Mode 2 opened a new exhibition, Preludes, at Galerie Openspace in Paris last Saturday. The title refers to those moments of heightened anticipation when waiting for something exceptional, like when a beat is about to drop or a B-boy is swaggering onto the stage. The show is divided between four distinct rooms with the work concerned with the ‘universality of music through motion, dancing, writing and visual composition.’ The Mauritian-born artist’s work has its roots in graffiti and strongly references three other elements of hip-hop. However, his work goes beyond the simple act of depicting DJing, MCing and breaking with him instead weaving the common threads which run through each of these disciplines into his paintings and drawings; principally rhythm, movement, fraternity and competition. Mode 2 has been involved with Battle of the Year (which is the leading global competition for B-boys and B-girls) since its inception in 1990 and dance features prominently in the new paintings. This intimate knowledge of the art form is translated onto paper and canvas through sweeping lines of pastel and acrylic that expressively convey the fluidity of the human body in motion.

The final room in the exhibition concentrates on the artist’s erotic and sensual work. Notions of female beauty within the mainstream media increasingly follow set criteria that result in the generic, stereotypical and artificial portrayal of women. In contrast, Mode 2’s work finds the beauty of the person in their uniqueness, including the bumps and blemishes that are airbrushed out of other images. The women in these works are all the more soulful, sensual and potent as a consequence. The exhibition continues Wednesday to Saturday (2pm to 7pm) until 28th January at 116 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris.

Photo credit: François-Xavier Laurent
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