Interview: Adbuster Vermibus on his idea of perfect worlds and bodies
Advertising in a perfect world? Nonexistent, says Spanish artists Vermibus, who is particularly known for his adbusting. Using solvent, he brushes away faces, flesh and branding, and creates art that criticizes advertising and its effect on society.
How did you find your path as an artist? What’s your story?
I started to do graffiti when I was 10 years old, this developed during the years and made me more and more interested in art and creativity.
I studied illustration and photography until I got a job in an advertising company as an event photographer.
After a few years, I decided to change my life and put all my knowledge of graffiti and advertising against the advertising industry.
Do billboard ads with perfect body images make you angry?
I wouldn’t say angry is the correct word, I do not get angry because “perfect body” images, I get concerned when the concept “perfect body” defines only one type of body.
What do you want to show and tell people through your work?
I want to show other ways of thinking and other ways of behaving. I want to show that you can also be a participant of the way society looks and an active individual in a society.
And overall I would like to change the advertising industry, especially when we are referring to public space, but of course, I’m only adding my opinion to it.
People are working more digitally than ever. Digital “tailor-made” ads are everywhere nowaday. Have you ever thought of bringing your analog projects to the digital world?
I’m not sure yet how. Maybe one day I find the way. This being said, I still prefer to get my hands dirty than learning how to code.
What does “Vermibus” mean?
It is said that the Spanish word “Cadaver” (corpse) comes from the Latin sentence ”CAro DAta VERmibus”, meaning “meat given to the worms”. I choose “Vermibus” as a pseudonym because I think that advertising models, after all the transformation process to which they are subjected, from makeup, lights, photo retouching, etc… are no longer individuals and become bait, as their identity is replaced by the brand.
How should ads look like in a “perfect” world?
In a perfect world? Nonexistent. In an utopian world probably much more inclusive and honest.