Doubling up on all basesA city can make or break you. Its atmosphere, its smells, the sounds it emits and even the weather can largely define the people who live in it. Conversely, the same people who live in each city are exactly those entities that contribute to all of these characteristics. All be it using the cities own natural traits as a stepping stone. When you grow up in a city like Belgrade Serbia, it is a given that the city will help or hinder the shaping of your personality. In some cities around the world, an excess of aggression, a lack of services and the absence of funds can make life for a child about as fun as doing homework on a Saturday. However, ingredients like these can also be the exact required components with the right amount of friction and the perfect amount of determination to fuel good art.
The SOBEKCIS brothers Nikola and Ivan, are proof that you can let your city turn you into a victim or you can choose to shape it. The twins from Belgrade have the correct ingredients to actively shape the cityscape of Belgrade, taking only what they need from it to create in positivity. If creating an atmosphere in a city was a profession, SOBEKCIS would be the CEO’s or their town. With relentless vigor, they re-invent the surfaces of their surrounds over and over again in all the disciplines of this game we call graffiti.
In a recent visit to the crossroads of Central and South-Eastern Europe where Belgrade finds itself, we saw with our own eyes how the brothers had refined the routine down to a simple ritual. With the quick calculation of context, space and time, SOBEKCIS has a handle on it. Whether Ultrawide tags where no elaborate pieces are possible, throw up’s in front of unconcerned passing cars or a style excursion along the railway corridors of the concrete jungles and abandoned wastelands of the inner city. In Serbia and beyond, the brothers know exactly what to do and when to do it. With quality, harmony, and precision.
Without requiring a re-boot, SOBEKCIS is equally as comfortable in the studio creating world standard fine art in the form of paintings, prints, and drawings, etc. as they are touring the globe realizing larger than life murals that radiate with color and vibrancy. Their abstract worlds indoors have found no boundaries outdoors. And the same is in reverse. The scale is no issue and the most intricate details are able to be blown up to massive proportions just as they can be refined into minuscule beauty. When it comes to the artwork of SOBEKCIS, it is not possible to look away.
Images by Carlo Kohal