festival. “The work itself cannot be framed and put on your wall,” he says as we walk upon an illustration of a pig which he says has already made it to Swedish television. We stop talking so that he can pose for a photo for someone who has been trolling behind us, listening and watching while the artist explains his work.


Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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