Son[i]a #233 Robert Janz
- 03:14 I'm not a street artist. I do things in the street
- 08:05 Art words
- 10:16 From the caves of Almeria to the asphalt of Tribeca
- 12:50 "Waterglyphs"
- 13:45 People cannot see what there are not prepared to see
- 15:35 A work that disappears
- 18:25 Paper and lemon
- 19:50 Politics and poetry
- 21:58 The power of words
Robert Janz is a painter, sculptor, printmaker, poet and street artist. He was born in Belfast in 1932 and studied at the Rinehart School of Sculpture in Baltimore, and by the time he turned twenty he had started drawing on the wet sand on Venice Beach, Los Angeles, using sticks he picked up along the way. The lines were erased by the incoming waves and he obsessively drew them again and again. These early ephemeral drawings eventually became the project 'Waves Between Waves' (1977), which got him into a gallery and into the art scene.
With his long-standing interest in transience, change, and movement, the work of Robert Janz is imbued with Zen philosophy and defends the poetic potential of the ephemeral. Janz makes sculptures out of branches and bits of wood he finds on the streets. He makes drawings with water on rocks and walls. And he projects fleeting shadows in the city. Don’t be surprised if you come across him painting arrows, mountains, or buffalo on torn posters and graffiti in New York.
Or if you come upon a haiku street poem as you wonder through Tribeca: it will probably one of his 'POST NO BILLS' poems. For Janz, the walls of the city are like the rocks of primitive artists, and his figures, reminiscent of cave paintings, flood the streets with prehistoric echoes. From the freedom of his “outsider” art, Janz defends the incendiary power of art.
SON[I]A talks to Robert Janz about his urban interventions, about art, Buddhism, politics, poetry and the passage of time.