Archive for the “2012” category
by Ruttkowski68 on January 29, 2013
Whether graffiti is described as scribbling, art, vandalism, or urban propaganda, it has long hovered between unlawful and lawful expression. Today, the gap between the two has narrowed. While street graffiti remains a form of vandalism, it is increasingly considered an art form, too. Some of those notorious paint sprayers are now defined as graffiti artists, whose works are exhibited, traded, collected, and analyzed. Graffiti has become a key influence in the world of contemporary art.
One group, known variously as MOSES & TAPS™, ERNI & BERT™, and TOPSPRAYER™, has grabbed the attention of both law enforcement officials and art critics. The ever-changing name of this collective is not borne out of indecision or marketing. Rather, it helps conceal the identities of its members while still defying the unwritten laws of graffiti: anonymity. The pseudonym is the signature that gives the work recognition value – for fans and for the police as well.
In 2011, the collective, who rigorously decided against an online presence, published a volume of their works for the first time. Across 288 pages, INTERNATIONAL TOPSPRAYER: MOSES & TAPS™ is a showcase of the group’s ambition to take graffiti to another level. Over the course of 1000 days, they spray-painted 1000 railway carriages. Some looked like typical graffiti, others were more conceptual. One work involved painting false doors and windows on a wagon, a trompe l’oeil effect that led to great confusion on the platform the next morning. On another carriage, the artists took a more ironically playful approach. They spray-painted a sign like those issued by German railway authorities, which warn that the train’s surface is protected by anti-graffiti coating.
TOPSPRAYER EXPRESS™ opens on February 1st. It is the first solo exhibition by the artists. As the title implicates, the artists give graffiti a ride that is bound to a new direction. The works on show, re-interpret and transfer graffiti from its convential medium to another surrounding.
The artist collective will remain incognito and won’t be present at any time.
by Ruttkowski68 on December 3, 2012
Italian artist Filippo Minelli studied art and even graduated cum laude. But it was his childhood that shaped his sense for the visual: his aunt, who helped raised him, was deaf. Looking back at that experience, Minelli explains how it “trained him to look for the most simple way to express concepts in the presence and absence of speech.”
Minelli has been creating art for public spaces since the late 1990s. Traces of his work can be found all over the world, from European capitals and Southeast Asian cities, to more rural environments like the Italian countryside, the Mongolian steppe, or African deserts.
While Minelli is interested in geopolitics, he says he does not follow the daily news. He says it prevents him deciphering and portraying reality, or considering different directions.
Minelli’s exhibition, Silence Shapes, at Ruttkowski;68, is his first solo show in Germany. It features a series of images showing artificial, colored smoke violently erupting in pristine, natural landscapes. The contrast shows that beauty can be found in clashing visions.
by Ruttkowski68 on November 19, 2012
The German photographer, Stephan Zirwes, trains his lens from the height of an airborne helicopter, capturing everyday images from a rare perspective. Zirwes invites viewers to look at the world vertically.
From that viewpoint, the familiar suddenly becomes foreign, challenging us to reinterpret our surroundings.
Ranging from corn fields and scrap yards to festival parking lots and glaciers, his subjects have been described as “conceived without consideration for proportions or ornamental structures. Their aesthetic consists in the fact that they were created without aesthetic intention.”
Zirwes’ upcoming exhibition, Facing Pages, showcases his early and new works in pairs: one image juxtaposed against the other like the pages of an open book. It shows that even the most diverse objects can share a sameness, whether in their design or content.
by Ruttkowski68 on October 13, 2012
Francesco Igory Deiana is an Italian artist who embraces the unexpected and the contrary. Neither his personal life nor his professional art conform to the norm.
Deiana left home when he was 21 years old. He moved to San Francisco where he began to piece together the foundations of his career.
Deiana started out in classical graffiti. These days, he works within the long-established art world using ballpoint pens, photographs, bleach and photo paper, found objects and sculpted wood forms.
Deiana’s show, On Thin Ice, is based on the artist’s signature juxtapositions and abstracted understanding of humanity, society and identity. It features geometric, ice-like drawings placed next to figurative images, presenting an unsettled reality where human culture can break away and melt like ice cream. Deiana’s use of simple lines against floating, nebulous forms and all-over pattern provokes a visual dialogue between space and time – two elements that we cannot control. He stands back from conformity to show that nothing is conceptually or emotionally stable.
by Ruttkowski68 on September 15, 2012
Nothing in Mark Jenkins’s early life pointed to a career in art. The science graduate only became an artist after messing around with packaging tape and discovering its potential as a sculpting material. He created his first life-sized figure made from tape ten years ago and displayed it on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Even then, his sculptures of men, women, babies and animals looked realistic. Since then, Jenkins has made them look even more life-like, by dressing them in second-hand clothes.
Jenkins’s figures have added to street life in cities all around the world. They shift our sense of irony and humor and question their surroundings, too – its accepted realities, norms and conventions. As Jenkins once explained, “If the city was a body, my artworks were like herpes – the body attacks itself.”
by Ruttkowski68 on August 20, 2012
As one might expect of a boy from Brazil, Raphael Sagarra dreamed of becoming a soccer player. But another interest soon took over – graffiti. Sagarra was 16 years old when he observed some youngsters in his São Paulo neighborhood scaling buildings to leave their mark in paint. He was intrigued not just by their audacity, but also by the rhythm of their graffiti – the repetition of characters and strokes. From that moment on, Sagarra was hooked. He gave himself an alias – Finok – and developed his own style of graffiti: big-eyed, cartoon-like characters spray painted in various shades of green. Color is also key when Finok works with his crew, VLOK. Also involved are Brazilian artists, Os Gêmeos, twins who are famously known for their bright yellow characters.
26-year-old Finok is now a renowned graffiti artist in both South America and the U.S. He exhibits at galleries, produces large-scale murals on commission, and collaborates with big brands such as Ray-Ban and Havaiana, maker of Brazil’s iconic flip flops.
Read the complete interview: