Street Artist Luzinterruptus’ Weed Art in Madrid
Luzinterruptus is one of our favorite street artists of the year because of their unique approach to urban art. The Madrid-based collective installs clever art around the city’s public spaces — using their creations to illuminate social and environmental issues that affect Spain and beyond.
Earlier this year, the artists — who remain anonymous — used glass jars and blue lights to create the illusion of water and raise awareness about Madrid’s free public water fountain shortage. They brought water back to the city’s dried up fountains through the clever combination of art and social justice.
“The idea behind our work is very simple: attract attention through light in public places so that they can be understood by the people who pass by at that very momento, without the need for instructions,” the collective told Urban Art Core.
Now the mysterious group of urban artists are back, illuminating another often-ignored issue. “Pharmacy Herbs” is not the name of a new Los Angeles marijuana dispensary, although European pharmacy signs resemble the green signs that hang above California’s weed stores. Instead, it is the title of Luzinterruptus’ new installation in Madrid.
Small patches of green lights — made to look like weeds or grass — were made from glow-sticks and attached to the cement outside of one of Madrid’s many 24-hour corner pharmacy stores. Luzinterruptus wanted to draw attention — somewhat ironically — to the light pollution caused by Madrid’s neon signs.
According to the art collective’s website, the European Union’s Department of the Environment adopted a new policy for pharmacy signs — allowing them to be replaced by new, brighter signs. This caused the “over-illumination” of Spain’s capital city. Today, the neon lights make it impossible to see the stars at night.
“Without wanting to play down such a serious subject, but trying to approach it with a sense of humor, which never hurts, we carried out our installation ‘mutant weeds’ in which we recreated a not-too-distant future, in which a new and hardy species of photosensitive plant grows in the asphalt around the pharmacies, nourished by the photosynthesis of its powerful ‘low’ light,” Luzinterruptus explains on their website.
They chose three locations in Madrid and spoke with pedestrians about their reaction to the project. Afterwards, they took the installation down so they wouldn’t add to the pollution.
We know that you shouldn’t fight fire with fire, but fighting light pollution with more light illuminates this important issue. Perhaps Luzinterruptus could work their magic in Los Angeles, where it is always daytime in Downtown and we have to drive far into the desert to see a full sky of stars.