Summer Times @ Yusto/Giner Gallery
The collective show “Summer Times” curated by Miss Van and hosted by Yusto/Giner Gallery until September 13th, 2014 (in Marbella, Spain), gathers renowned artists on the international urban art scene, but also active in other fields, friends of Miss Van, with whom she collaborates occasionally.
Defined by a powerful sensuality and dark romance, often deriving from a feminist approach, bringing to light the unseen and its symbols, visually intense through the vibrant colours, geometric patterns and organic shapes, as well as its impressively creative sculptures and installations, the exhibition reflects a fresh vision of contemporary art today, one that finds its force and inspiration in life.
Ciro Schu, Socatoba, Landry A., Lina V Persson, Sixe, Nano 4814, Boris Hoppek, Mike Swaney, Okuda, OLEK, San, Lolo & Sosaku, Kafre.
Miss Van started wall-painting at the age of 20, in 1993, initiating the feminine movement in Street Art. Originating from Toulouse, France and having spent most of her artistic life in Barcelona, Miss Van has traveled the world painting her instantly recognizable women on the streets, as well as on canvas. She has exhibited extensively for decades worldwide in Europe, USA and Asia.
Miss Van’s recent artistic pursuits have taken her to Los Angeles, Miami, Spain and Brazil, which hallmarks a recent return to street art, after several years spent solely painting in the studio, charging her new works with increased depth, emotion and an elevated romantic darkness and delicacy. Her iconic sultry female characters reappear in sensual yet dark animal masks and evolving environments.
In gauzy romantic compositions, they carry a surreal quality of burlesque, resonating with a beautiful synergy of rawness, softness and emotion.
Oscar San Miguel Erice established in Madrid from the year 2000. He graduated in Liberal Arts in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. From his beginnings in 1997, his works in abandoned railways and factories in Santander are clearly recognizable. However, since the year 2009, coinciding with the IAM project tour together with Sana and Nano 4814, his works reach a greater maturity and a more personal path. His geometric structures and multicoloured patterns melt with gray bodies and organic shapes. These could be catalogued as surrealist Pop with a clear touch from the street. The projects often pose contradictions about existentialism, the universe, infinity, the sense of life and demonstrate a clear conflict between modernity and our roots. Overall, the project focuses around the human being and himself.
The drawing is his basic language tool.
From the beginning his works have been figurative, using public space exclusively as support, and in doing so making his messages recognizable to a wider audience. His works present no sociocultural discrimination.
His language is shaped by symbols and codes that provoke a careful lecture between the narrative of classic painting and the social speeches of contemporary art. All of his works compel us to form diverse and confusing interpretations, despite narrating facts and day to day anecdotes based on more mundane topics.
The trajectory of Kafre (León Ka) started in 1991 with graffiti. A decade later he developed a project relating to his metaphysic obsessions. At the beginning, existential questions were his main themes. After this, his worries made him centre on ontological questions: what is being, what is the being, as well as themes which are in some way related to ideas such as the identity of objects, the relation of ontological dependence, persistence of objects through time, etc.
The images which symbolize the existence and the time (sand clocks, watch spheres, objects which repeat themselves and persist through time, etc.) are omnipresent in his work.
Sonia Carballo (1979, Badajoz, Spain), whose artist name is SOCATOBA, lives and works in Barcelona. She’s the putative daughter of Spanish modernism and ‘daughet’ of Francisco de Goya, in her intimate manner of exposing how humans discover and acknowledge their own atrocities. Atrocities that she bears in her own body, a canvas and witness to suffering and history. In Socatoba’s work beauty and pain dance an ascending copulative waltz. The ascension towards an aesthetic and linguistic objective: showing the deep human condition in an universal and timeless manner.
Ciro Schu develops abstract and figurative art. Searching to mix symbols and various types of lettering, his biggest inspiration is in the symbols and traces of the peoples of the Americas. His symbolism is very personal, mixed with ancient art and traditional expressions of contemporary life. His art refers to situations of everyday life and objects of the most diverse nature. His lines enhance what once seemed obvious or invisible in the daily scene.
His images are full of strange and imperfect forms. You could almost say they are able to feel pain. The viewer feels challenged in a direct and non-rational way, urged to seek an interpretation of the artwork, appealing to both their experiences and their visual repertoire. It sharpens your vision and brings a long and deep relationship with the work.
