Four years ago, Australian artist Michael Pederson began placing his lighthearted, humorous street art installations in unexpected places. Playing with the public space we often forget to look at, Pederson’s project Miguel Marquez Outside is a clever escape into the urban landscape.
“I can’t remember exactly what originally inspired me to do these outdoor projects, but it had been in the back of my mind for quite some time before I started,” Pederson tells My Modern Met. “I had a small drawing show a few years ago which featured images and text. One of the pieces was also placed in a more public context and seemed to work better that way. Placing something unexpected out on the street can have a powerful element of surprise. It really got me hooked, and I’ve wanted to explore street interventions ever since.”
Whether inspired by a particular space or object, or location scouting for a particular idea, Pederson’s installations are a perfect demonstration of how the best street art is tied to its context. His work takes passersby out of their familiar scenery and gives them a jolt, forcing them to look closer in order to have a chuckle.
From musing about the reasons people seem to throw their shoes on electrical wires to embracing themes of solitude, Pederson’s ironic art touches on universal concepts and questions. The artist hopes his work will provoke deeper thought about public space and how we can reconnect with our surroundings. “Humor is a great way of engaging people, even if there is something a little sad underneath some of the pieces. Hopefully, people will find something there to think about as well.”