All posts tagged: Usugrow

Layer Cake Bring Their “Versus Project” to UN

Layer Cake Bring Their “Versus Project” to UN

The brilliant Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark (C100) have been at the graffiti/street art/contemporary art nexus for much of the last decade, delineating the boundaries, and then artfully shifting them.

A multi-year project now welcoming guests at Urban Nation’s Special Projects space in Berlin reveals the imprecision of terminologies and commonly-used nomenclature in this period of hyper-hybridization.

Mick La Rock/Aileen Middel VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

When you consider the volley of influences that bounce and collide on metro cars and street walls and digital screens these days, it makes sense to describe the experimentation now afoot as a dialogue. As the Munich-based duo called Layer Cake, the two artists have been doing exactly that with one another’s art for a half dozen years.

“One begins to paint, the other reacts,” say Hartl and Hundertmark in their recent interview for the UN website. “Thus (we) conduct an artistic dialogue. The marker asks a question, the paint can answers, the brush completes or provokes,” they say, “until both artists agree that the mural is finished.”

It is not an automatic process for graffiti writers to create work this way; as one of the basic tenets of the street, you don’t go over someone else’s work unless you mean to show disrespect or provoke a battle.

Drawing upon an eclectic selection of participants with experience on the street, the two act as curators of the new show called ‘Versus’. The rules are similar to their personal practice – produce a collaborative piece with another artist whose style and references may not match yours directly – with each contributor agreeing when the piece is complete.

The clashing and crashing can be seen on the canvass as each new addition rebalances the abstraction, and not everyone was sure it would work.

Bisco Smith VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

Artist Flavien Demarigny hesitated to participate versus Layer Cake because he wasn’t sure if he could work with their style that often incorporates calligraffiti techniques, he says. “As it is a major ingredient of Layer Cake‘s visual language I wasn’t sure if I was the right fit for it,” he says in a Facebook post.

“Then I remembered this is precisely what collaborations are about: pushing your limits, opening your perception, and create together new horizons. As a result, we started three collaborative pieces and one came out fantastic, which we decided to present in this show. Their choice of sticking to the repetitive pattern of my style was the wise one, so the two vocabularies can interact, as accidents make it unexpected and create the poetry of it.”

Dave The Chimp VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

With 13 different artists passing canvasses back and forth – each adding and subtracting, obliterating and augmenting, they say that at the root of the process was a rule not to consult, but rather, react.

The results fairly wrestle under the constraints, each cutting forward, marking and gesturing and claiming space on the canvass. These works illustrate the tension you may associate with the harshly pounding street in cities, sometimes still glittering insistently despite the struggle.  

Usugrow VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

“It is not easy to make an intervention in someone else’s painting,” says graffiti style-writing veteran Mick La Rock of her ingrained hesitancy during the art-making process. “You want to avoid taking the painting over and make it your own style. Every part I added to the painting was thought over at least ten times before painting it,” she says in an interview for the show.

On view in the Special Projects room near the museum, “Versus” is a sharp reminder of the community that joins together on walls and surfaces all over the world. Each style challenges the one next to it, sometimes holds it accountable, other times revealing its true nature. The curators say “The Versus Project is an artistic experiment in communication, challenging dialogue, the struggle for a final form.”

Chaz Bojorquez VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Wandal VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Flavien VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:

Layer Cake (Patrick Hartl und Christian Hundertmark aka C100), Chaz Bojorquez (Los Angeles / US), Mick La Rock / Aileen Middel (Amsterdam / NL), Sebastian Wandl (München / DE), Dave the Chimp (Berlin / DE), Bisco Smith (New York / US), Vincent Abadie Hafez (Zepha) (Toulouse / FR), Formula 76 (Hamburg / DE), Usugrow (Tokio / JP), Bust (Basel / CH), Jake (Amsterdam / NL), Egs (Helsinki / FI), Imaone (Tokio / JP) und Flavien (Apt / FR).

