Bleeps – Intrigued by public sphere and neglected parts
Bleeps is the pseudonym of a Greek street artist, who has created a breakthrough in the Athenian street art scene since 2008. He introduced a different approach to art and what is known as political art in the public space. His art has been subject of interests from major global media and is included in various academic publications.
Who is Bleeps, what is his motivation for doing street art and has the crisis in Greece had an influence on his art and way of working? Street Art Europe interviewed him, which you can read after the bump.
SAE: You started doing street art when living in Bristol. What was it that made you do street art?
Bleeps: At that time the big boost of street art was occurring and to be honest it had an impact on my decision to get involved. I was in Bristol for both work and a study.
SAE: Can you remember your first street artwork?
Bleeps: I have experimented with various techniques so I can’t really answer referring to a sort of memoires diary. Maybe a simple quote on a bench while in school.
SAE: What is your motivation for doing street art?
Bleeps: I am intrigued by the so called public sphere and I am attracted to the neglected parts of it. Most of my works are located where negligence sovereigns. In addition to this I aim at creating a sort of “independent” diary in the public sphere showing my interpretation on various topics. A sort of bohemian aspect of philosophizing.
SAE: When you moved back to Greece, did you start doing street art immediately? What were your main subjects in the beginning (after Bristol)?
Bleeps: Yes. Initially I was making stencils but dropped this technique in order to create a more personal style. Again political subject, social commentary, existential research etc
SAE: How has the financial crisis in Greece influence your art?
Bleeps: I buy very cheap materials and can’t afford those impressive equipment to create a mural. Apart from that a systemic crisis such as this can be the springboard to examine various subjectivities and reinforce the public discourse.
SAE: Has the crisis also had an impact on you personally?
Bleeps: Yes. I find it difficult to make ends meet.
SAE: What other matters are subjects of your art?
Bleeps: The crisis as a subject to feed the media news is not the case I am interested in. I approach it in a political and philosophical manner. Existential issues concern me quite a lot and not only. Sometimes I get sarcastic. Eros is a subject that attracts me, but usually these occur as part of a specific circle of works.
SAE: Can in your opinion art like yours start a dialogue about a certain matter? In what way do you start a dialogue?
Bleeps: To start a discourse from scratch? Well that would mean I have great power in my hands. I would have thought art activism can intensify certain initiatives and subjects thus play a part in spreading ideas and yes a discourse on various topics.
SAE: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?
Bleeps: It takes long hours of studying in order for raw ideas to have a meaning and not melt into a relativized subjectivity. Usually the present becomes a springboard and adding thought and my personal perspective but justified. I like my works to be sort of imagery books.
SAE: Your website starts with the sentence ‘street art is a social diary /in/ public display’. Explain.
Bleeps: Wrongly using “in” ignoring the word display and adding to the public.
SAE: What are the techniques you use for your art?
Bleeps: I use “bad painting” techniques.
SAE: In most of your artworks you portrait a face and to me it looks like the face is divided into two parts. 1. White part and 2. Greyish/shadow part.
Is this precisely how you wanted it to look (or is it my imagination)? If yes, why is that?
Bleeps: It is element of pre-cubism. But I see a sort of antithetical self in that. Not ethically approached but realistically. Sometimes we see this darkness rising when we look ourselves in the mirror. Is it a matter of choice? Maybe for Descartes but I am not quite sure. In the hyperrealist present I am attempting a sort of unorthodox depiction by blending various elements of modernism under the excuse of post-modernism.
SAE: What is up and coming in the world of Bleeps?
Bleeps: I am represented by Blender gallery in Athens. I am currently making works for the “window series” and when enough funding is available I make large scale murals independently. I have never taken part in festivals.
Bleeps, thanks for your time and answering our questions. Dear readers, if ever you are in Athens, keep your eyes open for the art by Bleeps. Do e-mail us your photos.
Article by Nicole Blommers.