URBAN ART ... from walls to studios...
108, 36RECYCLAB, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Eelus, Gérard Zlotykamien, Herakut, Imminent Disaster, Jazi, Jaybo, Jean Faucheur, John Fekner et Don Leicht, Kofie, Lady Pink, L’ATLAS, Marco Pho Grassi, Nick Walker, Thomas Fiebig, TRYONE, Victor Ash.
Exhibition from October 16th to December 4th 2010
Opening on Saturday, October 16th 2010 18:00 – 21:00
The street - a laboratory to new modes of expression
A work of art is born on the streets because its authors do not define themselves as artists. And there it is, the revolution. Young people with wandering fingers, simply wish to recall their existence via urban landscapes, prison-like places made of bricks and rocks, often deteriorated, which work as the scenery to their lives. For more than half a century the aesthetics of the cities have been modifying.
We have often condemned the immature spontaneity of underground painters, who only follow their instinctive need of expression that aims to deconstruct a certain conventionalism of forms. At first only a field of experimentation to young "amateurs", the streets have now become a place for exhibitions of the best-trained artists in search of their target audience, not usually found in museums.
In contrary to the traditional individualism of creators, street artists were able to develop a sense of generosity and solidarity that allowed them to effectuate collective projects. They also replaced traditional painting tools by exploring several techniques and all types of stands. Some broke from the norm by revisiting the figurative aspect with the irony of metaphorical language. Others made use of multimedia to increase our awareness of the dangers present in the virtual world.
Urban art is nowadays a way of life for many of its followers, artists who stay true to the varied inspirations and wish to create on authorised locations without breaking any laws.
However, a paradox is brought to light: how can these wandering innovators, having elected the street as their field of experimentation, and who are used to exhibiting works destined to disappear, how can these creators of an ephemeral art let themselves be locked up in a museum or gallery?
One thing is for certain: by moving indoors, and abandoning their secrecy, they do not lose any of their authenticity. These artists are simply proclaiming a different kind of inspiration, but one that stays faithful to their creative approach. They have also given their word that they will go back to expressing themselves in the streets. This tendency is not new. The shift from walls and wagons to light, mobile and collectable paintings had already happened in New York, beginning at the end of the seventies with Crash, Lady Pink...!
But what did the common man think when these globalising “works of art” were thrown right in his face? He remained sceptical, sometimes shocked, often puzzled. Institutions and critics saw this as an opportunity to ostracise these creators of undecipherable signs, reduced to the rank of supporters of an underground ghetto culture with subversive slogans.
For its part, the press demonstrated a surprising lack of interest towards this movement: that is when they were not chastising it, going as far as calling it a “degraded art”. Museums completely ignored them. Collectors, ill-informed, could on their part, only have cold feet.
Such context casts urban art in a peculiar place in history and does not make its recognition as a full-fledged artistic movement any easier. Even if the situation improves slowly, to this date in France very few exhibitions have been devoted to urban art. But even those have not taken into account the variety of techniques practiced, nor the richness of its inspiration, ignoring some of its great authors.
It was about time to recognise the importance of one of the most revolutionary creative outbursts of the 20th Century because of its ability to reinvent pictorial art forms from an era condemned to a human jumble.
In order to appreciate its magnitude, ADDICT Galerie will be holding two exhibitions, with the first one taking place on October 16, 2010. This panorama will aim to expose an abundance of talent that will be glowing off the walls. The works of more than forty international artists will be gathered, notably those of pioneers Gérard Zlotykamien, John Crash Matos, Doze Green, Lady Pink, John Fekner et Don Leicht, Jean Faucheur, Toxic, and also younger talents such as Imminent Disaster, 108, Jazi, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, 36RECYCLAB, Mambo. Others also sharing their walls with us will include Jaybo Monk, Marco Pho Grassi, Victor Ash, Herakut, Andrew Mc Attee, Nick Walker, Kofie, Boris Hoppek, Thomas Fiebig, L’ATLAS, Mist, TRYONE, Smash 137, Eelus, Dtagno, Phil Frost...
ADDICT Galerie is conscious of the fact that a degree of subjectivity intervenes in this unique project and the choice of works, and is the first to acknowledge so. Their aim is to reveal, in a way that has never been done before, the coherence of a mode of expression that, through its multiplicity, asserts itself as imaginative, inspiring and innovative.
The proposed scenography observes the course of this panorama in two parts but without breaking its unity, even if the first stage entails a stronger abstract feel and the second a more figurative one. This approach reinforces a global vision that attempts to highlight the successful transition of street art to galleries.
It is through this initiative out of the norm that ADDICT Galerie wishes to give justice to urban art and help it establish its artistic legitimacy.
Hecht and René Bonnell