December 08, 2009

Filippo Minelli

Being a fan of Filippo Minelli is like loving cheese pizza. It's plain yet satisfying; Filling yet you could go always go for more. Screw Pepperoni when you got Minelli!

Travelling through politically and socially unstable places Minelli draws from his surroundings to literally draw on his surroundings. His ironic graffiti has made the NY Times as well as adorned the Israel/Palestine Wall. He's even managed to paint the side of abandoned oil tankers during coup d'etats in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. To say the least, Minelli gets around.

In his series 'Contradictions', as seen above, he magnifies the digital world through their god-like painted logos and introduces them in places devoid of the most basic of technologies. The gritty contrast all the while prodding us, the users of such technologies, to question what is our fascination with these interfaces. I for one am guilty and feel my detachment from the real world as I place more time into Facebook, Flickr, or this blog. Of course, the other side of the coin is that such interfaces allow an extended connection to a larger audience. Minelli's social experiment, dubbed contemporary conceptual graffiti on his site is as much a mouthful as it is a mindful.

His latest project called 'Silence' is a slight detour from his focus on Sagmeisterian typography and towards the instant gratification of spray paint in it's most simple of forms: the straight line. A few works from 'Silence' hint at the Op Art work of Felice Varini or the simplicity of Albin Ray's latest video. While others are reminiscent of graffiti precedents such as MOMO's monumental one-liner project 'Tag Manhattan'. Regardless of the who's who, Minelli's 'Silene' is definitely audible. And just as his previous work suggests the obsolescence of technology being as near as the now defunct structures he uses as canvas, the 'Silence' uses the digital vernacular to cross out where we've been and what we've seen.

So consider this article as mission accomplished.

All images courtesy of Filippo Minelli through a Creative Commons License. More on his flickr page and personal site.

Images >>>>>---> Apple logo, spray paint on wall, Beijing, China (2009), Facebook and Microsoft in Bamako, Mali (2008), Democracy on Tugboat in Nouadhibou, Mauritania (2008).

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