Spring is here and to keep the colorful and creative flow going, the art world is pointing to Paris, France. Within the romantic wine filled streets, lie artists far and wide who are making their mark in the urban cityscape. One such duo is Noty & Aroz. Over a Skype call, the great Noty shared some insight into their methodology and process through the art world.
The Parisian artists are known for a series of stencil work that is often displayed among the great walls of the ancient city. They play on a mix of graffiti, humor and pop culture to blend in an impressive array of creativity. Noty gave a brief glimpse of their beginnings. “We have known each other since we were seven at the same school and became friends. We started drawing in Spanish class and realized we had like-minded work. Then we began drawing and sharing all the time.”
To delve a little deeper into their chosen medium, Noty elaborated on their specific craft. “Our work is focused on stencil art with paper. Some of our stencils are very fragile and big; it takes a lot of work to draw and paste. Our new work is making wood versions of these stencils. We are making stencils on different layers of wood. It is our first exploration into a 3D style.” They have succeeded in this transition, for their 3D work still holds true to their individual theme. Not only is the Noty & Aroz style still obviously visible, but also their attention to detail is intricate and beautifully impressive.
Beyond the physical beauty, the underlying theme behind their art is powerful as well. “All of our work is based on the idea of making it all sacred again. We adopt these characters by giving them a story of humanity. For example, our wood sculptures are like totems. The idea is that art can be different to so many people. A glass of water or anything can represent something to anyone. Our generation, the ‘Y’ generation, do not have many spiritual or political guides to help interpret the parent generation. On that note, we began thinking that new spiritual leaders, superheroes, who have never been so popular at the moment, are people who can tell us what is good and bad, what is right and wrong. We need a landmark, a point of reference. Each character is a hero or an antihero that gives us a sense of a landmark. When something becomes too corrupt it is not sacred, it is not a hero. We are trying to take them out of the fiction.”
The name of their series is called Mythologeny. The series is a mix of detailed designs, countless methods and a reflection of today’s civilization. “It is a play on words, mythology and ‘Gen Y.’ We are creating a new myth that speaks to our generation.” To add more clarity on their goal, their mission statement clearly states: ‘Artists express the feeling of a youth losing stable landmarks and strong figures in a Gainsbourg and Bob Marley image for the previous generation and is reflected … around contemporary heroes from the world of American comics. Batman, Iron Man, the figure of Scream or Star Wars: hero or anti-hero, as so many characters carrying a strong message. Noty & Aroz fit these figures in the original context of each culture beliefs. Buddhism, Egyptian culture, Native American and Mexican beliefs … appears an astonishing crossbreeding where contemporary characters take on a history, a cultural weight to explain their importance in our present time.’
For example, Noty used several characters in their series to explain Noty & Aroz’s Mythologeny. “Behind every character there are a lot of ideas, a logic. For example, Batman is actually is a hero and is very dark and cold. However, his enemy The Joker is a cool composition who is full of color. The Good is dark, and the Evil is colorful, funny. There is in the Batman universe a bipolar situation that we can find in the ideas and values of ‘El Dia de Los Muertes’ in Mexico. That’s why we created El Murciélago.”
“Another example is Iron man who is all about America and representing the American dream. He is a big boss with a lot of money but he doesn’t have a super power. That holds true to the cliché of American genius. We wanted to compare him to the Indians of America, who were at the extreme opposite side, but on the same land. What it was, what it is now.”
Beyond their ambitious endeavor, they are still exploring the path ahead. “We don’t know where it is going. As of right now, we are seeing what happens with every character in a social and artistic experience. We are always challenging ourselves to show what has happened. We are constantly exploring different materials and ideas, trying to finding common point.”
Noty & Aroz are inspiring and exciting purveyors of the artistic scene. Fans of their work and new fans to come can help share their mission as they develop even more creativity. To end, readers can see below their work in action below and be sure to join the ranks of the Mythologeny.