JUAN MIGUEL PALACIOS/ MODUS GALLERy

Juan Miguel Palacios/Modus Gallery

JUAN MIGUEL PALACIOS

Por: Modus Gallery

Juan Miguel Palacios es un artista español que realizó sus estudios en la escuela de Artes Decorativas de Madrid, lo que le llevó a formar parte del prestigioso taller Amadeo Roca Gisbert donde trabajó durante más de 6 años.

Su técnica es única, el artista sobrepone vinilos transparentes cubriendo una estructura que representa un muro parcialmente destruido. Juan Miguel Palacios representa encima de esta superficie transparente personajes expresivos, compuestos por una pintura que se desliza y escurre, que parecen nunca estar terminados.

El artista crea un contraste en sus obras entre la superficie depurada y la integración del hueco y sus texturas que se crean alrededor de este. La suavidad y la fragilidad de los rostros femeninos se opone drásticamente a la agresividad de la destrucción del muro. Sin embargo, una interacción aparece entre los personajes en simbiosis con la inserción aleatoria del vacíosobre este soporte arquitectural urbano. Juan Miguel Palacios retoma el soporte de los street artists: esas barreras de cemento que separan el espacio privado del espacio publico, reconstruyéndolo como escenario para su trabajo.

La contemplación de sus obras no nos puede dejar impasibles, ya que nos transmiten un sentimiento de abandono y desintegración.

El estilo pictórico nos recuerda fácilmente a los cuadros del artista Pasquat, o el trabajo del sreet artist Vhils en donde encontramos igualmente la deconstrucción de los muros.

Las obras de Juan Miguel Palacios son figurativas, a pesar de esto tienen una gran carga conceptual, ya que encontramos en sus obras los conceptos del duelo, la agitación, la expresión y las desigualdades.

 

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Juan Miguel Palacios/Modus Gallery

STIKKI PEACHES/ MODUS GALLERY

Stikki Peaches/ Modus gallery

Par Modus gallery

Stikki Peaches est un artiste Canadien qui expose à l’internationale ses œuvres, visibles en galerie d’art mais également dans la rue. Fils d’un père tailleur et d’une mère designer, l’artiste a été baigné dès le plus jeune âge dans le monde créatif. Il a travaillé pendant plus de 13 ans dans le monde la mode masculine, pour se tourner par la suite vers le street art.

Des personnages de la culture populaire tels que Katt Moss, Batman et Elvis Presley sont présents dans les œuvres de Stikki Peaches. L’artiste utilise pour ses créations du papier, des bombes de couleur, des marqueurs ainsi que d’autres éléments tels que la mosaïque, qui viennent interagir pour obtenir un résultat dynamique et coloré. On retrouve dans ces uvres une touche négligée, avec notamment la présence de cartons déchirés, de planches en bois cassées, ainsi que d’autres éléments appartenant à une esthétique décadente.  

Le travail de Stikki Peaches est reconnaissable par son style particulier, qui vient s’inspirer du pop art, en retransposant sur la toile les icones contemporaines auxquels l’artiste vient ajouter au marqueurs de nombreux éléments appartenant à l’esthétique du tatouage, avec une typographie et des dessins qui lui sont propre. Ces personnages se voient soudainement transformés, tatoués, submergés de couleurs vives réalisées à la bombe et ornementées par différents matériaux.

 

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Stikki Peaches/ Modus gallery

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JESÚS CURIÁ / MODUS GALLERY

Jesús Curiá / Modus gallery

Por: Galeria modus

El artista español trabaja con maestría desde hace más de 25 años la escultura, mediante la cual nos introduce en su mundo onírico. El trabajo de Jesús Curiá nos transmite una sensación de profundidad, de tranquilidad y de un equilibrio certero. Un universo paralelo se abre ante nosotros, con personajes híbridos, y con una morfología humana que se fusiona con líneas rectas y formas geométricas. Su sensibilidad por el espacio y por el mundo que nos rodea, le permite moldear obras de una manera armoniosa, creando la sensación de que los personajes están suspendidos en el aire.

Las columnas de Jesús Curiá se caracterizan por el contraste que se crea entre la densidad del bronce y la ligera representación de los personajes.

Encontramos en sus obras niños pendidos del aire gracias a un hilo invisible, o a una mano protectora que no los deja caer. En medio del juego, estos niños forman una columna que se alza hacia el cielo, con una gravedad inexistente. Encontramos una perfecta combinación de poesía y dulzura que nos invita a un viaje lejano a tierras inexploradas.

Cada columna es única, la composición y la posición de los personajes se ensamblan cada vez de manera diferente por el artista. La pátina, que también varía de la misma manera, viene a resaltar estos seres ingenuos en constante equilibrio.

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Jesús Curiá / Modus gallery

 

    

 

 

ALEJANDRO CARPINTERO

Lorsqu'Alejandro Carpintero tente de se représenter un sujet, des images lui traversent l’esprit sous forme de fragments. Un sourire, une expression, une couleur... Il ne perçoit jamais l’objet ou la personne dans son entier. C’est aussi sa façon de peindre. Pourtant issu d’une éducation artistique très académique, le principe d’empâtement, comme un moyen de représentation dans sa peinture, est son médium de prédilection. Plus il l’utilise, plus il s’éloigne d’un résultat hyperréaliste. Il travaille principalement sur le concept de passage d’un état de fait à un autre. Un panneau signalétique qui perd sa fonction première pour devenir un objet purement esthétique, ou une préadolescente qui passe de l’enfance à l’âge adulte, par exemple. Représenter ces moments de transition d’un point de vue pictural est son plus grand défi. Alejandro croit qu’il existe une combinaison possible entre les images intérieures qui l’habitent et les références figuratives extérieures avec lesquelles il travaille.

