An installation by Josiah Epstein


We are delighted to present a returning collection in our Gallery by Josiah Epstein. Below is a brief statement from the artist:

"In January 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to Iceland to work on a project with a museum in Reykjavik.

I brought my camera with the hopes of doing some aurora chasing while I was there, but I also brought an inexpensive fisheye lens made by a company called Lensbaby. I also had every intention of shooting pictures of glaciers, strange geothermic phenomena and, of course, volcanoes.

While most of my attempts to see and photograph aurorae, glaciers, strange geothermic phenomena and volcanoes were in vain, I was astounded by the amount of graffiti in Reykjavik. It didn’t really seem to matter what neighborhood, if there was a wall, there were tags. Some walls seemed to have been given (taken?) over to ‘official’ spray muralists, but most streets were a free for all.

I noticed a couple strange things right away: #1 On many ‘nice’ businesses and buildings, there didn’t seem to be any rush to paint over the tags. The residents and taggers seemed to have reached a equilibrium as to the amount of scribbles on the walls. #2 By far, the creative hand was in the majority. Certainly these were taggers, but there was a playful flourish to every wall.

We’ve had occasional outbursts of graffiti here in Fremont, and [@West of Lenin] has been hit a number of times. I’m fairly confident that the taggers who have been vandalizing my walls are not as inventive as those whose work I encountered in Reykjavik, and I can say with certainty that even if it were up to the quality and eye catchiness of the Icelanders, I would still be out the next day re-painting my walls... But I would also take my camera out before. :) Cheers!"

Josiah Epstein || 2014