Italian artists Sten and Lex create building-sized murals using a stencil graffiti method that they invented called “hole school.” How does it work? They apply a series of stencils on the building, then slice out strips different widths to create a shade effect (which really does not exist when you inspect the art at very close distance, but shows through from a far distance), and spray paint underlying strips to create enormous size image that looks very realistic. The underlying idea is to catch the observer off guard, but only for a moment. The people who look at stencil from a close distance do not see the image, but the people who approach from a distance, can recognize it. Each stencil mural is a unique model because the matrix is destroyed and its scrapped strips become part of the work itself; an ‘art in progress’ because the matrix wears off over time.
Much of stencil graffiti is politically motivated, spray paintings of anti-war, anti-government, and other such stuff in urban old districts, but Sten and Lex stay away from political themes and stick to portraitures of random people that they find on internet and newspapers. According to Sten and Lex, in the beginning it was hard for them to create street art without portraying political or social message, as it is done in most graffiti art, but then they realized that to get noticed by the media or people, creating skillful art is all that is necessary. Street art is often associated with vandalism because a lot of times properties get vandalized by artists with political motives, for that reason not all people easily accept street art. Sten and Lex try to dissociate street art with vandalism, by creating non social or political portraits of regular people.
The video above shows Sten and Lex working on a mural (unknown name) in Foligno, Italy, in honor of the anticipated Attack Festival, September, 2011. The Attack Festival is an all embracing celebration of the arts in the community which features diverse art from local artists.