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Alejandro Carpintero/Modus Gallery

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JESUS CURIA/MODUS GALLERY

Jesús Curiá / Modus gallery

Par Modus Art Gallery

 

L’artiste espagnol travaille depuis plus de 25 ans la sculpture, où il nous invite à nous glisser dans un monde onirique. Le travail de Jesus Curia nous transmet une sensation de paisibilité, de profondeur et d’un équilibre certain. Un univers parallèle apparait devant nous, où des personnages hybride, avec une morphologie humaine à laquelle vient s’ajouter fréquemment des lignes droites et des formes géométriques. Sa sensibilité à l’espace et le monde qui nous entoure, lui permet de façonner ces œuvres d’une manière harmonieuse, en créant très souvent le sentiment de suspension des personnages dans le vide.

Les colonnes de Jesus Curia se caractérisent par le contraste qui se crée à partir de la pesanteur du bronze et la représentation de légèreté des sujets.

Nous retrouvons ainsi des enfants suspendus dans l’espace par un fil invisible, ou par une main bienveillante les empêchant de tomber. Plongés dans le jeu et l’amusement, ces enfants forment une colonne montante vers le ciel, avec une gravité inexistante. La douceur et la poésie sont au rendez-vous avec une œuvre qui nous invite à un voyage lointain dans des terres inexplorées.

Chaque colonne est unique, l’interaction et la position des personnages étant organisée de façon différente à chaque fois par les soins de l’artiste. La patine, qui varie également, vient sublimer ces êtres naïfs en constant équilibre.

 

 

 

 

Jesus Curia/ Modus gallery

MARTA SANCHEZ LUENGO/MODUS GALLERY

AT MY OWN PACE

Marta Sanchez Luengo / Modus Gallery

The most remarkable thing about Marta Sanchez Luengo's work is her scope of the human being through different realities. The study of the human figure and its context play the same role on her sculptures. The creation and use of scene is always constant on her work, and it becomes the canvas for referring about the complexity of the circumstances the human being is involved, integrating social-urban with intimate-personal life.

Particularly, the Travel thematic is very frequent in her work

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Marta Sanchez Luengo / Modus Art Gallery

LUCIANA GOMEZ / MODUS GALLERY

LUCIANA GOMEZ talks about her art 

Luciana Gomez / Modus Gallery

It was the Impulse and the curiosity to discover the inner universe, which led me to explore the connection that exists between nature and our own body. The need to understand the changes and metamorphoses that all of us unconditionally experience in our lives. I question the mutable and non-permanent character of things, the ephemeral in everyday life, as well as bodies and the spaces. I am interested in water, earth, life cycles cycles, and all the organisms and cells inhabiting our body.

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My works usually start with an outline of the pencil silhouette on colored backgrounds. I use acrylic or synthetic enamel, I draw the subject with ballpoint pens, spontaneously and gradually, creating multiple layers. These gestural elements give volume to the figures, and the composition emerges step by step, kind of improvised. My paintings create a visual game of lights and shadows. They’re some sort of optical illusions; when observed from afar they show a figure, when observed closely they reveal an entire world.

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Luciana Gomez / Modus Art Gallery

SNIK INTERVIEW / MODUS GALLERY

SNIK INTERVIEW BY STREET ART UNITED STATES 

by Sami Wakim

Snik / Modus Gallery

Initially inspired by the Graffiti scene, Snik has been working with stencil and spray can for 10 years now. Constantly pushing the boundaries, this artist duo has developed a unique style which is equally captivating on walls as it in on canvas. Staying true to their form, Snik hand cuts up to nine layers at a time, working with different mediums, techniques, paints and varnishes. Regardless of size, the level of detail is insane, and use of colours and forms, inspirational. Showing in Galleries, shows and forums across the globe, they had their inaugural solo show in 2011, and now has a serious following of admirers and collectors worldwide.

Let me first say that I am fascinated about the way you create your art. Although, I don’t really know anything about you, could you explain who you are, where you´re from and how did you get started in the street art scene?
Snik was originally started by myself (nik), back in 2005. I had always been a keen artist, but never really viewed it as something that could get me from place to place doing what I loved. Over the years people have shown an interest, and invited me to places all over the world to paint, which has been incredible. As the years have gone on, I have always tried to go bigger and better with each piece, I feel, constant progression and improvement are the things that help to keep me on my toes. About 4 years ago I met my other half, and we began to paint bigger walls together. Having 2 people on board meant we can cut bigger stencils quicker, and paint larger walls that one person with a stencil couldn’t, so it’s been a huge help to become a duo. Some people don’t know that, we have never really pushed, as I don’t think it matters so much. When you view art you never question how many people, just the nature of it and how it makes you feel.

Do you have a formal education?
We have both been to college, but neither studied Art. It was never helpful for either of us in the direction we were heading.

Your art is multilayered and complex. Could you describe the development process of your artwork?
I think stencil work is a form of OCD. To sit for hours on end, cutting small pieces of card from bigger pieces of card, it’s not a standard method of art, but a more precise and exact craft. The way we try to balance this, is by painting very quickly, and very rough and ready. Every canvas we paint is painted the same way it would be done on the street, drips, smudges, mess and mistakes are all a part of it. The tightness of the stencil is only a balance to the freedom of the painting.

How much does your art affect or influence your everyday life and are there any role models or artists who inspired you?
Everything we do is art related. There isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t read up on a recent paint event, or check out a recent gallery show. That being said, we are very separate in the fact that we live in the countryside, and not a city. We don’t get caught up in a scene as such, but obviously are inspired by just how much incredible art is being produced all around the world right now.

How do you go about creating your street art? How do you choose a street/environment?
Normally we will cut the stencil, then source a spot. It can be a quick thing, or can take a while. Stencils can be restricting in your size and surface you have to work with, but this can also be the challenge to it. Spray paint works on anything, so it’s all down to how you use a stencil, and how you approach the aesthetic of the area.

