White Walls Project Space is hosting the exhibition 3am Femmes by Australian street artist Reka. The show will be on until November 2nd. Be sure to check it out if your in the San Francisco area.
Just because you’re a lady doesn’t mean you’re ladylike. In his first solo show on American soil, James Reka explores the wenches of the night in all of their tipsy, titillating glory. 3am Femmes is an exhibition comprising of found objects, collage and sculpture, all detailing the naughtiness he witnesses on long nights wandering the city’s streets. This year, after giving up Melbourne’s littered train tracks for Berlin’s abandoned buildings, he has turned to searching for his ‘canvases’ in local disused military bases. Colorful depictions of the women he encounters on these midnight scrap-metal missions are delicately painted on the surface, contrasting the dirtiness of their alleyway playgrounds with their ever-alluring nature.
Aside from a common interest in whiskey and dancehalls, Reka and his femmes share another affinity: a nocturnal quality normally reserved for those who prey at night. In many ways, he is not unlike his cheeky female counterparts getting up to no good under the guise of moonlight. The only difference is that these ladies of the night come prepared with champagne bottles, mascara and sass. The labels salvaged from the smashed spray cans in turn create a series of collages depicting the tools of the girls’ trades, bringing the show full circle. After all, the sun will always eventually rise, no matter how far away dawn seems at 3am.
James Reka is a young contemporary Australian artist based in Berlin, Germany. His origins lie in the alleyways and train lines of Melbourne’s inner-suburbs where he spent over a decade refining his now-emblematic aesthetic. His character work has come to represent the beginnings of a new style of street art: clean, unique and not necessarily on the street (much to his mother’s joy). Surrealist, abstracted creatures emerge from the depths of Reka’s mind, communicating through strong lines, dynamic movement and bold colors. These pseudo-human forms are recognizable but isolating, playful yet eerie. This is Reka’s art: a paradox between sharp design and graffiti, held together with a fuse of passion and spray paint.
This year, Reka has had solo shows in Denmark and Melbourne, has exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) in Bristol and has participated in Stolen Space’s 7th Anniversary Group Show in London as well as pieces appearing in New York, Munich, Denver and Cologne exhibitions. On the streets, his characters adorn the walls of cities around the world from Japan to Milan and Paris to Brooklyn, and his gallery work has been acquisitioned by the National Gallery of Australia.
White Walls Gallery has worked for a decade to exist as the premiere destination for urban art in the Bay Area. Combined with the Shooting Gallery and two project spaces, this 1500 square meter space is one of the largest galleries on the West Coast. Justin Giarla founded the gallery with a commitment to furthering the urban art movement, drawing directly from street art and graffiti culture. Named for its plain white walls, the gallery takes a backseat to the real focus: the work of their artists.
Retrieved from: White Walls SF