Anyone who’s been to Helsinki’s Kamppi Metro Station recently would have noticed a radical transformation in the form of ROAR27, an installation by Finnish street artist, Jussi TwoSeven.
Produced in collaboration with Make Your Mark Gallery, the piece consists of a painting resembling the head of a bear and a site-specific logo installation. Surrounded by the urban buzz of the metro station, the work is a powerful comment in defence of nature.
While many street artists (ie, Banksy) are silent about both their work and themselves, Jussi TwoSeven took some time out to speak to us.
How and why did you first start practising grafffiti?
Graffiti was all around when I was teenager at late 90s. It felt rebellious and exiting, my generations youth thing, as part of original hip hop culture. Of course we looked up to older guys who had done graffiti for ages and tried to be as bad-ass as those guys.
You originally trained in comic drawing. What made you abandon this and turn in a different direction?
Comic drawing was just a hobby as a kid. I was never good at it and I felt that I can express myself better with other forms of visual art.
Did you see a lot of street art in Finland when you were a child? Do you think the country has become more accepting of street art?
There was a lot of traditional graffiti around when I was a kid, but not so much other forms of street art. Now, a while after a decade of zero-tolerance, there’s a street art boom going on in Finland. Many forms of street art are starting to flourish around cities.
How do you choose a location to create your work?
It depends … but usually it’s the boring grey walls that are inspiration for art.
What is your favourite work you’ve done? Why?
Family Portrait: Little Vandals.
It’s the most personal work I’ve done in public space.
You enjoy biking through the city at night. How different does the city become when most people are in their homes?
There’s just something magic about empty streets in a city. It’s nice to be alone in a city but yet know that there are people around you.
My Scandinavia: Jussi TwoSeven’s favourite places
Lake Saimaa: it has clean waters and beautiful wilderness.
Lapland: for the purity of the nature.
Koli: the landscape is just breathtaking.
Helsinki: my hometown.
Copenhagen: good memories.