Has your style developed throughout the years?
I would say so yes. The stencil cutting is a lot more free, and as each new piece is produced, there are new lessons learnt. The use of lighting has always been a big influence in the work, shadows especially effect the final outcome. As mentioned before, the use of the stencil can be restricting, so it’s important for us to work around this, and make the final piece more relaxed and natural, as stencils can sometimes be very stiff and harsh in final appearance.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet and social media in making your work more accessible to the public?
The internet has revolutionized the way people view artwork now, in every sense. Some street pieces only last a day, but once it’s online, it is pretty much there forever. The same goes for any little post we may put about a new stencil, or a test spray. For those who don’t have gallery connections, or good hook ups for walls, it’s a great way to get yourself out there and get noticed. We always enjoy painting street as much as possible, but it’s just not always possible for us to get every single new piece onto a wall straight away, so we get into the studio and produce a work to showcase the new cuts this way instead. But in the back of our minds we always want every piece to eventually make it to a wall.

Which countries have you visited to paint so far and where did you like it best?
We have visited France, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, and Spain. Each one is incredible in its on way, it would be impossible to select a favourite, as every paint trip has so many great memories. The meeting of new people is definitely one of the best points about what we do, and it’s what we enjoy the most.

Is there a message in your art?
maybe there is, maybe there isn’t.

Street art is still considered vandalism, how is it for you to go out and paint in the street? Did you ever have any problems with the law?
When I started in 2005, I used to enjoy going out and doing paste ups, little 1 or 2 layer stencils. It was a fun rush, but of course it created friction with authority, and was never going to end well. As we grew older and developed, the illegal thing lost an interest, mainly because our stencils evolved into such technical works that to rush them in 30 minutes would be a really poor looking final piece, and not the sort of thing we want to produce. It’s really rare that we do a full illegal piece, and even if we do we don’t advertise it, for obvious reasons.

What have been your most challenging and rewarding piece of work thus far?
The most challenging piece was the Winged-Fire (pictured above) piece we painted in our home town last year. It was only an 8 layer stencil at around 7 foot tall, but each layer was 5 different colours. So to get the cuts natural, and the blends working took a very long time, and a lot of stress. It helped to push us a lot to progress in the direction we have, so It is definitely one that sticks in our mind.

What do you do when you are not creating art? What are your hobbies?
Dog walking. Wine drinking.

What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
We have a big year planned, but you’ll have to keep an eye on our social media for info.

Any words of advice for aspiring new artists?
Don’t stop. Always wear a spray mask.

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Snik / Modus Art Gallery

MERSUKA DOPAZO & TERESA CALDERON INTERVIEW BY ARTZEALOUS / MODUS GALLERY

A Chat with Collage Queens: Mersuka Dopazo & Teresa Calderón

by Caitlin Confort

Mersuka Dopazo & Teresa Calderón / Modus Gallery

Dividing their studio time between Madrid and Bali, the Spanish artists collaborate on large-scale collages created from paper gathered from all over the world. As Dopazo explains, her papers are always handmade and natural, chiefly rice-based. They are bought directly from the craftsman and are sourced from locations like Thailand, Kathmandu, India and Italy. Often densely patterned, the artists layer the papers together, as unexpected connections formed between clashing textures and motifs.

Art Zealous stole a few moments with Mersuka Dopazo to about chat collages, travel, & technique.

How do you two know each other?

MD: We met in Bali 5 years ago through a common friend. I was working on a very big canvas (7 meters by two) and invited Teresa to paint on it with me. It was like love at first sight. From this night on, we started to paint together for hours and hours. The following day it was 10 hours non-stop. We also had our kids painting with us, and it was just a magical experience. They had the total freedom of painting on our big canvases, and then we worked on top of what they did. That’s how our journey together started.

Where is your favorite place to travel and collect materials?

MD: I like to travel a lot, mainly to countries where you really can find things and material made by artisans. I frequently travel to India, Indonesia, Melanesia, Nepal – I was there just two months ago, and I found the most beautiful papers.

As for other sources of material, we have Teresa. Since she is a fashion designer, so she is also crazy about fabrics and textures. Some materials we use are designed by her, so often we use her drawings and patterns for clothes in our work – they have an extraordinary effect when made into art.

You see your works as a ‘travelogue from unexpected territory.’ What are packing essentials when you’re puttering around the world?

MD: I don’t really have packing essentials because sometimes I decide to travel without even having a plane ticket! I just head to the airport and go. I am not a planner; I just go for it. Although I must say, I never leave the house without my lipstick!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

MD: Inspiration comes from every detail that we see every day. People on the street, mainly women – their clothes, shoes, the way they move – also hands and napkins (especially paper ones). We love observing people from different parts of the world – their culture, their food, their colors – any place can be a potential source of inspiration. We just keep moving.

Personally, collage is my favorite type of art form; I love how the raw materials reflect our memories and experiences. What is your favorite part about collaging?

MD: For us collaging is also our favorite type of art, it gives you the possibility of using anything that is special to you to create a piece of art. I have approached many people on the streets, bought clothes just for the purpose of ripping them up, and stolen napkins and coasters – and used all of these pieces to collage. In our work you can see a huge variety of fabrics, drawings, papers and many materials that we find suddenly in unexpected places, that’s the beauty of it. Every piece is unique, not only because of the design but because of the unique materials that go into it. Sometimes I have spent fortunes in one metre of fabric, just for the purpose of using 5cm. But I tell you, that 5 cm can change everything!

Collaging gives you the opportunity of working with many layers and the option to change the artwork as you go along. It’s very rewarding when it turns out right!

