STEN LEX – Confini V

Screen print / Serigrafia, 6 layers
(with 1 removable layer)
70 x 50 cm, 2021
Old Mill paper, 300 gr.

Limited edition of 40
Printed by 56Fili

Not Available

Artist info


Sten (Rome, 1982) and Lex (Taranto, 1982) realized the first stencil in the streets of Rome in 2001 and are considered among the main diffusers of "Stencil Graffiti" in Italy. The duo is known internationally for having introduced, since 2002, the use of halftone in the stencil process. The graphic elaboration, which they call Hole School, consists in cutting out an image composed of dots or lines: a portrait appears so realistic from a distance, abstract from close up. The subjects of their works are anonymous characters, photographed by themselves or rediscovered in old photographic archives, painted in a black and white stencil, and the result of research on Western photographic portraits from the '60s until today. In 2008, Banksy invited Sten Lex to participate in the Cans Festival in London together with a group of artists specialized in "Stencil Graffiti". Starting from 2010, Sten Lex create stencils cut out on paper and glued on the walls. After years of using both stencil and poster media, the duo created a process they call Stencil Poster. The process consists of posting on the street, a poster made up of lines or dots. The poster is hand cut out on the wall on which it is applied, the paper matrix once cut out, is painted black and finally destroyed to give space to the final work. The concept behind this process is that atmospheric agents, rain, and wind slowly destroy the matrix over time, revealing the final artwork as the matrix dissolves.  The essential meaning of the "stencil", which is considered a technique for reproducing the same image over and over again, is thus brought to the point of paradox in that by destroying the matrix, which is also part of the work, its reproducibility is diminished. Sten Lex’s art is spread all around the world. The work of the duo can be admired on the walls of Austin (TX), Gibellina (IT), Bangkok (THA), Monterrey (MX), and many other cities worldwide. During these almost 20 years of activity, Sten Lex exhibited at the Danysz Gallery of Shanghai, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (IT), the Caradente Museum in Spoleto (IT), the Centre de la Gravure et de l’Impage imprimée (BE), the Street Art Museum in Saint Petersburg (RU) and La Condition Publique in Roubaix (FR).

More info

Signed and numbered by the artists.

“Starting in 2010, after having used both the stencil and the poster as a means of expression for years, the Roman duo Sten Lex invents a process that combines the two techniques: the Stencil Poster.

This process consists of putting up a poster on the street made up of lines or dots. It is then cut out by hand on the wall to which it is applied, the paper matrix is then painted black and finally destroyed to reveal the final result. The concept behind this process is that atmospheric agents, rain, and wind destroy the matrix over time revealing the actual work. 

The intrinsic meaning behind the stencil technique is thus taken to the point of paradox: by destroying the matrix, in fact, its characteristic of reproducibility is lost.

Further questioning the dualism uniqueness/reproducibility, Sten Lex, together with 56Fili, decide to replicate the technique of the Stencil Poster on paper, through screen printing, a means of serial printing.

The initial subject is extrapolated from a unique work made specifically as a tool for printing, thus subordinating the unique to the multiple, definitely overturning the canonical hierarchy.

The problem now arises of making the two processes coincide: the one of the work on the wall and the one of the artisan serigraphy. Borrowing products usually used in industrial screen printing applied to daily-use objects, 56Fili waterproofs the support and makes it possible to create a layer of the removable film: the matrix.

The result is a print, produced by Varsi Lab in a limited edition of 40, which reproduces in the first instance the whole, consisting of the matrix and the final work. The latter is hidden, concealed from view by the black of the matrix that fills the space. Sten Lex thus lets us take control of the process of revealing the work, leaving it up to us to decide whether to make it an active or passive process, to destroy the matrix or to let time reveal to us what lies beneath.”

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