Back in 1970s, it was unimaginable to see graffiti art in museums, galleries, auction houses. However, as we all witnessed, graffiti made a big evolving step, when the doors of the galleries and museums opened to this significant art movement. The exhibition Who’s Your Daddy?, organized by Zurich-based Kolly Gallery showed what new artistic possibilities of graffiti we can expect from its entering to the contemporary art field. Finally, what has changed in graffiti art practice from the bombing of New York City subway system in the 1970s to its entrance in galleries? The works by JonOne, Tilt, MadC and Thierry Furger may help us to understand the evolution of graffiti as an art medium.
The visitors of the Who’s Your Daddy? exhibition had an opportunity to see artworks by JonOne, Tilt, MadC and Thierry Furger. JonOne is an American artist who is best known for his graffiti-influenced art. His style pushes the limits of the traditional graffiti art; therefore, although he has strong roots in graffiti art, the artist’s paintings defy the rules of graffiti. With a tremendous sense of movement and color, his compositions combine freestyle, hand-painted aesthetics with a sense of repetition akin to textile patterns. Tilt is a graffiti artist, and his style is recognizable by colorful, bubbly paintings. His works are characterized by fun, high impact shapes and strong colors demonstrating a reflection of his history as a true graffiti writer who is trained on the streets. MadC is a graffiti artist from Germany who is known for her large scale outdoor artistic works. She is well-known for her larger murals, and complex compositions characterized by deconstructive elements. Thierry Furger is a Swiss artist whose works are based on the long and intensive examination of graffiti and its caducity.
Who’s Your Daddy? exhibition examined the merging processes between graffiti and fine art. Maybe it’s not even possible to understand graffiti art as a completely separate art movement with strict boundaries defining it. Whether it is the dripping tags from JonOne, the bubble letters from Tilt, the abstract calligraphy from MadC or the buffed painting from Thierry Furger, the heritage of years of practice in the streets is transposed into fine art works that ambition to establish graffiti as a legitimate artistic esthetic. And the message of this exhibition was addressed both to graffiti and fine art: Who’s defining now the rules of what is legitimate graffiti and fine art? Who’s bringing you new flavors? Who’s your Daddy?
Who’s Your Daddy? exhibition was on view from September 10 until September 13, 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland, organized by Kolly Gallery. The majority of works were sold. The price range for JonOne’s works was €10,400-€25,050, while for pieces by Tilt was between €3,900-€15,500. The artworks by Thierry Furger could be bought for €3,000, while pieces by MadC were could be bought for prices ranging between €1,200 and €15,800.
MadC - 1747, detail
MadC - 1636, detail
Who's Your Daddy Vernissage
All images courtesy of Kolly Gallery.