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

MD: We have so many ideas accumulated, and there are many things we want to explore. We love to create new themes and techniques and sometimes we need to stop ourselves from innovating too much. Now we are working on different themes at the same time like exploring people and women. We are now creating our own papers with rice and drawings to use in our work.

 

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Mersuka Dopazo & Teresa Calderón / Modus Art Gallery

JAVIER LEÓN PÉREZ / MODUS GALLERY

WHEN ART BECOMES A MANTRA

Javier León Pérez / Modus Gallery

After exhibiting successfully his works across Asia, where collectors from the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong have acquired their abstract landscapes, Sevillian Javier León Pérez has just inaugurated Horarium, his first individual exhibition in Hong Kong, in Puerta Roja galley, the first and only gallery specialized in Latin American and Spanish art.

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Born in Seville, Javier León Pérez conceives his working process as a daily ritual. An endless repetition of small elements that interweave, covering the surface of his works and that, somehow, acts as a mantra. These powerful black and white patterns create velvety textures which slowly lead the viewer to a complete aesthetic sensory experience.

Horarium reflects on the concept of time as a mental construct. In this project the idea of ast, present and future are overlapping concepts that are conjugated in different ways on the surface of each painting, inviting the viewer to enter a space-time of sensorial experience.

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"The title of this project, Horarium, is taken from the liturgical books of Hours. It is a diary that organized days and months through a cycle of the different liturgical rites and prayers," says Leon Perez. He adds: "For me, it represents a formula of organization and temporal order of the human behavior. I consider the process of my artworks as a daily ritual, just like in the books of Hours. Maybe this is a way to connect with universal cyclic rhythms.”

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Javier León Pérez / Modus Art Gallery

BRUNO CATALANO BY CHIARA GIOLITO / MODUS GALLERY

CANCELLA: IL COMANDO PREFERITO DA BRUNO CATALANO

Bruno Catalano / Modus Gallery

Bruno Catalano, è un’artista, scultore, francese classe 1960, che vive fino a 12 anni in Marocco per poi diventare marinaio.  All’età di 30 anni torna in Francia, intraprendendo la carriera dello scultore.

I suoi lavori, prima modellati con l’argilla e poi trasformati in bronzo, raffigurano persone dal passo incerto, che vagabondano per il centro di Marsiglia. Il tema trattato è quello del il viaggio e della migrazione, che viene reso inequivocabile dalla costante presenza di una valigia.

La particolarità di queste opere è il dialogo con il paesaggio. Le figure umane infatti, presentano grandi lacerazioni, a sottolineare che nessun arrivo e nessuna partenza può dirsi veramente completa, invitando lo spettatore a perdersi nello sfondo senza conoscere la loro direzione ed il loro destino.

Il bronzo, trattato a frammenti e colorato con tinte mai brillanti, conferisce alle figure una patina d’altri tempi e le sembra far comparire quasi come fantasmi in mezzo alla gente. Le stesse statue infatti, poste in delle stanze dalle pareti bianche non avrebbero lo stesso effetto, è il paesaggio a cambiare le carte in regola creando questa interessante illusione.

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Bruno Catalano / Modus Art Gallery

JESUS CURIA / MODUS GALLERY

INTERVIEW WITH JESUS CURIA

Jesus Curia / Modus Gallery

You have a lot of interest in non-European cultures, which is also the inspiration for your art. Where does this interest come from?

Jesus Curia:  I think the seeds of my interest in other cultures and ethnicities comes from my childhood. From a young age I have been fascinated by people from other cultures, I found them incredibly exotic, especially because where I lived in Spain as a child, it was difficult to see foreign people.

Why did you choose sculpture? What did you find so attractive about this very special form of art?

Jesus Curia: My father was a painter so when I was young I wanted to be a painter too. Then, I arrived at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Madrid and the sculpture made such an impression on me that it became natural to me choosing this technique.

 Were you creative in your youth?

Jesus Curia:  As I said, from an early age I was interested in becoming an artist and every afternoon, after school, I used to paint in my father’s study.

Your sculptures are mainly made of bronze. What do you like about it? What are the best features of this material? 

Jesus Curia:  Yes, I use a lot of bronze, but I also make use of wood, stone, resin and cement. Usually I decide spontaneously. I think of the subject and then I decide what materials can work best.

What feeling prevails after finishing a sculpture?

Jesus Curia:  I always say that sculptors have only two moments of fun with their work. The first, and most satisfying, is when we have finished a job and take a few minutes staring and admiring our creation. The second is when I see people enjoying my work.

What do you do when you're not working?

Jesus Curia:  That's an hard question. Actually, sculpture is my work and my hobby, so it's always in my head. I’ve recently become a father, and apparently that's the only thing that keeps me away a bit from my work.

What would you like to achieve as an artist? Do you have any more dreams you want to accomplish?

Jesus Curia:  I'm more than happy to be able to live from my work. As an artist, I would like my work to be exhibited in galleries all over the world, so that more and more people can admire my work.

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Jesus Curia / Modus Art Gallery

BANKSY BY LE TEMPS / MODUS GALLERY

BANKSY, LE GRAFFEUR QUE TOUT LE MONDE VEUT DÉMASQUER

Banksy / Modus Gallery

Il est la star de l’art urbain. Un blogueur écossais pense avoir percé le mystère de son identité. Un galeriste genevois relance l’hypothèse de l’artiste anglais Damien Hirst. Mais pourquoi tout le monde cherche-t-il à savoir qui est Banksy?

