In April of 2012, Jeice2 posted a photograph on his Flickr of a piece that he did on a shop’s security gate. At first glance, it looked like a wheatpaste covering up some tags. I wrote a post on Vandalog about how Jeice2’s piece exemplified why so many graffiti writers hate street art. As it turns out, Jeice2 actually just taped his poster to the shutters, took the photo, and then removed his work. Take a second look at the photograph, and you can clearly see the tape around the edges of the piece.
I asked Jeice2 about his decision to install and document his work in such an unorthodox way. Here is what he said:
My personal conception of graffiti is that it is completely linked to bombing the city, the struggle for the best spots, the best letters, the most elaborated piece in the most difficult place and done in the shortest time possible. Graffiti is savage and direct, a piece by an important graffiti writer won’t get as media coverage as one by a renowned street artist will, which will be published and commented on instantly. Tags and throw up still are part of a wild urban language.
Half a year ago, I did little research through blogs and graffiti websites. I just followed my favorite national and international artists and a few websites, but not many of them. I was nearly completely focused on my hometown’s walls. I began doing street art when I started university. I discovered a new means of expression and tried to extrapolate traditional easel art to the city. It was with Lollypop Street that I discovered the world of the internet and the blogs. Pieces of art were going viral. When a renowned blog published me, I could see how in a two-week period other blogs started publishing my works. To me, that phenomenon was so bizarre. I then focused on different things, not on the style of the letters of my throw ups or their emplacement. My objective became to be creative and explore my artistic self.
But that made me think. I ask myself who my public is or who sees my works. I know who sees the graffiti I spray in my city, but for street art I suppose that the public might be mainly on the internet. Street art is on a boom and, to me, it is a new world.
When I dove into street art world, I imposed a premise on myself: There’s no limits for experimentation. I’ve done a few experimental settings and this is just one more of them. I drew the face of a wolf and I thought it would be great if it was employed for an ephemeral installation where the main elements in that moment were the lightning, the emplacement and the context. An art happening. I didn’t want to make it permanent.
I wanted to crystallize what a happening was. A remembrance or an illustration captured in a precise moment. I may keep sticking that face in some privileged spots to then make a composition or a small project about ephemeral street art.
There are street artists who stick photographs on the walls. There are photographers who take pictures of other people’s street art. I was trying to make some ephemeral street art, to intervene the urban space for a short time, trying to fool anyone. It was simply one more creative means of expression. The poster is real, the alley is real, the moment was real. If you like photography, street art and happening art and you can merge it, you aren’t tricking anyone, you’re expressing yourself in a different way. I really like the final result.
While there was some criticism of Jeice2 for posting a photo of his piece without making entirely clear that it had only been installed temporarily, leading some (including myself) to assume that it had been wheatpasted, clearly Jeice2 thought his actions through. He considered the realities of who looks at street art these days, and made work for them.