MALI CRNI OBLACI

Lov na free art. Petak veče u mojoj varijanti. Na Fejsbuku iskaču dve fotografije, jedan oblak zakačen za Red Bull savamalska vrata, drugi ostavljen u pasažu u Kraljevića Marka. Pokušavala sam i ranije da dešifrujem obrise ulica i zidova na kojima je umetnost čekala svog novog vlasnika, ali bezuspešno. Sve do pre dve nedelje. Grebo je ušuškao Male crne oblake na moja omiljena mesta u gradu, tako da samo ja mogu da ih nađem :) I eto, sad se tmure i razvedravaju na mojim zidovima, u dogovoru sa prozorima i raspoloženjem.
free art friday liitle black cloud 1
U pauzi između crtanja, fotkanja i lutanja po gradu, Steve Gray a.k.a. Grebo Gray ispričao mi je nežnu priču o sebi, Zmayi i Beogradu.
Živiš u Beogradu ili…?
Sada živim, pošto sam dobio privremenu vizu u martu kad smo se Zmaya i ja venčali. Beograd sam prvi put posetio u julu 2009. i sve do sada sam morao da budem razapet između Portsmoutha i Beograda, radio bih tamo dva-tri meseca, a onda bih ovde provodio neko vreme sa Zmayom. Bilo je teško, ali preživeli smo!

Kako ti se sviđaju Beograd i beogradska umetnost?
Volim Beograd, veoma je inspirativan, a tek treba bolje da ga upoznam. Portsmouth je mali grad. Posle dvadeset godina tamo znao sam napamet svaku ulicu, tako da je dobro što sad mogu da istražujem neke nove stvari.
Treba još dosta da učim o vašoj umetnosti, ali recimo streetart je jedna od prvih stvari koje sam ovde primetio. Veliki sam obožavatelj TKV i uvek se obradujem kad osvanu njeni novi radovi. Takođe mi se svideo Laserski samit jeftine grafike, odlična ideja. Pratim i izložbe u Uličnoj galeriji, mislim da je predivno što postoji jedno takvo mesto.

Imaš li omiljeni deo grada?
Bilo gde pored vode. Jedino što mi nedostaje od Portsmoutha je more, tako da se verovatno zbog toga obradujem kad vidim sve te kafiće i splavove na reci. Ali uživam da šetam po svim delovima grada, posebno nekim manjim, tihim ulicama, sklonjenim od gužve i uvek zanimljivim za fotografisanje.

Kako si postao deo Free Art Friday projekta?
Prvi put sam naišao na Free Art Friday negde oko Uskrsa 2012. u Britaniji. Naišao sam na post o free art eventu na Fejsbuku. Otišao da vidim šta je to i vratio se kući sa nekim novim besplatnim umetničkim delima! Objasnili su mi koncept i saznao sam za ljude kao što je My Dog Sighs, koji već godinama ostavlja svoja dela na ulici. Pomislio da bi bilo sjajno da se nešto slično napravi u Beogradu, spomenuo sam to Zmayi, ona je postavila Fejsbuk stranicu, okupila naše kreativne prijatelje i organizovala prvi Free Art Friday u Beogradu. Nažalost, ja sam tada bio u Britaniji i propustio sam početak.
Bilo bi sjajno da se ovde okupi još umetnika budući da nas ima tek nekoliko koji to redovno radimo. Mi nismo organizacija, ne postoji članarina, Fejsbuk stranica je tu da obavesti ljude da je neko delo (p)ostavljeno.
Ja se trudim da  svake nedelje uradim ponešto, zato što volim da stvaram i da nekoga tako usrećim. Predivno je kad te posle kontaktiraju da jave kako su pronašli crteže, da im se sviđaju. Mada često nemam predstavu šta se desilo sa nekim mojim delom. Ali i to je deo zabave!
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Možeš li reći nešto više o Malim crnim oblacima? Šta oni predstavljaju?
Najpre sam ostavljao printove fotografija, potom sam shvatio kako bi bilo dobro da počnem ponovo da crtam. Diplomirao sam Primenjenu umetnost pre mnogo godina, ali sam prestao da crtam, tako da je ovo bila dobra prilika da se vratim u te vode. Knjigu po kojoj crtam „Ko je ko u svetu, 4. izdanje, 1978-1979“ našao sam ispod gomile snega pored kante za smeće, spasio sam je i odlučio da iskoristim svaku stranu. Knjiga ima 1032 stranice, a ja sam do sada iscrtao 115, tako da ima još dosta posla!
Često kažem da imam malim crni oblak nad glavom zbog kojeg sam prgav. Prvi crteži su zapravo bili jednostavni oblaci u crno-beloj tehnici. Potom su se razvili u stvorenja u formi oblaka, ali za mene su to i dalje mali crni oblaci. Nemam ideju šta predstavljaju. Uveren sam da govore nešto o meni, ali se trudim da ne mislim previše o tome.
Počinjem tako što na stranici napravim mrlje od mastila i kafe. Kad dođe trenutak da crtam po njima, tragovi diktiraju oblike i detalje, tako da nikad ne znam kako će izgledati, zbog čega je cela stvar još zanimljivija, neki su bolji, neki lošiji, svi imaju karakter i kad ih završim, dobijaju svoj broj.
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Kako biraš gde ćeš ostaviti sliku?
To uglavnom zavisi od toga koliko sam lenj i kakvo je vreme napolju. Ali trudim se da to budu različite lokacije, poslednje radove sam ostavio u tramvaju broj 12 i nekoliko u Bigzu. Sve zavisi od trenutka, obično nemam plan.