“The Versus Project” curated by Layer Cake is currently open to the general public at the Urban Nation Project Space. The exhibition will be on view until December 31, 2021. Click HERE to find more information about the exhibition, Covid protocols, and schedule.

Project space of the URBAN NATION Museum, Bülowstrasse 97, 10783 Berlin

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“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

Niels Shoe Meulman on the cover of The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

“Writing”, as in the graffiti sense of the word, has become quite tastefully adventurous of late, as calligraffiti pushes and pulls it in height, dimension, finesse. Evolved from our first recorded history, the modern stylizing of the letter form is as fascinating and wild as it is domesticated, the mundanity of your particular tag now veritably swimming in many depths and swirling currents, weaving complex melodies, hitting notes previously unheard.

JonOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

This was inevitable, now that you think of it, this organic and ornate practice of making your mark, and the freedom to explore it came from the street. Mark-making indeed. You can call it “The Art of Writing Your Name,” as have the authors/artists Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl.

Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.

Poesia The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Graff writers in the mid 90s Munich scene, both had developed their individual styles beyond the classic street vocabulary, now evermore interested in discovering new materials, forms, processes, influences. Just released this summer, this new collection confidently illustrates what until now may have been evident to only a few; the aesthetics of writing have expanded and permutated far beyond their own roots in graffiti, tattoo, traditional calligraphy.

“Every artist brings a different approach with their calligraphy artwork,” says perhaps the most prominent of the genre today, Niels Shoe Meulman, who blazed into the publishing world with his tome “Calligraffiti” in 2010 after bringing his practice to the street and gallery. “We all come from different experiences and have different things to say.”

SheOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Indeed the list here includes the literal interpretations to those so far dissembled as to appear purely abstract, the aerosoled, the inked, the drippy, the purely light, the monstrously brushed acrossed floors and rooftops, the molded and bent and aroused into sculpture. Here the letter form is stretched to its limits, far beyond its relevance as part of codified language, more so the malleable warm putty in the hands of the artist, molded and mounted and even mystifying in the service of energy, kineticism, emotion.

“I start with quite randomly placed fat cap tags on the white surface,” says German author/artist Hartl to describe his particular technique, “then I overpaint it like 80% with slightly transparent paint, tag the wall with markers, overpaint that layer again, then I do stickers and posters, rip parts off again, repeat all these steps again and again until I’m happy with the result.”

Said Dokins The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Without doubt many will find inspiration in these nearly 300 pages, these insightful interviews with artists like Stohead, Usugrow, Saber, Kryptic, Faust, Carlos Mare, L’Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Poesia, Tilt; the forward by Chaz Bojorquez, the singular, at times stunning, photos and supportive texts.

Made for “graffiti fanatics, hand lettering fans, street art junkies, calligraphy lovers, and type enthusiasts”, co-author Christian Hundertmark edited the respected “Art of Rebellion” series and he knows his audience and this slice of his culture. The 36 artists are not the only ones representing this evolution in calligraphy, but they are certainly some of the finest.

Lek & Sowat The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

L’Atlas The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Tilt The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Carlos Mare The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Faust The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.


The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Artists included are Chaz Bojorquez, JonOne, Niels Shoe Meulman, Poesia, Cryptik, SheOne, Said Dokins, Stohead, Usugrow, Patrick Hartl, Lek & Sowat, L’Atlas, Tanc, Mayonaize, Soklak, Mami, Tilt, Blaqk, Soemone, Jan Koke, Jun Inoue, Vincent Abdie Hafez / Zepha, Carlos Mare, Egs, Simon Silaidis, Faust, Luca Barcellona, Bisco Smith, Creepy Mouse, Defer, eL Seed, Rafael Sliks, Saber, Pokras Lampas.

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Stolen Space Gallery Presents: “Write & Repeat” Group Exhibition. (London, UK)

‘Write & Repeat’ Group show
21.02.13 – 10.03.13

A visually compelling show formed solely from text and pattern based pieces, Write and Repeat is a modern exploration of the two much celebrated forms.

