Vermibus: adds to artwork

A Spanish artist going by the name of Vermibus has an orange vest, keys and a mission. His work continuously spreads despondency. Is he a poster lover or hater, an activist or painter, the hunter or prey?

The alias is a Latin reference to the worm. A faceless critter living below the surface, that transforms rotting material into a rich soil. His hi-vis vest allows him to move through the public space anonymously. Which is where he cracks poster pillars, takes away advertising and transforms the message of mass media.

Unlike other subvertisers, he doesn’t replace the adds he removes with posters he prints himself. Vermibus method is more impressive. He shows his criticism in a picturesque way. In his studio, he treats the posters with a solvent and eliminates certain words, logo’s or faces. After this process, his artworks return to the streets.

Aggressive advertisements become sinister paintings that publicly expose the ugliness of artificial beauty standards. Where we expect mass communication, Vermibus uses the medium he loathes for a personal message. The impact of his interventions would be huge, if they weren’t removed by advertisement companies.

Artists like Vermibus show the impact of the consumer society on people and the environment. More often designers are refusing to keep portraying the world more beautiful than it actually is. This greatly influences how brands will communicate in the future. What can we learn from activists about valuable, honest and sincere communication? Graphic Matters will be researching this over the next two years.

To kick-off of our research, we’re spreading 3 x 1.000 posters by Vermibus over the next weeks, in collaboration with Flyerman. Throughout The Netherlands, this triptych will replace the empty spots left by festival posters due to COVID-19 cancellation. You can find the posters in bars and restaurants and at cultural organisations. Enjoy the offensive beauty and get inspired to replace, remove or reappropriate other posters yourself.

Foto door Joost van Asch

Foto door Joost van Asch

Foto door Joost van Asch

Author info


Taking care of communication at Graphic Matters.