Zevs is often dubbed ‚street artist‚. This label might not fully apply to his recent work, but his activity in public space has nevertheless determined his remarkably continuous artistic trajectory.
One day, while tagging down on the track in the Metro, a thirteen-year-old kid escapes a train right before it hits him. But the image of the wagon headed towards him lingers. Having ‚bombed‚ up until then under various pseudonyms, he finally adopts the name of the train, Zeus. Replacing the ‚u‚ with a ‚V‚, he gets an archaic and graphically pointy tag, ZEVS. It lightens on Parisian citywalls. It resonates in the ‚Danger - Lightning‚ signs.
Through tagging Zevs has made his presence felt. But his work is not all about his mark; it is about his city. He beginns to intervene in different guises.
As Flasheur d‚Ombres, The Shadow Flasher, he paints the shadows of lampposts etc: 'I am just prolonging what already exists.' The Shadow Flasher‚s masterpiece is a painting of the shadows cast from the four classical statues flanking Pont du Caroussel crossing the Seine. It is a celebration of old Paris. But it is also his last piece; poetry fades.
Zevs re-enters as Serial Pub Killer, bombing commercial billboards - leaving marks of blood red paint right between the eyes of beautiful models and the like. It is an attack on contemporary Paris: The commercials are everywhere - they no longer leave us the choice.'
In consumer society you can refuse all the many choices, except the choice of choosing between them. But does he, Zevs, leave us a choice? What do we want?
2. April, 2002, 5.37, Berlinerplatz: Zevs ˆ now as Oteur de Pub - climbs a contruction and cuts a 10 meter tall model out of a 12 X 12 meter commercial covering a hotel facade. Before descending with the hostage under his arm, he writes ‚VISUAL KIDNAPPING ˆ PAY NOW!‚ above the hole where she once was.
Since, he has been ‚flashing‚ her in galleries in Germany, Sweeden and recently in France giving visitors the choice: Either vote for her execution... or pay 500.000 Euro, a ransom equivalent to a marketing campaign.
Now he gives you the choice in another public space of our era, the Net. Please, make up your mind.
With just one spot of red paint between the eyes the Parisian artist ZEVS, executes the advertising industry's images of perfect humans. 'People don't think about the force of advertising,' says ZEVS and continues, 'But with just one psst I remove the force. No one wants to be identified with a dead person so advertising looses its effect'. ZEVS calls his action 'Visual Attack', and he has executed billboards worth millions around Paris. At the same time, ZEVS is a respected artist who exhibits at galleries around the world.
"Inside Outside" follows ZEVS and other so-called street artists from New York, Stockholm, Copenhagen and São Paulo. They all make a living off their art, but they also have an urge to exhibit their work illegally in the streets. "Inside Outside" is a film about the energy artists get when working in the street. An energy they're missing when exhibiting in galleries and museums, an energy that brings life to their art and to their own lives.
It´s an energy that's partly caused by the fact that everything these artists do in the street is illegal; "Anything that gives you security is eventually going to restrict you at some point", says SWOON about the art galleries. The artists featured in "Inside Outside" all face some kind of dilemma with the restrictions and norms of the society they live in, the forces of the commercial art world and the advertising industry who are looking for the next big thing and want to have their bite of the energy and coolness that the street art scene is brimming with.
4 am somewhere in Paris. I’m waiting for Zevs, he’s going to make an intervention on the front door of a Mc Donald’s restaurant.
He arrives and prepares the paint, he found the one they use to paint signs on roads.
After being displayed this paint dries and becomes rock solid, good luck to remove it!
For its second collaboration of 2006, Mekanism gave carte blanche to French artist Zevs. After many years of activism, Zevs is considered by many as a Parisian legend of graffiti. Beyond simply writing his name in the heart of the city, he made his mean of expression evolving into a poetic and committed representation and therefore is regarded nowadays as a contemporary artist whose work is shown in galleries.
With projects like his flashing shadows, ads diversions and his famous visual kidnapping of the Lavazza ad’s model, he shows us our environment from a different angle, making us aware of the manipulation we suffer on a daily basis.
For this deck, Zevs presents one of his latest projects called “graffiti illumination”.
The photo was taken in the underground in London. This neon was removed by Zevs, painted in black, scratched in certain areas so that the light can come through and replaced in its original location.
This deck is a limited-edition of 100 numbered copies and will be available in selected stores and on-line from May 3rd at www.jrqjd.com====================