When looking at photos of Dezio’s work closely cropped, they resemble small paintings on canvas with thick brushstrokes layered on top of each other. Wide, colorful ones in the background and skinny ones on top, their textures gleaming. But really, they’re large murals painted with spray paint on walls. It’s an explicit goal of his, taking the fluid motions of raw strokes and scaling them up in what are normally very flat works that miss texture. “In my graffiti, I started to do a lot more brush strokes you can tell like those big brush strokes and like trying to in a way put back the creation and the movement,” the Shanghai-based artist says while in Hong Kong as part of the HKWalls street art festival.
The art of the mural often resides in compromise. Giant public paintings that thousands of people need to see and live with every day already require a sensitivity that gallery art is free from. Throw in government bureaucracy and conservative landlords and an artist’s options dwindle even further. But it’s a challenge that the Low Bros relish. This German street art super duo are well versed in these challenges and what they’ve learned along the way has even influenced their personal works.
Recently the brothers came to our side of town for the HKwalls festival and immediately ran into hurdles. Their final piece, a tranquil swimming pool with 64-bit objects, early 90s computer app windows, and wild pixelation was not their original plan but one that took some rushed and nervous negotiation. When they landed, they found out that the wall they originally planned to paint had been canceled and they would need to come up with a whole new sketch at the last minute which would then need approval. Something as simple as wet floor signs became hurdles, with the owner, whose building housed a public pool, complaining that they sent a negative message. But after some negotiation, Low Bros settled on smiley face signs and got the green light in time to finish the mural on schedule. Turns out that they have now started incorporating the smiley faces into more recent works too. “Shout out to the owner for collaborating!” laughs Flo, one of the two Low Bros. “It’s like a little acid rave object.”