"Reverse Graffiti" Artist Illustrates How Dirty Our Cities Really Are

Grist profiles a British street artist who specializes in creating images on dirty urban spaces (like tunnel walls) by simply washing away the grime.

The images Curtis creates may be beautiful, but they hide an ugly truth: the walls, tunnels and other surfaces he uses for a canvas are layered in pollutants. As Greg Hanscom writes,

"Street artist Paul Curtis, better known as 'Moose,'...doesn't use spray paint or wallpaper paste -- the usual tools of this trade. Instead, he wields scrub brushes, old socks, cleaning fluid, and, when he's living large, a high-pressure hose. He creates images by cleaning shapes into filthy urban surfaces such as retaining walls, signs, and tunnels. People have called it 'reverse graffiti,' 'clean graffiti,' and 'negative space.'

He is fond of carving the forms of flowers and trees onto dirty surfaces, adding organic forms, as delicate as paper cutouts, to the hard edges of the urban landscape. 'The environmental message [in my art] is unavoidable,' he says. 'I'm writing in grime.'"

Full Story: Dr. Dirt: Street artist scrubs images into the urban landscape

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00