With moss, graffiti artists and activists get green, literally speaking.
Quick, what can you make with a handful of moss, some yogurt, and a
can of beer?
Over the last several years, gardeners and graffiti artists
have been discovering common ground–on walls. While it’s difficult to pinpoint
the origin of the moss graffiti movement, Edina Tokodi–a.k.a. Mosstica–seems a
likely source. The Hungarian artist has been putting moss in public spaces since
2004 (above, a work from 2008; below, from 2004).
Since then, word has spread (alongside striking photos) about
how to make and grow this fuzzy paint. Methods vary slightly, but most follow
the general formula of this recipe
from Destructables or this
concoction featuring beer and corn syrup from Gardening Guru. These simple approaches have made the technique
accessible to internationally recognized artists and Occupiers alike.
While moss’s inclination to keep trim makes it a clear
choice for wall growth, the bryophyte has another quality that makes it ideal.
Because the “paint” making process involves putting the moss in a blender, this
technique would only work with a plant that spreads via spores. One drawback to
moss: unless you live in a rainy clime, this art will require upkeep. In drier
regions, the moss must be sprayed religiously.
Set in London,
Anna Garforth’s Grow seems to
encourage the wilderness that’s crept back into an unused plot of land (slated
for redevelopment). “It’s amazing how quickly the wild reclaims its space and
carries on growing even after is has been destroyed,” she writes.
Many are touting moss graffiti as a green alternative to
spray paint– aerosol and solvent free, with fewer cans left on the ground. While
street art techniques like wheatpasting have been environmentally-friendly
options for quite some time, the stunning effects of this green graffiti cannot