Graffiti Update By SOBEKCIS – Belgrade based, born, and bred
The Serbian twin brothers SOBEK and KCIS don’t need to travel the world to show “they’ve got it”. Although they do this as well. Even though the world slowing down a little, everyone wearing masks, and travel restrictions restricting movement in general, a far more complicated act, the artistic duo has not slowed down.With their hometown of BELGRADE as a backdrop, the brothers have continued to create, expand, and develop their graffiti ideas, regardless of what else is happening in the world.
The word “limit” is not one that plays a big role in the creative process for SOBEKCIS. Monochromatic, multi-color, high, low, up-down, complex, simple, anywhere, and everywhere in Belgrade it is possible to see them experiment with their Montana BLACK, GOLD, and ULTRAWIDE cans. Fat caps, skinny caps, wide or thin, their styles are as diverse as the surfaces they paint them on. And the best part, it is all unique. It got us asking questions about how this is possible while the rest of the world wallows in self-pity and fear. Here is what the boys had to say:
MC: How hard was your city affected by any forms of Coronavirus lockdown
SOBEKCIS: The lockdown started in Belgrade during the month of March, we had one of the harshest lockdowns in the region. First, it started from you are allowed outside from 5 am till 8 pm, then the government cut it to from 5 am till 5 pm. And then it was set to during the week from 5 am till 5 pm, and during the weekend no one was allowed outside. During the curfew, it even got to the point that we were not allowed outside from Friday till Tuesday, which made everyday life all the much more complicated in an already very hard situation locally, and globally.
If this wasn’t bad enough the government covered up actual statistics and even made it seem that things are getting better buy ending the curfew, just so they could play out there plan for there rigged elections. And as soon as it was over and they had fulfilled there goal, the ruling party gained total power. That’s when they released the actual numbers and blamed the residents. They started threatening with week long lockdowns. After this, the demonstrations started which were portrayed in the mainstream media as riots because of the curfew. But actually the protests were started because there are too many reasons why the current politicians that are running the country should not be in power. They are running this country into the ground without any remorse, or compassion, to the people that are living here. So in a nutshell Serbia has been a complicated place to live in before Covid-19, and with these additional factors in play, it has become even more complicated.
MC: Has the current situation enabled you to access more spaces or “other” spaces, that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to?
SOBEKCIS: Well in a way during the curfew it was actually harder because your time to move around is cut in half, and that would alter your time for painting outside. So we chose to work more indoors, because it was too much on your plate already, to complicate it even more with forcing things and trying to paint outside.
And of course, night time actions were out of the question. Now its back to normal and you can move around, but during the month following March, it was very hard to think of new spots and such.
MC: What has been your highlight of the current strange situation in the world for you both?
SOBEKCIS: Quite honestly, the only thing which we could put in this category would be that when things came to a stop and you are literally locked in your home, for both it was good to have some extra time to rethink things, and have more time to work on paintings without a full schedule of projects. This can sometimes put you in the situation that you don’t have time to think about your work as much as you would want. But still not being able to travel is quite a big setback in planning and working on large scale projects, which is a big part of our process and something which we find the most fulfillment in doing.
So not so many highlights to mention, unfortunately.
MC: If you had to choose two-tone or multi-color for an extended period, which would you choose?
SOBEKCIS: Speaking about graffiti, we would say two-tone because, after years of using every color next to every color, we came to the conclusion that we most enjoy our pieces when its two colors contrasting each other, Mostly hot compared to cold, and using white or black to define the forms.
When working with abstract work we commonly work with a multi-color palette, but even here we have been thinking of striping down the palette and playing the abstraction element with a more basic palette. As with our graffiti, so that the eye can focus more on the actual form.