Digital Graffiti celebrated it’s 10th year

Savannah Vasquez

It was a festive scene at Fonville Press in Alys Beach on Saturday evening as 21 digital artists and countless guests mingled with one another awaiting the announcement of the winners of this year’s Digital Graffiti event. This year marked the 10th annual Digital Graffiti festival and to celebrate, TV monitors were set up in the coffee shop showcasing the best of show projections from the past 10 years.

“I just want to say that this 10th year, for everyone who’s been connected, you’ve got to be proud,” said Curator Bret Phares. “This thing is amazing. It’s not just a local phenomenon, it’s worldwide. We’ve got the artists to prove it.”

True to his word, five of the eight awardees went to international artists from Mexico, Germany, Australia and Korea.

This year’s best of show award went to Kameron Neal of Brooklyn, New York, for his piece entitled “Liquid Love.”

“This piece is about self-love and self-affirmation,” Neal said. “I started doing the pose – sticking my tongue out – at home in my own mirror and then I started doing self-portraits of myself on the street in public in front of 50 locations in Brooklyn.”

Neal, who started his art career creating digital art for Instagram, said that Digital Graffiti was the first time he created art specifically to fit an actual space.

Another piece that was awarded special recognition was "Fluidum 2," designed by German artist Holger Foerterer. The piece was a crowd favorite as it sensed motion – moving when guests interacted with it.

“It can be something fluid, or it could mean things that you radiate,” Foerterer said of his piece.

When asked how the projection sensed motion, Foerterer explained it’s a intricate process.

“It’s a camera that sits close to the projectors, comparable to a night vision camera,” he said. “I can detect how people are moving and I feed this movement into a virtual reality simulation of liquid and fractals, which is a mathematical equation.”

Another popular piece was a bright, colorful projection on a large building in the center of the event called "Untitled," by Korean artist Jinku Kim. Kim credited his two children as his inspiration for his piece.

"Actually, I do grey scale a lot," he said. "My daughter came into my office one day and said, 'Daddy, why don't you use color?' So I said, 'OK, you'll see the colors next time!' "

Kim said for his piece, he tried to illustrate how different dimensions interact.

"The brush stroke's thickness is connected to the sound frequency," he said. "I'm pretty inspired by the space and wanted to show how to connect sound, light and space."