The Völklingen Ironworks flooded in red light
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte | Oliver Dietze

Portrait SpY

Portrait SpY
Copyright: SpY

Lives and works in Madrid, Spain


Website: www.spy-urbanart.com




spy cctv 2

spy cctv 2
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte / Hans-Georg Merkel


2019, in situ


Diameter ca. 8 m


Mixed media


SpY, from Madrid, has been an urban interventionist since he, as part of the first generation of European graffiti writers, began artistically appropriating urban spaces in the 1980s. In the 2010s, he gained notice with, among other things, conceptual inscriptions of lone, evocative words in bold san serif typeface traversing entire buildings—as in, for example, Stavanger or Bilbao. Other projects include the wrapping of police cars with foil and barrier tape and, in 2019, employing pyrotechnics to enable red smoke to rise from a chimney at the World Heritage Site Völklinger Hütte. SpY's installation CCTV, created that same year for the Urban Art Biennale, appears to hail from a dystopia. Big Brother is watching you! The overwhelming quantity of fake surveillance cameras seems exaggerated, but the question does arise as to whether the public video surveillance of today has not long since assumed similarly alarming proportions—albeit less blatantly obvious. With his circular formation of cameras, SpY gives countenance to the underlying threat that comes with the restriction of personal freedom for the sake of supposedly increased security. At what point does crime prevention turn into an encroachment and a totalitarian demand for control?