Patterns are all around us. The repetition of shapes and colours form our environment, our natural and manmade landscapes. Even the landscape of our minds are built upon patterns and repetition; the habits and rituals, the ‘rites’ that we perpetuate.

 The use of text in art has drastically evolved over time, and has been used as a purely visual element, as a more direct form of artistic expression, a political tool, and as an art form in its own right. From blatant slogans to seemingly meaningless shapes, text in art offers a unique opportunity for expression.
By combining the two exclusively, we hope to create a visually and mentally captivating collection for January 2013.
Featuring:
Arth Daniels, Charlie Anderson, Chloe early, Cyrcle, D*Face, David Bray, Eelus, EINE, Hayden Kays, Jim Houser, Josie Morway, Julie Impens, Kai & Sunny, Lucas (Cyclops), Maya Hayuk, Mobstr, Nylon, Pete Fowler, Ryca, Sylvia Ji, Shepard Fairey, Tilt, Usugrow, Will Barras, Word To Mother and more.
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Me Collectors Room Berlin Presents: “At Home I’m A Tourist” The Collection of Selim Varol (Berlin, Germany)

Selim Varol

“my collection, that’s me –
my childhood, my friends, my heroes, my role models, what i enjoy, what moves me. pictures from my journey: ‘at home i’m a tourist’” (Selim Varol)

From 26 May to 16 September 2012, me Collectors Room Berlin will be presenting the collection of Selim Varol. The exhibition will thus mark a return to an essential leitmotif of the foundation: the theme of collecting and the passion of the collector. The 39-year-old collector from Düsseldorf with Turkish roots has been collecting toys since his childhood and owns one of the largest collections of figurines in Europe, numbering some 15,000 pieces. A further focus of his collection lies in works by artists who trace their origins back to street art and ‘Pop Surrealism’. One characteristic shared by all the works in this collection is the close link between art and the everyday, as well as their often playful and humorous or subversive character.

The world of toys, most of which are produced in Asia, is a world full of plastic and vinyl. The figurines are detailed miniature sculptures that have variously emerged from the imaginations of contemporary urban artists and designers, or from politics and current events (Andy Warhol, Fidel Castro, Hitler), the dream factory of the film industry (Batman, Superman, Rambo and many others) or comics and manga. Many works in this collection are well-known due to their presence in public spaces. Shepard Fairey helped create a groundswell for Barack Obama with his iconic ‘HOPE’ poster during the United States presidential race in 2008. And JR, the current TED Prize winner, attracted international attention in 2008 with his film ‘28 millimètres: Women Are Heroes’ in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where he mounted giant images of female residents on the façades of houses in order to raise awareness about their life stories and give these women a voice. The New York artist KAWS (Brian Donnelly) is another artist who has exerted a major influence on Selim Varol’s collection, with Varol’s first acquisition of his work in 1999. KAWS first made a name for himself in 1998 with his alienated images on bus stops, phone boxes and billboards (for instance the ‘Christy Turlington Calvin Klein Ad Disruption’). He is represented in this

exhibition with more than 160 works. The exhibition includes a total of 3,000 works by more than 200 artists & designers from over 20 countries.

Plans are under way to enable artists involved in the exhibition to paint or paste designated facades in the area around the venue.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive catalogue of the collection that will include a text by Jeffrey Deitch.

Events:

Saturdays, 3 p.m.: Public guided tour

01.06.2012, 6.30 p.m.: Expert talk with Selim Varol

September: Reading with Autonama & Participation in “Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin”

Children’s Programme: For schools and kindergartens (upon agreement); scavenger hunt (anytime)

Pop-Up Shop: In collaboration with Toykio, a selection of designer toys and exclusive editions will also be on offer in our shop.

