Every once in a while, we’ll drive to work in the morning and find that our block has changed a bit overnight. Walls, lampposts and mailboxes will have new faces staring back at us in the form of stickers, stencils and posters. We’ve written before about the constantly evolving nature of the walls in our neighborhood.
During the September Art Walk, we noticed a new artist blanketing the streets with black and white portraits and the words “Clandestine Culture.” We’re always fascinated by what drives these artists, so we decided to track down the person behind Clandestine Culture and ask them some questions. He goes by the name of Poska and he spoke to us about the motivation for his work, the nature of street art and what it all means for Wynwood.
Product 81: What is Clandestine Culture?
Poska: Clandestine Culture as art is not far away from its literary definition. It could be a group, a community, or individuals living in an underground world disconnected from society in a clandestine life. The only difference is there are not two separate worlds, just one, and people walk, live and dream together. To understand Clandestine Culture you need to understand society and how it works. Society is controlled by culture and in every society there are two types of cultures, the ruling culture that control and regulate the way we live, and clandestine culture, that is ourselves, what we belive in, and what we decide to be. It does not only define me as an artist, it could anybody, anywhere, with any religious, ideological or sexual definition. Understanding this gives you an idea of what my artwork is based on and you can form your own criteria.
P81: How has this philosophy affected your work?
Poska: In my artwork there are two types of art; the subrealistic and the realistic. The subrealistic is all drawing and images I created using images of people wearing gas mask as a definition of clandestine. In this one I felt more free to express my message. In the other one, “the realistic,” I used images of people from the past to the present. Many of them are friends from around the world and others I never met. Those people represent the courage that you need to have to demonstrate to the world that you are CLANDESTINE CULTURE.
P81: Why do you use poster and stickers as your media?
Poska: Efficiency. In the past I have worked with stencils and aerosol, but there is not doubt about it that “paste” is the most efficient way to work. To work on streets or cities that are too busy you need to act quickly, or you become an easy target. Consider this; to reproduce a full color image of my work you need at least 5 stencils – one for each color and adding to this is the size. It’s going take probably 2 hours to complete. Too much time to do it in real life on the street, so for that reason I work at home and take my time to do it. Later I go out and paste it in less than five minutes. It sounds safe right?…
P81: What do you think about the street art scene in the Wynwood area?
Poska: Wynwood has become a bigger platform for street art – twelve events in a year, closing with Art Basel. We can find art of renowned artist from around the world, and so many new ones coming out every day. The issue is not to get lost in this mass media and find the way to stand up. I have worked in the Wynwood area for a some time and I will keep doing this in the future.
P81: How do you envision your artwork progressing?
Poska: Well, I will keep doing this the same way I have done until now. I like to work with images of people. It is the main object of my street art campaign, but evolution is an undeniable process, therefore changes will occur in the future. But I can’t tell you now what will happen with my work, because I don’t even know what course I will take. You can be sure of one thing, I will keep doing this no matter what.
A special thanks to Poska for the interview and the use of some of his images.