by Ruttkowski68 on September 22, 2013
Parra, whose real name is Piet Janssen, is a Dutch artist whose works are distinguished by their study in contrasts. They are at once figurative and abstract, colorful and plain, as illustrated in his solo exhibition, And wait for something to happen. The works on show feature chubby females experiencing both the normal and abnormal in a metaphoric and literal sense.
Parra says he is inspired by “the everyday and the awkward,” whether it appears on the internet, in books, or in events he has observed. This allows him to address or even exaggerate issues using irony, humor and sexuality. Parra’s dry, witty and frank interpretation of glamor, pop culture and mass consumption has made him a darling of the art world.
by Ruttkowski68 on July 24, 2013
Stohead, has been in the game a long time. When he talks about the early days of his career as a graffiti artist, his narrative is dotted with historic moments that defined him, his works, and Germany’s graffiti culture. The 39-year-old artist, whose real name is Christoph Häßler, has influenced the evolution of German graffiti from a subculture associated with vandalism to a form of contemporary art gracing museums and private collections worldwide.
Stohead is best known for combining a graffiti-based style with classical calligraphy to produce letters that are at once figurative and abstract. Under intense physical duress, he paints letters in individual strokes, using broad-tipped, traditional round-tipped or homemade instruments to achieve an expressive work recounting both invisible and raw emotion. His approach – which is ruminant yet harsh, extensive and stringent – recalls a type of performance art. By all means, Stohead describes his style as contemporary calligraphy and terms it Radicalligraphy, a designation that explains both his method and his current solo show.
by Ruttkowski68 on June 3, 2013
French street artist Honet taps into both creativity and curiosity to produce his works. The former graffiti writer-turned-artist is intrigued by the remnants of former generations. His pursuit of artifacts and bio-facts, and his hunger for architecture and cultural landscapes has led him down tunnels, up on roofs, and through every other level in between. Honet records his experiences figuratively, creating illustrations that thrill the art world and provide a legacy for urbanity’s undiscovered corners. His works are like history books that tell of places forgotten, neglected or underestimated.
For his current solo exhibition, Honet treads a thin line between reality and fiction. He embarks on an imaginary journey across planets, black holes and nebulae, probing into biology, histology, anatomy and mythology. There is a collaboration with French artists Ketty Sean and L’Outsider midway, before the tour concludes with Initiation to Fantastic Realism, a showcase of canvases, screen prints, sculptures, photos and post cards.
by Ruttkowski68 on May 21, 2013
After eight years in the making and journeys taking him across the globe, Nils Müller just published his second photo book Vandals. Following his 2009 publication Blütezeit, Vandals takes the illegal and dangerous activity of graffiti on trains on 192 pages to a more personal level, one that is more detailed and yet, more abstract, too. The photos bear witness to the elaborate level of planning required to carry out the acts. They reveal team spirit as well as heightened emotions and tension, as trainwriters attempt to evade motion detectors and security cameras while scaling barbed wire fences.
Coinciding with the publication of Vandals is this eponymous exhibition showcasing a selection of photographs from the book. Presented in large-sized formats, they bring you closer and deeper into the underbelly of railway graffiti. It’s almost like we are on site ourselves.
Nils Müller is a former graffiti artist who taught himself photography to immortalize his work before it was cleaned up by authorities. It wasn’t long before he realized he wanted to show more than just the defacement of public structures. His photographs elevate graffiti into a sophisticated visual language that thrills both because of its illicit nature and aesthetic value.
Hendrik Beikirch / ECB
‘Transsib – Greyhound. Paintings from train and bus rides’
April 5 – May 19, 2013
by Ruttkowski68 on March 18, 2013
In both his large-scale murals and canvases, Hendrik Beikirch – also known as ECB – depicts the personal and the private, portraits that tell a story. Instead of illustrating famous people, he draws attention to those who have a magnetic personality or some other recognition value, characters who become all the more interesting because they remain anonymous.
Beikirch takes inspiration from accidental and brief encounters. In some cases, he gains insight into his sitter’s life. At other times, the particulars remain unknown. As such, his paintings are open to interpretation whilst exuding authenticity.
The 39-year-old German artist enlarges his portraits as tall as 70 meters (230 ft.). He applies India ink, acrylic paint, and spray paint – a rough tool that does not allow for pinpoint accuracy, but it does effectively reveal Beikirch’s background in graffiti, and the glance, expression and mood of his subjects.
Beikirch’s upcoming solo exhibition, Transsib – Greyhound. Paintings from train and bus rides, is a showcase of his latest works. As the title suggests, they are inspired by his travels and encounters on Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway and America’s Greyhound buses. Both transport the working classes, connecting people and products and bringing them in line. In Beikirch’s canvases, it is difficult to determine whether subjects hail from the East or the West, with only tiny details giving any clue. Like his previous works in graffiti, Beikirch blurs the boundaries.
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.