C’est le mystère le mieux entretenu du Street Art. Qui est Banksy, le graffeur star, celui qui couvre les murs de ses dessins au pochoir pour critiquer tout à trac notre société à la dérive, dénoncer l’injustice économique et brocarder le monde de l’art sur un mode caustique et souvent humoristique? Qui est cet artiste sans visage dont les œuvres se vendent plusieurs centaines de milliers de dollars? Et qui, sur une plage d’Angleterre, construisait Dismaland, parc d’attractions éphémère et déglingué, sorte de Disneyland à l’envers? Personne ne le sait. Comme Robin des Bois, sans l’arc mais avec des bombes de peinture en bandoulière, Banksy s’en prend à l’autorité et aux puissants. Et depuis ses débuts d’artiste de rue à Bristol en 1998 il a toujours réussi à passer entre les mailles du filet. A moins qu’il n’ait déjà été arrêté, mais sous son vrai nom.

La semaine dernière, le Daily Mail pensait ainsi avoir identifié le graffeur masqué. Le quotidien britannique relayait en fait l’enquête menée par Craig Williams, un blogueur écossais qui à force de recoupements a fini par déceler une étrange coïncidence dans les emplois du temps de l’artiste. A chaque fois que Banksy agit hors d’Europe, il se trouve que le groupe Massiv Attack joue également dans le coin. Cela se vérifie en 2003 à Melbourne, en 2006 à Los Angeles, en 2008 à la Nouvelle Orléans et en 2013 à New York. Craig Williams n’a pas choisi la figure historique du trip hop britannique au hasard. Son leader apparaît en effet comme le candidat idéal. Multi-artiste, Robert «3D» Del Naja a commencé par être un graffeur respecté de la scène du Street art de Bristol. Deux arrestations pour atteinte à la propriété l’auraient finalement décidé d’abandonner l’art mural pour se consacrer à la musique.

Emballement planétaire

Leur connivence, ni le musicien ni le graffeur n’en ont jamais fait grand mystère. Le premier apparaît dans «Faites le mur», vrai-faux documentaire de 2010 consacré au second et réalisé par lui-même. Cinq ans plus tard, Banksy renvoyait l’ascenseur au chanteur en signant la préface du livre 3D and the Art of Massiv Attack. Pour Craig Williams la chose ne fait pas un pli: «3D» et Banksy seraient donc une seule et même personne. Le blogueur reste cependant prudent. «Peut-être que cette supposition qui faisait de Banksy une seule personne est loin du compte, et qu’il s’agit plutôt d’un groupe qui, au fil des ans, a suivi Massive Attack et peint des murs pendant leur temps libre», avance Craig Williams dans le quotidien britannique. Et peut-être qu’à la tête de ce groupe nous avons Del Naja. Un artiste pluridisciplinaire qui mène un des groupes phares de l’histoire récente de la musique britannique, mais également l’un des artistes les plus vénérés de la planète. Ça serait quelque chose de cool.» Tellement cool que la nouvelle de son identité supposée suscite désormais un emballement planétaire.

Elle fait suite à la théorie qui catapultait un certain Robin Cunningham dans la peau de Banksy. Laquelle semblait vouloir être confirmée en mars 2016 par un groupe de scientifiques de la Queen Mary University de Londres. La géolocalisation des œuvres associée à des techniques utilisées en criminologie arrivait ainsi à la même conclusion. Ce qui n’empêche visiblement pas le doute de persister. Le 3 septembre, devant les 27 000 spectateurs venus écouter Massive Attack rejouer à Bristol après 11 ans d’absence, Robert Del Naja n’a fait qu’ajouter un peu d’épaisseur au mystère. «La rumeur qui prétend que je suis Banksy est très exagérée. Nous sommes tous Banksy». Peu d’artistes peuvent se vanter de faire monter une telle fièvre.

Le Zorro de l’art

Mais pourquoi cette frénésie à vouloir absolument le démasquer? «Son message est simple. Ses œuvres sont efficaces et parlent à tout le monde. Les gens l’adorent», observe Philippe Davet, galeriste et directeur de Blondeau & Cie à Genève. Un capital de sympathie que l’artiste sait soigner. Lorsqu’un SDF de Los Angeles se trouve chassé de la citerne où il habite parce qu’un collectionneur vient d’acheter le graffiti que l’artiste britannique a peint dessus, Banksy lui offre de quoi se payer un logement pendant au moins un an. «Il est très populaire surtout auprès d’un public, souvent jeune, qui ne s’intéresse pas forcément à l’art contemporain.» Faites le test pour voir. Prenez un panel représentatif de la génération Y qui ne met jamais les pieds dans un musée et demandez-lui s’il connaît Jeff Koons? Il s’en trouvera bien un parmi l’assistance qui sait que l’artiste américain réalise des sculptures géantes de chien en forme de baudruche. Les autres, eux, regardent en l’air. Recommencez, mais maintenant pour savoir qui connaît Banksy. Toutes les mains se lèvent: «Ah oui le mec qui peint des graffitis politiques et dont personne n’a jamais vu la tête. J’aime bien.»

L’anonymat, c’est ce qui fait la force de Banksy et lui assure son statut de héros rebelle. «Il ne faut pas oublier qu’il vient de cet univers du graffiti où les artistes peignent en douce la nuit pour éviter les patrouilles. Et que chez eux, l’important est ce qu’ils expriment, pas ce qu’ils sont», rappelle Willem Speerstra, propriétaire de la Speerstra Gallery à Bursins spécialisée dans l’art urbain. «Je lui souhaite d’échapper encore longtemps au radar. Rester caché entretient son mythe.» Important collectionneur de Street Art Marco Berrebi abonde: «Les artistes du Street Art ne donnent jamais leur vrai nom. Ils s’appellent Zevs, Brainwash. JR, par exemple, ne se cachent pas mais n’ont jamais dévoilé leur véritable identité. Banksy est un cas à part car personne ne sait qui il est physiquement. S’il s’obstine dans sa clandestinité, c’est pour se protéger. De tous les artistes urbains, il est sans doute celui qui est allé le plus loin dans l’illégalité, lorsque à ses débuts il intervenait dans l’espace public anglais.»

