The vibrant margins of cities around the globe have long echoed with the silent yet visually boisterous language of graffiti. For artists and graffiti writers, these urban practices and canvases are sacred, bound by several unspoken codes that regulate the street, and may vary somewhat from country to country, city to city. One that is universal: you do not “go over” or paint atop another’s work unless you intend a deliberate provocation.
Yet, Munich-based graffiti veterans Patrick Hartl and Christian “C100” Hundertmark, known collectively as Layer Cake, dare to challenge this rule in a groundbreaking collaborative project titled “Versus”. Presenting the fourth iteration of this show at the Subliminal Projects Gallery in Los Angeles, the “Versus IV” exhibition features a brand new roster of collaborations. It is a testament to the boundless possibilities when artists embrace challenge, change, and true collaboration.
Layer Cake’s audacious process commenced in their Munich studio during the last decade or so. They initiated canvases, leaving them deliberately unfinished before shipping them to various artists worldwide. These artists, in an act of trust and faith and an urge to collaborate, completed the paintings without prior discussion of details with Layer Cake. In some instances, this exchange occurred multiple times, spanning up to two years. The artworks emerged as stunning mosaics or hand style and eclectic modernism, a synthesis of diverse visual languages, methodologies, and ideas – a reflection of the artists’ non-verbal dialogues with one another as well as their introspections on personal boundaries.
The Versus project gathers a mosaic of artists, from Hera to MadC to Rocco and His Brothers to “Chaz” Bojórquez and Shepard Fairey, united by a fervent passion for style writing, street art, and graffiti. Each artist brings their distinct style to the canvas and in doing so, contributes to a diverse spectrum that blurs the lines between individual contribution and collective creation. These works aren’t just paintings; they’re conversations, layered dialogues that traverse geographical and artistic divides, embodying a unique intersection of graffiti and contemporary art.
Hartl and Hundertmark, despite being rooted in the world of graffiti, have constantly evolved their artistic expressions. Their collaborative moniker, “Layer Cake,” perfectly encapsulates their artistic ethos. Like a lush multi-tiered confection, theirs is a collection of artworks that is infused with depth – from Patrick’s writing elements juxtaposed against Christian’s hard-edged abstract forms. This joint effort, as they remark, challenges artists to confront an existing work rather than the pristine white of a blank canvas, pushing them out of their comfort zones and into new horizons.
For the uninitiated and the aficionados alike, “Versus: IV” at Subliminal Projects is more than an exhibition; It’s an invitation into a realm where graffiti’s age-old traditions meet the revolutionary ethos of contemporary art. It re-defines visual and psychological spaces where boundaries, both inner and outer, are tested and where creativity resists limits. Layer Cake’s initiative doesn’t just question the norms of the graffiti world; it celebrates the transformative power of collaboration in art.
BSA/Urban Nation’s Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo saw the new works going up at Subliminal Projects yesterday, with Layer Cake leading the way. Please join us all Saturday night with artist and host Shepard Fairey and graffiti godfather “Chaz” Bojórquez for a panel discussion and a grand opening for Layer Cake: Versus IV.
Join us Saturday, September 16th, 6-7 PM for the Opening Reception. To kick off the reception, the gallery will host a special Artist Talk at 6:15 PM with Layer Cake, featuring contributing artists Shepard Fairey (@obeygiant) and Chaz Bojórquez (@chaz_bojorquez), moderated by Steven P. Harrington co-founder of Brooklyn Street Art (@bkstreetart). RSVP to email@example.com to attend. This exhibition is made possible with support from OBEY GIANT ART & URBAN NATION MUSEUM
AKTE ONE, Bond Truluv, Carolina Falkholt, Chaz Bojórquez, Cren, CRYPTIK, Dave The Chimp, Flying Förtress, Formula76, HERA, HNRX, Layer Cake, MadC, MAMBO (Flavien Demarigny), Matthias Edlinger, Łukasz Habiera Nawer, Peter “Paid” Levine, Rocco & His Brothers, Shepard Fairey, Various and Gould, and Zepha (Vincent Abadie Hafez).
Click HERE for more information about this exhibition and Art Talk.
1331 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90026