“Alexander Orion is a Brazilian artist that uses the ‘Reverse Graffiti’ [technique], also called ‘Clean Tag’ which consists of selective removal of dirt and grime to reveal a fresco of clean wall.
While this technique has been used by several artists; [it’s] the meaning and … impact that is powerful…
The scope of his project is to highlight both the extreme quantities of pollution coating the tunnels of São Paulo and the public’s carelessness towards it. His choice of graphic imagery for the installation, a 160 meters long (525 ft.) collection of sightless skulls, serve as a blatant reminder that the toxic pollution released from the hundreds of thousands of vehicles that commute back and forth on a daily basis have left a tangible mark…not just on our physical structures, but also in the air we breathe and in the environment that is supposed to sustain us.
Orion was approached by authorities several times during his nightly visits to the tunnel, but they were powerless to stop him because there’s nothing illegal about cleaning… In the end, they could only remove his installation by high-pressure hosing the whole tunnel from end to end; but they didn’t stop there, they continued [into] every other tunnel in the city, cleaning them all!”