Graffiti is one of those things that proves beauty really is “in the eye of the beholder.” To those individuals who view and use graffiti as an art form, it’s an amazing expression of creativity on otherwise lifeless streets. Those who own the buildings, rail cars, and garage doors used as a canvas for graffiti tend to feel differently. By replacing paint with a unique combination of water and LEDs, however, a French artist and designer seems to have elevated graffiti to a more elegant level.
Artist Antonin Fourneau recently debuted a wall of LED lights that reacts to water. Whether sprayed from a hose or added delicately with the damp tip of a finger, water that comes in contact with the wall leaves behind a temporarily illuminated masterpiece.
It took Fourneau several weeks working in residence at Digitalarti Artlab to structure and wire the water art board, which features hundreds of LEDs that activate when exposed to water. From July 22nd to 24th, 2012, the board was displayed publicly in Poitiers, and everyone from children to seniors were invited to give it a try.
Armed with squirt guns, spray bottles, and in some cases, buckets, passers by helped created stunning-yet-fleeting works of original art on the lighted graffiti board. Not only does this art installation present a clever melding of light and art, it also pleases city officials who might otherwise be tasked with cleaning up after graffiti artists. In this case, they may just hold off watering the grass for a few days.