Vermibus x Moniker x BSA

In advance of Moniker in Brooklyn this May, we are interviewing some of the artists who are influenced both by street practice and fine art as the contemporary urban art category continues to evolve. Today, BSA is talking to Vermibus.

Readers of BSA will know that we have written about Vermibus many times for a number of years, so it is great to see him here in New York for Moniker. The Berlin-based Spanish artist takes a full frontal attack on advertising in the beauty and fashion fields primarily, using a paint solvent to dissolve features of high fashion models to disrupt idealized standards of beauty.

A veteran of countless takeovers of public bus shelters and kiosks here and across Europe, the results are shocking and confusing to passersby, who perhaps wonder if they are seeing something official and fashion forward or if its a viral ad using surrealist melting forms.

Vermibus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

To quote one of our own many texts, Vermibus is using solvent “to paint his critique of the corrosiveness of a commercial beauty culture that tears down and divides, glorifies consumerism for its own sake, belittles and relentlessly attacks self esteem and plays on negative emotions to enforce normative values about appearance. He takes the posters back to a studio and selectively eliminates words, logos, facial features, even entire faces — and then carries them to another city to repost on new streets. Sometimes he also takes them to an art framer.”

BSA: How would you describe your work to someone who is seeing it for the first time?
Vermibus: With my work I talk about 3 main topics.

It’s a critique of advertising, a reflection about beauty standards and an investigation on the complexities of the human being, not necessarily in this order.

Vermibus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: What is your intersection with Brooklyn and it’s history of Street Art and graffiti?
Vermibus: I haven’t spend enough time in Brooklyn to be able to answer this question properly.

All I can say is that for those who come from the graffiti scene we are obviously very influenced by NYC and Brooklyn in particular.

BSA: What’s most important to you?
Vermibus: Keep on standing up every time I fall.

Vermibus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Are graffiti and Street Art allowed to change, or should there be a strict definitions they adhere to?
Vermibus: I don’t think graffiti can change and still be graffiti, same like I don’t think street art can change and still be street art, will be another thing.

I believe in evolution and I think is not only good but necessary, but labels are made to define things. If things change then we’ll need more labels.

BSA: Moniker says your work has been influential and/or fundamental to urban & contemporary art’s growth. Can you see their point?
Vermibus: I guess for some people I could have been very influential and I think my work has the ingredients to open new perspectives in the scene.

But only people with a great overview of the scene can say and only time can confirm.

So far, Moniker has been very good at observing and guiding the scene over the years, so I’m happy they see my work as such.

BSA: Name one artist whose work you admire today.
Vermibus: Axel Void.

For more information please go to Moniker Art Fair HERE.