In the US AVone is already considered one of the leading figures in contemporary Pop Art. Anthony Vasquez aka AVone is considered to be an artist of exceptional talent. His works are presented at Art Basel in Miami, are used in VH1 and HBO productions and appear in the music videos of Busta Rhymes and RZA. For the 50th birthday of Mr. Michael Jordan AVone was asked to create the new “AIR” logo for the brand. However, the path leading to his huge success was not always an easy one.
Vasquez grew up in Brooklyn under poor circumstances and as a half-orphan. Early on in his life the artist was confronted with the social imbalance of his hometown. Gang crimes, drug dealing and violence were part of everyday life for AVone. To escape from these omnipresent conditions Vasquez began tagging facades and walls, thereby improving his technique and furthering his reputation. At this point in time AVone began investigating the work of trendsetting artists like abstract expressionist Franz Kline and Land-Art pioneer Andy Goldsworthy. He was also enthusiastic about the work of van Gogh and Andy Warhol, while at the same he extracted elements from comics and Hip-Hop culture in his Art Works series.
By early 2000 AVone tags could be seen everywhere throughout New York. This not only furthered his name but also called the NYPD to action. Vasquez was arrested several times and faced a long prison sentence in 2007. Fortunately the Digital-Art activist and conceptual artist Evan Roth was a huge fan of AVone’s work and came to rescue the arrested street artist. Roth paid the bail and took Vasquez under his wings making him promise he would never work illegally again. Not long after a collaborative work by these two exceptional artists was exhibited at the MoMA in New York. However, the real break-through came when Roth projected a gigantic version of AVone’s tag on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Now AVone is one of the most established contemporary pop-artists whose works make reference to his hometown, the Big Apple. His patinated, ripped and stained multi-layer artworks are stenciled or screen-printed with iconic New York City landmarks like the Flat Iron, the Word Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge. The subject of these works is the disintegration and reconstruction of New York. This makes AVone a chronologist of the city that never sleeps. His works show both the superiority but also the discrepancy of the city. The artist portrays the decadent and the unprivileged, combines the beautiful with the ugly and contrasts the iconic with the mundane. AVone extracts techniques from various fields of art that include graffiti, screen-printing, stencils, collage, painting and Tape-Art. His media mix is similarly exhaustive and includes: Canvas, wood, copper, acryl, varnish, metal, vinyl, and grime. AVone breaks through conventional restraints of artistic practice and utilizes the chemical process of oxidation to complete his astonishing works. That these scrutinized artworks maintain their harmony and beauty is thanks to AVone’s poetic visual language that melds architecture, textile and color. Nothing is left for chance. Every little detail in AVone’s works is selected and meticulously implemented.
30works Galerie in Cologne will be presenting the works of the Pop-Art prodigy in his first European solo exhibition titled “The New Yorker”. The exhibition will open tomorrow December 5th at Antwerpener Str. 42. The vernissage that begins at 7pm is complemented with a laudation held by the former Art Cologne director Gérard Goodrow. The exhibition will run until January 3rd 2015.
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