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exhibition's views

Paintings With A Hidden Agenda

John "CRASH" Matos

Exhibition from March 25th to June 18th 2011

Opening on Friday, March 25th 2011  18:00 - 21:00
Exhibition from March 25th to June 18th 2011
Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 - 19:00



ADDICT Galerie
presents "Paintings with a hidden agenda", an exhibition dedicated to John "CRASH" Matos, who will honour the opening with his presence on Friday, 25th March 2011, after having stayed away from France for ten years. Indeed, the street art icon, disappointed by his previous stay in 2002, had decided not to return, because of the turn the graffiti scene had taken. "I did not want to exploit what was happening," he tells us, "I didn't want to be part of the craziness and I wanted to be taken seriously".

Born in the Bronx in 1961, the 13 years-old CRASH starts to impose his mark on New York trains. Just like the other street artists, he wanted to spread his name “CRASH” the most as possible.
In 1978 CRASH starts to paint on canvas. By working in the studio, he has got time that the street refuses him to express himself freely. In 1980 he signs his last graffiti outdoors and organises "Graffiti Art Success" at the "Fashion Moda", a big exhibition where Street Art is taken seriously by both the audience and the critics for the first time ever. The "sprayed message" gains artistic recognition in the eyes of everyone.

In 1983, this "underground" art acquires its definitive acceptance when CRASH exhibits with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring in the famous galleries Sidney Janis and Real Art Ways. The transition of Graffiti from trains to galleries’ cymas brings about the birth of Post-Graffiti.
The prolific CRASH is reckoned to be the pioneer of this movement.

In 1984, the Museum of Modern Art of Paris presents him in the exhibition "5/5: Figuration Libre, France/USA" amongst Robert Combas, François Boisrond, Hervé di Rosa, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf. By turning the subway into a moving gallery, CRASH has imposed the originality of his style emerged from Hip-Hop culture, up to the world's greatest collections of the MOMA in New York or the Groningen Museum in the Netherlands.

Both icon and actor of Post-Graffiti cataclysm, CRASH lets dynamic productions explode, loyal to this first American wave, which afterwards overwhelmed the whole world. His style, that has not ceased to influence young sprayers of today, is never equalled. CRASH’s artwork is more than ambiguous: they seem to show the contemporary world's pure essence, revealing a pictorial inventory close to comics, letting explode colours we see in adverts. His very graphical style combines fragments of faces with 3D figures and letters from his name. The eye, everywhere, imposes its striking presence on the paintings like a sign of a secret agreement with Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselman who inspire him.

CRASH marks his return with "Paintings with a Hidden Agenda", a strange title that lets presume something mysterious in the topic of these painting flashier, more flaming than his former works. Is CRASH about to share a secret with us? His secret? Perhaps he reconstitutes the human context that has created graffiti by inscribing plastically his answer: "medium is the message".
The paintings of CRASH, always realised with spray cans, conserve the subversive aspect that has turned Graffiti into the last and surely the most revolutionary artistic movement of the end of the 20th century. Once more, the artist answers all detractors who still have doubt about the legitimacy of "locking in" Street Art in a closed space.

Supporting the emerging scene and street art since its opening, ADDICT Galerie is proud to present the exhibition by John "CRASH" Matos from March 25th to May 6th 2011, a pictorial riddle that reveals a bit more of the artist's inner universe.

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