Gen Atem

Switzerland 1967

Urban Art, Graffiti, Painting

Gen Atem
Gen Atem
December 6, 2015
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Gen Atem is a Swiss multi-talented artist known for his graffiti, music, and a book. He was one of the first European street artists.

Art by Gen Atem

Gen Atem - Rammellzee, 2013 - Futura, 2013 - Malcolm McLaren, 2013
Gen Atem – Rammellzee, 2013 / Futura, 2013 / Malcolm McLaren, 2013

Gen Atem started his graffiti journey back in 1982, but at that time he also worked as a DJ, and did some break-dancing. When he went to New York, he met some of the most famous graffiti artist, such as Phase Two, Dondi, Seen and Rammellzee, who mentored him. They collaborated for eight years, deepening their relationship. That bond improved his work. Atem searched for answers to how do a person evolves during time, and what does a person’s name stands for, what is history behind names? These answers were found in the culture of the Far east, as his journey took him to a Buddhist monastery.

Art by Gen Atem

Gen Atem - Forest no. 2, 2015 - Forest no. 5, 2015
Gen Atem – Forest no. 2, 2015 / Forest no. 5, 2015

For seven years he lived as a monk, and found inexhaustible source of inspiration in meditation. Changed person, now humble and calm, he once was wild and considered a vandal. Thus came Atem’s coin – “Meditated vandalism”, as a way of describing his inner peace at the moment, but at the same time, not forgetting the past, and who he once was. His artistic approach can be defined with those two words. In Atem’s work we can see unique connection between street art and eastern philosophy.

He is represented by Kolly Gallery in Zurich, Switzerland.

Gen Atem lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland.

All images courtesy of the artist.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Fifty FiftyKolly Gallery, Geneve, SwitzerlandGroup
2015Past & FutureKolly Gallery, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2014Rock StarsGalerie Lisi Hammerle, Bregenz, AustriaSolo
2014Now is Gone with Miriam BossardGalerie Lisi Hammerle, Bregenz, AustriaGroup
2014Meditated VandalismKolly Gallery, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
2013Pimp My PaintingMessage Salon – Esther Eppstein, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2013FriendsTwoseven and Annasatoko Gallery, New York City, USAGroup
2013Jet AgeSo+Ba Gallery, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2013Transformed by IntentionAnnasatoko Gallery, Istanbul, TurkeySolo
2012Organic StructuresAnnasatoko Gallery, Istanbul, TurkeyGroup
2012Stroke – Urban Art FairNeo Vandalism Art Gallery, Munich, Germany Group
2012SimilitudesGalerie Ziegler, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2012The Aerosol ExperienceGalerie Ziegler, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2011UberpushPfauen Offspace, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2011ExecutionsMilk Gallery, Istanbul, TurkeySolo
2010Meditated VandalismGalerie Parzelle, Basel, SwitzerlandSolo
2010DeleteStarkart Gallery, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2009PagesBlamblam Gallery, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
2009Stark ArtStarkart Gallery, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2001IstanbulJohann Jacobs Museum, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
1995Anarchy and AerosolHistoric Museum, Baden, SwitzerlandGroup
1994Confession of a MonkGallery 210, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
1992Kunstszene ZurichGalerie Susi Brunner, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
1991Strategy of the UnreadableSRO Gallery, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
1989Echos of Wild StyleKunsthaus Oerlikon, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
1989Style MentalitiesGalerie Artagogo, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo