The graffiti artist / hacker / poop-painter known as Katsu has revealed the latest portrait in his "Shithead" series of artworks. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the first to be featured, but Katsu has now turned his attention to Google chairman Eric Schmidt, unveiling the wonderfully-titled portrait "Eric Shit." And in case we've not been clear on this point so far: yes, these are portraits done using Katsu's own poop.
Here's Eric Shit, complete with flashing LED frame:
"Feces molds pretty quickly, which is pretty whack."
When TechCrunch caught up with Katsu to ask him about his work (he's also responsible for what might be the first ever piece of "drone graffiti" on an NYC billboard) he discussed the difficulty of painting with poop, namely the fact that "feces molds pretty quickly, which is pretty whack." He adds that he uses a mask, hand sanitizer, and lots of gloves when making the portraits, and explains why he uses poop in the first place:
"I like getting my hands dirty. I was thinking about the human body removed from all art mediums. I was thinking, what is the human body capable of producing pigment-wise? You can use blood, feces, semen and urine. If you just stripped away and removed humans from everything and all technological devices, what could the body naturally produce?"
Regardless of what you might think about the crudeness of Katsu's chosen medium, his worries about the ascendency of Silicon Valley's tech companies are reasonable. "These titans of the cloud, are like, basically in competition to control every bit of granular data about individuals," he says. "They understand that human data has this immense value and they’re shielding and hiding that from the public. Maybe feces is the last thing that they could possibly control."
For more of Katsu's work you can check out F.A.T. Lab, an artistic collective that he belongs to. Or, if you're in San Francisco, you can head along to a retrospective of some of F.A.T.'s work (including the Shithead portraits) at the Gray Area Festival.