Stormie Mills asked some of his favorite artists to paint three self-portraits from different perspectives. The result of that brief is For, Against, the Truth, a show opening this week at Linton & Kay Contemporary Art in Perth, Australia. The show includes Vandalog regulars Remi/Rough, John Fekner and Jordan Seiler, as well as Kenton Parker, Jaybo Monk, Matt Doust, Marco ‘Pho’ Grassi, Jade Palmer, Amanda Lynn and Darren Henderson.
Photo by Jordan Seiler, flyer courtesy of Remi/Rough
Back again this year at Village Underground in London, the Moniker Art Fair is opening today and will be open through Sunday. In contrast to the Frieze art fair (also on this weekend in London), Moniker is free and focuses on work by street artists and low-brow artists. This year, galleries exhibiting at Moniker include Stolenspace, Scream, LeBasse Projects, Shea & Ziegler (Frankie Shea of Moniker/CampBarbossa teaming up with Tina Ziegler) and Andenken Gallery.
The program at this year’s fair is packed, so make sure to check it out before heading over, as there are a number of special events like print releases and artist talks going on. Hooked Blog is running tours of the fair and the surrounding street art on the weekend, something I had a lot of fun doing on a more informal basis last year.
In addition to gallery booths, the fair includes project spaces for individual artists. This year, Matt Small, Beejoir, Best Ever, Peeta, Dabs and Myla will be showing work in the project spaces.
CircleCulture Gallery’s group show There Is No Such Thing As A Good Painting About Nothing opened on Friday evening. The show includes work from three artists: Marco “Pho” Grassi, Holly Thoburn and Katrin Fridriks. Holly knows I’m not her biggest fan, though her paintings are nice as decorative pieces, but Pho’s art is very interesting, and I’ve heard amazing things about what Katrin does and can’t wait to see some of her paintings in person.
A new vanguard emerged in the early 1940s, primarily in New York, where a small group of loosely affiliated artists created a stylistically diverse body of work that introduced radical new directions in art – and shifted the art world’s focus. Never a formal association, the artists known as “Abstract Expressionists” or “The New York School” did, however, share some common assumptions. Among others, artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Mark Rothko advanced audacious formal inventions in a search for significant content. Breaking away from accepted conventions in both technique and subject matter, the artists made monumentally scaled works that stood as reflections of their individual psyches – and in doing so, attempted to tap into universal inner sources. These artists valued spontaneity and improvisation, and they accorded the highest importance to process.
The exhibition “There is No Such Thing As a Good Painting About Nothing“ focuses a comparable artistic habitus finding its provenance in graffiti and street culture. It is interesting to observe, that approximately 70 years later, in the early 21st century, three artists located in different countries developed their work independently from each other as a new form of abstract expressionism. They build upon the paradigms of graffiti writing and street art but distance themselves radically from established clichés. Ultimately, by doing so, they generate an avant-garde direction within the genre of urban art.
Marco “Pho” Grassi (Milan) translates his background as a bomber to his vast abstract paintings by referring to graffiti writing’s traditional elements: the word, the rhythm of the line and a performing dynamism. By recovering elements from the daily life like torn manifestos and wooden pallets he postulates an hommage to the street.
Katrin Fridrik’s (Paris) works bring a third dimension, which modernizes abstract expressionism and reinstates it for our times. She invents a new pictorial language: the “human-generated” computer images. And she shows us that the human still produces better than the machine.
Holly Thoburn (London) has traveled the world extensively, photographing street art, graffiti, derelict walls, alleys and doorways – all of which find their abstracted way back into her work as themes and motifs of urban living.