Yeah you read the title correctly, ‘The secret society of super villain artists’. It wasn’t a ruse to lure you in, it’s a real thing. This mysterious group are like the street art version of the rap super villain himself, MF Doom.
Looks like I hit the jackpot! (Supervillain!)
That’s the best part of all! I’m working for the biggest group of villains this world has ever known! We’re led by the man himself! (The Supervillain!) [Yuh!] Doom’s got a plan that’s gonna shake the heavens…You wanna get tough punk?! Good! Time to get the feta!
“SSOSVA is basically Us, We, Ours”
Those are the words of the founder – Silent Bill who’s been giving me the lowdown on this not so secret society.
The Secret Society of Super Villain Artists are an international arts collective, known to their members as SSOSVA. Bill said “We take what we do seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously. The humour element is clearly evident in the tongue in cheek nature of the ‘Secret Society’ and ‘Super Villain’ part within our name. Also, once its seen, it can’t be unseen”
Members were originally asked to fill out an application form, with the first mission actually being to find the blank form. The application form was to enable members to showcase their talents and to encourage other members to welcome them and to introduce others to their work.
Members originally misinterpreted the mischievous nature of SSOSVA and began to return the application form to the address which was on the form. Yup, the staff at The Tate, London must have been more than a little puzzled receiving these applications, no matter how creative they were!
The main Aim of SSOSVA is to help and encourage others to participate in creative pursuits. This includes networking amongst each other and providing friendship and support beyond the creative element. SSOSVA are known to participate regularly in charity events and raise money for good causes.
“And we get involved in things when we see there is a fight to be fought and many are active and involved in protest art. Our last thing was raising money to buy musical instruments for children in Palestine and helping a local community protest the Government/Councils lack of action after a gas blast decimated business and homes“
Living in Barcelona and seeing how active street artists here are with social issues it’s a wonder SSOSVA aren’t a permanent fixture on the cities streets. It’s pretty much the perfect setting for the group.
Well, maybe they are in Barcelona and I’ve just not noticed these secretive super villain artists. Bill told me “Our logo and members are across the globe with the logo being consistent within various street art areas. The Palestine Division logo was one of the first pieces of graffiti to appear on the wall at Banksy’s “Walled off Hotel” in Palestine and SSOSVA logos were the only slaps/graffiti not removed daily from Dismaland.
People form their own divisions with interests or localities and have their own adapted logo’s and tee shirts etc. We have had exhibitions worldwide including Miami, Spain, London, Australia, Liverpool and Scotland. The most recent is an upcoming event which a member has secured a spot in a museum in Vienna for members and will be making the museum look like ‘Brick Lane’”
Bill gave an excellent analogy when describing SSOSVA using the world famous street artist, Shepard Fairey. “Unlke Shep’s OBEY, SSOSVA members have an investment in sharing the word, pasting up, upping stickers. It’s all of ours, we visit other places and spot it and know thats us that is, that’s ours. That’s the difference between OBEY, thats Sheps, there is a sense of family when elsewhere and spotting it”
Something that definitely wouldn’t fit with the Barcelona street scene is Bill’s take on mindless vandalism… “We don’t want Gung Ho dickheads just getting into street art running round putting the logo over other peoples work. It gives us all a bad name and we ain’t gonna be happy. We often get sent pics of mindless vandalism, like we are meant to buzz off it! We don’t, show some respect to your peers in the scene and to other peoples private property”
“Alls we ask when people want to join is don’t bring us into disrepute”
Now if you don’t mind me, I’m off to listen to madvillainy for the millionth time. Whilst I’m at it I might go against Silent Bill’s advice and bring SSOSVA into a little disrepute with this letter I’m sending to the Tate…