Monday, July 21, 2008

Exclusive interivew with artist SPECTER

I recently caught up with artist SPECTER and had a chat with him about his work.
SPECTER is a street artist, born and raised in Canada, he lives in Toronto where he spends his days and nights decorating the streets with his wild 3D installations and skillful illustrations.

T-So SPECTER, tell us, how did you get started working with the arts?
S- Through Graffiti- vandalizing the streets at night.

T-Did you study art, or self taught?
S-I did a couple years in art school but didn't fit the mold, mostly I learned from experimenting on the street.

T- How long have you been putting stuff out on the streets?
S-I have been doing things on the street for over ten years.

(Pieces hand painted on wood depicting portraits and parts of the human anatomy which are installed in public spaces- left and above)

T- And How did your name SPECTER come about?
S-Inspired from my ability to put work on the street but never be seen, like a specter, you know its there but you can't see it.

(Gates crafted with cardboard boxes then installed in specific alley ways.-above)

T- I see your street work is based around certain themes or projects, How do you come up with these project ideas?

S-I try to pay attention to my surroundings and looking at ways to alter it, By just walking a little slower you would be surprised at what you notice.

T- Very true, so how long does any certain project last for?
S-It can last forever; It all depends on its relevance to it's surroundings.

T- Your projects seem to be so perfectly designed to fit one place or building, how do you make that happen? S- Lots of preparation, problem solving and sleepless nights.

T- I expected as much, but another thing Ive been wondering is how do you manage to travel with such large scale pieces? And managing to place them so high? Do you work alone, or have any extra helpers?
S- I make all my work in sections and assemble it on site by myself, I would get helpers but it is hard when you have such a small window of time to execute your piece.

T- Do you often get the ok from shop owners or building owners? Or is all your work done out of risk?
S-All illegal, the pieces can be removed the next day or stay for months it all depends on the owner of the property.

T-So much time and work seems to go in to each of your projects, how do you feel about putting up a piece for free that may have taken you weeks to make?
S-Some of my pieces take weeks to plan and execute and it is disappointing to see something that you put so much effort into be taken down shortly after it has been installed but that is part of the game and I don't really think to much about it. It kind of feels like giving a gift you really like to someone, you hope they care for it the same way you would but they may not appreciate it as much as you do.

(Works created to occupy specific spaces which would otherwise not be used for art or other purposes.- above right)

T- Very well said. I feel your work is highly interactive, and you’re communicating strong messages to the passer buyers on the street. How do you feel about this connection to society through your art?
I believe that this is why I create pieces in the street- to feel connected to my environment. The art allows me to spark a dialogue with the viewers- even with people who may not understand what there viewing.

T-What is your opinion or thoughts about urban art now being accepted by the auction houses, and getting in to main art galleries?
S-I believe that most street artists aspire to be accredited and compensated for there work and am glad that some are able to achieve this.

(Two dimensional works installed in windows or door frames that change the visual appearance of the structure.)

T-Do you see yourself going on to exhibit your works in galleries, or have you done so in the past?
S-I am interested in exhibiting in galleries for the promotion of my work and the chance to be critiqued in a professional setting but I am primarily interested in doing outdoor public works.

T-You truly seem like your on the road to big things, not many artists out there today can work with the vast amount of materials you do, from concrete to cardboard to wood, it seems you have it all covered. Where do you see your self going in the future, and in what direction do you want to focus your work?
S-The future is always unpredictable but I can see my self continuing to work with public art but increasing the scale. As far as a direction of focus, I prefer to let the future decide. As far as selling works Im in the process of moving to NYC in September, so Ill probably start releasing some work after I settle in. At the moment Im working on a mural and adding some new work to a couple of projects, bulk up the site before I leave.

Thanks so much SPECTER for the interview and photos. For all the readers make sure you visit SPECTERS website to view more of his work, and stay tuned for more news on SPECTER in the near future.



Show & Tell said...

I love this guys stuff. Always a pleasure to see a new Specter piece around town.

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