PAPER GRAFFITI SUPERIOR
PAPER GRAFFITI - Superior 101 is the stage for a site-specific piece by AK Drawings.
AK was born in Genoa. In 2005 he moved to Turin, where he met street artists 999 and Brl, an encounter that launched his process of artistic experimentation.
Cardboard is a particularly thick and heavy form of paper, made of a corrugated internal layer sandwiched between two flat sheets. It is thought to have been invented in China in the 15th century, while the first cardboard boxes for commercial use were sold in England in 1917.
I have always been fascinated by cardboard and its many functions and characteristics.
There are so many meanings hidden beneath this apparently simple material. Some of these, for example, can be found in the pictograms printed on the outside of boxes, which may change depending on the country the packaging comes from. Although cardboard is commonly seen as a lowly material, since it is mainly used for packaging, in reality it has impressive structural and mechanical qualities. It is successfully used in design and for making everyday objects, even highly durable chairs.
In its simplest guise, this material can save lives on the coldest days when homeless people take shelter inside it, taking advantage of its insulating qualities.
For this project I used the printed side of the cardboard to create a texture within the texture of environmental dimensions. To achieve this, I sought to highlight its various nuances of color, the different materiality of its surfaces and the pictograms printed on it. This project is based on the idea of background/figure – and thus empty/full, negative/positive – in which the figure is created by the background, and vice versa, to generate one single form.
“Ak has incorporated the insights of neoplasticism and Bauhaus by way of Munari’s modern exploration of materials, textures and their composition, playing with the illusion of visual perception. In addition to theoretical and personal training, AK has interacted artistically and physically with Optical art through work that revolves around an investigation of the isosceles right triangle.
For AK, it is a fundamental geometric shape that brings stability and tidiness to the false order of urban geometry, representing one of the original expressions of geometrism that is nonetheless oriented toward the future.
AK’s combinations of precise and harmonious lines give rise to textures on the walls on the scale of an inhabitable environment, thus revealing their modernist identity. And so the crumbling walls of the abandoned factories beloved of AK are given new life, taking on – perhaps for the first time ever – light, order and harmony through the graphic perfection of his triangular modules; In addition to these spaces, the artist also works with street furniture, billboard ads and the “mistakes” of modern urban architecture.
His artistic research goes beyond flat surfaces, however, to also experiment with 3D construction using the materials left behind by civilization. Wood from fruit crates and matter, assorted packaging materials and cardboard are fashioned into structures that are at once tangible and ethereal.
This room was created in collaboration with the Cheap Street Poster Art Festival and inaugurated in May of 2015 with the artist present.