The hidden street artist in Estonia

Edward von Lõngus, phenomenon of street art

Edward von Lõngus (EVL) is Estonian most successful street art phenomenon even though the Estonian public does not know anything personal about the artist, as EVL is his alter ego. His work, however has been critically acclaimed within the Estonian art community, received many awards and sent on tour across Europe.

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What is the meaning of street art to you?

A mind which has been expanded by a new idea will never regain it former dimensions. Street art is a way of mind hacking. Public space is a way of communication. Change the environment and you will change the people in it.

Where do you get inspiration for creating your works?

Modern music creators mix new music from samples of already existing music, I sample cultural code in a similar manner. I cut out some pieces and put them together in a new way, creating new meaning in the process. This is how all of our minds work as far as I understand it. Everything inside our heads is a mix of different bits and pieces of random information that we have picked up along the way. Most of our ideas are not ours. We copy and paste this stuff from other people’s ideas. Sometimes new stuff gets invented in the process, most often by misinterpreting previous information.

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Where did it all start? Who were you role models in street art?

The works that have touched me the deepest are the oldest ones. I feel a deep connection with the early cave paintings. For me it feels like going home. Graffiti is often considered a new art form while it s actually the oldest. Images and writings on walls are as old as human history. Drawings of dicks on walls have been an integral component of human civilization from the very beginning.

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How does your creation process look like? How was your artist Alter Ego: “Edward von Lõngus” born?

There is a reoccurring motive in history which can be found in pretty much all cultures from around the world. It is the concept of the artist becoming a medium for a higher being. Nowadays we recognize this creature by the name of Muse, but it has had many names over the years. The concept remains the same: There is a certain state of creation where the creator seems to submit itself to some otherworldly force which leads the creation process. Most of my work consists of following that inner voice and just trying to keep myself out of the way.

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How did you become aware of your success in the Estonian art scene and how did it make you feel?

I believe that individual actions are driven by the underlying conditions in society. The law of emergence states that with a given set of conditions the respective outcome is inevitable. In other words if you set the correct circumstances for something to happen it is bound to happen sooner or later. Since Edward von Lõngus emerged from this set of correct conditions, the success I’ve encountered is a self-congratulatory reward mechanism of the society being pleased with it’s own creation.

What advice would you give young people interested in street art?

Do your own thing. Find your own way. Follow it with passion.

Where in the world can your work be seen?

The European tour map can be seen at restartreality.ee

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What are your future plans for your street art?

The Moon is the limit, literally. I will make an artwork on the Moon one day.

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Are you ever planning to reveal your true identity to the world?

I do not desire personal fame. Our society is way too obsessive with fame and celebrities. I want no part in that. All I want is my art to be seen and my message to be heard.

Photo source: Edward von Lõngus

Madis – Siim Kull

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