press release
An Exhibition of Original Artwork by MEAR ONE, KOFIE, and RETNA.
OCTOBER 16 – NOVEMBER 13, 2010
Amsterdam - Willem Kerseboom Gallery, in collaboration with the L.A. ART MACHINE, is proud to announce the opening of Op Straat an exhibition of original artwork by legendary Los Angeles street artists, MEAR ONE, KOFIE, and RETNA.
This landmark exhibition marks the first time that these celebrated contemporary artists have exhibited together in Holland, bringing the unique and diverse visual language of California street art to Northern Europe.
Since the rise of urban art in the U.S. in the 1970’s, California artists have been at the vanguard of a new visual language that both defines and describes the contemporary urban experience and the environs of the West Coast metropolis.
All self-taught, these three artists elevate the subversive arts from the streets to established fine art venues, further challenging gallery and museum paradigms and establishing a new artistic vocabulary that is fresh, compelling, and unpredictable.
Op Straat, opens at Willem Kerseboom Gallery on October 16, from 16.00-18.00, and runs through November 13, 2010. Please join us for this exciting moment in contemporary art history.
Includes a special viewing of the monumental murals created during the Vox Humana live art installation at VOLTA 6 in Basel 2010, as featured on the Huffington Post, Juxtapoz, and Arrested Motion.
Opening: October 16, 2010 7-9 PM.
Location: Willem Kerseboom Gallery
Leidsegracht 38-40 1016 CM
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contact: info@kerseboom.com
T +31(0)6 53512379
Mear One is a Los Angeles-based fine artist, famously known for his often-political street art. A true virtuoso, Mear One’s visual language often pits humanity against dominant corporate and political power structures, where innocence, creativity, and truth prevail under and the most oppressive circumstances. The artist, through his paintings, encourages the viewer to stand up, ask questions, and subvert the pernicious agents of control affecting modern life around the globe.
Mear One is often associated with CBS (Can't Be Stopped -- City Bomb Squad) and WCA (West Coast Artist) crews. As a graphic designer, Mear One has designed apparel for Conart, Kaotic, as well as his own Reform brand. Mear One has done album covers for artists like Freestyle Fellowship, Alien Nation, Limp Bizkit, Busdriver and Daddy Kev. In 2004, Mear One joined artists Shepard Fairey and Robbie Conal to create a series of "anti-war, anti-Bush" posters for a street art campaign called "Be the Revolution" for the art collective Post Gen. As a famed L.A. street artist and prolific graffiti writer for over 20 years his partners have included Kofie, Skate One, Az Rock, Tren, Item, Anger, Yem, and Cisco.
Augustine Kofie is a long-time Los Angeles street artist, graphic designer, clothing designer and fine artist recognized for his unique architectural, geometric, mixed-media style that he refers to as "Vintage Futurism." This brand of artwork has appeared throughout the streets of LA as well as on fine furniture, CDs, and clothing. Kofie has exhibited widely and is know for his involvement with the UTI Crew in Los Angeles. His artwork reflects a patient artist interested in the subtleties of line color and composition while carrying forward elements of recent art history and contemporary urban aesthetics.
Retna was born in Los Angeles, California in 1979. Since first creating a name for himself in the early 1990s, Retna has become an "eternal broadcaster" of sorts, shining a light to the kinetic urban soul of Los Angeles. The name RETNA itself evokes the timeless power, movement and visual vibrancy behind the artist's acclaimed work. His work merges photography with graffiti style and paint, time with color, couture with street culture, the spiritual with the sensual, and fluidity with grit. Whether his paintings hang in a gallery or wall on the streets of Los Angeles, they serve as a retina through which we view the urban journal of contemporary art.
At an early age, Retna was introduced to L.A.'s mural culture. While still in high school, he led one of the largest and most innovative graffiti art collectives the city has witnessed. He is perhaps best known for appropriating fashion advertisements and amplifying them with his unique layering, intricate line work, text-based style and incandescent color palette reflecting an eclectic artistic tradition. RETNA became just as notorious for his ornate painting technique as his timeless style: he used paintbrushes mixed with the traditional spray can. Many of his pieces synthesize the line between fine art and graffiti, between power and opposition, between tradition and advancement.