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Source Codes of Contemporary Expression on View in Catania with Biggest Names in Urban Art Today

December 23, 2015
Runs, does yoga.

Both New York graffiti masters from the ‘80s and their contemporary successors are the ones we can thank for encouraging diversity and freedom of expression. Their works react to the subject of cultural polarization and the single-minded position of art and society, and most of them are on view at Palazzo Platamone in Catania. This intellectually stimulating set of artworks, around 100 of them to be precise, invites the viewer to witness a protest against monoculture, and rise above the drift created by the media, the society itself and corporate influence. United by their differences only, and guided by the same passion, the featured artists spontaneously form a movement that seeks to tell the world about the time of the first globalization.

Alexis DIaz, Hipocampo, 2015, Detail
Alexis Diaz – Hipocampo, 2015, Detail

From a New York Based Practice to a Worldwide Movement

The exhibition puts quite an emphasis on New York city from thirty years ago, as the base of all the events that followed the first impromptu steps in artistry of underground teenagers, who have come a long way since then. As a pure product of our civilization, art that takes over the city was something fresh and new at the time. However, New York, with all of its cosmopolitan qualities, was but a starting point. The concept of graffiti has crossed even greater paths since, and is now turning global. And today, even with other cultural products or collateral products, that are destructive in intention, but equally pure in intensity of emotion, street art manages to offer a response and a shelter, a state of unity within global borders, in which all of the -isms blend.

Boris Tellegen, A Concrete Toy, 2015
Boris Tellegen – A Concrete Toy, 2015

Codes for Taking Over the City

Urban art scene has managed to develop its own language. New semantic and aesthetic codes arose from the urban culture, and for the first time all of its derivations are conjoined and put into a single show. In order to implement these codes into a broader context, artists from fourteen countries, including people with various cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds, perform as a part of the new global classicism. Featured works come from the most important international private collections, and aim to transmit unified stream of thought on diversity through its content, and regarding the structure of the exhibition as well. The exhibition is divided into three sequences that tell the birth, the interactive development and the consecration of the phenomenon through source codes.

Invader. Left: Invasion Silver and Black, 2008. Right: QR Code, 2012 (detail)
Invader – Invasion Silver and Black, 2008, on the left; QR Code, 2012 (detail), on the right.

60 Artists from 14 Countries Tell a Conteporary Urban Art History

Palazzo Platamone seems to be the ideal venue for this event, since it portrays the city’s long history, and all of the changes it has been through, thus corresponding with the versatile approach underlined in this project. Its plain white interior perfectly contrasts to the vivid content. Thanks to the curators from 999Contemporary, the audience will have the pleasure to encounter works of street art legends and prospective young artists as well. The exhibition is open until 18th January 2016, at Palazzo Platamone, in Catania, and it is supported by the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo.

Featured images: Source Codes Exhibition Setting – Palazzo Platamone; Exhibition Catalog; Doze Green,Titanic Oddensity, 2006, detail