The more we come to grasp with graffiti entering the gallery setting the more we try to understand its impact in this new setting. With Rutkowski 68‘s new opening Moses & Taps TM “Topsprayer Express” TM furthers this debate, bringing into the gallery one of the most notorious graffiti Groups or collectives. The amount of Illegal graffiti that this group has produced in its natural setting, the streets and trains is enormous. You could argue that they are in a class of their own in that respect. This facet of the groups body of work is what makes this show so key in the progression of the dialogue of graffiti in a gallery. Their urban interventions, and conceptual themed illegal acts paired with painting trains has led this group to be seen as a living art, an art that is able to transcend the gallery and street to interact with life and establish itself within it. Bringing the work indoors is only a reflection of what takes place everyday in the lives of the group. Some of the paintings elude to actual paintings that took place in public prior illegally, this re-documentation of a act already taken place on a train again is a testament to this reflection. Documentation and paintings are only moments of a life full of illegal activities and propaganda. These artists don’t need to portray an act of anarchy or take a theoretically political stance, they are that act of anarchy. There are many artists that attempt to elude to a political and controversial art, Moses and Taps are the embodiment of an art that lives and portrays the essence of graffiti and its importance, not only in contemporary art but contemporary life.
“Whether graffiti is described as scribbling, art, vandalism, or urban propaganda, it has long hovered between unlawful and lawful expression. Today, the gap between the two has narrowed. While street graffiti remains a form of vandalism, it is increasingly considered an art form, too. Some of those notorious paint sprayers are now defined as graffiti artists, whose works are exhibited, traded, collected, and analyzed. Graffiti has become a key influence in the world of contemporary art. One group, known variously as MOSES & TAPS™, ERNI & BERT™, and TOPSPRAYER™, has grabbed the attention of both law enforcement officials and art critics. The ever-changing name o this collective is not borne out of indecision or marketing. Rather , it helps conceal the identities of its members while still defying the unwritten laws of graffiti: anonymity. The pseudonym is the signature that gives the work recognition value – for fans and for the police as well.
In 2011, the collective, who rigorously decided against an online presence, published a volume of their works for the first time. Across 288 pages, INTERNATIONAL TOPSPRAYER: MOSES & TAPS™ is a showcase of the group’s ambition to take graffiti to another level. Over the course of 1000 days, they spray-painted 1000 railway carriages. Some looked like typical graffiti, others were more conceptual. One work involved painting false doors and windows on a wagon, a trompe l’oeil effect that led to great confusion on the platform the next morning. On another carriage, the artists took a more ironically playful approach. They spray-painted a sign like those issued by German railway authorities, which warn that the train’s surface is protected by anti-graffiti coating. TOPSPRAYER EXPRESS™ is the first solo exhibition by the artists. As the title implicates, the artists give graffiti a ride that is bound to a new direction. The works on show, re-interpret and transfer graffiti from its conventional medium to another surrounding”