Even though I find myself literally surrounded by street art, it does not happen very often that I actually meet an artist in person. So I am even more excited to introduce you to Opusone, who I got to know through work. He showed me the design of his shrunken head, and announced that I would get to see it all over Berlin.
True to his word, a few weeks later he sent me some pics, along with the locations where they can be found. So I used the chance of a sunny afternoon to go on a bike ride through the district of Prenzlauer Berg and visit these heads myself, on what I called a shrunken head scavenger hunt. (For all you germanophiles, Schrumpfkopfschnitzeljadg is a word to get a kick out of!) In the end I caught all 13 of them! Who needs Pokemon?
Opusone creates these images on sheets of A0 paper, he recycles from his work. At home he primes them white and uses a paintbrush to draw the heads in black acrylic, adding the halo from a spray can. Finally he cuts them out and pastes them to the surfaces with wallpaper glue, all in broad daylight while wearing a hi-vis vest, which makes the whole endeavor seem less illegal.
The shrunken head is an image the artist likes to identify with, including the halo and the bun, representing himself in a type of still life. Life is temporary, and what would be more appropriate to illustrate this than a lifeless object that used to be alive at one point.
The shrunken head (a.k.a. Schrunk) was conceived about fifteen years ago, when Opusone was part of the rap crew Cannibalen (CNB), under the label Menschenfleisch Records (MFR), he came up with the design a day before their first stage performance and printed it on shirts.
However, it wasn't until last year that he decided to wear his logo on his sleeve, or let's say on walls, steel girders, and other building material and constructional features, which he acquired a respect for during his studies of architecture and urban planning in Potsdam.
Opusone had been involved in street art since 1995, way before Schrunk came up. Some of the artists he cites as his inspiration are El Bocho, Volk One, CMYK Dots, and Banksy, but the one he places special emphasis on is his former fellow student Fabian Brückner known for his project Wandkonzepte.
If you are interested in seeing more of Opusone online I urge you to have a bit of patience while he reorganizes his web presence. So stay tuned for a complete makeover!
This post is my entry to this week's CCC Street-Art Contest #163, where you can find a bunch of incredible street art from around the world. This week I may not have something large scale, instead it is more in depth! Also, to see more of the cool murals I have come across in Berlin, please visit my Walls of Berlin collection.