Exploring Somerset House

Venturing Beyond: Graffiti and the everyday Utopias of the street

To venture beyond is to take risks to push yourself physically and to create new ways of thinking about your surroundings and the world. Graffiti is not only a way of vandalism but since it’s start in New York in the 80’s, graffiti writers have progress as artists and they have tried to reach new ways of thinking about space,  life experiences,  adventures and  about the power of the streets and the people.

In this exibithion the somerset house show us a  take on Utopias of the streets , with works from main graffiti and  street art names from around the globe such as Revok, Horphe, Saeio, Risote, Petrol, Sheppard Fairey,  Swoon and others.

In this small exhibition,  spreader around three rooms in the south wing of the somerset gallery , when entering we are confronted straight by a huge florescent wall, full of high visibility vests hanging that were modified by petrol, He created a utopian security such an intelligent way of confronting a dystopia and a Utopia, but a poor methode of presentation which lead me confused to what he pretended with the vests.

By entering in the second room exploring the works of art. Three pieces by Revok caught my attention. Revok is  one of the most prolific american graffiti writers of all time, working in a lot of different mediums now a days,  more focused on installation and sculptures in form of paintings, In his work  he explores colors and geometric shapes in form of a subtil optical Art created from pieces of wood that he collects from abandoned spaces in Detroit which he cuts, paints  and sticks together to form such beautiful compositions.

Other works that caught my attention was when entering the final room,  which was left for french artists such as Horphee and Saeio, both of them have been painting together as individuals for years and being the main names in french graffiti and around the world belongs to a collaborative with  other french writers named the Peace and Love Crew from Paris. These contemporary graffiti writers don’t fall in  the same aesthetics of the usual writer they  created a  characteristic style of painting and illustrative ways they show us in these space a series of paintings and a video featuring Saeio and Risote. that I found being extremely intelligent and mind blowing, these artists explore the aesthetics of the buff in the streets painting in high visible spots and creating the weird and funny almost pointless compositions on walls and many surfaces to contest the buff which this meaning the ways of erasing graffiti off  the streets.

Being a Huge Graffiti and Street Art enthusiast, I have been waiting for ages to see in person the work of these artists that I follow for years, I fully recommend this Exhibition due to his content being innovative and different and presented in such a prestige gallery like the somerset house.

Questioning laws and breaking boundaries in visual communication, Being innovative and brave, pushing yourself to the limit and not carrying about stereotypes, this exibithion shows that creation and venturing come together perfectly.

Revok-Painting-Geometric         Saeyo-Rizot-Nolens-Volens-511

Revok                                                                    Rizote / Saeio