Zombie Art Squad (Canada)
Brothers in Sticker Art: Zombie Art Squad
Crew: G.S.W.W., S.S.O.S.V.A., T.L.D., collabs with B.K.C.
Stickers in the street from: 2008
City: Port perry (Toronto)
1 - Introduce your sticker art project
I have always been attracted to images of war, death and suffering. And the more people try to hide the ugly side of life, the more I want to show it.
We live in the age of zombies: huge crowds of people devouring everything in sight, unable to stop consuming, even as it kills us all. My heart goes out to these zombies; rather than killing them, I want to recognize them, see their struggles, and agitate for a better world where no one can ignore the pain and suffering.
Having trained as an architect, I am very mindful of public spaces and the importance of democracy, public debate, and our role as individuals in caring for, and shaping our shared spaces. When only governments and advertisers are permitted to design public spaces, democracy is lost. The Supreme Court of Canada agreed that spaces must be provided for public posters, and that when such spaces are not provided, people have every right to post their ideas on the streets. I want people to see my pain and angst, so that they can see not everything is polished and sunny; people are hurting badly and we cannot look away. Sanitized streets are a lie. Stickers remind us there is more to this story, and this life, than businesses and governments want us to see.
Most of my stickers are block prints, but I also do screen prints and handstyles. Occasionally I do digital designs, but usually can’t afford to have them printed. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages, and each poses an ethical dilemmas: time, pollution, longevity…
I also like that anyone with a piece of paper and some glue can make street art. It is a very egalitarian art form and gives voice to those who could not otherwise afford to reach public attention.
2 - In what creative ways have you collaborated with other sticker artists?
I have helped with many collaborative designs, and teamed up with others to host many sticker exhibitions around Toronto.
I most enjoy working together with other artists in the same room on a shared design. Toronto has a great sticker community and I have found it to be very collaborative, humble and positive. My first collabs were online, and from about 2011 onward, I have had the honour to work with some great people: Pua69, Slurg, Tbonez, Forge_Fury, Pelt, Zone, Greyowl & more.
3 - Have you ever organized an event about sticker art? If not, you can write something about an event you have attended
My first show was an independent event at Toronto’s 2011 Nuit Blanche. I had a huge pile of stickers from 3 years of trading, that would never see the streets at my own pace, so I helped to organize a sticker exhibition with sticker making and sticker trading at the Baitshop skateboard shop. It was an excuse to contact my favorite artists for contributions, and we even got corporate sponsors Sharpie & Prang to provide free markers. It was well attended and introduced me to a lot of local artists I had never met in person. From that, a team grew that has hosted a similar event almost every year since that time. Most recently, we had a month-long exhibit at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa that included the works of over 100 artists.
4 - What are your future projects in the world of sticker art?
5 - What sticker artists do you admire or are important to you?
I admire almost anyone who puts their ideas out on the street, except white supremacists. A few artists stand out: Above demystified the process and made stickers something accessible, showing me that anyone with some determination and the right attitude could get up; Skam and Xadalu showed me the power of keeping art political or socially conscious; Rx Skulls and Shepard Fairey showed me the power of repetition; Jose Salvador showed me the power of socially conscious linocuts. I follow thousands of artists online; they all add so much to this world.
Flickr: Stickers ZAS
Flickr: Collabs ZAS