The first impression is that the development of the German graffiti scene is intangible from the history of the famous Berlin wall. Along with squatting and the rising rave culture back in the days, this particular scene was largely a reaction to the social and political implications of the separated city.
Regardless of The wall, a situation was not that different in other German cities.
One of the representatives of the German scene is no other than Markus Genesius aka WOW 123 from Bremen. His latest series of works under the title Conquer New Space will be shown at art is just a four letter word gallery, and it will mark an anniversary of his three decades long graffiti practice.
Markus Genesius aka WOW123 is a graffiti mage who started painting walls in 1988. His distinct style has been shaped over the years, regardless of the canons, by an extensive experimentation with three-dimensional lettering and photo-realism. Thanks to that, he has released a multitude of works on various locations around the globe and is considered to be one of the most important figures of the German graffiti art.
Since 2010, Genesius has been releasing works within the artist community in Bremen. The use of new materials enabled him not only to produce innovative solutions but to refresh and rethink his own work.
In recent times, the artist has become fully occupied with the television grid e.g. the German TV test signal which was tuned during the night to mark the pause of the program. This rather known motif seems to trigger Genesius to examine different variations of the color fields and lines.
The works are quite suggestive since they are visually daring, suffocated with the details and bright colors. As a matter of fact, the artist examines the very architectonics of the surface by imposing different relations between pictorial elements. Since this rather analog signal is related with the media history and the very technological development of the times, his works raise a question how we treat our current media signals and are we able to distance from them in the digital world.
Despite the certain dose of nostalgia, the works should be seen as similar to the term Graffuturism which makes them perfectly contemporary. Genesius apparently found a perfect motif to work with since it provided him with an additional layer of painterly and social contexts. Without the doubt, with this series, the artist went one step beyond in articulating and rethinking his own practice and urban roots.
The opening ceremony of the WOW123’s exhibition will be held at art is just a four letter word gallery in Soest, Germany, in the presence of the artist himself on April 14th of 2018 at 7 pm, while the public will be able to see it until 2nd of June 2018.
Featured images: Markus Genesius - Look Back, Spraypaint on canvas, 130 x 130 cm, 2017 at Städtische Galerie Bremen, Exhibition DIALOG; Markus Genesius - Dancing on the roof, 2017. All images courtesy of the artist.