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Call it ‘Williams-bird’! Artist plasters neighborhood with flying friends

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Swedish artist Erik Berglin is turning Williamsburg into his own personal aviary, posting colorful stickers of native and exotic birds on buildings, signs, and lampposts throughout the area.

Berglin gravitated toward fowl as his artistic milieu based on his admiration for the animal which he views as a “a natural part of the urban life.”

“Birds are one of the only types of wild animals, other than rats, that have adapted to urban society and have made the city their own,” said Beglin.

And like his feathered friends, Beglin has been adapting to the neighborhoods where he has been posting them over the past five years, distinguishing himself from ubiquitous graffiti that masquerades as street art.

“Most street artists try to repeat a pattern or symbol to get recognition, but I didn’t want to do that concept,” said Berglin, adding, “My birds basically are the same as anything else you will find in public space, like stickers or graffiti, but my project is so much better then everything else you see in the street.”

He photocopies shots from field guides and downloads copyrighted images from the Internet and adds an adhesive before spending several hours surveying a block to find the perfect location to post his tweets.

After he finds a spot, whether it’s a corner of a second-story building or the foot of a lamp post, Berglin works for just 10 to 20 seconds before fleeing.

He’s taking a big risk — police have arrested 763 individuals for posting graffiti in Brooklyn so far this year, including 164 in Williamsburg and Greenpoint alone.

Berglin has never been arrested himself, despite putting up more than 3,000 stickers since 2006, but he has had a few close calls.

But street artists say the rewards are worth it — and that art in the street make the neighborhood more beautiful.

“His work is placed well in the public space,” said artist NohJColey. “I’m sure he could be arrested for this, but it all depends on the arresting officer and how the artist handles the situation.”

Beglin understands that some may see his project as twee — such as the kind of artmaking venture mercilessly ridiculed in “Portlandia,” a cable show whose video, “Put a Bird on It” has been seen more than 800,000 times on youtube.

He says he’s in on the joke.

“I’d like to think that this is not as shallow as that but maybe in one sense it is,” said Berglin. “Maybe I should put up pigs instead.”

Posted 12:00 am, September 29, 2011
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Reasonable discourse

Erik Berglin from Williamsburg says:
More pictures here: http://www.erikberglin.com
Sept. 29, 2011, 5:48 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Vandalism by any other name.

Send him a bill for the cost of the removal of his ego based 'art' if you find it on your property.
Sept. 29, 2011, 9:57 am
gimme from around says:
"put a bird on it!'
Sept. 29, 2011, 12:15 pm
oldtimer from williamsburg says:
what a bird
Sept. 29, 2011, 12:26 pm
SkyRoller from Wrighthair says:
"He photocopies shots from field guides and downloads copyrighted images from the Internet..." Am I missing something here? So what's his art?
Sept. 29, 2011, 11:59 pm
Erik Berglin from Williamsburg says:
@SkyRoller - basic art knowledge:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Found_art

and this is considered one of the greatest contemporary pieces: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_(Duchamp)

and maybe even you know about Andy Warhol.. he rarely used own material.. but of course it is still vandalism, so I´m sorry if you don't like birds, they go away after some rainy days anyway.
Sept. 30, 2011, 3:03 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
So what's his art?

Mom told him he was special, and theBrooklyn Paper thinks so too!
Sept. 30, 2011, 9:42 am
Erik Berglin from Williamsburg says:
ofcourse mom said I was special!
I'm really sorry if yours did´t..
Sept. 30, 2011, 7:58 pm
Toro from Williamsburg says:
Hahahahaha!

“My birds basically are the same as anything else you will find in public space, like stickers or graffiti, but my project is so much better then everything else you see in the street.”

Big Swedish meatballs!!!!!!
Oct. 1, 2011, 1:49 am
Toro from Williamsburg says:
Hahahahaha!

“My birds basically are the same as anything else you will find in public space, like stickers or graffiti, but my project is so much better then everything else you see in the street.”

Big Swedish meatballs!!!!!!
Oct. 1, 2011, 1:49 am
Kristen from Tx says:
Art is so subjective, but it is frustrating how anyone can call themself an "artist". And when you state that birds are better to see than the other stuff, that is your opinion. Just because you want to see birds around doesn't mean other people feel the same. This guy is a hack-crafter. He should be scrapbooking.
Oct. 1, 2011, 8:23 am
al from midwood says:
cool wikipedia references.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XM3vWJmpfo
Oct. 23, 2011, 1:13 am

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