Mr Fahrenheit exhibits at Z Gallery in Dubai

Four Points by Sheraton in Dubai hosts the Diamonds and Pearls exhibition by Mr. Fahrenheit, who has also sprayed graffiti on the Berlin Wall

Like many street artists, Mr. Fahrenheit’s art remains anonymous due to its illegal nature. And while many risk being fined or imprisoned, in 1980s Berlin, it was life-threatening. As the first person to paint the Berlin Wall (on both sides in one night), Mr. Fahrenheit has experienced the dangers first-hand. “I did it hit-and-run style,” he says. “The East German soldiers were shooting with real bullets and they mostly hit what they were targeting.”

For now, Mr. Fahrenheit has left the streets behind, with his latest exhibition Diamonds and Pearls – a series of works featuring iconic figures from popular culture, including The Terminator, Audrey Hepburn, Mr. Spock and John Lennon – on display at Z Gallery at Four Points by Sheraton. They are a collection of some of his most famous pieces from the streets of London, Berlin and Hong Kong, including multilayer stencils, sophisticated cut-outs, collages and hand-pulled silkscreen prints. He talks us through four pieces on show.

Street art versus gallery art
“Street art is bringing the streets into the gallery. Sometimes a bit dirty, sometimes clean and sometimes rough – you can take a piece of the street home with you. The streets are my gallery. If I want to exhibit, I take glue, spray paint and stickers with me on a train or bus – wherever I think is the right place for my artwork.”

Art is changing

“Art is not the same as it was decades ago. Street art is young and fast and it has seen some remarkable changes in a short period of time. You have to know something about art history and aesthetics, their changes and philosophical approaches.”

Art is a game

“It’s not the assignment of an artist to be on a mission. You have to play; art is a game. Never try to convince people of anything. Demand the new and destroy the bridges to the past. Those who want to preserve the past are not artists; they serve some entertainment industry.”

Art is radical

“As an artist you have to be precise, you have to serve and you have to be factual. You must not follow any ideology. It’s about playing and it is resistance against all social conventions. Be radical and always ask for everything and look into the future.”

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