Giant green flowers with closed circuit televisions instead of pistols, drone planes with insect legs, cacti that turn into syringes, a cabbage that features a hardened metal dome and 5 gun turrets – all in black and acid green, all surreal hybrids of natural beauty and man’s darker nature.
That’s what LUDO has been creating in Paris and London and Milan for three years or so as part of his “Nature’s Revenge” series of wheat-pastes. The marrying of these two worlds is jarring and uncomfortable, and that’s his point. He wants you to think about man’s march toward technologically more sophisticated ways of being inhuman, of our mindless oggling of the next shiny electronic bauble and our subsequent shameless allegiance to it.
In a way, the nature/technology hybrids are not as futuristic as we may like to think – nanotechnology has been talking about flying insect sized cameras since the dawn of this century – and greater awareness of the precarious discoveries man is making and his inability to meet them may be a side effect of the series. Plumes of oil, anyone?
Now in New York, LUDO is already making us think, and I’ve got to admit I’m thrilled. I like it when art makes me think, even if it is about things I don’t understand or am uncomfortable with. It’s kind of like cloud computing. Or James Dobson. Or blue cheese.
BSA: Did you ever see the movie called “Little Shop of Horrors” ?
BSA: Because it’s about a man-eating plant…
LUDO: No. I have to see it.
BSA: Okay, one down. So it’s true that you studied sociology and graphic design. Do you see any connection between sociology and your street art?
LUDO: Yeah, certainly I am interested in people. I am interested in bringing a message to the street that can easily be understood. Certainly street art is a bit of sociology. I mean you try to grab what you can from the society and incorporate it into your work and then take it back out to the streets with your personality in it.
BSA: So you are using your art to communicate with people on the street?
LUDO: Yes, actually I try to go out in Paris on Sunday during the day – and while I am putting work out sometimes people come to talk to me. Just normal people who just want to ask me about the work. It is good. Okay, maybe it is a little for your ego, or a lot for your ego but then it for me a study. I won’t doing any art so people will hate me, or to fight with me. I’m not interested in that. It’s better to have them in a good mood.
BSA: Tuthfully, you also like to watch the reaction of people who see your work.
LUDO: Yes because they are interested in the fact that it’s a kind of a naïve subject; with a flower or birds but they like to get a little closer and see that there are guns – it’s nice, it’s interesting.
BSA: Right so let’s talk about that ; Guns, violence, implied threats of violence, high technology – is it about fear?
LUDO: No, it’s more about everything that stupidly rules the world. I mean guns, technology, humans, new gadgets – That is what I like to take and remix and give a message.
BSA: Do you have any animals at home?
LUDO: Yeah, an English Bulldog.
BSA: That’s it?
LUDO: No no, I don’t have any insects. I do have a garden for food, and an aromatic garden (herb garden).
BSA: You’ve been doing the “Nature’s Revenge” series for about two years?
LUDO: Maybe like three. This butterfly is a new one for me. I try to go out maybe every time with a new piece. I’m not interested in always put up the same stuff. I try to see the spot and imagine the pieces.
BSA: Why was this butterfly so difficult today?
LUDO: The wind! The paste too. Usually the paste I use is really strong and with a big piece it sticks immediately.
BSA: You have done some gallery work, mostly group shows. When street artists transition from the street to the gallery, many artists change their work. When you think about street artists that go into the gallery, who do you like?
LUDO: I am a big fan of Neckface. And I’ve always been really interested in how he works in the streets. And his gallery work is awesome; it is so strong; it’s thin lines, it’s clean, it’s perfect – even if the message continues to be so strong. That is what I like. If someone who is a street artist does gallery work, I think it has to be different, it needs to reach a different level.
BSA: So who are some of your favorite street artists right now?
LUDO: Yeah Neckface will always be. I love Bast. I like also Sweet Toof. Yeah so those are the three.