Sixteen graffiti artists painted over 4500 square meters of a Swiss prison throughout an eighteen month period. Their work spanned exercise yards, corridors, stairwells, and the extensive outside wall, which alone would use around 1000 spray paint cans. The project began as a sort of celebration of graffiti as a unique art style as well as a desire to bring the artists’ work into a new environment with a challenge of large walls. Besides pushing personal boundaries of creating work on such a grand scale, the artists wanted to change the atmosphere of the prison. Their project would turn a cold, banal, uncomfortable setting into a warmer space for both prisoners and staff. The duration of creating the paintings was equally matched by the amount of planning and concept creating needed to span such a large space and find harmony between sixteen different artistic styles. The physicality and planning, however, were not the only difficult tasks: the artists were met with an emotional challenge as well. Despite knowing they we not confined, they were still consistently aware of their setting and were given a mere glimpse of what it is like on the inside. For example, they needed to call guards to be let out of the space and were daily witnesses to the day to day tension that exist within a prison.
Artists include Malik, Claude “Note” Lüthi, Robert Proch, Onur, Mizzo, Ti, Lain, Ata “Toast” Bosaci, Huran “Shark” Dogan, Daniel Zeltner, Sarah Parsons, Nevercrew (Pablo Togni and Cristian Rebecchi), Benjamin Solt, David Monllar, and Chromeo
For more information, check out the projects website here.