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Static and The 'Little Vandals' Leave Their Mark on the Streets of Japan

  • 2 min read

Street art duo Static are continuing to send their artistic vision global, having recently returned from a victorious tour of Japan. The tour, titled ‘The Conquest’, included exhibitions in Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima, as well as a number of high profile commissions and ‘live’ paint performances. Static have returned “with cameras and phones full of photos and heads full of memories” and have generously shared their snaps with artrepublic...

‘The Conquest’, which was Static’s second solo show in Japan, showcased ‘mini’ versions of their layered glass pattern pieces (from their ‘Moments of Clarity’ series), and launched 4 new prints which took ‘Little Vandals’ as their starting point. The pair also put up versions of their ‘Chinook Chandelier’ on the Japanese streets, spreading the iconic image of their international, comedic assault on daily hypocrisy.

‘Little Vandals’ is a progression from the incredibly successful ‘Luxury Vandals’ collection. ‘Luxury Vandals’ featured sleek, glossy and decadent images of Drew Barrymore and Kate Moss, as well as leather cased aerosol cans, as part of an exploration of street art’s increasing desirability and commercialisation. The ‘Little Vandals’ work continues Static’s self referential examination of street art by depicting children as street artists.

One of the new works created in Japan is titled ‘Little Vandal GK’ and is a brightly coloured mural in which a little girl on a step ladder reaches out to add a miniature ‘Chinook Chandelier’ to the collection above her. The brightly coloured, floating military helicopters resemble a children’s mobile or toy. The mural is a collaboration with Nick Walker who has added a large, colourful butterfly to the wall. The works are brilliantly complimentary, both are subtly subversive; what appears to be a playful child surrounded by vibrant butterflies, is actually a disguised street artist adding a politically charged tag beside a ferocious, fanged creature.

Two new prints from the tour are now available at artrepublic. One, ‘New Constellations’, is of a young girl on a step ladder in front of a wall decorated with Static’s infamous ‘Chinook Chandelier’. She’s leaning forward and stretching towards the wall, as if to add her finishing touches. The other, ‘Universal Paint’, captures a small boy painting the bottom of a large space scene mural with two pots of paint at his feet.

The ‘Little Vandals’ pieces, according to Static, are about exploration, “no matter what age you are, or what job you do, everyone has a ‘Little Vandal’ that wants to re-arrange the stars somewhere inside them.” It is possible to view them as part of the Static discourse on contemporary revolutionary acts. The street art duo have a great skill in ‘democratizing’ and demystifying images of society’s rebels and rioters. In this collection they have taken the urban street artist, often stereo typed as a vandal or criminal, and likened their act of rebellion to innocent childhood adventure; successfully continuing to make people look differently at the world around them.

The ‘Little Vandal GK’ mural can been seen at 2-12-1 Kanda-jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. We can't wait to see where in the world the ‘Chinook Chandelier’ will next appear...

 

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