Preview: SETH – Walking on a Dream @ Itinerrance
From March 20th to April 25th, 2015, Itinerrance Gallery hosts the solo show “Walking on a Dream” by Julien Malland, also known as SETH (opening in presence of the artist – Friday, March 20th, 6 pm/ exhibition open Wed-Sat, 2pm – 7pm).
In his paintings, the artist reflects what he saw in his many travels across the world – the disappearing of local customs as a direct consequence of globalization, highlighting social, political and cultural issues through the metaphor of a dreamlike universe often populated by children as symbols of purity and innocence, in contrast with the chaotic society we live in. The works part of the exhibition, a mix of spray paint and acrylic on canvas, include references to the graffiti movement – walls, tags, specific clothing.
Images courtesy of Itinerrance Gallery
About the artist
Julien Malland (b. 1972, Paris) began to paint on walls in the mid 90s, and in 2000, after graduating from the National School of Decorative Arts, he published with Gautier Bischoff “Kapital”, the biggest literary success on French graffiti. They created the collection of graffiti artists monographs, “Wasted Talent”.
From 2003, he began to travel with the intention to interact with street artists from different cultures, and thus open up new ways of living and practicing urban painting. He started representing characters, often childish, connected in one way or another with the chaotic environments in which they were painted.
In 2007 he published “Globe-Painter”, his first travel book with texts, photographs and sketches of his travels. Once published, SETH was contacted by a producer to write and present a topic for “The New Explorers” on Canal +. The following year marks a turning point in his art, as he moved to Brazil and began to understand a new way of painting, without being harassed by the authorities.
In 2012 he published “Extramuros”, a book tracing his first two years of travelling, discoveries, and collaborations in eight countries: India, China, Mexico, Chile, Indonesia, Vietnam, Senegal and Palestine. To be published soon, following on from “Extramuros” a new book of his adventures in six countries – Ukraine, Madagascar, Louisiana, Cambodia, China and the USA – and the republishing of “Extramuros” enriched by sketches from the artist’s travel notebooks.
“When you paint a wall in a public space you are speaking to people, the people who live in this place.”
The artist always seeks to establish a dialogue with the community. He usually prefers to paint in remote places, in living
spaces, passages and symbolic locations. Seth’s work is intrinsically linked to the environment and the social/ political context of the chosen space.
Playing with both absence and presence in his work, the characters are depicted with their eyes closed, avoiding a direct confrontation or interaction with the viewer, somehow detaching themselves from our reality to escape in another, perhaps quite opposite world.
“When I paint in the street now it must be meaningful, it has to tell something, I can’t paint for fun anymore.”
Seth’s aesthetic is defined by simple and clean graphic lines, with a choice of pastel colors linked to the children’s universe. True to the spirit of Latin American Muralism, the artist is committed to an essential simplicity both in form and substance, while representing children reveals the powerful contrast between their innocence, freedom of thinking and rich imagination and the modern society of the grown-ups. The artist is also concerned with the negative influence of globalization on local traditions and often inserts symbols of these customs in his works in a constant effort to maintain them visible.
A film by Estelle Beauvais, 2014
Recent projects by SETH
Pieces part of the 2014 Djerbahood project by Itinerrance Gallery, Djerba, Tunisia. Photo © Itinerrance Gallery / Aline Deschamps
Mural in Rome, Italy, 2015 / Image © the artist, via Instagram
Mural in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2014 / Image © the artist, via Instagram
Pieces in North Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2014 / Images via Museum of Public Art
Mural in Paris, France / Image © the artist, via Instagram
About the gallery
Established since 2004 in the 13th district in Paris, located close to the Seine and the National Library, Itinerrance Gallery is part of a growing urban culture. With its concrete walls and 6 meter high ceiling, its exhibitions which are mixing wallpaintings and artworks or canvases, have become one of the highlights of the Parisian art scene. Gallery Itinerrance’s programming is positioned exclusively in the field of Street Art. The gallery exhibits artists already well known by their artistic practice in the streets.