Mais de la même manière que la nature à horreur du vide, les gens supportent mal de ne pas savoir. «Banksy c’est Zorro. Et comme toutes les légendes on aimerait bien découvrir au final qui se cache derrière», poursuit Philippe Davet qui a sa petite idée sur la question. Car lui aussi, il y a quelques années, s’est lancé sur la piste de l’artiste invisible. «Le milieu de l’art contemporain a vraiment découvert les œuvres de Banksy aux enchères aux alentours de 2006. Dès le début sa cote s’est envolée. Comment un type qui pratique son art dans la rue et dont le nom n’était alors connu que des spécialistes du Street Art émergent pouvaient atteindre de tels scores chez Christie’s et Sotheby’s? Et puis il y avait aussi un problème d’authenticité. Le style Banksy est assez facile à reproduire. D’autant qu’il a changé avec le temps. Il y a une dizaine d’années, j’avais demandé à un spécialiste de l’une de ces maisons comment il faisait pour être sûr de vendre un Banksy original. Il m’a été répondu que les demandes de certificats étaient envoyées à l’adresse du studio de Damien Hirst.»

Opération marketing

Que Banksy et l’artiste anglais, célèbre pour son requin blanc qui surnage dans un aquarium de formol, ne forment qu’un, l’hypothèse n’est pas nouvelle. Tous les deux apparaissent sur la scène de Young British Artists dans les années 90. Tous les deux cultivent un esprit similaire de provocation potache hérité du punk. Banksy et Hirst ont même œuvré à quatre mains. Leur toile commune «Keep It Spotless» a été adjugée 1,8 million de dollars chez Sotheby’s en 2008. Un record absolu pour le graffeur. «Cela fait bientôt 20 ans que tout le monde le traque et pourtant personne n’est encore parvenu ni à le voir travailler ni à le photographier, continue le galeriste genevois. Maintenir ainsi l’énigme nécessite une logistique parfaitement rodée. Pour moi, c’est une opération d’art marketing qui réclame des moyens. Et le marketing justement Damien Hirst est passé maître en la matière.»

Mais Philippe Davet éclaire aussi cette supposition de nouveaux indices. «Dans une interview du 2011, un journaliste demandait à l’artiste tchèque Jîrî Georg Dokoupil quel était son artiste inventeur préféré. Sans hésiter il a répondu Damien Hirst. Il ajoutait: ce qui me fascine le plus chez lui c’est d’avoir réussi, avec Banksy, à créer une sorte de sous-marque. Je suis absolument certain de ce que j’affirme. Je connais très bien la personne qui me l’a dit et elle sait très bien de quoi elle parle. Je la crois à 100%.» Reste que pour le peintre, Banksy serait plutôt une hydre, un artiste a plusieurs têtes. Ses interventions urbaines seraient en fait les actions combinées d’une multitude de talents. Comme une organisation «avec différentes sous-branches pour différents styles et techniques. Ce qui expliquerait que le secret de son identité n’ait jamais été percé.»

Ce jeu du chat et de la souris, Banksy s’en amuse. Au point que la chasse se transforme parfois en art attack. Entre le 1er et le 31 octobre 2013 il s’installait à New York où il semait les cailloux de sa présence via son site internet et les réseaux sociaux. «Better Out Than In» (Mieux dehors que dedans) va ainsi passionner ses fans, les curieux et la police pendant un mois. Sans jamais tomber le masque. Mieux dehors que dedans.

 

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Banksy / Modus Art Gallery

BANKSY EN DATES / MODUS GALLERY

BANKSY EN DATES

Banksy / Modus Gallery

  • 1974 Naissance présumée de Banksy à Bristol.
  • Fin des années 90 Ses graffitis peints sur les murs de sa ville natale gagnent en notoriété.
  • 2008 Vente chez Sotheby’s de Keep it Spotless, la toile que Banksy a réalisé avec Damien Hirst. Adjugée 1,8 million de dollars elle est l’œuvre la plus chère du graffeur.
  • 2008 Après une enquête minutieuse l’hebdomadaire britannique Mail on Sunday affirme avoir découvert qui se cache derrière Banksy. Il s’agirait d’un certain Robin Cunningham. Une hypothèse semble-elle confirmée par des recherches scientifiques menées à la Queen Mary University de Londres en 2016.
  • 2014 Banksy s’engage en faveur des migrants en réalisant plusieurs dessins dont, en 2015 à Calais, le fameux portrait de Steve Jobs né d’un père immigré syrien.

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Banksy / Modus Art Gallery

JOSHUA JENSEN-NAGLE BY TORONTO LIFE / MODUS GALLERY

Joshua Jensen-Nagle’s dreamy echoes of the golden age

Joshua Jensen-Nagle / Modus Gallery

Every generation idealizes one that came before—just ask Gil Pender from Midnight in Paris. Another case in point: the Instagram phenomenon. With a quick point and tap, anyone with an iPhone can create hyper-stylized, retro-shabby art photography that looks straight out of the ’70s. The breezy, warm-toned photos that crowd Facebook feeds and Pinterest boards are pretty but soulless—their desperate artificiality shines through the soft-lit patina. New Jersey-born photographer Joshua Jensen-Nagle embraces the romantic nostalgia of the Instagram generation—but he also brings a fine art sensibility to his lush images.

Jensen-Nagle uses toy and pinhole cameras and hand-treats his prints with gold leaf and splattered paint. The photos of the “Quiet Reminiscence” series were taken in Europe with vintage Polaroid film. The distorted dimensions and filters of the film give the photos their texture; after developing the film, Jensen-Nagle scanned them into large archival inkjet prints and mounted them on Plexiglas.

