So last night was the opening of Black Rat Press’ White Noise show. Most of the work was from Lucas Price/Cyclops, Asha Zero and Brian Adam Douglas/Elbowtoe, but there was work from Blek le Rat, Nick Walker, Matt Small, and D*face as well.
For Brian Adam Douglas, the show was a chance to introduce a whole new direction in his work: collage. These collage pieces are amazingly detailed and I can’t wait to see how the work progresses. For now though, there is at least one collage which had a crowd of people around it all night. Douglas’ self-portrait, pictured on the left, may be the perfection of collage. His other collages were good, though I prefer his older work to most of them, but his self portrait is probably the best piece I’ve ever seen by Douglas. The video below from JetSet Graffiti features Douglas/Elbowtoe and talks a bit about his collage work at the end.
More after the jump…
Lucas Price’s work got a very positive response as well. The juxtaposition of the Doze-Green-esque hair and photorealistic portraits works well. Like fellow B.C crew memeber Sweet Toof, Lucas Price has done a great job of doing work for the gallery which is completely different from his street persona of Cyclops, but just as good.
Along with a couple original portraits of Amy Winehouse, Price is also releasing a very nice print for the show, which is going for £275 I believe.
D*face has one piece at White Noise, depicting Batman, which comes from the same body of work as his “aPOPcalypse Now” show that just left Black Rat. It’s a strong painting (one of the best at White Noise), but between D*face’s own show and Cept’s show, I’m a bit superhero’d out right now.
Nick Walker also has just one piece in this show, and it’s a bit of a step back to his older work. I was expecting a new Vandal image, but arrived to see find a painting of a woman covered in tags. The piece is a bit refreshing, a reminder that Nick Walker has more than just one series of images that people like. On the other hand, it’s inevitable that this work will be compared to Banksy’s Tagger Tiger and work by other artists that have been made up of tags.
Blek le Rat’s large Tango stencil is a personal favorite at this show, but given such divided opinions on the artist, I’d be interested to hear what others have to say. I say it’s a powerful image that really works on the large scale that Blek uses here, and the blue background is wonderful. So many stencil artists these days don’t put enough into the execution and of actually spraying stencils and just try to make “cool” images, but Blek has taken an image that I think some street art fans might see as mundane and made it great by just putting some time into painting it well.
Matt Small has two pieces in White Noise, and these act as a bit of teaser for his solo show at Black Rat Press this coming Spring. They are amazing, but I’m sure an entire gallery full of this sort of work will blow people away.
But the surprise of the evening was Asha Zero. Adam at Beautiful Crime was the first to call this South African as the next big thing, and he got plenty of attention last night. Asha Zero produces about 15 paintings a year, and three of those were out last night. I was speaking with multiple attendees, including at least one fellow artist, who practically had to get centimeters from the work to figure out “Okay, that’s not collage. Those rips are painted in.” Asha Zero seems to exemplify a bit of a theme for this show. Crazy talent at details. If he can keep this up, Asha Zero’s solo show next year at Black Rat Press is going to be mindblowing.
White Noise was a good mix of core Black Rat Press artists and their new talent. The work is mixed, but there is a lot of promise in their younger artists and the more well-established ones have come out with some work sure to please their fans. This week I’ll be taking my school’s art history class on a bit of a field trip to Shoreditch, and that will include a stop at Black Rat Press. This was planned a while ago, before I had any idea what was going to be at this show, and it’s turned out to be exactly the kind of work that I want to show a group of teenagers just getting introduced to street art.
More photos here.