You'll probably never see their faces, but you've definitely seen their artwork. For the last year, Covert, a street art collective consisting of Covert No. 1 and Covert No. 4, has literally left their mark all over Columbus, wheat-pasting colorful "love-bombs," gorillas, samurais and mix-tape robots on dumpsters and electrical boxes. We chatted with both No. 1 and No. 4 about risking run-ins with the cops, and why they want to make Columbus a more colorful place to live.

Editor's note: Due to the legal ramifications associated with unsanctioned street art, both artists will be referred to by their artist names, Covert No. 1 and Covert No. 4.

You'll probably never see their faces, but you've definitely seen their artwork. For the last year, Covert, a street art collective consisting of Covert No. 1 and Covert No. 4, has literally left their mark all over Columbus, wheat-pasting colorful "love-bombs," gorillas, samurais and mix-tape robots on dumpsters and electrical boxes. We chatted with both No. 1 and No. 4 about risking run-ins with the cops, and why they want to make Columbus a more colorful place to live.

"One of the things that make this country great is the freedom of expression. Culturally, art will always matter," Covert No. 4 said, reached via phone in Cleveland. "Art is subjective. People respond to expression, and it's important to have authentic expression out there. In a way, we're reflecting pieces of culture that we've absorbed. We create things we like, and we hope other people will respond positively."

Covert No. 1 and Covert No. 4 met while working as graphic designers for a firm in Dublin. After No. 4 moved to Cleveland to live with his wife, the two kept in contact and would share artist projects with one another. Last year, No. 1 decided it was time to put the creative projects they'd both been working on out into the world.

"I saw some graffiti documentaries on YouTube, and I just thought it'd be fun to do," No. 1 said during an interview in an Olde Town East bar. "I'm not going to be in a gallery because graphic design is viewed differently than classic art, so I just decided to put it out there myself. Plus, going out and doing it is so fun. I creep up walls like in 'Mission: Impossible.' I should make my own theme song."

Though there is a definite cohesiveness to the project, both artists have a distinct style which sets them apart from each other. No. 1 is responsible for the samurais and mix-tape robots, and No. 4 took cues from skateboard graphics and Mike D of the Beastie Boys to create the love bombs and gorillas. Each piece represents something personal and positive for its creator, but the duo believes it's the audience's take that matters.

"The whole reason we use the name 'Covert' is because we want to be anonymous and leave it open to interpretation," No. 4 said. "I might have one intention when I create a piece, but people interpret it in their own way and give it their own meaning, which is cool. It's cool to be part of a visual expression in the world. "

"Besides voting, I can't control what's going on in the world. I needed to put some positivity out there, and [making street art] is how I can do it," No.1 said. "At least until I learn to paint or draw."

But putting up unsanctioned art around the city isn't exactly legal, no matter how noble the cause. It's important to the Covert crew to add to the community rather than detract from it. Covert uses biodegradable wheat-paste, and only pastes artwork on public property.

"I wouldn't want people putting art on my personal stuff, so I never paste on private property," No. 1 said. "We both pay taxes, so I figure we own a little bit of [the public space]. I don't feel bad about it at all, because covering up gray boxes all over the city is awesome. Most people who stop me when I'm pasting say 'sweet!' and clearly like what I'm doing."

Covert has received primarily positive feedback on Instagram as well as from area businesses and galleries. Rivet Gallery has approached the crew about displaying in their space, and Outfit Good, a T-Shirt company that supports local charities, has offered to "keep the crew in ink and paper" by donating a portion of profits to their cause.

However not everybody is as excited about the idea of guerrilla artwork. According to No. 1, there are specific neighborhoods they avoid because area business will remove a piece almost as quickly as it was dropped.

"We don't want to piss people off; it's art for art's sake," He said. "I've learned to avoid the Short North because everything will get taken down in a matter of hours, and it's a waste of money. For a neighborhood that loves art, they really don't like us."

Covert hopes more artists become involved with making street art, so the conversation surrounding it can continue to grow.

"We have our own aesthetic, but there are tons of great artists in Columbus who should put out their own stuff," No. 1 said. "I'd love to see what they came up with. Hell, I'd put it up for them if they wanted."