The Speerstra Gallery Paris is pleased to invite you to the exhibition "I Love Graffiti".
It is a look at a passion that the gallery proposes: the passion of the Post Graffiti movement. "I Love Graffiti" is a declaration of love for this art movement, its history, its artists, its different means of expression. Through a selection of works from 2000 to 2016, the gallery offers a fascinating insight into the links between the audacity of a spontaneous practice and the development of a true artistic movement.
7 artists represented by the gallery for over 30 years, together they share common passions: hip-hop culture, the practice of graffiti in the streets of their city, and each participate in the international recognition of this culture. All these aspects naturally led them to a fertile career. Today, they are among the artists who have convinced institutions and collectors.
Wilfredo "Bio" Feliciano began his career in the New York subway in the late 80s. His style was able to impose itself thanks to his explosive colors and his wild letters. He is a precursor of the diffusion of the culture by creating the collective "TATS Cru". This collective gathers several artists of the New York graffiti scene and carries out many artistic projects of great scale.
Artist rarely exhibited in France, his work "I love Graffiti" inspired this exhibition. It symbolizes the passion, the essential. Dominated by the neutral colors black white and gray, the painting highlights the contrast of the practice of graffiti, and the heart of Bio who lives to the rhythm of his graphics and colors. Bio's other works in the exhibition are renewed with impactful motifs, warm vibrations, and messages of love for graffiti.
A Speerstra Gallery staple since 1992, JonOne has conquered the international art market with his compelling works. Born in the Harlem district of New York, his career is atypical and his work has evolved in parallel with his adopted culture, hip-hop.
A work that is both magnetic and subtle, "Lions in Alaska" is dominated by the color blue. The frenetic accumulation of multicolored motifs leaves a few spots of color surrounded by black lines. The density and the intensity of the work delivers nevertheless an obvious harmony.
Aaron "Sharp" Goodstone, a key artist in the early days of the New York scene, has been able to evolve his work thanks to his sharp mind. His singular history pushes him to maintain the memories of civilizations, graphic memories and intellectual memories.
It is with a cameo of green that Sharp's work makes its mark in the exhibition. Green, the color of hope, is broken down into light and dark shades. A tangled and complex alphabet imposes itself in the center of the format like a carefully and consciously encrypted message.
From Brooklyn to prestigious museum collections, Chris "Daze" Ellis has been a leading figure in graffiti since the early 1980s, notably by participating in events alongside Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.
It is with a large format that the artist literally opens the doors of his history. This work with the sweet evocative name "Subway dreams" transports us into the genesis of the Graffiti movement. The support is a New York train car from the 80s. The artist has played the game of vandalism, with aestheticism, and dreamlike know-how.
True ambassador of New York graffiti, it is in the heart of the Bronx that the career of John "Crash" Matos begins. At the age of 13, he started painting trains, then began a studio work by painting on canvas in the 80s. He participated in the first exhibitions dedicated to the art of graffiti: first in New York at the Fashion Moda Gallery (1982), the Fun Gallery (1982), Sidney Janis (1983), then in Europe with the Yaki Kornblit Gallery in Amsterdam (1983) and the Speerstra Gallery (1984).
Two works, two styles, and yet complementary. "Art of the Line" is a tribute to Keith Haring's work on the billboards of New York subways. The most spontaneous, free, and deeply emotional expression. "East of her" is a work whose contours make the link with the pure graphics of the previous work. Colors, patterns and letters come together to present us with the portrait of the one who can embody the love of graffiti.
Berlin-based artist, Stohead has been involved in the study of calligraphy in all its dimensions since his adolescence. He multiplies his approaches, refines his know-how until he can propose a new dimension to the letters and words he cultivates with impact.
Impactful work, contrasting work, obvious work. "Permanent" is the message that Stohead inscribes in his body and mind when we talk about Graffiti. It is profound, instantaneous. Both showy and lost in the shuffle, "Permanent" stands out as the indelible mark of a passion.
French artist, pioneer in the publishing of art toys, he is one of the first graffiti artists to have developed his art in volume. His work focuses on the aesthetics of letters, moving away from the traditional representation of graffiti while keeping intact the original dynamism and spontaneity of the street.
From the first solo show of Mist's career at Speerstra Gallery in 2008, the work "Hulk" reflects the frenetic energy that animated the early days of graffiti in France. Letters, colours, details and constructions intertwine to give life to the artist's "Style d'enfer".