Wakin Up Nights de Pury & Luxembourg Gallery, Zürich / Switzerland.
From February 17th to March 17th 2007.
Eleven of the most prominent international graffiti artists: Herbert Baglione (BR), Mirko Reisser (DAIM) (GER), Os Gemeos (BR), Daniel Man (GB), Pius Portmann (CH), Stohead (GER), Tasek (GER), Tilt (FR), Miss Van (FR), Heiko Zahlmann (GER) and Zevs (FR) – show works that are, in part produced directly at the gallery. All artists will be present at the opening.
As early as 1975, Jean Baudrillard spoke of graffiti as the “revolution of signs” the true medium of those artists who reflect the significance of the human being within the post-industrial metropolis. For this purpose, the sprayers apply an individual visual language that adapts to the conditions within urban space, utilizing the optimum potential of that language as the basis for artistic interventions. A cross-section of approaches from the last 15 years shows how versatile and of what high quality the artists’ writings and images are, and especially, what a considerable influence they have on common perception. The exhibition “Waking up Nights” unites eleven of the most influential graffiti artists. Not only the local scene but, increasingly, the international art world is shaped by their work and by their tags and pieces.
Like a seismograph, graffiti or street art reacts directly to the social tremors of everyday life by visualizing them. Often, socio-critical statements play a big role.
No longer do the artists just mark their territory. They communicate with the urban world of signs, twist their meanings and often contribute “political art”. Typical of many of the works is the subtle and latent impact that arises from the close connection of the piece of art and its place. This is why the exhibition also comprises works that are realized by the artists in situ, thereby affording them the ability to react to each specific context.
Works by Pius Portmann, Stohead and Mirko Reisser (DAIM) show how virtuosic and picturesque the language of graffiti can be. The artists Herbert Baglione and the Os Gemeos twins, as well as Daniel Man, demonstrate how cultural differences can be reflected in illustrations. Heiko Zahlman shows works, which enhance certain tendencies of minimalist painting and thereby deal with the origin of graffiti. Zevs’ consumption-critical projects reveal a conceptual approach. In the same way, Tilt combines graffiti and photography in his self-conceived concept, which also plays with clichés connected to the female sexual organ. Miss Van, too, in her unmistakable portraits, is solely concerned with the female image. The contribution by Tasek makes it clear that the artists boldly manipulate assumed borders of the genre, rather than feel restricted by them.
The show evolved from a co-operation with Rik Reinking who due to his long-term activity as collector of street art and his many projects within this domain, is a promoter and champion of the genre.
de Pury & Luxembourg Gallery
8005 Zurich / Switzerland