In lieu of a new blog entry, check out my interview with Meal & Roti in this week’s Ithaca Times:
Here’s an excerpt:
Public Artists Meal and Roti Hang Show Inside
Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 3:50 pm, Wed Nov 16, 2011.
By Wylie Schwartz
Since arriving in Ithaca almost one month ago, the 23-year old French street artist who goes by the name Roti has painted six murals in town – three at private residences, and three large-scale public works – each containing elements of fantasy architecture enlivened with imaginative creatures who are often portrayed in transit: whimsical caricatures pointing toward a departure from human absurdity. On the side of the building in the West End at the intersection of Taughannock Blvd and Seneca Street, a giant fish rises from a castle (or some other Palladian pile) as it attempts to catch a ball in its mouth, and on the old Green Street parking ramp next to city hall, a flying top-hat wearing horse and his Alice in Wonderland she-wolf companion are about to be hoisted aboard a great flying ark. The latter mural was, for the record, created at the invitation of Ithaca’s Public Arts Commission.
The most recent piece, a large painting on the east façade of the newly opened Standard Art Supply and Souvenir on Seneca Street represents a collaboration with a British graffiti artist called Meal, who has lived in Ithaca for the past six years and whose outdoor mural work can be found at sites such as GIAC, AJ’s Foreign Auto on Cherry Street, and the Ithaca Skatepark. In conjunction with their recent collaboration, the two artists currently have a dual exhibit on view at Standard Art.
Taking some time to talk with us after a mind-bogglingly productive spurt of artistic output, we asked the pair about their origins as artists, what inspires them to work in the street, and what would be their ultimate surface to paint.