While Instagram photos might look like your mom’s old beach shots, Jensen-Nagle’s wonderful pieces channel French Impressionist paintings. Even though we know they’re not authentic, the gauzy, blurred images feel as though they were discovered in a box lying around someone’s attic—they capture still waters, stately buildings and cast iron streetlights, evoking imagined memories of 19th-century grand tours. Jensen-Nagle’s dreamy photos are equipped with a wondrous ability: they transport their subjects and their viewers back to an elusive (and illusory) golden age.

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Joshua Jensen-Nagle / Modus Art Gallery

JAVIER LEON PEREZ / MODUS GALLERY

PATTERNS AND GEOMETRY

Javier Leon Perez / Modus Gallery

Since he was a child, Javier Léon (Sevilla, 1978) felt a strong attraction to art. After studying as a graphic designer, he worked in a studio for a while but he soon realized that it wasn’t his calling as his true passion was for art. He enrolled in fine arts and he eventually achieved a Master’s degree in arts, at the Complutense University in Madrid. It was during his academic years that he explored new media and techniques and he developed his unique style, an hybrid between sculpture and painting.When asked what kind of value does his artwork generate, the artist answers:

I don’t know that for sure. It’s probably something that can’t be weighed, measured or determined. My artworks act like some kind of an emotions catalyst that somehow attract and infect the viewer, completely captivating him.”

His working process is a sort of a daily ritual, just like a mantra; an endless repetition of tiny inter-wined elements that little by little cover the canvas unsealing the artwork. What strikes the viewer the most is the texture, the colors which reflect natural forms and evoke natural geometries and patterns.

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Javier Leon Perez / Modus Art Gallery

BANKSY / MODUS GALLERY

THE BANKSY REVOLUTION

 

Banksy / Modus gallery

We just loved doing graffiti, it was the best thing ever! We used to do them on the bus, coming home from school and everybody did that.” This is how a Bristol child started drawing on public walls, before becoming one of the greatest writers in the world.Banksy’s artworks were born on buses, they crossed the walls of dozens of cities all over the world to eventually land in the halls of the most important galleries and museums.

The reasons why Banksy became so popular is his undeniable ability to take great contemporary themes regarding politics, ethics or culture and translate them into a clear and effective aesthetic. Banksy started working in the nineties, when street art was still in gestation, but he managed to be the first artist to draw attention of such a wide audience to the horrors of war, the contradictions of capitalism and the deception which distinguishes the way we proclaim ourselves “free”.

The subjects of his artworks are diverse: common, anonymous people, political figures, mottos, logos, famous pictures or advertisings. He also uses very often the smiley emoticon as a replacement for human expressions or feelings. His favorite technique is the stencil by which the image is made by applying pigment to a surface over an intermediate object with designed gaps in it, which create the pattern by only allowing the pigment to reach some parts of the surface.

 

The artist truly communicates through is works, as his identity is still unknown, even though it is believed that he could have born in England in 1975 and raised in Bristol. Banksy is a nickname, his tag, his signature, but he never showed himself in public. Protected by anonymity, which anyway increased his fame, providing him a captivating air of mystery, Banksy works quietly under the radar, just like one of his famous rats, protagonists of his graffiti:  

They exist without permission. They are hated, hunted and persecuted. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilizations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant, and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model.

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Banksy / Modus Art Gallery

PIMAX / MODUS GALLERY

PIMAX: ARTISTE MILITANT

PIMAX / Modus Gallery

Pimax est né en 1975, à Montreuil. Il vit et travaille actuellement à Paris.

Cet artiste polymorphe intervient sur les murs de Paris avec des tableaux éphémères, des affiches-pochoirs qui réinterprétent la Marylin Monroe d’Andy Warhol (avec la banane du Velvet ) ou bien Goldorak, au majeur tendu, triomphant, qui sont ses interventions artistiques les plus connues des promeneurs attentifs. Ici, dans le quartier du Marais (Paris)

Pimax détourne les modes avec une touche Pop colorée. Le détournement est un axe important dans son approche artistique. Il s’associe avec ses camarades de rue : WUZE, KROSS, SAN, DRAN.

Point éphémère, Quai de Valmy, Paris Xème

Point éphémère, Quai de Valmy, Paris Xème

Pimax : un artiste urbain militant.

Ses œuvres intriguent, interpellent et dérangent parfois car il ne s’agit pas seulement d’une performance artistique mais aussi de transmettre un message souvent en réaction aux déviances de la Cité.

L’artiste en plein travail dans son atelier :

DISCOVER AVAILABLE ARTWORKS BY  PIMAX   PIMAX / Modus Art Gallery

DISCOVER AVAILABLE ARTWORKS BY PIMAX

PIMAX / Modus Art Gallery

JOSHUA JENSEN-NAGLE BY TORONTO LIFE / MODUS GALLERY

BIRD-EYE SHOTS OF THE WORLD'S BEST BEACHES

Joshua Jensen-Nagle / Modus Gallery

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Still Moments. Miami, Florida.

As a child, Joshua Jensen-Nagle vacationed at his grandfather’s beach house on the scenic shores of the Atlantic in New Jersey. After falling in love with photography in high school and studying it at Ryerson, the Toronto-based photographer was drawn back to the water—only now he he flies high above the shores in a helicopter, capturing mesmerizing shades of blue.  We asked Jensen-Nagle what it’s like to take photos from on high.

First of all, why beaches?
I started shooting beaches around 2000. I have joyful, youthful memories of pure bliss from spending time at beaches. Generally, people go to beaches to get away from crowds and let themselves go. We get so caught up with work that when we actually get in the water or under the sun, it’s such a happy emotion.

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Kaneohe Sandbar I. Kaneohe, Hawaii.

