Can you imagine getting arrested for cleaning?
Moose Benjamin Curtis can.
He’s a street artist that cleans grime off dirty walls, signs, and tunnels — instead of using spray paint — to create his urban masterpieces.
Even though he’s been arrested for doing it, Curtis continues to do the art known as “reverse graffiti” for advertisements and out of his own enjoyment. But he especially enjoys using the art to advocate for environmental organizations and causes, he tells Grist writer Greg Hanscom:
He is fond of carving the forms of flowers and trees onto dirty surfaces, adding organic forms, as delicate as paper cutouts, to the hard edges of the urban landscape.
“I could stand around all day long telling people how what we’re doing is ruining the planet,” Moose says. “But if I can intrigue them enough to look closer, and then shock them with the contrast between where the wall was cleaned and where it was dirty … It’s just a quirky little way of getting the point out to people.”
But despite the amazing art he creates, he hasn’t exactly made friends with the authorities: “I have so much trouble getting permission to clean walls, it’s just unbelievable,” Moose says. “It’s just a little bit over people’s heads.”
Check out Curtis at work below: