Bonom expresses himself through his bestiary and thanks to the night’s complicity. His works have caused a wide range of reactions from legal debates to waves of support. But, in the end, who owns the urban space? And what do we think of him?
In just a few years, Bonom has become a living legend in Brussels. The city is now full of imposing, scary animals, which appeared one night on our façades. The artist says it always moves him when he explores the city from up high, at night, from the rooftops.
He seeks perfection in his drawings and, if he gets one wrong, considers it to be nothing short of vandalism.
In Street Art, creativity is demarcated by the urban areas, the shape and dimensions of the walls. The art form leads to reflection and questions our relationship with public areas at a time when we are being bombarded daily by dozens of adverts of ever increasing size.
And nevertheless the frontier between art and vandalism remains porous. In 2010 Bonom was prosecuted for causing “wilful damage to buildings”. Following these accusations, the artist was forced to do community service and then took up his real name again (Vincent Glowinski) and has since pursued his career in a more traditional way. He offered Brussels three last drawings as a form of testament: a self portrait on the Hôtel des Monnaies, a naked old man on the Porte de Hal and finally a women in a nothing less than explicit position overlooking the Place Stéphanie.
His audience includes all of us, all ages and social classes. And this is just what the artist said in one of his rare interviews: he said that the confrontation of the works with passers by is what makes them come to life. If there are only a few people who can see it, it doesn’t exist. Bonom tries to reach the largest possible audience and take art out of the confined space of the gallery.
Street Art on line
With the smartphone boom, Bonom’s fans have created the website www.bonom.be where they post photos of his works and their geo-location. This is an endless chain: the artist appropriates the urban area, the audience re-appropriates his works and the city thus acquires a new direction, opening up new discussion.