Axel Void, photo by Elisabetta Riccio

Axel Void /   Alejandro Hugo Dorda Mevs

Spain 1986

Urban Art, Graffiti, Installation

Axel Void
Alejandro Hugo Dorda Mevs
March 14, 2014

Axel Void is Spanish – Haitian – American artist, known worldwide for his murals, installations, oil and acrylic paintings, audio and video recordings, and countless drawings.

Axel’s background: Haiti, Spain and Miami

Alejandro Hugo Dorda Mevs was born in Miami to a Spanish father and Haitian mother, but he was raised in Spanish Andalusia, after his parents decided to move to Europe when he was just three years old. Axel also has ancestral roots in Haiti and he even called Berlin his home for a while. The effect of his roots combination and life of travel is obvious in his art – through small bits of culture and life from everywhere he went and everyone he met.
When Axel was just 13, in 1999, he was introduced to the graffiti world – it was an experience which influenced his forms of expression and the conception of his artworks, taking a parallel path with the commercial world of contemporary art. Today, he is part of a generation of young painters who derive their dynamics from graffiti culture and urban art.
Axel studied at Contemporary Art institutions and Fine Art schools in Cádiz, Granada and Sevilla, where he remained active until he moved to Germany.
Axel is strongly influenced by classical painting and drawing. He is merging mural art, graffiti, oil and acrylic paint, creating shocking, uncomfortable and often dark pieces. These unpleasant, psychological and social issues dominating his work are repeatedly broken by ironic statements and the beauty he finds in even the most mundane of daily life.

Axel and Jaz: Mediocre Exhibition

In 2013, Axel Void collaborated with JAZ, on an exhibition titled Mediocre. The show was held at the capital of Argentina at Matienzo Cultural Club gallery Matienschön, dedicated to visual arts. JAZ and Void already worked together previously on several walls in Miami and Berlin, but this exhibition is their first mutual studio project.

Axel Void and Jaz - Mediocre exhibition, 2013
Axel Void and Jaz – Mediocre exhibition, 2013

These two artists were taking news from daily Argentine newspapers and that material served them as the basic inspiration for art creation shown at this exhibition. The show was actually rendering of the local daily life – filtered through the selected representations of the media. They tended to establish direct contact with visitors, free from any agents in between.
Mediocre show represents a visual dialogue between Axel Void and JAZ, showcasing their powerful graphic identities, and exposing the social anxieties and sheer violence present in everyday routines.

Nada Mural in Oaxaca

Axel Void - Nada, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2014
Axel Void – Nada, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2014

In 2014, Axel created Nada – huge mural in Oaxaca, Mexico. The mural is the perfect intersection of location and subject matter – depicting an image of an immigrant who was assaulted while traveling freights in Mexico. The piece was brought to life in a decade-long abandoned train yard – made to stay in viewers’ collective memory.

Dialogue Series

In 2015, Axel painted a mural in Miami, in Little Haiti. It is an homage to his Haitian side of a family. The mural depicts Jessica, a charming little Haitian girl Axel Void met in the Dominican Republic in the town of Rio San Juan. Portrait of Jessica is part of Dialogue series, his tribute to a different people of the world and their dialog of identity:

Axel Void - Jessica, Little Haiti, Miami, US, 2015
Axel Void – Jessica, Little Haiti, Miami, US, 2015

“The wall is situated in a soccer park in the area of Little Haiti. It’s a humble neighborhood of mainly Haitian descent close to where I currently live. My family on my mother’s side is one of the Haitian families that moved to Miami 35 years ago. This mural is a continuation of the Dialogue series, sharing the same concept as the mural in Tarifa. This mural pays homage to Jessica, her brother and sisters. It is about Haitians outside of Haiti or further more cultural and political divisions.”

Mediocre and Gray

Axel Void - Mediocre series, Katowice, Poland, 2015
Axel Void – Mediocre series, Katowice, Poland, 2015

Same year, Axel continued to create Mediocre series. In a humble and conflictive, working class neighborhood of Szopienice, in the outsides of Katowice, Poland – Axel painted a mural on the two sides of a building where three families live, next to the train tracks and in front of the zinc melter factory named after its owner Uta Utheman, closely involved with many coal mines in Silesia and also known as a local hero for trying to make better life for his workers.
The concept of this mural is to represent a dichotomy of things – both curative and harmful. Take for example Zinc – a vital mineral but toxic in large quantities. The mural is sort of a metaphor for many similar aspects of our daily life that show this kind of duality – when remedy becomes the poison. This mural pays homage to working class and everyday people in Szopienice and elsewhere.

