In the past week, Phlegm and Run have been producing large solo murals in Chichester. In honor of the Chichester Street Art Festival, the British and Italian street artists have been hard at work on a new collaboration. Knowing more about Run will contribute understanding this piece. First, it’s necessary to trace his roots as a street artist (which are very different from Phlegm’s). “My first big wall was in 2003 while squatting in a building in Italy,” (see below). “The meaning of that painting was we are here now and we haven’t got fear of nobody,” says Run. Back then, his work was simple and carried an effortless innocence and youthfulness. With time and acquired confidence, he “developed some shapes (hands and legs). Then [he] added characters, characters wearing those hands like a fancy dress costume.” As a result, his murals became increasingly surrealistic. However, his original love for organic shapes and simplicity explain why his collaboration with Phlegm was successful.
Phlegm is naturally drawn to a diverse range of themes, saying of his tastes that he is “always drawn to simple things that accumulate and become more complex.” His taste for simplicity brings a rich sensitivity to his murals. Both artists incorporated their signature figures in their collaboration harmoniously, even though their ideologies are quite different. Run believes that “tags and wall writing graffiti are almost invisible in a busy visual environment.” The artist wants to create a contrast between the streets and his work. “If the background is grey, let’s use as much color as we can!” However, Phlegm is one to go for extreme discretion. In fact, his ideal location to paint would be a “ghost island in Japan. Or any deserted city.” Phlegm spends a lot of time painting deserted factories. He appreciates “the idea of wondering around an entire empty city. I’d love to be able to live there for a year and just paint everything.” This contrast in personalities ended up with a mural that mirrors an ideal balance between two characters and their fantasy world. To read more about Run click: here and for Phlegm, click: here
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