'CMYK Extinguisher', 2016
Rutger de Vries
Born Zwolle (NL), 1987
Handwriting is considered a trademark in graffiti. The artist is unknown but his 'tag' is highly recognizable. Rutger de Vries was one of those anonymous graffiti artists, but translated the street-born freehand technique to the studio, fundamentally changing the work and its creator.
At the Gerrit Rietveld Academy where he studied graphic design, and later at the Werkplaats Typografie, he experimented with spirographs and a mechanical aerosol machine producing circles. Now he takes things to the next level by creating a computer-controlled prototype of an enlarged printer. The work it produces hints at painting, but De Vries completely abandons the idea of a unique signature. The work becomes anonymous, while he as an artist is more visible than ever. He only makes himself known through the images he feeds his machine via software. These are in effect self-portraits, as though the artist is present after all, like a 'ghost in the machine'. (ED)