Finally, after a long time in the making, I can announce my next exhibition! At a totally new place for me, I might add. Hope that you’re able to visit the place.
Place: HAA Gallery, Suomenlinna fortress.
Rantakasarmi, Suomenlinna C 1
Time: September 29th – October 22nd, 2022.
Vernissage: September 28th, 2022, 17:00-19:00.
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Statement: The most important aspect in graffiti is style, how to differentiate from other practitioners of the field. One needs to be bold, but not too much. Experimenting is a good thing, but only within a strictly limited area. In order to evolve one needs to borrow ideas and be influenced by styles of other artists, but this has to be very subtle. The line between being influenced and copying is a very thin one and one shouldn’t ever cross it intentionally. The only exception to the rule is when more experienced artists teach less experienced ones, helping them on their way to find their own personal style.
This theme and intentionally “blurring” the lines is the very core of the “Who Made Who” exhibition. I started working with this theme since the first corona lockdown in the spring of 2020. When most of the events, exhibitions included, were canceled and everyone had to take care of social distancing, I began to think of ways to somehow cope with this new situation. Self-learning is a very important factor of graffiti culture, so the idea of sharing ideas and learning from each other seemed very reasonable to say the least. And it helped to keep the thoughts off the pandemic. The way to execute graffiti does seem very monotonic to other people, it is seen as a repetitive and rather boring way of self expression. So it is very hard to comprehend how much graffiti writers actually observe even the tiniest changes and variations in the styles of their own creations as well as the paintings by fellow writers.
I approached fellow graffiti artists and asked them to draw Acton-sketches, in their own style. In return I drew sketches from their monikers. This forced both parties to step outside their comfort zone and view letters and type design outside their own moniker and letters familiar to themselves. I began working on the “Who Made Who” exhibition based on the good amount of raw material I received from my colleagues. For two years I painted a lot of canvases and a few walls, some of them being very true to the original sketches although many of them morphed a lot during the process.
So it is very hard to say who made who and whose style is present at that moment. But in the end, does it really matter?