You might never look at red graffiti the same way again.

Does the sight of blood or the thought of needles make you squirm? Then boy oh boy, do I have a horrible present for you!

A group of German street artists called We Are Visual has found a way of really putting themselves in the public eye – literally, tiny little bits of themselves. It starts in a shadowy room where the artists get their biceps tied to find a vein. Then, they stick in a syringe with a tube attached and extract several vials of warm vital fluid. These they pour into a plastic graffiti marker and take to the underground in Hamburg, where they scrawl letters on the wall in shiny, red bio-paint like aspiring Charlie Mansons. They call the project, fittingly enough, "DNA."

Blood has had a place in public art for years. Ana Mendieta covered herself in corpuscles for a performance piece about rape, while more recently Mary Coble's had crimson words scrawled into her flesh with an inkless tattoo gun. But I'm not really sure what We Are Visual are adding to the canon of dripping blood-art. The municipal cleaners who patrol Hamburg's public walls must really hate these guys. On the plus side, cops probably love them, because they're no doubt so fatigued from blood-loss that they can't run away from the site of their gruesome defacings:

(H/t to Urbanshit.)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. A Vancouver house designed in a modern style

    How Cities Get 'Granny Flats' Wrong

    A Vancouver designer says North American cities need bolder policies to realize the potential of accessory dwellings.

  3. A scene from Hey Arnold! is pictured.

    Even Hey Arnold's Neighborhood Is Gentrifying Now

    Series creator Craig Bartlett explains how he built the cartoon city that every ‘90s kid dreamed of living in.

  4. Equity

    The Story Behind the Housing Meme That Swept the Internet

    How a popular meme about neoliberal capitalism and fast-casual architecture owned itself.

  5. A map of California

    Mapping Racial Disparities in the Golden State

    Racial gaps in California get a county-by-county look in a new online tool.