Hogre (Rome) is the pseudonym of a street artist known and appreciated by the international public for his unauthorised interventions in public space.
Hogre, a self-taught street artist who grew up in Rome, lived in London for a few years and then moved to Berlin, where he currently lives and works anonymously; his real identity is still unknown. Since 2007 he has been signing his works with the moniker Hogre, which is inspired by a humanoid monster from an early 2000s video game, to which he later added a fly, the artist’s unmistakable logo.
His career began in 2006 when he covered Berlusconi’s election billboards in the Tufello area with red noses and still today his art bears the hallmarks of provocation, subversion and irony.
The street artist’s works are characterised as Subvertising interventions – from the English subvert + advertising – a term used to refer to the artistic-political movement consisting of the creative vandalisation of advertising space.
With his works, Hogre wants to create a disturbance, criticise the use of commercial images and open up a debate on the massive use of advertising and the management of public space.
To pursue his goal, the artist uses a variety of techniques: from traditional Street Art on walls to the famous performance in which the artist and fake news inventor Ermes Maiolica swapped roles at the presentation of his book Subvertising, The piracy of outdoor advertising in Rome in 2018. Hogre now prefers to intervene directly on billboards through parodies and linguistic subversions (Ryanair – Ruinair) to unmask the mechanisms of advertising, consumerism and society in general. In this regard, the Ecce Homo Erectus intervention in summer 2017 by Hogre & DoubleWhy is well known, which led to the artist being charged with vilification of religion and the closure of the website www.hogre.it
Hogre: exhibitions and projects
Alongside production in public spaces, the artist creates smaller works suitable for display in museums and galleries in order to leave a lasting impression of his aesthetic research.
In 2011 Hogre inaugurated his first solo exhibition in Rome and since then he has exhibited in solo and group shows in various Italian and European cities. Relevant is the project Steal This Poster presented at MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma in December 2019 together with the English subvertising collective Special Patrol Group, which opens up a reflection on copyright. The project involves a platform that allows the sharing of subversive graphics, free of copyright and as such downloadable for free at stealthisposter.org. With Steal This Poster he has created online campaigns for various collectives including Lucha y Siesta in favour of the women in the Rebibbia prison.
Another project for which the street artist is in charge of the art direction is buyanewsoul.com, an online shop that presents itself as the reversal of a souvenir and gift shop with the aim of describing the collapse of capitalism.