Julia Petschinka lives in Vienna and in her blog “no comment“ has for some years been collecting stencils which she found in various cities of this world. Stencils are graffitis which are produced using a pre-designed template. We asked Julia for an interview to find out more about her passion of collecting and to discover everyday poetry in this topic.
Since when have you been involved in stencil art?
As a child I discovered my first graffitis and was instantly in awe; however this was not on the street in Vienna but in a book from New York. A friend of my parents had brought with her a book about the –at that time still sprayed- subway trains (Subway Art). I was fascinated about the colourfullness in the otherwise grey city. It gave the impression of freedom and rebellion – that left a lasting impression on me.
Then I forgot all about it – but re-disovered my fascination when stencils appeared. They only really caught my eye five years ago when I was travelling a lot. After a few days in a new city you suddenly notice these illustrations on every corner and wall. I noticed at the time that the stencils varied a great deal depending on the country and even on the city. For example I have never seen bigger stencils than inParis or Graz or more elaborate ones than in Barcelona.
Which for you is the most fascinating stencil?
The sayings of Albin Ray inspire me deeply, my favourite one has already disappeared. It was on a building site in the 5th district in Vienna, now there is a house there. Before the house was built it simply said: “the anatomy of a senseless thought“. Very poetic.
During a trip to Paris I discovered life-sized stencils by Jef Aerosol, that was very exciting since Jef Aerocol is a stencil celebrity. And otherwise I like stencils that are funny, ironic, or political.
Julia, thank you very much for the interview – stay inspired!
They help to escape the everyday routine for a moment and to take a different perspective – stencils!”