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Rero's Studio

       

By Lindsayt |  Published on Monday, May 2, 2011.

Take a look at Parisian artist Rero's workshop.

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Rero got started with art through graffiti. After covering many walls under the name Aurer, he began to feel limited by spray paint as a medium and the inherent rules of graffiti and lettering. So, he applied himself to canvas, stenciling, collages, and any other accessible technique that allowed him to discover many possibilities for artistic expression. He began to exhibit his work and saw his reputation grow as he diversified his approaches.

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Rero’s philosophy is simple: he wants to be free in the purest sense of the word. “My style is that I don’t have a style! I don’t want someone to be able to recognize my work if I don’t sign it. I don’t want to be tied down.” Rero makes sure keep his horizons so broad to the extent that he has even taken up photography through a project called Anakronism. "Today with the digital camera anyone can take pretty good pictures, so I tried it.”

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The idea is to mix naked male and female models and objects that come from the upper middle class world in a disused setting, like in the boondocks or in abandoned places. He paints walls, then stages and takes many snapshots that he uses to make posters for sticking up around the streets of Paris.

However, copyright problems with these poster images forced him to stop his Anakronism project. So, Rero naturally dove into a project tied to the idea of the ownership of images and his rejection of it, proceeding towards an ultra-refined expression fundamentally based around non-ownership.

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His slogan “the next customer” comes from a simple observation that everyone can make while running errands at the supermarket. "Even before purchasing and therefore possessing objects, we delineate ownership through the “next customer” line at checkout. This reflection can be transposed onto the ownership of the walls in our cities. Who do the walls in our city belong to? Who does this image belong to, under what name?”

Rero doesn’t stop at printing messages on blank pages. He also launched himself into the techniques of embossing and press. ”For me, a black written message on a white page is much more violent than a tag at the level of visual impact. It’s crude, it’s hard, you don’t find it around very often, and on the other hand embossing gives a softer side to the work. I really like this mix of the two.”

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Rero has been approached by collectors and by big brands like Nike, but he frequently turns them away where others would have jumped at the chance. ”People complain about the evolution of graffiti or of street-art, about it being taken over by the media or commercialism, but us artists, we are the first ones who are responsible. You have to know when to say no, how to control your art, the image it conveys, and the money that it can generate at our expense and at the expense of others.”

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The Oberkampf Wall

Here are some pictures taken inside Rero’s workshop along with some others that he kindly gave to us for our FatCap readers. We will keep you updated on his next projects and while you’re waiting, don’t hesitate to visit his site.

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