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

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.