ArtBlitz LA caught up with San Francisco-based, street artist, world traveler and thinker, Zio Ziegler, to talk about his process, current body of work, street art, galleries and more.
The challenges of street-art today are the challenges that it has always faced. They can be summarized with the question: Who owns a work of art on the street– who gets to claim the public sphere? Zio Ziegler tackles this issue through his vast, ever-changing body of work. His art is not something that simply exists in the gallery or the street alone. Rather it comes in as many iterations, shapes and forms as possible, allowing the work to be available to, and appreciated by an ever-growing audience.
Zio’s work is motivated by a constant urge to explore and evolve. Rather than create a body of work with a consistent theme and style, Ziegler instead opts to let the work grow and shape itself, mimicking evolution. Each work has a counterpart. The first is a study or first movement while the second becomes the final iteration. That is not to say that the works are, or even look the same, but the expression of the idea in each is related. This practice has enabled Ziegler to produce a vast amount of work that together forms a pathway of artistic expression and exploration. The murals are not vastly different from the canvases in terms of their associated thought process, but Ziegler acknowledges that the audience is inherently different. This does not however, influence his practice. Whether the piece is a solo commission, collaboration, or an illegal project, the process of evolving the work by taking the best ideas, themes and elements from the previous works and incorporating them remains. No matter what, the work is always going somewhere.
The fine art work plays nicely into the artist’s commercial work. No matter the project—a skateboard, tee-shirt, poster, or paint-job on a new Porsche-the work comes from a lineage that gives it both a legitimacy and direction. Ziegler’s work is meant to please and challenge the viewer regardless of their art historical and cultural background. If a viewer sees their self in a work it is because the work enabled them to see it and appreciate it. Ziegler’s work is about life, and everything in it, large and small. His process allows the work to shift and still focus on specific ideas and subjects while the body as a whole is constantly morphing.
By Peter Maloy
Images courtesy of Zio Ziegler