Berlin-based Spanish street artist and activist, Vermibus, is strategically on tour right now to four major cities around the world coinciding with their Fashion Weeks. For his latest urban interjection and social critique project, called “Unveiling Beauty”, the anonymous artist is adbusting his way through the cities of London, Milan, New York City, and Paris during their influential Fashion Weeks. Central to his work is the questioning of consumerism, lifestyle, merchandising, sexism, capitalism, and the constant bombardment of advertisements in public spaces.
His method and style is unique – he goes into the street, unlocks ad windows, takes the ads back to his studio, manipulates them with solvents and brushes, and then goes and replaces them in the street.
Call it adbusting, culture jamming, civil disobedience, or decommodification, Vermibus’ art seems to peel back the perfectly sterile fake airbrushed representations of humans we all see in the street adverts every day. In fact, his art often stops onlookers in their tracks more than the normal image would. The ghostly images are of what may be under the masks of perfection. We’ll let him do the talking:
“As points of reference in the fashion industry, Fashion Weeks form and lay down specific standards of aesthetics and beauty, and market them via their advertising: just one more strategy in the globalization of Western consumer culture.
The beauty-cult is as firmly established on the catwalks of every Fashion Week as it is in the advertising they generate. The fashion industry uses the body as a tool in order to sell products, sell consumerism. The image of the body in advertisements limits and oppresses an individual’s true beauty, concealing it behind the false rhetoric of its own liberation.
In a new project, Unveiling Beauty, Vermibus will reflect on this use of the body, and on standards of beauty imposed from above, within the framework of the Fashion Week circuit, via a new series of public interventions.
Unveiling Beauty, as the name suggests, reveals the beauty that lies hidden behind the make-up and the retouching that are used within the fashion industry and also as it publicly stages itself through advertising.
This September, Vermibus will follow the route of the most influential Fashion Weeks, traveling to New York, London, Milan and Paris. And he will analyze and reveal the true beauty that lies hidden behind the various campaigns that are forced upon the public spaces of these cities.”
His art questions the effects of constant consumer advertisements on the psyche of our societies. His talent, motivation, and diligence are truly admirable. We greatly look forward to seeing the rest of the series! Keep it up, Vermibus.