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Art Focus: Invader – The Elegant Nexus

Invader’s work is made from conventional, individual tiles whose simplicity and uniformity belies the intangible mass of history, knowledge, and experience with which these mosaics are imbued. The artist’s practice is intimately associated with both graffiti and video games, which have proven to be two of the most dominant and enduring strands of youth culture over the last half-century. Out on the streets, graffiti has had a bigger impact than almost any other art movement in history;1 while indoors, gamers have clocked up billions of plays on […]

Studio Visits / Interviews: Rowdy

Rowdy is perhaps best known for his crocodiles, which stalk the urban landscape with a quiet menace, and his cast of other characters which abound with abrasive energy. But the Bristol-based artist’s abstract landscapes, which can be read as both highly political but also deeply personal, represent a far more reflective and contemplative side to his work. An entire building is depicted by an individual mark such as the smudge of a fingerprint, the stroke of a paintbrush or the squirt from a spray-can and […]

Showing: Jenny Saville – ‘NOW’ @ Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh has recently mounted the first major UK survey of the work of British figurative painter Jenny Saville. The exhibition spans a 25 year period demonstrating her progression from a prodigious undergraduate at the country’s leading art school to perhaps one of the most accomplished living painters of the human form.   While studying at the Glasgow School of Art, Saville felt conflicted by both her love of the history of art and her aversion to the […]

Streets – Upfest (2018) Bristol

Upfest returned to celebrate its 10th anniversary recently with approximately 350 artists from across the globe leaving their mark on the streets of Bristol. A central theme across the whole weekend was the 100 years which have passed since some women first got the right to vote in the UK. For example, Jody Thomas‘ gold-masked figure takes the meek and victimized Little Red Riding Hood from Victorian fairytales and recasts her as someone who is both eminently capable and confidently self-assured. The festival also saw The London Police bring their […]

Showing: Cripta Djan – “In The Name Of Pixo” (Birmingham)

The Brazilian artist and pixação painter Cripta Djan is currently showing an exhibition entitled ‘In The Name Of Pixo’ at The Tramshed in Birmingham, UK. The history of graffiti is often told as a simple linear narrative with its singular root in the wall-writing of Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood and North Philadelphia in the late 1960s. However, this simplification ignores the multifaceted origins of the various strands of the global graffiti movement; these include the Old-English influenced Cholo graffiti from L.A.’s barrios, the Dishu ground calligraphy performed […]

Interviews / Studio Visits: Sickboy

Sickboy’s red and yellow temples have been adorning Bristol’s dumpsters since the turn of the millennium.  Appearing like flowers blooming in the desert, their byzantine and seductive forms stand in stark contrast to the utilitarian and mundane objects on which they appear. The artist’s studio work has previously seen a broad array of cultural details filtered through a deeply surrealist imagination to create works which at one moment appear comforting and reassuring and at the next moment appear unnerving and unsettling. More recently, the canvases have seen […]

Showing: Dran – “Dessin du Jour/Londres”

Dran opened a new pop-up exhibition in London over the weekend entitled Dessin du Jour. As the title suggests, the body of work is dominated by approximately 120 drawings which the artist has been executing on a daily basis in preparation for the show. The pieces individually distill down the small victories and defeats, dreams and doubts and joys and sorrows of everyday life. We see a man marooned on an island encircled and cut-off by gridlocked traffic which speaks to the isolation of modern urban life, […]

Showing: Sainer – ‘Chaotic Harmony’ @ Galerie Openspace

Sainer’s second solo show at Galerie Openspace (previewed) in Paris will shortly be entering its final week after opening at the start of December. The title of the exhibition – Chaotic Harmony – emphasises the symbiotic relationship between these two different states of being and this idea runs like a unifying thread through the varied and extensive exhibition. The 29 year old painter makes use of the gallery’s multiple spaces to explore the varied elements which make up his work. The landscapes are a mixture of intimate plein […]

Streets: Upfest 2017 (Bristol)

Last weekend saw 250 artists and an estimated 40,000 members of the public descend on Bristol’s Southville and Bedminster neighborhoods for Upfest. The event has grown into the largest annual painting festival in Europe since its inception in 2008 and this year’s installment included large-scale murals by Kobra, Eelus and Jody Thomas. Will Barras and Xenz collaborated on a new wall which is teeming with detail that draws the eye in and holds the viewer’s attention; utopian landscapes and opalescent butterflies are intertwined with timeless cosmonauts and […]

Openings: Festival Iminente (London)

Festival Iminente (previewed) opened recently and will bring two days of art and music to London’s Brick Lane. The festival serves as both a celebration of Portuguese and pan-European culture and a warning of what may be lost as a result of the UK’s exit from the European Union. Vhil‘s cast concrete sculpture is based upon a sketch which he drew on a previous trip to the capital. The portrait is surrounded and interwoven with fragments of a city as viewed from above and the crevices created by the metropolis’ roads […]