Jesi li ostavljao crteže u još nekom gradu?
Nekoliko sam nedavno ostavio u Portsmouthu. Prošle godine sam tamo ostavio i nekoliko fotografija. Poslao sam oblake na londonski FAF. I sarađujem na daljinu sa umetnikom koji se zove Skeleton Cardboard. On je poslao nekoliko svojih Skeletona u Beograd, na dva sam ja nacrtao lice. Sada on treba da doda nešto na moja dva crteža i ostavi ih na londonskim ulicama. Planiram da šaljem i u druge krajeve sveta.

Čemu se najviše raduješ u poslu?
Uživam u procesu stvaranja fleka, jer nikada ne znam kako će ispasti. Želeo bih da napravim veliku verziju oblaka, možda za neku narednu izložbu, samo što bih umesto stranica knjige koristio školsku mapu sveta. Volim da fotografišem svet oko sebe, uglavnom one detalje pored kojih ljudi prolaze svaki dan i ne primećuju ih.

Until Grebo imrpoves his Serbian… :)

You live in Belgrade or…?
I do now, having got my first temporary residency visa earlier this year as Zmaya and I got married in March! I first visited in July 2009 and was having to split my time between Portsmouth and Belgrade, I would go there and work for two or three months then spend some time here with Zmaya. It was tough but we survived!

How do you like Belgrade and its art?
I love Belgrade. I find it very inspiring plus I still have lots to explore. Portsmouth is quite a small city in size. After twenty years there I knew every street, so it is good to have new things to discover.
Still have lots to learn about Serbian art but the street art was one of the first things I noticed here. I am a big fan of TKV and always enjoy seeing new pieces appear. The Laser Summit of Cheap Graphics I particularly enjoy too, a great idea. I am usually at the opening of the exhibitions for Ulična galerija. I think it is wonderful that such a gallery can exist and bring people together on a regular basis.

Do you have favorite part of Belgrade?
I would probably say anywhere down near the water. The one thing I miss about Portsmouth is being by the sea, so that is why possibly, though I enjoy seeing all the bars and houses floating on the river, they still amaze me. But I enjoy walking in most parts of the city, preferably down smaller, quiet streets away from people, always interesting things to take photos of.
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How did you start to participate at Free Art Friday project?
I first came across Free Art Friday around Easter time 2012 when I was in the UK. I saw a friend post on Facebook about an event they were holding with free art so went to have a look and walked away with some new, free art work! The concept behind Free Art Friday was explained to me and it was soon after I became aware of people like My Dog Sighs who had been putting art out on the streets for many years. At that point I thought it would be great to do something similar in Belgrade so mentioned it to Zmaya, who set up the Facebook page for Free Art Friday Belgrade and gathered some of our creative friends and organised an event to give away art. Unfortunately I was stuck in the UK at this point so missed the start of it!
It would be great to get some more people involved here as there are only a few of us who do something on a regular basis. It is not an organised thing, you don’t have to join a club. The Facebook page is just there as a central point to let people know that work has been put out, anyone can post on the page if they leave work out.
I try and do something every week purely because I love creating plus I know how enjoyable it is to find some free art that you like, it is a great feeling. It is also wonderful when someone contacts you to say they found your art and love it though often you have no idea what happens to the pieces you leave out, but that is part of the fun.

Can you tell something about Little black clouds? What do they represent?
Originally, I was leaving prints of my photos out for FAF, but decided it would be good to start drawing again. I did a degree in Fine Art Painting many years ago, but had stopped creating in that way so this was a good opportunity to get back in that frame of mind. The book I use to draw on Who’s Who In The World 4th Edition 1978-1979 was found under a pile of snow by a rubbish bin, I rescued it and decided I would use every page to draw on. There are 1032 pages and I have just reached 115 so quite a way to go yet!
I often say I have a small black cloud over me to keep me grumpy. The first few drawings really were very simple clouds just in black and white. They soon evolved into more creature like clouds, but to me they are still little black clouds. I have no idea what they represent. I am sure they say something about me, but I try not to think about it too much!
I start with putting some ink stains on the page followed by coffee stains. When it comes to drawing on them, the stains dictate the shapes and the details, so I never know what they will look like which keeps it interesting for me, some are more enjoyable that others, they all have their own character and when done they are all given their own number!
free art friday liitle black cloud 5How do you choose where to leave your art?
It usually depends on how lazy I am feeling and the weather! But I try and vary the locations, the most recent drawing was left on the number 12 tram, we left quite a few pieces in Bigz recently. It really just depends on the day, there is no plan usually.

Have you left some works also in other cities of world?
A few pieces were left out in Portsmouth, when I was there recently for a visit and last year I also left some photos by the seafront. A couple of clouds were sent for a recent FAF event in London and I just sent some to an artist called Skeleton Cardboard, also in London. They have sent quite a few of their Skeletons to be put out here in Belgrade including two that I drew the faces for, long distance collaborations! This time SC will be adding something to two of my drawings and putting them out in London. The plan is to send some to other parts of the world when I have some spare.

What do you love most in your work?
With the cloud drawings I enjoy the process of making the stains and never knowing quite how they will turn out. The next step is to try and produce some big painted versions of them for a possible exhibition in the future, but instead of the book I have rescued some large maps from a school to work on. On the photography side I just love taking pictures of the world around me but usually those bits that everyone walks past everyday and ignores.

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