Zevs (real name Christophe Aguirre Schwarz, b: Saverne, France – 1977) has risen to become one of the most prominent figures on the contemporary street art scene since his early days working on the streets of Paris during the 1990’s.
Zevs is best known today for his trademark “liquidation” technique, in which he transforms seemingly solid images into evocatively dripping ones that are perhaps more unstable than they seem.
Zevs has experimented with a number of methods in his graffiti, canvases, and performances that help him to subvert the unmistakably ubiquitous commercial and Hollywood driven culture of the twenty-first century. In the past, this has included a high profile “kidnapping” of a figure from a billboard, an infamous arrest following his creation of a large-scale mural of a liquidated Chanel logo in Hong Kong, and his Visual Violations series, in which he blurs out the faces of figures like Jim Morrison and Marilyn Monroe.
With his work, Zevs offers a commentary on the lasting widespread influence of these figures, as well as corporate logos ranging from Louis Vuitton to Coca-Cola to Apple, on contemporary culture. No matter what he does to them, these images are instantly recognizable to nearly everyone. Yet, at the same time, Zevs’ denial of these images via liquidation or otherwise confirms that, despite their apparent strength in our culture, these icons are not invincible: quite simply, nothing lasts forever.
In combining a street art mentality with a Pop Art usage of popular culture in a way reminiscent of Warhol, Zevs’ work manages to both highlight and subvert what is, in many ways, the very essence of contemporary culture.
Zevs was born in France in 1977, and first gained renown as a street artist in Paris during the 1990s. Since then, he has extensively participated in exhibitions and performances worldwide, including at the 2010 Moscow Biennial, Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek (Copenhagen), the Mechelen Cultural Center and the historic Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich).