Your brain is being bombarded by hundreds of advertisements every single time you step outside. Parisian street artist and provocateur Zevs doesn’t like this. In fact, he has declared war on advertisement executives in an effort to take back a visual plane free of toothpaste and perfume advertisements.
Zevs got his name when he was young and painting in the Metro tunnels of Paris. He had a near death brush with the Zeus line train and decided that was his name. He then replaced the standard ‘u’ with the roman-greco ‘v’ and started tagging all over Paris. At this point, you can see him almost any night wandering through Paris in his characteristic yellow reflective jumpsuit and cheetah print shawl masking his face.
Zevs has several different ‘campaigns’ going on currently. These are basically just experimentation with a single concept. The simplest of these campaigns is the Visual Attack. He sees a two story tall gap model posing in the middle of a busy square and attacks it by spraying a singular dot in the center of the forehead or eyes until it runs and drips down the sign. This gives it the effect of a gun shot or some other source of violence. Zevs claims that he does this so that he can metaphorically kill the model and thus the advertisement.
Another project he did in this same vein was the Visual Kidnapping. One early morning, Zevs, climbed up into a billboard for the Italian coffee company Lavazza and, scalpel in hand, kidnapped the model out of the advertisement. He then left a ransom statement right on the ad demanding that the company pay to get their model back. The ransom was 500,000 Euro, which symbolically represented the cost of an advertising campaign.
A more whimsical theme Zevs experiments with is the Electric Shadow. Going out at night, Zevs uses white paint to outline shadows on the street. The purpose of this is to highlight the moment that shadow was there. The white outline makes the black shadow seem even darker, almost as if it is painted as well. In the daylight it is meant to serve the purpose of a police outline highlighting where the shadow died and once was during the night.
Zevs is attempting to redefine both how we see the streets around us as well as redefining street art in general. He seems to bring more of a flair of performance to it. He is known to use invisible black light paint to put messages up that will probably never be read. Zevs also runs a campaign of Proper Graffiti. He brings stencils and a power washer to a dirty wall and selectively cleans the wall. He believes that this is a legal alternative to graffiti. After all, he is only attempting to clean the wall, not vandalize it. Armed only with his innovative and out of the box ideas, in conjunction with his taste for dramatics, Zevs is fighting a war.
Dominant Photo taken by Shirlaine Forrest.
Gallery Photos provided by www.gzzglz.com