Prior registration is required for all events. Programme details are available on our website: www.me-berlin.com

List of artists:

123Klan, Rita Ackermann, Adam5100, Chiho Aoshima, Giorgio Armani, Suki Bamboo, Banksy, Garry Baseman, Bäst, Beast Brothers, Beejoir, Andrew Bell, Biff, Bigfoot one, Tim Biskup, Blek le Rat, Blu, Bob Dob, Bountyhunter, Randy Bowen, Brin Berliner, Bshit, Buffmonster, Milton Burkhart, Thomas Campbell, Case, James Cauty, Mori Chack, Henry Chalfant, Chip Kidd, David Choe, Luke Chueh, Coarse, Martha Cooper, Harmony Corine, Matias Corral, Robert Crumb, Dalek, Date Farmers, Dehara, Delta, Devilrobots, Dface, DJ Shadow, Dolce & Gabbana, Dolk, Doma Dr.Romanelli, Dran, Dust, Tristan Eaton, Eelus, Ben Eine, El Mac, Ron English, F.C .Ware, Fafi, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Ferg, Jeremy Fish, Florian Flatau, Sam Flores, Flying Fortress, Pete Fowler, Glen E. Friedman, Friends with you, Phil Frost, Daniel & Geo Fuchs, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Futura, Rene Gagnon, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Huck Gee, Os Gemeos, Doze Green, Sadi Güran, Eric Haze, Evan Hecox, Herakut, Jean-Louis Dumas Hermes, Jamie Hewlett, Damien Hirst, David Horvath, David Horvath & Sun-Min Kim, Marc Jacobs, Todd James, Jamungo, James Jarvis, Oliver Jeffers, JR, Nathan Jurevicius, Alex Katz, Rei Kawakubo, Audrey Kawasaki, KAWS, Peter Kennard, Josh Keyes, K-Guy, Margaret Kilgallen, Dave Kinsey, Jeff Koons, Frank Kozik, Charles Kraft, Curtis Kulig, Kurt Vonneggut & Joe Petro III, Christian Lacroix, Lady Aiko, Karl Lagerfeld, Helmut Lang, Michael Lau, Joe Ledbetter, Karin Lehmann, Matt Leines, Michael Leon, Paul Leung, Anthony Lister, Livingroom Johnston, London Police, Robert Longo, Lunartik, MAD*L, Herman Makkink, Mantis, Martin Margiela, Marok, Mars 1, Ben Mathis, Barry Mcgee, Lucy McLauchlan, Bill Mcmullen, Dennis Mcnett, Tara McPherson, Alexander McQueen, Eugenio Merino, Mexxer, Anthony Micallef, Donny Miller, Miss Bugs, Miss Van, Mist, Brendan Monroe, Polly Morgan, Mr. Clement, Takashi Murakami, Scott Musgrowe, Muttpop, Yositomo Nara, Caleb Neelon, Nigo, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Steve Olsen, Katsushiro Otomo, Tony Oursler, Jose Parla, Paul Insect, Marion Peck, Perks & Mini, Stefano Pilati, Ricky Powell, Miuccia Prada, Rob Pruit, Pure Evil, Pushead, Oliver Räke, Jamie Reid, Retna, Terry Richardson, Rocketworld, Jermaine Rogers, Rolitoboy, Ryca, Mark Ryden, Saber, Erick Scarecrow, Todd Schorr, Semper Fi, Since, Jason Siu, Sket-one, Skewville, Skullphone, Hedi Slimane, PaulSmith, Hajime Sorayama, Jeff Soto, Space Invader, Spanky, SPQR, SSUR, Jeff Staple, Stash, Static, Tyler Stout, Stefan Strumbel, Suckadelic, Superdeux, Judith Supine, Swoon, Tado, Gary Taxali, Osamu Tezuka, Tilt, Tokidoki, Touma, Tim Tsui, Nasan Tur, Unkl, Urban Medium, Usugrow, Valentino, Gee Vaucher, Mark Dean Veca, Donatella Versace, Viktor & Rolf, Amanda Visell, Nick Walker, Vivienne Westwood, Dondi White, Kehinde Wiley, WK interact, Jim Woodring, Word to Mother, Bubi Au Yeung, Zevs

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