BETWEEN LETTERS

 EXPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC SPACE  1990 - 2016

Modular Letter System (MLS) | "TOAST" | painted wood | 2015 | Zürich | Switzerland


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Modular Letter System (MLS)

This work aims to show the context and synergies between graffiti writing, typography and architecture.

Graffiti writing is mainly concerned with typography. When adding a spatial dimension to typography it is essential that the letters are visible and readable from all sides. For this purpose, a modular letter system was developed. This system wants to foster the understanding of letters in a three-dimensional space and provide a practical link to architecture, while maintaining the dynamic character of graffiti characters.

First, the alphabet with its various forms and characteristics was broken down to the elementary forms of all letters, which were brought to a common denominator by this reduction. Similar to a building brick, this elementary unit can be used to form the entire alphabet.

The lack of free forms and curves is deliberate, as only straight lines and angles were used. The otherwise typical outlines, effects and other accessories of graffiti writing were also left out. Each reduction increased the challenge of achieving an aesthetic unity, however.

MLS Sculpture
The sculpture is made of medium density fiberboard (MDF), a material commonly used in architecture. These fiberboard elements were combined with boards of Plexiglas. The incidence of light allows highlighting certain parts of the sculpture, which makes it more readable and lively. It also underlines the sculpture’s depth and strengthens its typographic language.

(MLS) "B" & "E" | wood | 2010 | Zürich | Switzerland 


(MLS) “TOAST“ | wood | 2010 | Zürich | Switzerland

Exhibition at Peach Artists in residence

(MLS) “88“ | black wood | 2011 | Zürich | Switzerland

Exhibition at Essential Collection

Exhibition at First Beijing

International Design Triennal | China



"DIGITAL 88" | Modular Letter System MLS | 2011 | Zürich | Switzerland

Exhibition at HUGO BOSS | Basel

Exhibition at Hotel Linden | Austria


MLS cross | "TOAST" | wood | 2011

Exhibition at Hotel Linden | Austria


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POINT OF VIEW (POV) letters

POV Letters | "TOAST-Falter" | digital artwork | 2008

POV Letters | "TOAST-Stairs" | wood white painted | 2006



POV Letters | "TOAST" | stick together | digital artwork | 2008

POV Letters | "TOAST" | stick together | steel | Germany | 2008

Exhibition at Galerie Springmann | Germany

Exhibition at Carhartt Gallery | Germany


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POV Letter | "S" sculpture | wood painted | 2012


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POV Letter | "S" sculpture | wood | 2010


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HYPE BALLOON


The inflated sculpture spelling the word HYPE reflects on the phenomenon of literally filling a pretty, thin outer shell with nothing but hot air making it very superfluous and shallow in meaning yet bold and impressive in appearance. Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame have gained more weight in our times thru the entertainment-industry’s hunger for new acts, shows, music, etc... HYPES.

 

HYPES are created and fueled by emotions and desires, mostly the “objet-de-desir” is far from being a necessity that is a piece of art which lifts a HYPE to even higher levels making it less understandable or affordable for common people.

 

Honest observation of the current state of our planet and our humanity reveals a crucial and abominable reality. 

This HYPE creates awareness, this HYPE touches.


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MINIMAL GEOMETRIC STYLES

"FLYING HEARTS" | 6 x 30m | Dafen Art Museum |  2010 Shenzhen | China


Typography is the essence of graffitiwriting! 

 

The goal of this piece is to showcase the synergy and connections between typography, graffiti and architecture - the third dimension. 

In order to emphasize the pure straight and angular core message, organic forms were avoided on purpose. All other popular decorations like outlines, effects etc fell victim to reduction and purification which raises the challenge to create an esthetic union. 

 

The essential elements are being repeated over and over, from the smallest unit, the angle, to the letter and to the resulting word, the "style".  This repetitive way of working can also be found in the rhythm of architecture, but it is especially important in graffitiwriting where each writer constantly repeats his name. The scheme of the elementary colors red blue and white is used to separate the singular elements from another and push the legibility. Luck and wealth, symbolized by the color red, as well as the direct opposite, grief and death, in this case white, are being carried into immortality into the blue sky by heart-shaped balloons.

