Too much of a contemporary artist for a graffer, too much of a graffer for the world of contemporary art.
Born in 1979, the Swiss artist Smash137 has been painting walls in outdoor spaces for 25 years, exploring the interaction between graffiti in an urban context and in painting. For a long time, Smash137 was fascinated by the idea that graffiti could not be exhibited in a gallery, that it would not «work» and would be difficult to present there being no surprise effect and adrenaline spike as with graffiti painting in a typical location. As a result, Smash137 directed his attention in his artwork to this subject matter, aspiring to be the artist who succeeds in bringing graffiti to the gallery without it losing its authenticity.
However, the Swiss very soon had to admit that graffiti art in its true form and imagery did not actually work in a closed space. Subsequently, Smash137 attempted to bring the inner life of a graffer to the «(canvas) wall»: Fear, adrenaline, speed and darkness. The artist became more abstract, introducing graffiti piece by piece into painting. Now, he finds it all the more interesting to reverse this approach once again and to introduce painting into graffiti.
In his current murals, Smash137 plays with the perception of the viewers: in a museum or gallery visitors take their time - they see, stand, and marvel. This is not so in an urban outdoor space, where passersby are unprepared as they unexpectedly come across the artwork.