URBAN ART ICONS, CHAPTER II

Within the exhibition "Urban Art Icons", we approach today the work of Faile, Perishable Rush, Mr Brainwash and Okuda San Miguel. These artists offer a particular vision of the referents of our environment, by setting multidisciplinary works that feed on different styles and aesthetics. An example of the fusion capacity of this artistic language that puts in common colour, Pop Art and graffiti.

FAILE

The phonetics of the name "FAIL" should not lead us to wrong ideas about the impulse that drives these artists who hide behind that pseudonym: Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. Both settled in Brooklyn, their collaborative work is characterized by the appropriation of iconic elements of our society and their multidisciplinary reinterpretation, using techniques that draw on collage, the aesthetics of the comic and the colour palette of the late 80's. In their work, there is a clear evolution towards more ambitious projects connected to the urban space. They have worked more plastic proposals, risking with the choice of supports (works on wood, boxes of packaging, construction pallets ...), as well as materials more adapted to the market demand, in which to put into practice their expertise as teachers of the printing and work with ink.

These characteristic features are evident in works like "NYC You and Me" or "Subway tags", where the presence of the comic as an aesthetic reference is very intense. In their artworks, there is no shortage of written messages and self-references. In fact, much of the meaning of their proposals is concentrated in the texts and phrases incorporated into the works. Some of their most recent interventions "Temple" in Lisbon, where an old ruined church was invaded with maxims of social denunciation, and other public works commissioned that came next, as "The Wolf Within" in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) or "Les Ballets", at Lincoln Center in New York. In the last five years, they have made numerous exhibitions in galleries, with work formats adapted to other dimensions, while reserving the large installations for the public space.

Faile

Palette NYC You and Me, 2014

Acrylic and ink on wood and steel frame

51 x 30cm

Faile

Palette Subway tags, 2014

Acrylic and ink on wood and steel frame

25.5 x 30cm

Faile

Palette Going bach to Dallas, 2014

Acrylic and ink on wood and steel frame

51 x 30cm

PERISHABLE RUSH

The most recurrent themes in the work of Perishable Rush have to do with banality, aggression, war, anonymity, commerce and the vulgarity of current media. Rush uses in his collages images of comics, photography, advertisements and slogans, which he transforms to generate new images and meanings, representing this way his own reality.

The work by this Dutch urban artist is basically composed of two conceptual typologies: "The Ski Masks with Urban Camouflage", pieces that he builds from pieces of paper that the artist finds in the streets of Amsterdam and that he mixes with silkscreens, magazines and comics. In the silhouette of a ski mask, these fragments stick together setting up a pattern of urban camouflage. The ski masks symbolise the current struggles around the world, and in his portraits, Perishable Rush represents, in a simplified way through lines and on a background composed of scratched silkscreens, personal heroes and famous personalities from the world of art, music and the cinema.

Perishable Rush

Miss Barcelona, 2016

Mixed media

175 x 175cm

Perishable Rush

Rusty Girl, 2015

Mixed media

59.5 x 42.5cm

Perishable Rush

Broken Star, 2016

Mixed media

118.5 x 84.5cm

MR BRAINWASH

Thierry Guetta, the artist who hides behind the pseudonym Mr Brainwash, owes much of his fame to another of the greats of urban art, Banksy. After having starred in the fake documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop", a feature film directed by the British artist who narrates a very personalist vision of the evolution of Pop Art and street art in the contemporary sphere, Thierry leapt to the world of creation. This collaboration was the beginning of an intense creative project with which Mr Brainwash, a sort of spin-off of this documentary, was born as an artist.

His work brings together many references of our consumer society, particularly known in the North American market, with which he reinterprets some of the great artistic styles of the last decades of the 20th century. An updated review of the most classic Pop Art fused with mural painting in its most expressionistic side. The unmistakable icons that one day made history with the transgressive proposals of Warhol, in pieces like "Diamond Girl Gold" or "Tomato Spray", coexist with works in which homage is paid to the artists who serve him as a reference, like in "Andy Warhol" or "Samo is Alive". A conscious building up of the artistic myth, the meta-creation of referents, the art within the art over the most genuine pollockian graffiti of Basquiat.

Mr. Brainwash

Tomato Spray, 2016

Mixed media on paper

127 x 96cm

Mr. Brainwash

Tomato Soup, 2017

Mixed media on recycled cardboard

102 x 60cm

OKUDA SAN MIGUEL

The Urban work of Okuda San Miguel is characterized by its multicoloured geometric graphics, it reflects on existentialism, anti-capitalism, environmental destruction, loneliness and false happiness. In the iconographic language of Okuda, we find symbols, headless figures, grey bodies, animals and giant heads. Pop art, cinema, fashion, and the light and colour of other cultures are a source of inspiration both in their street interventions and in their studio works. Its polyhedral structures (circles, triangles and rhombuses), present in works such as "Refugee 18 IV" or "Women of the World" combined with a strong polychromy, make Okuda's work can be classified within pop surrealism.

The multidisciplinary production of Okuda goes from the wall, the canvas and the sculpture to the embroidery, invites the viewer to rethink some issues such as the false freedom of capitalism or the meaning of life. His colourful work has crossed the Spanish borders and many cities have murals, buildings and intervened buildings signed by this spray master, from the United States to Morocco, Taiwan, Italy or France.

Okuda San Miguel

Window Eye, 2018

Synthetic enamel on wood

40 x 40cm

|354:150

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.