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Absolute Filth

Magazines get a dirty facelift courtesy of a cutting-edge wet and wild art technique

“It started out with an old sock and a grimy road tunnel. We all have old socks.” You may not believe it, but Paul ‘Moose’ Curtis is an artistic pioneer. Seriously.

Taking graffiti to an entirely new level – in a completely different direction – Moose is the drunk-driver behind the wheel of the Cleanart vehicle (probably a bicycle) – a tandem effort co-piloted by one-man brainstorm (and former Se7en Magazine editor) Marc Cameron. Together, they’re taking a pressure washer to the streets of Shoreditch, ingraining the logos of ten of today’s most valid independent magazines on to the fabric of its streets, Dazed included. Naturally.

By using water to clean an image onto a dirty surface, the process has turned the whole concept of graffiti on its head. “Other graffiti artists have been really nice with me,” says Moose, noticeably offended by our suggestion they might not be. “I think its more subversive than traditional graffiti, as you could do it in front of a policeman. If the authorities still take issue with it, they’re reacting illogically to a harmless temporary form of self-expression. That’s not okay, and that's the art for me.”

Despite Se7en concluding it’s print-run this year, Cameron remains at the artistic forefront: “Just so you know,” he says enthusiastically of his contribution, “the project was my brainchild. I'm also behind a project called Light Graffiti Cars, which featured on Top Gear.” It’s safe to say Cameron’s about more than just publishing, and that the Cleanart project is about more than just a few grime-free spots around Shoreditch: “The Cleanart Project was about celebrating successful independent publications using an innovative art form,” explains Cameron, with Moose interjecting “I was invited to recreate the logos of independent magazines. Independent journalism is more important now than ever. God knows what the Tories are about to do to interfere.”

The antithetical and fleeting nature of Cleanart gives it a certain mystique – the fact it might not be there next week makes it constantly fresh and exciting – you never know what you’re going to get. You can find the Dazed logo outside Bar Kick in Shoreditch – unless it’s the daytime. Then you’ll find it under their al fresco table and chair sets. If you ask nicely, or don’t ask at all, you can probably move them. The rest are up to you – happy hunting.