Saturday, April 16, 2016

Street Art Heading Indoors

“When I go to a gallery, I like to find the art on my own.

The Irish street artist Maser started his artistic career on the streets as a 15-year-old.

As he explained to Lovin Dublin’s Emma KenneallyIt was a great outlet for a young teen to express himself. No rules, outdoors, exploring the city and painting, ticked all my boxes.

From his teenage tags, Maser soon incorporated typography, letterforms and sign painting into his street work and after studying visual communication at art school his work transitioned to graphic representation and geometric abstraction.

About which he told Berlin Art LinkIt’s very different now, but that could be because I’ve changed too. It was a lot simpler when I started — you wrote your name on a wall, in as many places and as stylized as possible. It was a hobby then, taking up more and more of my time until I realized that I’m an artist and ‘this is what I do. This sub-culture has become something much bigger than I could have imagined, I feel blessed to be a part of it. Exciting times are ahead.

And part of those exciting times has seen Maser travel the world from Australia to Berlin, from the Czech Republic to New York for commissions, residencies and exhibitions. Due to the nature of his work a camera is an import tool in his painter’s arsenal.

As he has said “Photography is essential. Because I work mainly in the public space, anything can happen once I leave the piece. It’s exposed to the elements. Sometimes the photo becomes more precious than the piece. 95% of my outdoor work from over the past 16 years no longer exists. All I have is the photo.

As Maser’s career trajectory moves from the open to the confined so does his presentation of the work.

Maser explained the difference between these approaches with regard to his Olympus Photography commission held in Berlin’s former opera workshop, the Opernwerkstätten. I like to see people react, take notice, and maybe question why it’s there. It especially works in public space because it doesn’t belong there. Space like the Olympus Photography Playground is different, because people come expecting to see art, so I like the idea of narrating their movement by creating an art environment. The piece only has its true purpose when people engage with it and within it.

Be that on the street or in the gallery.

Maser’s latest gallery exhibition Orbiting on the Periphery is currently on show at London’s Lazarides gallery until the 5th of May.

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