Los Angeles-based street artist Thrashbird is widely praised for his rebellious billboard takeovers and political content. He portrays relevant social issues with humor and satire. In his work, he questions our unhealthy interests as a society. For example, our fascination with popular celebrities, selfie culture, or our increasing reliance on new technological tools. In fact, he became recognized for his fierce and visually aggressive works that question the status quo. More than that, his polarizing works deal with the most relevant social issues. He often provokes confrontation and dialogue.
In his work ‘Valley Of Secret Values,’ he constructed recognizable silhouettes of the designer handbags out of the long-lost buildings. The installation exists kilometers away from any populated area in Lime, Oregon. Actually, the idea for this project was developed during his walks around that area, at an abandoned concrete power plant. When he saw a maze of giant broken concrete monoliths with the tops crumbling away at first, he immediately imagined them as designer bags. Seeing those bags crumbling with the passage of time and returning to the earth as dust — the metaphor was too strong for him to disregard.
‘This project is part cautionary tale, part beautification project, and very introspective for me personally. It highlights my own personal struggle with ego and grandiosity, hence the scale of it. We grapple for status and purpose in society. Consuming possessions to showcase how successful we are and fill us with purpose, with complete disregard for the people and the planet affected by our careless overconsumption of ephemeral consumer goods. Our measure of success has been skewed. We have come to a place in society where things and social status have become more important than our connection to each other’ – Thrashbird.