Jan Kołodziej, 29, a landscape and urban street artist who call’s himself ‘Autone’ expresses his sympathy for urbanism through spray cans.
How did you get started in street art?
I began in 1988 with graffiti but did only letters, tags and my name. Things have changed for me in the past four years, so I skipped the letters and did more abstract art.
Your work includes abstract maps. Is there a message behind them?
I’m an urban planner and maps are my speciality. When I studied architecture I went into urban planning. Before I came to London architecture had a significant impact on my life when I decided to start as a street artist. At some point, I managed to connect both, and the maps are my way to express it.
So you reflect it in your work?
When it gets to creating the maps I work on different layers which make it possible for me to connect various types of information whether it’s a mix of infrastructure, tube maps or communication. That’s how I compose my maps.
Where do you get your inspiration? What influences you?
It depends on the context of the piece, sometimes I try to connect two buildings with urban artwork and often I can add more depth. In my work, I always consider the wall itself, by its form and surroundings. I would never work on a plain white wall; the surface has to tell a story. I consider walls that are different because of their shape and form. I always follow the form and the structure of the wall to make sure it fits my abstract piece. This one, the black and white map, was inspired by the network of communication with the linear structures resembling parts of London’s infrastructure.
Is it difficult to do it legally?
I work only on legal walls because it’s very easy to get problems with the police. In Camden especially I collaborate with The Real Art of Street Art. They support artists like me and provide us with legal walls.
How do you know if it’s a legal wall?
The guys of The Real Art of Street Art got permission for some of the walls. Sometimes some spots are half legal, and they are officially not allowed, but everyone sprays there without any problems. The biggest problem that many other artists have and I are to stay present on the walls for a good amount of time. Others have already overpainted some of my works.
When sharing your work online: Do you use the #art tag regularly? On which social media platforms do you share your work?
I share my photos on Facebook and Instagram. I always use #art followed by #urban.