For this month’s Hoxton Window Project, we featured the incredibly talented artist duo Alexandre Centazzo and Jean-Baptiste Di Marco. They arrived at our offices early on a Tuesday, fresh off the overnight bus from Paris, and started covering the majority of our gigantic office windows with white gouache, a type of thickened paint. Once the easy part was over, they projected their digital designs onto the window and traced over parts of the paint they needed to remove.
Using a variety of tools, from knives to blunt pencils, they began the arduous task of scraping away at the gouache until they had created a sort of “reversed stencil” look. Three of the windows featured nocturnal animals: a fox, a deep-sea fish and an owl. Inscribed over these images were the poetic words “low landers sail under low lights.” On top of this artwork, they projected a series of moving blue, yellow and red lights which illuminate the window at night and reflect beautifully onto Hoxton Square.
In order to create the type for the windows, Alex scanned small tarot cards he had and essentially created a unique font. JB was drawn to ancient wood etchings and wanted the illustrations on the windows to resemble that style. One of the main ideas behind their project was to create an allegory: by painting nocturnal animals they wanted to draw attention to the idea that humans, too, live their lives differently by night – that the city is alive in a very different way in the dark than it is in the light, similar to forests and other “natural habitats.” Their artwork echoes this, since it looks very different during the day compared to when it is lit up with projections at night.
Alexandre is a graphic designer interested in print, while Jean-Baptiste is a freelance graphic designer who is also involved in a number of motion graphics projects.