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ART: Sten and Lex “Poster Stencils”

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Hailed as the “two most famous street artists in Europe,” dynamic duo Sten and Lex have created a new technique for their series of stencil posters at the Gallery CO2 in Rome. Known for their larger-than-life (and illegal) recreations of seemingly anonymous yearbook photo subjects from the 60’s and 70’s on found walls, Sten (for “stencil”) and Lex (for “law”) have created what they call the Hole School method, by which stencils of different sizes are placed together create a photographic image (a process borrowed from outdated newspaper printing techniques).

sten and lex rome 695x890 ART: Sten and Lex Poster Stencils

The result is a highly-realistic recreation of a generic photograph, anonymous and lost to time, displayed on a grand scale and thereby rendering that particular high-schooler a stand-out celebrity on one particular city wall. The effect is hypnotic, evocative of a stereographic Magic Eye picture or an optical illusion, but instead of being seduced into submission or confusion, one is drawn into the photograph subject’s story, told in that singular snapshot. One can only wonder where she or he might be currently, but at least for now, his or her face is preserved for all who pass by until the paint, like the initial photo, fades into the background a second time.

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