Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge: La Goulue, 1891
color lithograph (poster), 191 x 117 cm (75 3/16 x 46 1/16 in.)
The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Carter H. Harrison Collection
Paul Curtis (aka "Moose") is a pioneering UK street artist and the creator of 'reverse graffiti'. It's form of 'clean tagging' where, instead of marking walls with paint, he uses cleaning products to remove grime from urban spaces, leaving pictures or messages.
In this fascinating talk from the agIdeas Conference in Melbourne, Moose shares his street art ethos. Explaining how he works in "re-facing", not "defacing", and every mark he makes shows people how polluted the world is.
Curtis occasionally accepts advertising jobs, believing that at least his form of advertising doesn't generate any additional waste. He was even hired by the UK police to make street ads for an anti-gun campaign. This didn't stop the police from trying to arrest him for 'criminal damages' two weeks later. To which he responded that he wasn't making a mark, he was removing one and if they wanted to arrest someone they should arrest the polluters. Luckily he got off, so he could keep 'collaborating' with the street cleaners with his unique style of graffiti.
Paul Curtis is based in Leeds in the UK. He has created works of 'reverse graffiti' all around the world, from Slovakia to San Francisco.