Did you see that movie Words and Pictures? A bit sappy and chock-full of 1st world problems, but some good acting and an underlying premise that has been argued for centuries; The battle between the power of words and the power of visual art.
With the proverbial “a picture is worth a thousand words” sending writers into nose bleeds and apoplexy to the delight of painters who insist they illustrate a greater universe, we need to ask what happens when someone uses words to paint pictures? Street Artist Opiemme makes work that embodies the battle, celebrating both.
Opiemme with Kanaet on the right. (photo © Opiemme)
Here we have recent images of text and letters flying apart and magnetically clinking back together into shapes. These are lyrics, poems, prose. All are written across walls, like their cousin graffiti, but using the technique associated with Street Art – the stencil, sometimes the brush.
It is no surprise that Opiemme is poetic when describing these various new installations while travelling in Thailand. It’s all theoretical, theatrical, mythological, philosophical. He even quotes Italian biologist/geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti.
“We are discovering that we are made of stars,” Opiemme says, “stars born in nebula by materials from the Big Bang. Thanks to gravity, the elements are in a whirlwind-vortex.” As you look at the forms coming together and splitting apart with spiral movements in outer space, clearly the words and the paintings are both fundamental for Opiemme.