How & Nosm Strike a “Balancing Act” in Detroit

Yin and Yang.
Good and Evil.
Joy and Pain.
Positive and Negative.
Bitterness and Forgiveness.
These are among the laws of polarity that are at play in our daily lives with us somehow moderating, ameliorating, mollifying, strengthening, accentuating one or the other to achieve a sense of balance.

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

Graffiti writers/Street Artists and twin brothers How & Nosm draw our attention to this continuous and natural process in an epic new mural that they just completed in Detroit. They tell us that the framework of “family” was on their minds when conceptualizing the piece, with cogitations on the traditional polarity of matriarchy and patriarchy and the often delicate nature of providing a harmonious structure within that framework. It’s an idyllic concept, and in their press release the brothers acknowledge that is not always the case.

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

Completed in conjunction with their “In Between” show at the Library Street Collective, this balancing act is “We are each pulled in different directions and balancing work, personal life, family and friends and health is increasingly difficult.”

The massive work contains symbols of struggle and throughout the composition looks for optical counterweights to answer overages, completed with patterning, character, and calligraphic linework. As with many of their nested storylines, How & Nosm leave much of the interpretation to the viewer here – a vibrant and organic painting that provides a balance to an equally massive one on this prima facade by Shepard Fairey that was also commissioned by a real estate company.

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

Proudly coming from a background of graffiti and vandalism to completing a paid legal mural itself encompasses a polarity that many fans and critics discuss regularly today, not always producing agreement. We don’t know if the brothers considered this debate specifically when approaching the project,but you know it probably crosses their minds. Maybe that’s why the last statement they make in their description of the new work is “This mural stands as a reminder to strive for that balance.”

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

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How & Nosm. “Balancing Act” with Shepard’s Fairey on the right. Detroit, USA. May 2016. (photo © How & Nosm)

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