By Tom Peter
Some call it street art; Bosso Fataka call it “joy in shaping our environment.” The environment that surrounds the four young men of this art group is the streets of Berlin, a city that some say has become Europe’s unofficial capital of unsanctioned art in the public space.
Over twenty years after the reunification, there is an abundance of derelict houses, whole swathes of industrial wasteland and railway arches that afford artists with square kilometers worth of brickwork that’s just asking to be covered in graffiti.
But art being art, this scene’s actors have gone beyond the traditional spray can work. There’s stenciling, urban knitting, urban gardening… you name it. The interested visitor can go on a tour around central Berlin, where well-informed insiders will show you the most notable examples of urban art. Bosso Fataka do what you might call “urban wrapping.”
The four friends, all in their early twenties, discovered ordinary cling wrap as their main tool because of its compounding qualities: it is adhesive, tear-proof, shiny and transparent. Cling wrap gives the rubbish they use as components for their sculptures a bodily shape that allows the onlooker to perceive the creation as a whole, melting pieces of trash into an entity without concealing the individual parts.
Humor plays an important role in their work. It’s a humor that is subtle and weird, sometimes thought-provoking, but never meant to please. “Street art is always egocentric,” one member of the group said. “We don’t care if you like it. We just do it.”