Self-proclaimed suburbanist, Olivier Kosta did not learn to spray-paint on walls as a misdirected urban youth – quite the opposite, he grew up outside the city and was fascinated from afar by urban centers from his surburban home.
His take, as a partial outsider, is both reverent and critical. On the one hand, the work he does is clearly influenced by street culture and urban art. On the other hand, he criticizes some graffiti and street artists for being more obsessed with a look or style than a concept.
These strange ceiling and wall murals range greatly in subject matter, style and approach. Some are highly-organized patterns with near-classical symmetry and floral motifs. Others look like a collection of individual scrawls from underside of a dirty and misused student desk.
If one thing binds the work together it is his obvious repeated use of a single major tool: the unlikely cigarette lighter. In a way, it seems a fitting choice for someone who is not fully ‘urban’ but perhaps a bit more reserved (or even refined?) from a slightly removed suburban lifestyle, education and consequently different perspective.
His works have likewise spanned the gap, decorating the ceilings of dirty urban abandonments but also hanging from the white-washed walls of many art galleries.