6 May 2012

Stencil Art Amt



There was something peculiar about this stencil art that caught my eye. It wasn’t its artistic merit or that it had been the work of Banksy. It stood out like a sore thumb because of a context that, with its retractable bollards, surveillance cameras, and patrolling police folk, subliminally communicated the heroics and the balls required to apply anything subversive to the pristine surfaces of this recently renovated addition to Germany’s state department.


Yes, all this went through my head in milliseconds when I spotted it, just not in words like this, but in some other cognitive or semantic units. So there is something prior to words. Spelling out the stencil’s letters, my curiosity grew even more. I was in a rush to get to studio, but this now seemed of much bigger significance.

„Auswärtiges Amt – Kreuzstraße 1 >“

Represent! Even the bureaucrats are cool in this city, stenciling their Amt’s name on walls. In my mind I was slapping my thighs. As I got closer, the initial excitement subsided a little, as the stencil’s mystery was lifted. Extruded brass font applied to a curved surfaces created the anamorphic effect of stencil art, with its variations of text size and outline depending on fluctuations in the spaces between stencil and rough wall surface. Here, the boldness of fonts changed with one’s position. Still, I felt lucky I had stumbled upon this little gem. Much needed short post material for this online magazine.