Here we are looking at a part of a street. The background seems familiar for us. This looks like a common type of graffiti that the local city cleaning employees would have tried to buff. In vain as it seems to have resisted cleaning. The paint might have faded a bit but still hasn't disappeared. That stands as a starting point for a thought. The Swiss graffiti artist Thierry Furger introduces us “Buffed Close up 2”. Everything starts with a metallic plate coming from a Zurich city billboard. It takes its vocabulary and its graphical identity from the urban world. The painter gives himself over to his hobby, painting a tag (his nickname as a graffiti artist) with a spraycan like he would have done it in the street. But he doesn't stop here and goes way beyond the life of his masterpiece. Then starts the buffing process. He uses acid detergent products in order to “clean” his work. Why is he doing that? All the artist thought relies on the life of a graffiti from the beginning until the end... What is the faith of all these tags and illegal graffitis in our cities? They're made to be cleaned by the curse of time or some graffiti removal cleaners. But what Thierry Furger wants to make us notice is that graffitis never disappear but would rather keep moving leaving a print that could compare to scars. As a tribute to all the anonymous street artists that even if they can't see their piece as they were meant to be painted, see them evolves, change with time until being sometimes covered up by another piece. The intervention of men and time gives even more relevance to these unwanted paintings. This is a committed and social masterpiece, denouncing the politics aimed at systematically cleaning graffiti in our cities.
© Speerstra Gallery / Marie Bourtayre / translation: F. Mery Poplimont / voice: Yann Marguet