Of course, you’re not on vacation when you’re at the beach. How do you feel while you’re working?
Usually, I’m very stressed and focused on getting the work done. I have a lot of anxiety until I know that I have something. There’s only so much research you can do: until you actually get to the location, you don’t know what you’re going to get.

What does that research entail?
It starts with a lot of Internet research: Google Earth, finding out how crowded it gets at what time of year, when’s the best time to visit. I’ve built a list of different places I’m working on. The next trip is to Barcelona, then Portugal, France and maybe Sicily.

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An Abstract Expression. Sydney, Australia.

Once you’ve settled on a location, what’s the first step?
I use a network of fixers—usually people who work in the film industry who have contacts all over the world—to find out from local authorities what permissions we need. Typically, we need to get permission from them to fly over certain locations at least a couple months ahead of time, and there are altitude restrictions. In some cases, you can just go and do it, but I always check.

Who exactly is flying you around?
I usually get a senior pilot to go out with me. They have to pull some tricky manoeuvres while we’re flying because I take a lot of shots facing directly down. I talk through it with the pilot beforehand, often back and forth with a translator. Some of them get it right away and some don’t. Sometimes, you get hotshot pilots that really crank it and go a bit faster than I’m used to.

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Jensen-Nagle with his wife, Jessica, in Sydney, Australia.

I’m assuming you’re not scared of heights?
I actually don’t like flying, so it was very nerve-wracking the first time, and it still is when there’s rough turbulence. But as soon as I get my eye into the viewfinder, I completely forget about all of that. I completely relax.

I assume you’re strapped in.
I’m always harnessed in and sort of…hanging out of the chopper. I shoot while my wife, Jessica Jensen, is in the front seat of the helicopter watching Capture Pilot, which is an app that links my camera to an iPhone or iPad. Since there’s a lot of vibration and pressure from the rotors, it’s hard for me to tell if the shot is in focus. We have headsets on to communicate, and she says things like, “No, do another pass, this one was out of focus,” while I look at the technical aspects: camera settings, the composition of the photo. I also give the pilot a focal point to circle around and tell him, “Out 50 metres, down 10 metres.”

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It’s All There II. Sydney, Australia.

What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Phase One camera. It’s 100 megapixels, and it’s attached to a gyroscope so it’s stabilized while I’m in the air. I have extra batteries and lenses, but that’s it. My copter of choice is called the Robinson 44. It’s a small machine compared to some, but it suits my needs perfectly: it’s stable and affordable—about $1,000 per hour. As you get to bigger and bigger machines, the prices are astronomical. Getting permits and flying across the world can get very expensive, you know? On average, a trip costs about $10,000.

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Hanauma Bay I. Hanauma Bay, Hawaii.

Does weather ever get in your way?
There are a lot of environmental things to worry about—the wind, for example, can push the helicopter sideways—but I’ve been very fortunate with weather. I’ve never had to cancel a shoot because of it. Once, though, when I was in Hawaii, I wanted to shoot a stretch of beaches (above). A strange wind came in from a certain direction, so they had to change the main airport’s flight path to right over my area. We didn’t get cleared to fly until the very last day I was there. For the whole time, I was thinking, “Oh, geez. I came all the way to Hawaii for this!”

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Swimmers of Rio I. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Now that you’ve shot so many beaches, do you remember them all individually or do they blend together?
Each piece is different: the water colour is different, the waves are different. For example, I love the waves in Rio de Janeiro (above)—they made the texture of the photo so whimsical.

Melting Away. Algarve, Portugal.

Some of your photos have a wispiness and a watercolour-like blend of pastels. Are they altered?
They’re slightly altered, which comes from my past shooting with Polaroid film. Polaroid film is extremely soft, and the colour palette is very similar to these images. I tried to duplicate that feel with these shots.

What’s the story behind the shots that you take from the ground?
They actually came first and evolved into the aerial shots. But nowadays, when I’m up there, I’m location scouting: I point out areas that I want to check out on the ground.

While we’re on the ground photos, what’s with the polka dots?
That was just a playful, tongue-in-cheek reference to Damien Hirst’s polka dots. I was intrigued by them, and I wanted to add a graphic element to the work. The dots dance through the image; it just adds a little hint of something otherworldly.

Has taking these photos changed your relationship with beaches?
I still get the same feelings from them. When I’m there, it brings back happy memories and simpler times, and I get to relax. When I make the large prints and see them, it immediately calms me down.

So you’re not bored yet?
I often get asked, “Are you going to continue to shoot beaches?” I don’t know. Time will tell. As long as I’m still inspired by beaches and can find new ways to shoot them, I will.

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Joshua Jensen-Nagle / Modus Art Gallery

MARTIN WHATSON / MODUS GALLERY

STREET ART AVENUE: NUART FESTIVAL, STAVANGER

Martin Whatson / Modus Gallery

Début septembre, l’artiste norvégien Martin Whatson réalisait deux oeuvres pour le festival Nuart à Stavanger, en Norvège.

L’un des deux murs peints par Martin Whatson représente une danseuse en mouvement, dont la robe colorée faite de graffitis et de tags, fidèle au style singulier de cet artiste qui combine les techniques du pochoir photo-réaliste et du tag vandale.

Avec une troisième participation consécutive, Martin Whatson est un habitué de l’un des plus anciens festivals d’art urbain. Crée en 2001, le «Nuart» est pleinement dédié au street art depuis 2005 et réunit chaque année une line-up sélective et prestigieuse avec les plus grands artistes internationaux.

http://www.street-art-avenue.com/2015/09/martin-whatson-nuart-festival-2015-stavanger-12308

photos :
© Martin Whatson via www.facebook.com/martinwhatson84)
© Jaime Rojo (Brooklyn Street Art)
© Ian Cox via le site du festival www.nuartfestival.no

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Martin Whatson / Modus Art Gallery