The Wall by Da Mental Vaporz | BC Gallery
French street-art collective Da Mental Vaporz are currently exhibiting at BC Gallery in Berlin. “The Wall” exhibition, open until May 31st, 2014, features both collaborative and individual works on canvas and, related to the event, the crew also painted a large scale mural next to the S-Bahn station Warschauerstraße, as well as smaller pieces around the city.
Da Mental Vaporz (translated “The Vapors of the Psyche”) consists of 10 members: Bom.k, Blo, Brusk, Dran, Gris1, Iso, Jaw, Kan, Lek, Sowat. What defines the collective is the unique and harmonious way the independent style of each member combines to end in an impressive mix of old school Graffiti, Pop Art, Surrealism, abstract Expressionism, or Cubism.
“As all of them have already created their very own sophisticated styles which work perfectly well independently, what connects the artists does not lie directly in the content or style they create but more in the fact that they find ways to bring all those diverse parts together, in a balanced tension and create something completely new.” (BC Gallery)
The Wall / Mural / Photo credits: Max Charlin
The Wall / Mural / Photo via Bom.k
The Wall / Mural / Photos via Bom.k
The Wall / Mural / Photo via Gris1
Photo via Gris1
Detail / Photo via Bom.k
Photo credits: Max Charlin
Detail / Photo via Bom.k
Photos: BC Gallery
“Born in Paris in the 70’s, Bom.k discovered graffiti during his youth, as the southern suburbs he grew up in covered themselves with the tags and throw ups of the movement’s first generation. After moving to the South of France for a few years, Bom.k returned to live in Paris and created Da Mental Vaporz in 1999 with Iso and Kan. In 2005, Bom.k started developing his style in the comfort of a studio, with the same aesthetical insanity and ambition as in his exterior works. Finally, his 2008 book ‘HB Blacktrace’, earned him a solid international reputation, making him one of the major names of post graffiti” (BC Gallery).
Bom.k – N’importe quoi / via Bom.k
Bom.k – Urban kontortion / via Bom.k
“French artist BLO started his career as a graffiti writer and street art artist in Lyon, where one of his main intents was not only the necessity to paint, but also to use it as a form of destruction and vandalization. Even though over the years BLO has started to concentrate more on producing art that fits in a gallery space, not only concerning the medium but also contextually, instead of the urban landscape, this raw and angry spirit from his beginnings is still reflected in his style of putting the lines. His recent work is often coined by Christian iconography and also occult symbolism of other religions as much as by other well-known artists like Egon Schiele” (BC Gallery).
BLO – Window / via BC Gallery
“Brusk‘s first encounter with the French graffiti and Hip Hop scene dates back to the year 1991. After graduating from St. Etienne‘s School of Fine Arts, he started working with unconventional, atypical media as photo, video and computer and developing new techniques which also lead him to exhibit his work in unusual places. His style developed over the years and combines calligraphic work, 3D characters and stagings. The balance of his compositions is based on a subtle interplay of space management, voids and accumulations, materials and overlays plans” (BC Gallery).
Brusk – Guerépée / via Brusk
Brusk – Sous les pavés la plage / via Brusk
“Born in the south of France in the 80s Gris1 found his vocation for art during his studying time in 1996. From the current point he can look back to a long history of being active as a graffiti artist. What started as simple mural paintings on highway walls has, over the past 15 years, become a concise style. As a member of Da Mental Vaporz group, he maintains his passion by making huge frescoes and increasingly innovative and fun collective canvases” (BC Gallery).
Gris1 – Words / via Gris1
Gris1 – Fall in love / via Gris1
Gris1 – We don’t need no thought control / via Mtn World
“Born in 1982 in Reims, Jaw soon moved to Algeria where he grew up for seven years. Back in France he discovered graffiti at the age of 15, before he went to Marseille for studying illustration, graphics and multimedia design which helped him to develop a more enhanced style. After graduating, he was working on his first book which contains illustrations, cover mountings and more and he also appeared in various other books and press articles. In 2003 Jaw joined the DMV crew which pushed his natural talent to move toward a more elaborate and thoughtful work” (BC Gallery).
Jaw – Juddy Roll / via BC Gallery
“Initially from the south of France, Kan was immersed by graffiti after a trip to Paris, followed by another one to Los Angeles. Moving to Paris, he joined Bom.K and the Da Mental Vaporz crew in 2000. Combining his passion for computers, video and design to traditional graffiti techniques, Kan has distorted his name a thousand ways, from throw-ups to digitalised block letters to pixel art, halftone graffiti and dripping QR codes. With the DMV crew, they embarked in the production of large-scale murals internationally. Since then Kan has participated in many graffiti jams and steadily exhibited his work collectively and individually in galleries across the world, from Paris to London, New York and Melbourne” (BC Gallery).
Kan – London / via BC Gallery
“The Parisian contemporary artist and graffiti writer LEK grew up in the 19th Arrondisment, Paris, an area that in 1980’s cradled many graffiti artists. In 1994, together with other writers of the LCA, a group of graffiti artists, he developed his ‘messy’ style which is coined by deconstruction, stratified and minimalist in color. During this time he also started exploring new places to paint, places of experience and inspiration such as the industrial zone and abandoned places where life has buggered off” (BC Gallery).
Lek – Spoutnik / via Mtn World
“Sowat is a Franco-American graffiti artist who matured in the surroundings of Marseille and Los Angeles, inspired by Chaz Bojorquez, one of the major figures in Californian graffiti who developed ‘Cholo writing’, a calligraphy created in the 1940s and intended to mark out the territories of Latino gangs. Together with Lek he was taking over places that were derelict but with a powerful history. In their large-scale frescoes, the typographical motifs traditionally used in graffiti are taken toward a form of architecturally influenced abstraction” (BC Gallery).
Sowat – Sankukai / via Sowat
Sowat – Saint George and the Dragon / via Sowat
via BC Gallery