Friday 25 May 2018

An artist has put up social media-inspired street signs around Oxford

Familiar roads have been transformed into the likes of Snapchat End and Hashtag Walk.

By Isabel Togoh, Press Association

Social media has infiltrated Oxford IRL, where street signs for “Lol Alley” and “Facebook Way” have appeared throughout the city.

The displays, which are pictured on the sides of centuries-old buildings and on grass patches, are the brainchild of artist A34.

Although they resemble real signs from afar, passers-by can see that the 3D illusion has been painted on to a flat surface.

The artist said: “I’ve created my signs so that they appear fake upon close inspection; however, once they are photographed, they look three-dimensional and look unquestionably real.

“It’s an illusion, in the same way that much of social media is an illusion.”

The names are printed on to Foamex, a PVC foam, added the anonymous artist, who said he is in his 40s.

The street art is a commentary on the way that people are “fascinated with social media”, a platform which he thinks can be constructive. But he believes that issues such as data misuse are harmful.

He told the Press Association: “People can be creative on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, etc, and, to some degree, re-invent themselves. It’s a positive thing, I believe.”

The artist, who lives in the Oxfordshire area, said he views people’s relationship with social media as a “modern-day gothic tale”, where companies engaging in data misuse act like “vampires”.

The work comes from the same artist who modified road signs in Didcot in March, giving directions to “Gotham City” and “Middle Earth”, among others.

A34 as been creating street art and performance art under different pseudonyms since the 1990s.

While he likes to inject humour into his work, his projects “explore the boundary between what is real and what is make believe”, he said.

Press Association

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