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GRAINS OF WRATH
September 12 – October 10, 2009
Vernissage: September 11th from 19h (7pm)
WILDE Gallery is pleased to announce Grains of Wrath, an exhibition of new paintings by Berlin-based artist PISA73. Alluding to John Steinbeck's masterpiece, Grapes of Wrath, this new body of work represents a formal departure from the artist's previous practice, while continuing his critique of institutional and corporate authority and its traditional misuse of power.
Drawing primarily on the events of Walpurgnisnacht at the end of April each year, when riots commonly erupt in Berlin, PISA73's latest series of work depicts moments of unmitigated aggression between police and protesters, but does so with a pervading stillness, a disconcerting calm, that undermines the chaos that these subjects suggest. These fleeting images depict the transgressions of public disobedience, but are rendered quietly in elusive scenes that only reveal themselves upon careful reflection and meditation.
Having originally gained notoriety as a prominent graffiti writer and stencil artist, PISA73's antagonistic perception of power structures has proved a recurring theme in his work. The artist's prior use of iconic brands, political figures and repositioned parodies has now been replaced by a more introspective view, which negotiates the barely-visible subjects portrayed. Here, PISA73's artistic approach displays a rift between the absolute minimal amount of visual information supplied and the all-encompassing political and social connotations of his raw subject matter. Introspective in their pacifism, these paintings offer a promise of violence that is, quite often, more terrifying than violence itself. The body of work as a whole testifies to the spectacle of secular demonstration, the flawed romanticism of futile anarchy and the polarizing theater of modern-day dissent.
This series of work breaks with traditional stencil techniques, such as bi-tonal shapes and flattened color panes, and instead explores the aesthetic of Pointillism. Once considered radical, Pointillism has since been utterly canonized by greeting card sentimentality; however, PISA73's contemporary reclaiming of this process, as well as his use of grains to depict landscapes of urban unrest, injects a new renegade spirit into an otherwise evacuated style of painting.
PISA73 has been a prolific contributor to the urban art scene for the past two decades, working with multiple crews in a variety of mediums ranging from stickers and paste-ups to stencils and tags. He has been included in numerous surveys on Street Art, such as Urban Illustration: Street Art City Guide, Berlin City Language and Graffiti World, and has been exhibited alongside artists such as Swoon, Shepard Fairey, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. His work was recently acquired by the Ulmer Museum, Germany and his works are represented in numerous collections in Europe and America.
PISA73's work will be featured in the forthcoming book, The Street Art Anthology, by Magda Danysz. Grains of Wrath is accompanied by a monograph catalogue, published by WILDE Gallery on the occasion of the exhibition. The electronic version of the catalogue can be downloaded by clicking here. (ca. 1,8MB)
For more information or to obtain high-resolution images for print or press purposes, please contact Gallery Manager Emilie Trice at email@example.com
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