Early Belgian street artist, The Plug, contemporary to Zevs, the Invader and Banksy, is returning to the scene. This time around his attention no longer switched on to urban interventions, his playful project aims at a deconsecration of street art. “Lego is the epitome of childhood and of boys who refuse to grow up. Friends of mine began having children of their own and to welcome these new little friends, I started creating mini personalized graffiti tags as gifts.
The Lego wall or the small train wagon are urban without being part of conventional urban culture, where street artists, baseball caps and skate boards are all appropriated by the mass. I enjoy this distance that allows street art to not take itself for art”. An immediate success amongst his friends, each birthday saw an order for a personalized Lego wall or train placed, to the extent to which The Plug decided to reactivate his presence online on Instagram (@__carne_asada__) and in the city, exclusively at Nous at 48 rue Cambon, the brand new concept store opened by former members of Colette crew.
Switching from graffiti to street art in 1999, in the midst of the French pioneers Zevs and Jérôme Mesnager, Plug’s story begins with a simple parking fine. “I was so irritated I decided to unplug the parking meter which was sanctioning me. The ground was the most appropriate surface in order to get attention. People don’t look at each other in the eyes and there is too much competition on the walls. I followed suit by unplugging cash machines, statues, lampposts, buildings, …”. These plugs drawn on the ground immediately made their way around the emerging world of street art. The first websites (Armvr.fr), the first reference books (Writting, Street Logos, Art of Rebellion 1& 2, …) immortalize this wave which counts the likes of Banksy, the Invader and Zevs in the largest capitals in the world and Plug, in Arlon, lost in Belgium.
From 1999 to 2005, The Plug is a conceptual and alternative reference, setting himself apart from the simple logo on a wall. He plays with his environment, launches electoral poster campaigns, which flood the walls of Arlon with the faces of inspector Derrick or Alf, underlined by a Vote for The Plug! He systematically refuses to be represented by a gallery “what happens in the streets stays in the streets.” and accepts only one single museum exhibition « Backjump » in Berlin in 2003 with the best of the movement.
In 2006 graffiti and street art merge “I was tired of Wild Style tags which had become very normalized and which I had been doing since 92 under the name of PNK. When Scandanavians brought about the Ignorant Style, freer, less serious, more childlike, I returned to lettering”. Interventions were made more and more occasional, for the sole pleasure of them, until this new chapter today.