The bricked-up door of a city train in April 2015 caused commuters and passer-by in Hamburg to be astonished and animated; only later a published video revealed the authorship and the whole action became kind of a performance. Moses & Taps, who are known internationally for their conceptual approach regarding the original medium of graffiti, belong to the avantgarde of the scene. Hamburg based gallery owner and blogger Rudolf D. Klöckner assigns their works to a genre, which he strikingly calls “concept-vandalism”. This implicates on one hand a creative handling of the graffiti scene’s unwritten rules, on the other hand the works frequently raise issues on how society treats this form of art. To give an example the writing $ELLOUT consisting of about 70 Dollar bills presumably criticised the market, which takes possession of the freely available works on the street, whereas the Coca-Cola lettering covering a whole waggon questioned the defacement of the cities through omnipresent billboards while graffiti suffers disapproval.
Actions like these lead to a completely new value of brand recognition exceeding writing skills and choice of colour. Until Moses & Taps went as far as that, there has been quite a journey ahead of them. Independently of each other they started doing graffiti in the early nineties; since 2007 they collaboratively work together. After having spread their names via tags, throw-ups and pieces throughout the world recognisable colours came up, which nowadays are part of the collective’s corporate identity: yellow and cyan blue. Subsequently, to proof their authorship they do not need to leave behind their pseudonyms, but only use their signature colours.
Looking at the series SPLASH™colours take over an autonomous role, but are not reduced to yellow and blue anymore. In any and all shades expressive colour clouds – Splashes – emerge from previously pricked spray cans and cover in the shortest of time huge surfaces. At least since that development it became clear, that the traditionally applied rules of the graffiti scene are invalidated. Moses & Taps managed to establish a brand, which is characterised by a creative approach regarding the commonly berated street art and an intrinsic critique of the authorities dealing with it.
After the complete dissolution of shape and outlines with the splash-works Moses & Taps have not lost sight of the classical forms of graffiti, which is proved by the series IMAGE OF GRAFFITI™ and SCRATCHITI™. Among others they are part of the show Schöpferische Zerstörung (creational destruction) following the thought, that destroying something yet existing is the necessity for an act of creation. All exhibited series refer to deconstruction and rearrangement on a pictorial or material level. However, the translocation of their works from the street into the gallery space is not to be misunderstood as domestication of the former street art, but reflects the urge of expansion of graffiti, which simply adopts a new sphere of activity within the public space.