VISIONARY REALMS

Group exhibition
May 25 – August 31, 2024

Fabien Castanier Gallery and Laurent Marthaler Contemporary are proud to present, “VISIONARY REALMS”, a group exhibition featuring work from internationally renowned contemporary artists: Miaz Brothers, Jan Kaláb, Doze Green, VHILS, TILT, Tamara Alves, RERO, Speedy Graphito, Daniel Allen Cohen, Carlos Jorge, JonOne, Simon Berger, J.Demsky, ADD FUEL, Seleka Muñoz, and Michael Swaney. Each artist presents their unique perspective with work that continues to elevate today’s discourse, breaking boundaries with new and thought-provoking aesthetics and themes. Through various iterations of abstraction, pop, text, and portraiture, “VISIONARY REALMS” encourages a journey through a kaleidoscope of expression and invites the viewer to engage with some of the most cutting-edge and transformative image-makers of today’s evolving cultural landscape.

This group exhibition, co-curated by Fabien Castanier and Laurent Marthaler, highlights artists who will present their most formative work together for the first time. During this summer’s group exhibition in Miami’s thriving art scene, the gallery will come alive with pieces that speak to a variety of motifs and diverse styles. Through painting, mixed-media, and alternative sculptural renderings, “VISIONARY REALMS” summons the audience to engage with an innovative and compelling world of our artists’ imaginations. Join the gallery for this celebration of their vibrant creativity, as they create narratives of intrigue and impactful visual explorations in an immersive exhibition.

The Miaz Brothers (b. 1965/1968, Italy) present a radical new take on portraiture. The Italian sibling duo create large-format canvases using aerosol paint, rendering ethereal portraits that explore the space between one’s perception of the self and that which is intangible. They incorporate a diverse and refreshing range of subjects, including portraits of their friends, their dear departed, philosophers, and figures from the era of the English Restoration.

Jan Kaláb (b. 1978, Czechoslovakia) presents vibrant and dynamic compositions that meld the versatility of his canvas medium with the layered depth of sculpture. Playing with variations in geometry, Kaláb paints on unique canvases of various shapes and combinations. The evolution of his style led to a distillation of abstract ephemeral color and immersive pieces using gradient and light.

Doze Green (b. 1964, U.S.) grew up in New York in the 1970s, and was a Hip-Hop pioneer. A member of the legendary Rock Steady Crew—the group that pioneered breakdancing (also known as B-Boying)—the subway-tagging graffiti artist often participated in breakdance performances at SoHo and Lower East Side galleries. Moving from walls to canvas, he incorporates his signature style of figurative abstraction and use of letterforms while at the same time posing metaphysical questions about the nature of narrative, the physics of time, and the possibility of immortality.

Alexandre Farto has been interacting visually with the urban environment under the name of Vhils (b. 1987, Portugal) since his days as a prolific graffiti writer in the early-to-mid 2000s. His groundbreaking bas-relief carving technique has been hailed as one of the most compelling approaches to art created in the streets in the last decade. This striking form of visual poetry, showcased around the world in both indoor and outdoor settings, has been described as brutal and complex, yet imbued with a simplicity that speaks to the core of human emotions.

Recognized internationally as a traditional graffiti artist, Tilt (b. 1973, France) began his practice as a youth on the streets and train cars of Toulouse. His work draws a bridge with the past, incorporating deconstruction, erasure, and raw materials, all with an anti-aesthetic foundation. He continually references the lineage of graffiti art, attempting to evoke memories of this subculture’s rebellious and anarchic past. The work emphasizes the genre’s transience while simultaneously calling upon the layered and complex traditions solidified through years of artists’ practice in both the gallery and the urban sphere.

Tamara Alves (b. 1983, Portugal) is a visual artist and illustrator, currently based in Lisbon. She has always been interested in the kind of work that is inserted into the world, fascinated with the street aesthetic and urban context. Alves has been weaving a narrative that celebrates in a raw, poetic way, the primeval vitality of strong sensations. Based on the idea that our instincts are what defines us, the artist invokes a universe of (female) human and animal figures in interaction with the natural landscape and objects imbued with a strong symbolic charge that invite us to embrace feelings as a wild and untamed driving force.