Nano 4814 is an artist born in the small Galician town of Vigo, were he started to use the streets as a place for self expression in the mid 90s. Originally inspired by the character forms of traditional graffiti writing, his figures soon started to load themselves with narrative and iconic particularities, developing his own creative world, either aesthetically and conceptually speaking. In this world the inner sense meets the observation of the outside world and together they become strange partners in the quest for hidden (in)coherence.
After studying fine arts and passing through a brief formative stage in London, in such prestigious schools as Saint Martins School of Arts and the London College of Printing, he moves to Madrid in 2004 where he develops his work as an artist, exhibiting in galleries and participating in different projects both in Spain and abroad, bringing inside his own experience working outdoors and questioning personal subjects in a strange context.
Sergio hidalgo Paredes, better known as Sixe Paredes, started his artistic trajectory in the world of graffiti in the late 80s and from then on it has developed and transformed into what it is today: an abstract universe of colour, full of shapes and symbols that inspire simplicity and complexity at the same time. His picturesque work is a balanced mix between figurative and abstract, and extremely rich in sensitivity.
In this exhibition, he presents a series of works called ‘Abstractions’. It is a transmutation deriving from some of the characters that have accompanied him from his origins, THE BIRDS. In this he exercises abstraction and plays with the different elements, reconstructing in a more minimalist way and leaving the images more open to imagination.
Lolo & Sosaku & Miss Van
Sosaku (1976) is from Tokyo, Japan and Lolo (1977) is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They met in Barcelona, 2004, where they now reside. From their beginnings as painters, they passed on through street art, sculpture, video and publicity, constantly obsessed with creating something new.
German artist Boris Hoppek lives and works in Barcelona. During the 1990s he introduced figurative elements into the graffiti scene. Today he continually makes use of abstracted figures in order to address political issues such as immigration, racism, and violence.
Hoppek produced an irregular publication called Lavagina, an ironic take on a sex magazine. The selected artworks presented in the show are part of this project, which began six years ago.
The artist – photographer Landry A. (born in Toulouse, 1978), is a traveler who captures spontaneous situations encountered over the course of his trips through various cities of Europe, Latin America & the US. His nightlife collections reflect the activities of the throbbing underbelly of Barcelona, not even the tiniest detail of the night-time spirit able elude his sharp eye. Highlights of his more commercial ventures include fashion photography, his style typically young, urban and contemporary with a strong conceptual content. Landry currently lives and works in Barcelona.
Lina V Persson (Stockholm, 1979) is a photographer and a bookmaker based in Barcelona. Lina studied graphic design at Central St. Martins from 1999 to 2002. She spent nine years in London, engaging herself with a variety of creative projects, such as working at photography galleries and bookstores (Atlas gallery, The Photographer’s Gallery), before moving to Barcelona in 2008.
OLEK’s art explores sexuality, feminist ideals and the evolution of communication through colours, conceptual exploration and meticulous detail. OLEK consistently pushes the boundaries between fashion, art, craft and public art, fluidly combining the sculptural and the fanciful. With the old fashion technique of crocheting, she has taken the ephemeral medium of yarn to express everyday occurrences, inspirations and hopes to create a metaphor for the complexity and interconnection of our body and psychological processes.
OLEK’s bursts of bright colors often mask political and cultural critiques woven into the fibers of her installations, mirroring her respect for artists and writers. She highlights that which already exists in the current time and environment. As an active supporter of women’s rights, sexual equality, and freedom of expression, OLEK has used the broad appeal of her work to display her solidarity with those stifled by oppressive laws worldwide.
Barcelona-based artist Mike Swaney invites the viewer to investigate the customs, rituals and artifacts from a perspective that reflects upon the absurd condition of humankind. Known for his intricate collages, sculptures and expressive paintings, Swaney draws inspiration from the aesthetic freedom of Outsider Art, Art Brut and Jean Dubuffet from where he explores different aspects of our daily lives.
Currently, Swaney has turned his focus on the intersections between the online world and our offline reality. An investigation circumscribed to Post Internet, a discourse reviewing the impact of the digital revolution on art and our lives.
His work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and art fairs in Barcelona, New York, Miami, Toronto, Copenhagen and Brussels.
All images © Yusto/Giner Gallery
Artist info: Yusto/Giner Gallery