Berlin-based artist Vermibus regularly collects advertising posters from the streets, using them in his studio as the base material for his work. Here he transforms the advertisements using solvents to disfigure the faces and flesh of models and brand logos. Once the transformation is complete, he then reintroduces the adverts back into their original context, hijacking their visibility and ubiquity in order to present his own subversive, anti-consumerist messages.
By using advertising space and subverting how human figures are represented in that space, Vermibus’ interventions become part of a broader conversation of social significance by questioning who has the power and authority to communicate messages and create meaning in our shared spaces.
By manipulating the image through removing the flesh of his subjects, Vermibus dehumanizes figures that were already depersonalized. He is, in fact, trying to find the aura of the individual - the personality that was lost - however. Once banal posters and advertisements are not insidiously lurking in the background anymore; they stand out in the public space, giving us the opportunity to call their presence into question.
Since beginning this work across Europe with hundreds of posters a handful of years ago, Vermibus has developed a distinctly ghoulish aesthetic, exhibited in the streets and at galleries and art fairs the world over.