Some things are out of this world. U don’t see them coming, not at all. This is the story of such.
It starts with my wife and me, moving out of the city to an island, about 15 kilometers outside the center of the city of Bergen, here in Norway. I posted a picture of where we were, live on Facebook. We were just by the fjord, an awesome place. Oops! I was stupid, I got friends with cans and they know how to use them. The same friends are asking for a moving-in party. Aha – I know what they are thinking. I know them. So I know more or less all those 85 active in town. Who to pick? Not enough walls for all. Out of the blue my phone rings …
“I have heard that you know street artists?” So I said, “Yes I do?” “I am the headmaster at a school turning 50 this year. We would love to have somebody to paint some “street art” on our walls. Can u fix it?” Fu**. Bingo! My mind spins like crazy. I’m kind of a local “spin doctor” when it comes to project matching. SO – I can have a moving party and paint the school at the same time. I made an appointment with the dean and now it’s time to present my idea. The headmaster interrupts me in the middle of my presentation. Kind of rude – don’t you think? NO – not at all. My mind went crazy, the headmaster approved my plan!
Within 20 minutes the lady hands me the master key to the whole fu**ing school. She is crazier than all my friends combined. Only the headmaster, the tech master, and I have the master key now. My friends and I have 24/7 access to an operational school for teenagers, no limit. But do they know what they are up against? The budget was not much, approx €2,5K. So I gathered together some “leftover” cans from previous projects. No limitation on what to paint, or where. All artists of any genre were invited through a secret mail. I said “No sex, no drugs – a whole lot of rock ‘n roll, for the rest you can paint what u want”. It’s like controlled anarchy on wheels.
Thursday, the same week, we hit the school. It was a wet, cold October night. Writers and characters were dedicated to the outside – as a starter. How much can we paint? Were we wondering as we turn up the woofers and start having fun. We are rocking, the school is “ours!
They took it all! They love us, as we love them.
The school has started to look like a wacko flown in from outer space. And we are still at it, now mid. November! Teachers are begging us to paint their classrooms! And the best thing is we have no time limit to when the master key needs to be returned. That’s awesome and unique. So if there are any traveling artists heading up to Norway, let me know, there might be some walls left that need some paint.
About the author:
Known locally as “Mad Man”,
He runs a pro bono gig in Bergen, Norway, documenting local street and urban art. Has been so since 2015. Holder of the press card, thereby the police can’t touch him. His pictures and videos of street and urban art are used by the press, in books, and national TV. Even the New York Times has used his stuff. Also here at ASA, he has been publishing. Artists can use his works for free. As a side hustle, he does legal projects. Largest being “Meieriet” in 2020, where more than 13.000 m2 was painted in one haul. His logo, a stencil of “Spider Jerusalem”, matches his works.
Check out his socials!