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The Comedy of Errors

Art Works: Maseu

20 April 15 words: Art Works
"If Robin Hood was alive today, I think he'd say 'steal rich people's walls and give them to the poor'"
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Hood For Life

I did this painting for the Street Art Open at Surface Gallery in April last year. The idea came to me when I was walking around the city and didn’t notice much of Robin Hood anywhere. I decided to make a modern Robin Hood with a golden bling necklace saying "Hood For Life" to show people that his legend is still alive. I think nowadays he would say, "Steal rich people’s walls and give them to the poor." Street art is from people to people, it gives us easy access to art. It breaks up daily routines by making us laugh or making us think about something other than problems at work or home.

I started making stencils about ten years ago with my friend in Poland. In the beginning, the stencils were small and only one colour but I started to make them bigger and with more colours, building my techniques. When I came to England in 2013, I changed my tag and started painting as Maseu.

Painting on the streets gives me freedom - it’s my escape from my normal life. When I'm painting, nothing else matters. I’ve never been in a situation where somebody was angry at me for painting on walls, people are either positive about it or they just don’t care. My work was once mistaken for a Banksy. Someone sent me an article with the headline, "Mysterious artwork in Nottingham - could it be Banksy?" and a photo of my piece. Banksy is a great artist, so it was definitely a compliment.

More recently, I’ve started making sculptures. I made a gravestone with the inscription "R.I.P Street Art" and a zombie coming out of the ground - it was a statement saying that street art will never die. I also did a homeless person with a cardboard sign saying, "Who would have thought that I’d end up on the streets." It’s funny to watch reactions of people passing by. Sometimes they laugh and sometimes they’re scared. One guy even threw a pound for the homeless sculpture.

It’s a long road from the idea to the finished piece. Sometimes it takes weeks to finish, mainly because of my job. Cutting stencils is like a form of meditation - you get to be alone with your thoughts. I like the whole process of creating a stencil, from the idea through to the cutting and painting. I’d like to travel and take part in festivals like UpFest in Bristol, and make larger stencils. Life’s full of surprises so I hope each year will be better than the last one.

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