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In Focus Next Week: June 1 - 7

  • OPEN WALLS Gallery Berlin
  • vertical gallery chicago
  • Galerie Mathgoth 2015 france
  • Galleria Varsi, Rome
  • Imitate Modern
May 31, 2015
Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art.

As the sky is getting that familiar and beloved summer blue hue, galleries with posh art are slowing down for the expected (and deserved) summer break. Close to our hearts, urban art is just now beginning to blossom, as exhibitions keep lining up globally, while we are excited for the many festivals and outdoor painting sessions to come in the next months. The first week of June – not yet the summer, but pretty damn close – is practically the poster week of what is to come. We are looking at a series of intriguing, colorful, joyous and fresh urban and street art shows, stretching across the most famous street art destinations. From Berlin to London, over Paris and Rome and across the pond -to Chicago. Out of the large bucket of flamboyant exhibitions, here are the five we believe are must-sees in the coming period. Enjoy early summer!

OkokumeIkimonoOpening: June 4OPEN WALLSBerlin, Germany

…Okokume is a Spanish artist who mixes a humorous, pop surrealistic imagery and its roots in underground comics, punk and surf culture with Japanese pop culture and its rich traditional heritage. Her compositions usually represent Geishas. However, these representations are not quite realistic. The beautiful women dressed in traditional Japanese clothes, with recognizable hairstyles, are provided with noxious turquoise skin color and mostly white or pale pink hair…

RUNL’Uomo con la CodaOpening: June 4Galleria VarsiRome, Italy

…L’Uomo con la Coda exhibition deals with the origin of the world and human beings. The artworks that will be presented at Galleria Varsi in Rome are vivid and complex. Main characters are archaic individuals that preform ancient rituals often by creating symbolic poses with their interlocking bodies. The artworks are glowing with primal energy and feed on the strength brought to them by nature. Every artwork in the exhibition, whether on small canvases or on huge walls, epitomizes different parts of RUN’s personality and the artist proclaims that he is the Man with the Tail…

David WalkerAlchema/SpectraOpening: June 5Galerie MathgohParis, France

…Another striking element of David Walker’s art is the exclusive employment of spray paint. He knowingly rejects use of any other media in order to fully explore the potentials of sprays and push the limits of this expanding contemporary medium. Walker displays outstanding level of spray control that enables him to create shadows, fine lines, textures and overall richness of detail. Movement appears as a novelty in this new series of his paintings. Even though it has been present in his works before it was merely episodic, without any real stress on it. Now, the movement takes on a fresh role of showing Walker’s more direct approach to the very process…

Hebru BrantleyMemoirs of the Minimum WageOpening: June 6Vertical GalleryChicago, USA

…At first glance it seems that Brantley’s whimsical depictions of aviating youths and floating, profiled heads of superheroes are not even tangentially related to the struggles of an underpaid and underrepresented portion of the population. But on closer inspection, the ideas of flight and of superpower are directly germane to ideas of class mobility and upward aspiration. Just as attempts at flight are often doomed to crash to the ground, an image of an optimistic and eager-eyed youth seated in a beaten aircraft (perhaps assembled in a scrapyard in Brantley’s native Chicago, which, incidentally, has recently raised passed a ballot measure to raise it’s minimum wage to $13) prefigures a potential crash…

Paul Oz80s KidOpening: June 6Imitate ModernLondon, UK

…The 80’s Kid solo exhibition by Paul Oz at Imitate Modern, which marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in London, sees the British artist taking on the 1980’s with a collection of new portraits. The 1980’s saw figures as varied as Michael Jackson and Margaret Thatcher defining an era that saw significant political and social change; it also saw the launch of MTV and a host of cultural icons that have remained popular to this day. For his new solo exhibition, Paul Oz has explored all aspects of the 1980’s and picked out twenty cultural icons to present in his unique style for 80’s Kid. Included will be images of Indiana Jones, Prince, Mr T from TV series The A Team, the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher, Slimer from Ghostbusters and Yoda from Star Wars…

Slap your sunblock, sunglasses, sun dress, and spend the sunny days focusing on art! Sign up for My Widewalls!

Feature images: Okokume – Tanuki-onna, Courtesy OPEN WALLS Gallery Berlin; Hebru Brantley – Cage No More, 2015, Courtesy Vertical Gallery Chicago; David Walker – Working in his Studio, 2, Courtesy Galerie Mathgoth; Run- Detail from the L’uomo con la coda artwork, Courtesy Galleria Varsi; Paul Oz – Red Lego Detail, Courtesy Imitate Modern.