by Ariston Anderson
When it comes to street art, itâs difficult not to reinvent the wheel. We often see the same wheatpaste graphics or stencil styles over and over. Thatâs why we were thrilled that our friend, Berlin artist Aisha Ronnigerâs pet project, Papergirl, is starting to gain traction. Ronniger started the project in 2005 when there was still debate over whether or not to punish wheatpasters the same way in which graffiti artists were punished. While most Berliners saw it as a lesser crime, the police force was intent on cracking down on street art.
Ronniger started brainstorming about new ways to show and distribute art in public spaces. A friend told her, âYou should be throwing your art around, like the paperboys in America do.â She realized it would be an easy and fun way to distribute great works of art on a large scale, and thus the project was born.
Four years later, Ronniger and the Papergirls and Paperboys of Berlin are still collecting art and distributing it throughout the streets. They ride their bikes, carrying rolls filled with collections of art, throwing them to lucky catchers on the street, in their cars, other bikers, people who might not normally be exposed to urban art. In addition a Papergirl USA project recently launched and new projects are sprouting up in over a dozen cities around the world. We spoke with Ronniger to find out more about the project and how you can get involved.
Tell me about some of the artists who contribute work.
The project is open for everyone! We want to show a wide range of works and we think you canât tell anyone what heâs aloud to give away as a present. Papergirl comes from the streets and thus it is the recipient that decides what he likes!
In the first year I contacted artist friends and colleagues from school. The core group of artists came from a streetart background—people that are used to giving away their art for free and understand the pleasure of it! Some of them take part almost every year, for example artists like Kowalski, Boxi, Evol, Tower/Klub7, Gould, Solovei, Cake, Nepomuk and many more.
Now, since we posted open calls on several blogs, there are more and more people coming from all over the world that want to start a Papergirl project in their hometown too! We will also start a Papergirl World-Blog, to connect these people, tell them how it works and let everybody check if thereâs a Papergirl where they live too!
Read the rest of the interview and see more images after the jump.