The work of RERO (b. 1983, France), while instantly recognizable from his distinctive visual style, contains within it an inherent fluidity as he explores myriad social concepts, from technology and consumerism to language and obsolescence. He continually stretches the boundaries of his artistic mediums, often choosing to forego traditional surfaces on which to plant his minimalist statements. RERO’s text, always in the same Verdana font and stripped of any flourish beyond a bold strike-through line, become embedded within the medium, acting as a literal and material addition while simultaneously a marker for deconstruction.

Speedy Graphito (b. 1961, France), recognized internationally as one of the pioneers of the French Street Art movement, presents an artistic universe built on an honest dialogue concerning the role of the image within modern society. Since the inception of his career in the 1980s, his work has dealt with concepts of commercialism, iconography, and pop culture. A student of the renowned School of Art Estienne, he has since cemented his place as one of the most influential figures who emerged from the Parisian urban art scene.

Daniel Allen Cohen (b. 1987, U.S.), a Miami-based artist renowned for his multidisciplinary approach, transforms popular culture into conceptual art. His creations are nuanced reflections of societal values, desires, necessities, and vices, which often find themselves intricately interwoven. Cohen’s mixed-media sculptures deliver humorous cultural commentary on contemporary addictions, creating a discourse around greed, narcissism, and privilege.

Carlos Jorge (b. 1970, Mexico) is a Mexican artist, currently based in Miami, who is most known for his large-scale paintings that display vibrant and exuberant use of color. The artist uses his canvas to express surreal narratives, an exercise of memory, in which pop iconography, fashion, and allusions to Miró and Gauguin collide. With deliberate employment of color and texture, the artist’s abstractions create planes of bright and evocative imagery.

JonOne (b. 1963, U.S.) is one of the most influential urban artists of his generation. He grew up in Harlem, New York, where he discovered the thrill and personal expression found through painting in the streets and on train cars. A critical moment in the history of graffiti occurred during this time in the 1980s, and JonOne chose to transport his New York graffiti roots to the streets of Paris when he was only 20 years old. Establishing his life in France, he has since grown his career and reputation for the past 40 years with a unique style, unparalleled in his genre.

Simon Berger (b. 1976, Switzerland) brings to life visions of striking faces, emerging from panes of glass that he has meticulously broken and manipulated. By crafting such realism within the constraints of a traditionally fragile medium, the artist presents us with a truly unique form of portraiture. Crafted from the once transparent plane are arresting faces in high contrast. As they appear from the shadows, their expressions are intense or contemplative – illusions of ephemeral beauty that suggest an on-going struggle between the everlasting desire for ideal form and the deconstructive nature of time.

J.Demsky (b. 1979, Spain) started his creative journey immersed in the graffiti boom in the early 1990s. Since then, he has been travelling and spraying throughout more than 50 countries, twisting the morphology of his name in multiple, unconventional shapes. Being self-taught, his artistic influences are rooted in the graffiti movement, the fluor era and his current nostalgia around the late 80s and early 90s, He has expanded towards a balanced mix between future and nostalgia, radical creativity and exact sciences, with pieces that invoke retro geometries and a multi-media approach.

As an exploration of different aesthetic possibilities and the juxtaposition of heritage and modernity, ADD FUEL’s (b. 1980, Portugal) work reinterprets the language of traditional tile design, specifically that of the Portuguese tin-glazed ceramic “azulejo”. Historically used as large-scale decoration upon buildings, the Portuguese tile work inhabited a cultural space that contained biblical and mythological references and blended seamlessly with their architecture. Utilizing the complexities and depth offered by this style, ADD FUEL creates multi-layered patterned compositions that produce a poetic rhythm, playing with perception and illusion.

Seleka Muñoz (b. 1982, Spain) began painting at an early age, taking to graffiti on the streets of his native Seville. Considered one of the pioneers of street art in Andalusia, he continues to influence and innovate within his community. His work exemplifies a certain instinctual grasp of abstraction, motion, and eye-catching color that can only be attributed to those who began as graffiti artists. The dedication to the material, while expressing a diversity of textures, creates work that feels alive. The artist utilizes precise and traditional painting techniques along with a free-flowing expressionist style to convey multi-layered compositions that exhibit varied planes of color and pattern.

Michael Swaney (b. 1978, Canada) is a prolific artist living and working in Barcelona, Spain. For nearly twenty years Swaney has been crafting exuberant paintings, works on paper, ceramics and installations with childlike intensity. Swaney’s formalist style hangs in the balance between baroque and manic, and when paired with his technicolor palette and repeated motifs, the culminating visual universe is expansive and rich.

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