Under the label Disturbanity Graphics, for over a decade now, Matthias Gephart has entertained a diverse audience interested in art and culture with his graphic mix, developed by design, illustration, graffiti and photography. His first monograph, Rare Shots on Planet X, takes a deep look into the Disturbanity Graphic’s past and the productive career of the artist between 1988 and 2015. Covering over 400 images, organized with five different chronological chapters, representing time frames and various artistic themes, the book pays homage to 25 years of creation.
The artist’s background in design and art is linked to enthusiasm for adventure. Since his childhood days, Matthias Gephart was always in search for abandoned spaces that held the unknown quality. Looking at empty houses, factories, peeking through fences, provided the tension of the forbidden that inspired Gephart to re-use the space into his own open space graffiti studios and to document, not only the produced intervention but also the decay of nature surrounding the space. Rotting billboard charts and scratched structures on the background of traffic signs attracted the artist with their coincidental beauty and assemblage quality. This love for the coincidental seems to be an important element of the visual language, visual poetry that is Matthias Gephart. His language exists between man-made and occasional facts of life and celebrates the chance, spontaneous dynamic and the power of chaos.
It is not by accident that the first monograph of the artist recalls the 1950’s and 1960’s sci-fi literature. Like in the sci-fi literature, this art book aims to deal with the unknown that art often evokes in a viewer and to arouse the feeling of the strangeness in the familiar. The art book, influenced by Gephart’s diverse and experimental career, invites the viewer to look at the displayed topography as an image, shows illustration as a part of fine art and analogue photography as a collage of a surreal space. This art book invites the public to change their perception of looking and labeling and with its challenging nature resembles Gephart’s love for the diversity in all different art forms and disciplines.
Like a large-scale pop-up book, Urban Spree Galerie will showcase over 100 works of the Berlin-based artist Matthias Gephart in the period between March 26th to April 14th, 2016. The images in the gallery will present the book Rare Shots On Planet X as a walk-through installation, and also, mark the first solo exhibition of the artist in this gallery.
Matthias Gephart presents to us his world. From his early experimentation with graffiti and typography, to his analogue photography, and commissioned graphic artworks, the world that we see is a world of experimentation with its roots embedded in an anti-mainstream energetic passion. Seeing the world around us as a natural collage, the artist celebrates all diversity that is life.
All images courtesy of Urban Spree Galerie. Featured images in slider: Matthias Gephart – Ghost Of Truth ; Matthias Gephart – Autumn at the Gates ; Matthias Gephart – ABC Alarm ; Matthias Gephart – The New Home ; Matthias Gephart – Cloud Mill ; Matthias Gephart – Day One ; Matthias Gephart - Photo of the artist.