A street art eXperience

An ephemeral graffiti

I really like the idea that art has an aesthetic and a mystery, but that it is not limited to that. Art is also based on techniques, on compositional effects that are mostly scientifically recognized ….

This post analyzes algo-graffiti! A graffiti, now disappeared… and which however terribly echoes our actuality… This graffiti illustrated a scene of tender rebellion.

Title of this work : The lovers of the rebellion.

This open-air, ephemeral, B&W work was created by the Brittany artist Veneno (#missvenenoone). It appeared on the M.U.R. (Modulable Urbain Réactif) in the Vasselot Street in Rennes last February 2022.

“I usually work on my characters with a lot of detail and very little colour in order to obtain a high contrast rendering as in my engravings, which I usually treat in black and white”, 

extract from the interview with Veneno in HIYA! on 17/11/2020 (https://hiya.fr/2020/11/17/veneno-linterview/).

Black & white you said?

Well, not quite… An analysis of the graffiti’s colours reveals some blue tones:

These blue tones are the reflection of the natural light of a cloudy February day in Rennes 🙃 And yes, the photograph of this work was taken in broad daylight, at the very beginning of an afternoon with my phone, without any editing of the photo except the “cropping” of the photo.

Black & white you said? (twice)

Well, however, the technique used, that of hatching/cross-hatching, brings a visual complexity that does not stop at Black & White. 

This technique, based on hatching on the one hand (left) and cross-hatching (right) on the other hand, adds a value, a volume to the object that often depends on the light source.

This technique provides a full range of effects in terms of the texture of the garment, the volume of the hands and the couple, but also the effects of nuance. Indeed, stepping back on the painting, the material created with the hatching technique also varies the perceived colour.

“This technique consists of constructing my illustration using crosshatching to produce a half-tone and thus give it depth or volume” from Veneno’s interview in HIYA! on 17/11/2020.

By extracting certain cross-hatched areas from the graffiti, a colour chart can be formed with evenly spaced shades:

Shades taken from a much more complex halftone colour palette:

Two points on composition

1: Areas of interest

The first note is based on the fact that the areas of interest are carried naturally by the composition. Indeed, a natural zone of interest is located at the level of the corners of the golden rectangle of the Fibonacci sequence. In this case, it is the gaze of the hooded woman and the hand of the hooded man that naturally attract our attention. This also corresponds to areas of strong contrast.

2: Balance of the composition

The second observation relates to the balance of the graphic composition: the graffiti is indeed balanced and nearly symmetrical, which makes it easier to read. Particularly, by grouping consecutive areas that are homogeneous in texture, we get a geometrical division of the graffiti that has a vertical axis of symmetry, as illustrated below:

Anyway, a work of art that now exists only in the memories of the people living in Rennes.


Another shorter versionof this analysis is available on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CaZfqtVg3ng/

An interview here: https://hiya.fr/2020/11/17/veneno-linterview/

An specific interview on this piece of art : https://hiya.fr/2021/05/03/les-amoureux-de-la-revolte-interview-de-lartiste-veneno/

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