“In the environmental movement, every time you lose a battle it’s for good, but our victories always seem to be temporary and we keep fighting them over and over again.” David Suzuki.
Welcome to the world of reverse graffiti, where the artist’s weapons are cleaning materials and where the enemy is the elements: wind, rain, pollution and decay. It’s an art form that removes dust or dirt rather than adding paint. Some find it intriguing, beguiling, beautiful and imaginative, whereas others look upon it in much the same way as traditional graffiti – a complete lack of respect for the law. Reverse graffiti challenges ideals and perceptions while at the same time shapes and changes the environment in which we live, whether people think for the better, or not.
We thought we’d compile a collection of some of the most incredible works of reverse graffiti and the artists behind them for your viewing pleasure.
1. Big Brother Eye etched on to road sign, Leeds, UK.
Moose: The Original Reverse Graffiti Artist
Real name, Paul Curtis, Moose is the grand-daddy of reverse graffiti. He’s been cleaning the streets of the UK and beyond for around ten years.
2. Reverse Graffiti Project, San Francisco.
Using detergent and a wire brush, the tools of many a cleaner, graffiti artist Moose works with advertisers to create innovative clean messages and slogans that inevitably turn into works of art.