Axel Void - Gray, Graz, Austria, 2015
Axel Void – Gray, Graz, Austria, 2015

As an opposite of Mediocre, Axel created series of site-specific works that portray quotidian life. This concept is called Gray and it is largely dictated by a story – it searches for the more instinctive and visceral ideas, without the boundaries of having the work fit into its surroundings. It all comes to painting geared by what the artist feels instead of what simply fits into the site’s context.

Axel Void lives in Miami but works all over…

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015SEHNSUCHTBC GallerySolo
2015No + de 30SC Gallery, BilbaoGroup
2014MediocreWynwood, Miami, FLSolo
2014KnifePop-Up Show, Art Basel, Miami, FLSolo
2013Mediocre in collaboration with Franco FazoliBuenos Aires, ArgentinaDuo
2013Mediocre Montana Gallery, Barcelona, SpainSolo
2012Mediocre: BerlinPop Up Show, Spree Boat House Berlin, GermanySolo
2011Mediocre: Nicole Burnettxhoch4 galerie, Ingolstadt, GermanySolo
2010Art Teacher - La Aldea InfantilLa Aldea Infantil, Granada, SpainGroup
2010NumbNice/Nice Gallery, Hannover, GermanySolo
2010Mural Painting TeacherUniversity of Contemporary Art of Malaga, SpainGroup
2010MuralUniversity of Contemporary Art of Malaga, SpainGroup
2010Group ShowKatapult Galerie, Basel, SwitzerlandGroup
2010ConquistadoresStrychnin Gallery, Berlín, GermanyGroup
2010PoisonParzelle 403, Basel, SwitzerlandSolo
2010InfidelsLa Petite Mort, Ottawa, CanadaGroup
2010MuralMuseo de Graffiti, Barcelona, SpainGroup
20103Pure Evil Gallery at Londonewcastle project space London, EnglandGroup
2009HomelessSC Gallery, Bilbao, SpainSolo
2009International Theater Festival of AlmagroInternational Theater Festival of Almagro, SpainGroup
2009FrivoloBaluarte de la Candelaria - Cadiz, SpainGroup
2009HomelessMontana Sevilla Gallery, SpainSolo
2009Arte UrbanoArte Urbano, Bilbao, SpainGroup
20082nd Anniversary Montana SevillaMontana Sevilla Gallery, SpainGroup
2008Mural - Intervenciones en JuevesIntervenciones en Jueves, Sevilla, SpainGroup
2008Graffiti Contest Todo TuyoMember of the Jury, Sevilla, SpainGroup
2007Montana SevillaMontana Sevilla Gallery, SpainGroup
2007Sala de EstarSala de Estar, Sevilla, SpainGroup
2007Mural Painting TeacherUniversity of Contemporary Art AKI Enschede, HolandGroup
2007AKI FestivalEnschede, HolandGroup
2007Balen FestivalEnschede, HolandGroup
2007Festival Internacional de TeatroPuertollano, SpainGroup
2007Graffiti ContestMember of the Jury, Algamasilla de Alba, SpainGroup
20071st Anniversary Montana SevillaCAS (Art Center of Sevilla), SpainGroup
2006Bienal de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla in colaboration with Slk and colectivo el perroSlk and colectivo el perro, SpainGroup
2006National Contest Fernando QuiñonesFernando Quiñones, Cadiz, SpainGroup
2006Down BaluarteBaluarte la Candelaria, Cadiz, SpainGroup
2006Church of Los CapuchinosChurch of Los Capuchinos, Cadiz, SpainGroup
2006VacioLa Telonera, Granada, SpainSolo
2006University of Fine Arts of GranadaUniversity of Fine Arts of Granada, SpainGroup
2006AgoraAgora, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2006Sziget in colaboration with AgoraAgora, Budapest, HungaryGroup
2006Sziget in colaboration with We colectiveWe colective, Budapest, HungaryGroup
2005National Contest: Fernando QuiñonesFernando Quiñones, Cadiz, SpainGroup
2005Facultad de Filosofía y LetrasFacultad de Filosofía y Letras, Cadiz, SpainGroup
2005Plaza de EspañaPlaza de España, Cadiz, SpainSolo
2004Museum of CadizMuseum of Cadiz, SpainGroup
2004Art School of CadizArt School of Cadiz, SpainGroup
2004Palilleros Cultural CenterPalilleros Cultural Center, Cadiz, SpainGroup
2004Plaza de EspañaPlaza de España, Cadiz, SpainSolo
200424 hUniversity of Fine Arts of Sevilla, SpainGroup
2003Teatro Central LecheraTeatro Central Lechera, Cadiz, SpainGroup