“Szczecin before the Second World War was a German city,” says the street artist named M-City. Now it’s flying as a spaceship in his latest stencil mural here – in Poland.
It was part of a competition in this major cultural city of about 770,000; an airborne urban map inspired as much by the movie Star Wars as the Orion Constellation of this 1100-year-old city only 14 miles from Germany, formerly “Stettin”. It has a history of changing hands between Central European powers, and perhaps why it seems well suited to be up in the air, ready to move, soar, even crash.
About an hour via highway from Berlin, the activist and urban art professor M-City tells us that parts of the city that were not destroyed during WWII capture his imagination even now. “The architecture and plans are quite similar to those of Berlin,” he says. “And it looks like part of a spaceship, or a planet in science fiction movies. For me you can find a Falcon shape from Star Wars in there”.
Montreal’s Stikki Peaches wonders what would it be like if art ruled the world and we were shocked to learn that it doesn’t. Although if the last few days of art fairs are to be relied upon for global governance, the world seems smothered with credit cards, luxury logos, and every possible reworked iteration and echo of Andy Warhol you can imagine.
Mr. Peaches mines the image pools of popular culture as well, returning often to hand-cut print outs of celebrities, superheroes, and royalty for quick-read icons that he then customizes with stickers, paint drips, mohawks, metal spikes, and hand rendered facial tattoos. These new wheat-pasted pieces popped up in Brooklyn and Manhattan last week in well traveled high-profile locations sure to capture many an eye with images that are easily recognized, newly re-freshed, and stikki.