All posts tagged: Genova

Biancoshock Switches Colors of Graff Pieces: Conceptual Project on Others Work

Biancoshock Switches Colors of Graff Pieces: Conceptual Project on Others Work

In his latest theoretical and conceptual performance project with the graffiti tags of others, Biancoshock (formerly Fra. Biancoshock) switches the color palettes of two pieces that are located near one another to “demonstrate that interchanging the colors doesn’t change the result.

Over the last two years the artist has done 3 of these “actions”, as he refers to them. “I’ve interchanged the colors of the graffiti without modifying the outline of the pieces,” he says, explaining that he took special pains to research and find “the exact color tone in order to substitute the color of each piece.”


Joke and Kream original work. Italy. (photo © Biancoshock)


Biancoshock “Commutative” intervention on the original pieces. (photo © Biancoshock)

In Biancoshock’s view the resulting pieces are the equivalent of a provocation to the original writers. “The act is minimal but very strong because in the graffiti world this could be perceived as an act of blasphemy; almost like writing “TOY” on someone else’s graffiti. Possibly it’s even worse because is like a sacrilege to alter a graffiti done by another.”

But he says that evoking the ire of various writers by making these color switches without permission is not the aim of the project. “I’ve done this to demonstrate that even if the order of the colors is changed, the result doesn’t change. Biancoshock sites his own interpretation of the commutative property in arithmetic.


Biancoshock at work on Joke and Kream works. (photo © Biancoshock)

And truthfully, we could agree with him until he made that statement, then the argument falls apart for us. “Graffiti are graffiti- they have a presence in the urban context, they have a story, a message, are signs of a passage – all independently of their more technical aspects, such as coloring or style,” he says,

“I believe that if I showed to the author of these graffiti pieces after many years these ‘modified’ pieces, they probably would not remember the color, but they certainly remember to have done that piece, because graffiti are for writers a little piece of their life, of personal history.”


Spid and Fish original work. Italy. (photo © Biancoshock)


Biancoshock “Commutative” intervention on the original pieces. (photo © Biancoshock)

It is an interesting project and it would be interesting to hear what the original author of these changed works would think.

But with all due respect, to say that the results are the same is to be color blind and insensitive to the characteristics which cultures and traditions have historically assigned to colors. Red may infer urgent danger to one person, but good luck to another. White calls to mind a funeral in some cultures, a wedding in others. For years baby showers featured a predominance of pink items for a new girl and blue clothes and toys for boys.

Also, need we mention that many artists have favorite colors or palettes, and it is doubtful that colors here are completely arbitrary and lacking in meaning to their original creators. He mentions piece are a little piece of the writers life and personal history, which is precisely the reason why colors will be important to them ultimately.


Biancoshock at work on Spid and Fish works. (photo © Biancoshock)

In math a binary operation is commutative if changing the order of the operands does not change the result, but in this case the result has changed as well. We are not sure we can agree with the artist that the outcome is the same using different colors.

But congratulations to Biancoshock for this visually and intellectually stimulating project and our sincere thanks for sharing these exclusive images with BSA readers. Biancoshock also asked if we would post his statement as follows: “I apologize to Fish, Spid, Kream, Joke, Draco and Pant for this action, I hope they understand my purpose.”


Draco and Pant original work. Italy. (photo © Biancoshock)


Biancoshock “Commutative” intervention on the original pieces. (photo © Biancoshock)


Biancoshock at work on Draco and Pant works. (photo © Biancoshock)





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Opiemme Writes Poetry and Letterforms Across Italy

Opiemme Writes Poetry and Letterforms Across Italy

”What do you write?”

For decades graffiti writers have been checking out one anothers’ bonafides with this question. Even as tags turned to large complex pieces, evermore stylized through means of exaggeration or obfuscation, text has always stayed as a fundamental building block for graffiti writers.


Opiemme. Edgar A. Poe. “The Raven” Torino, Italy. (photo © Opiemme)

Italian fine artist and Street Artist Opiemme took a variety of routes to employ the text-based art of writers and poets on the street this summer with his “journey through painting and poetry.” Breaking apart, recombining, stretching and spreading the written letterform, the public poetic paintings were conceived to be site-specific and included walls and pavement installations across Italy from north to south, including Torino, Bologna, Rieti, Pizzo Calabro, Faggiano (Taranto), Ariano Irpino, Menfi, Genova, Tirano (Sondrio), and finally Rome.

“I paint using stencil and letter to create images to be read and words to be looked at,” says Opiemme, who travelled more than 5,000 kilometers by train and bus to do his various installations that included 15 murals and a 7 kilometer long “River of words” painted on the pavement in Turin.



Opiemme. Jupiter. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

With the help of a webzine, a few galleries, and even the city of Turin, Opiemme found a receptive audience for his works, perhaps because he chose scribes known and admired in the locations he created works for. Among them are local writers and poets mixed with the American Jazz musician Louis Armstrong and Armenian-American rock band System of a Down.  Also included are Edgar Allan Poe, Giovanni Pascoli, S. Francesco D’Assisi, Franco Arminio, Giacomo Leopardi, and Riccardo Bacchelli.

Opiemme says he likes to explore the border between poetry and image, public and private, and to use the printed word as a graphic element on which to build more meanings, even as he sometimes disconnects the letters from their original context. With work that often touches on social or environmental themes  his work has evolved onto the street and into the gallery in the 10+ years he has been practicing. For the Turin born Opiemme it is about plumbing the fine lines between public art, Street Art, and the written word to bring poetry out into the open.


Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Donato Aquaro)


Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Sara Spallarossa)


Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Donato Aquaro)


Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Turin, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Fagginao Jaz Festival, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Bacchelli. Bologna, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Ariano, Italy. (photo © Livio Ninni)


Opiemme. Pizzo, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Rieti, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Detail. Menfi, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Menfi, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Menfi, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Tirano, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)


Opiemme. Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)



Permission granted for photography used here by Opiemme, who wishes to thank photographers Cristina Principale (Bologna), Mario Covotta, Floriano Cappelluzzo (Ariano Irpino), Claudia Giraud, Thut Duong Nguyen (Torino), Livio Ninni, Ilaria Massaccesi (Tirano), Alessandro Orlandi (Rieti), Stencil Noire Cut (Faggiano), Giorgio De Finis (Roma), Donato Aquaro, Martina Serra, Sara Spallarossa, Francesco Mancini, Marco Pezzati (Genova), Anna Milano, Ivan Barreca (Menfi). Copyright is retained by photographer and the artist.

This project was covered/followed in stages by ZIGULINE webzine,

Opiemme’s journey was supported by: Elastico Studio and Antonio Storelli (Bologna), 3)5 Artecontemporanea (Rieti), Bi-BOx Art Space (Biella),  and Studio D’Ars (Milano).



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This posting is also published on The Huffington Post




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