Thierry Furger (b. 1975 in Switzerland) discovered the world of graffiti during the 80s and since then, he has never stopped exploring it. Today, he lives and works as an artist and graphic designer in Zurich.
For over twenty years, Furger has followed and documented the subculture of writers and their works. It was in 2007 when he presented his works for the first time in an exhibition. From then and there stemmed the topic of “Buffed Paintings”, which he has continuously developed ever since. Still today, he investigates the wider characteristics of the graffiti universe: these include, in particular, its transience and the aesthetics of the cleaning and removal of illegal tags and graffiti pieces, but also strategies, techniques and situations of illegal writings.
Graffiti does not only mean many years of experience in handling letters and spray in order to develop a unique style, but also to realize something that will persist even under adverse circumstances, through time and lighting conditions. A special fascination lies in the breathlessness of its formation and it is reinforced by the transience of the images. Due to the authorities and the large part of the society striving for order, the art work doen not last for long. Furthermore, it is also exposed to weather conditions as well as competing sprayers – Graffiti is much ephemeral.
Graffiti in public space merges with its underlying surface, as the connection of colors with the materials that are used as canvas, belong to this specific aesthetic. The art of Thierry Furger is based on these two aspects and he tries to capture the development, transience and materiality. For the “Buffed Paintings» series, graffiti or tags are first sprayed onto different surfaces, which the artist afterwards cleans then with so-called “graffiti-killer”. Aerosol or ink, train doors or poster frames – depending on substrate and application of paint different compositions of colored clouds and smears arise from drips and curves that appear under the heterogeneous surface.
In doing so, the artist does not create works that emphasize calligraphy or the technically savvy lines, but rather stages the fascination and aesthetics of speed and transience of the work itself.