Art Must Be Outside

SP38 is a French street artist, painter, and performer who has been based in Berlin for the past 15 years. He papers the walls of his city, and many others across the globe with what he calls “urban poetry”.

The artist paints very quickly, and repetitively, and refers to himself, regarding his art practice, as a “human copy machine”; a copy machine reproducing the same motifs, and texts on posters to paste them in various places, and countries, and as a human one because what he does is not entirely identical, and includes tiny imperfections that can be found in handmade works.

The artist mixes silk-printing and painting techniques applied on posters. His words are juxtaposed with symbols such as golden rabbits or blue planes that multiply on his posters as patterns. They could be the wallpapers of children bedrooms. Coming from a tradition of the Lettrist movement or of the “Affichistes” artists such as Jacques Villéglé or Raymond Hains who created their own alphabets, SP38 created his own typography. Adding a limited range of four colours, and those simplified images, to his letters as a very graphic trademark, SP38 makes statements about rather serious matters very casually. “ESCAPE”, “OCCUPY”, “BOMB AMERICA”, “MADE IN DREAM”, “SLAVES”, “VIVE LA CRISE”, “VIVE LA BOURGEOISIE”, “NO PROPAGANDA”, “I DON’T WANT TO BE U’RE FRIEND ON FACE-BOOK”, amongst others, adorn the urban landscape. The freshly printed aspect of his posters echoes the subjects of his slogans that are right of-the-moment.

As many artists, like Jenny Holzer, whose main focus is to spread words or ideas in the public or urban space, SP38 thinks that, “ART MUST BE OUTSIDE”. His provocative and lighthearted slogans, his humour, fraught with irony, and sarcasm, enable him to provoke without being aggressive. He wants to trigger a reaction, a reflexion, and potentially some involvement. He wriggles out of his provocation without annoying the viewer. Lightheartedness makes the catchy and lapidary slogans act as catalysts for a serene debate.

(Words: Florence Reidenbach for Open Walls Gallery)

Selected Exhibitions

2014 - Street collective 2 - Paris (France)
2014 - Rencontres - Mers sur Indre (France)
2014 - Paris Zone libre 3 - Paris (France)
2014 - 1rst Mural Pienale - Dong Pyrang (South Korea)
2014 - Typozine - Warsaw (Poland)
2014 - Haribo Verboten - Berlin (Germany)
2014 - Inspire Collective - Jerusalem (Israel)

2013 - Reclaim Your City - Berlin (Germany)
2013 - Druck Berlin - Berlin (Germany)
2013 - Mythiq 27 - Paris (France)
2013 - Graves - Victoriaville (Canada)
2013 - Following or not - New York (USA)
2013 - Under pressure - Montreal (Canada)
2013 Viva ! - Montreal (Canada)
2013 - Street art - Le Cosset (France)
2013 - Ex voo - Avallon (France)
2013 - The urban artist home - Brussels (Belgium)
2013 - Collective street 1 - Paris (France)
2013 - Paris Zone Libre 2 - Paris (France)
2013 - Cut - Berlin (Germany)
2013 - Instin collage - Toronto (Canada)
2013 - Les murs ont la parole - Paris (France)
2013 - Instin - Montpellier (France)
2013 - Escapade en librairie - Montpellier (France)
2013 - Mix art - Berlin (Germany)

Available Artworks