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Minimal geometric styles | 30 x 100cm | print on cottonpaper | 2011


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METALBOARDS

"UNEXPECTED INTERRUPTION" | 4 x 6m | Museum für bildende Künste Leipzig | Die Kunst ist weiblich | 2008 Leipzig | Germany

Gunter Sachs collection


The metalboards series wants to create a connection to graffiti culture by emphasizing the observer's point of view, which also plays a crucial role in the act of graffiti writing. The images vary in intensity and become alive once the observer starts to move. The arrangement wants to reflect the atmosphere of painting graffiti on trains at night. Everything is peaceful and quiet. The scene lies in the dark, only the occasional lamp post is somehow reflected in the steel panels of the train. The graffiti writer has to refrain from using any artificial sources of light to operate in the dark without getting noticed. As the painting in progress can hardly be seen, the act of painting becomes intuitive. The only clues are provided by glossy patches of wet paint against matt, dry areas. Only by stepping a few steps back, the graffiti writer has the necessary distance to see the result of his creative act. That is also how the metalboards series works.

 

Inspiration and Origin

Among the first forms of graffiti were tags (signatures of graffiti writers), which were written with marker pen on postboxes. Steel is an important material used in construction, and with its durability is the best surface for a tag to remain visible for as long as possible. The metalboards combine this origin with new techniques and perspectives. Graffiti and tags are hence reflected in a new light.

 

Creation

1) Development of letters
When developing letters, the artist needs to take into account their proportions, balance, elegance and dynamics. Toast uses these elements to form a unit that is both refined and simple.

2) Authenticity and background material
Street tags are often scratched into a piece of metal using the most primitive tools. The glass-blasted metalboards reflect this technique, using an authentic surface for graffiti. Similarly to scratching, the surface is transformed from glossy to matt, playing with this contrast. However, the new technique allows placing the letters more precisely through an easier control by the writer. 

 3) Combination of typography and background
The linear grid is the element that unites typography and background. It opens up the picture and visualizes the contrasts of raw/treated and glossy/matt. Similarly to architecture, the grid plays and dances with the light.


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"SLUM" 1 | 70 x 100cm | print on cottonpaper | 2008


"BLOCK" 1 | 70 x 100cm | print on cottonpaper | 2008


"TOWER" | 70 x 100cm | print on cottonpaper | 2008

"SLUM" 2  | 70 x 100cm | print on cottonpaper | 2008


"BLOCK" 2 | 70 x 100cm | print on cottonpaper | 2008





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Metalboards | Exhibition at ManGallery | Lindau | Geramany | 2009


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Metalboards | 1 x 1m | steel glasblasted | 2008

Exhibition at Galerie Springmann | Germany


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LETTERING ARCHITECTURE

Lettering Architecture | “TOAST-ARCH“ | 100 x 70cm | print on cottonpaper | 2012 


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Lettering Architecture | 70 x 100cm | print on cottonpaper | 1996 - 2014 

Gunter Sachs collection | Auction Sotheby's


The origin of lettering architecture lies in classical graffiti writing, where letters develop individual forms and exciting combinations. Decorative elements such as arrows or crossbars are added to inject more tension and dynamism. 
Ata Bozaci approaches his 3D styles the way an architect designs houses, with a focus on both functionality and aesthetics. The letters float in a spatial void at varying distances from the observer, like sculptures that can be viewed from all sides. The pictures are composed from the three-dimensional vanishing-point perspective, where a feeling of depth and space is conveyed through the precise construction and juxtaposition of the letters. In this way, Bozaci manages to broaden the field of typography while respecting the rules and forms of the letters in space, either individually or in relationship to each other.

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Lettering Architecture | "Balance" | sketch stencil on paper | 2007


Lettering Architecture | "Balance"1 | print on paper | 2016


Lettering Architecture | "Balance"2 | print on paper | 2016


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Lettering Architecture | "A-BLOCK" | digital artwork | 2011


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