Yes, you read it right –caliligraffiti, the trend in the street art magic that fuses together the ancient production of calligraphy and the contemporary mastery of the graffiti, in the hands of the famous Shoe are pure examples of new production and its eclectic form. This is not the first time that this artist's calligraffiti caught our attention but we couldn’t help ourselves. Yet again Niels Shoe Muelman aka Shoe, has managed to bring, this time to the beautiful Nice and GCA Gallery, his abstract and expressive language which is seen and described by the New York Times art director Steven Heller as ‘interstellar formulations’. This new language hides the greatest mysteries of the world and as such manages to incorporate the fast and the tranquil, the desired balance that is out of reach for most of us.
The ancient production of calligraphy, and the philosophical approach to nature and all the mysteries and all the answers it gives us, are all in the expressive stroke and in the drip of the paint so blissfully used by artist. The Arabic calligraphy, and the ideological understanding of the ancient calligraphy master Tsang Chieh, the inventor of Chinese writing, who has managed to translate into a symbolic system the footprints left in the sand or snow by a small animal, the shadow of a tree branches cast by the moon, are the heritage that the author grabs onto and whose roots he reshapes to fit the desires of the modern world and his own. The primordial form of writing, repeated again and again, help create an elaborate ‘incantation of the unknown, the incarnation of the unknowable’ and forth goes Carlo McCormic, New York culture critic, and curator, in his description to say that ‘Shoe is not about making sense but about creating sensibility’.
It was in 2007 that the author introduced to the world the creativity and term of calligraffiti. The exhibition in Amsterdam marked the beginning of a production style that has quickly caught on. Various streets, various buildings have found themselves becoming the large surfaces used by a number of creatives. As his desired medium, Shoe often changes his mind. From the traditional ink and paper to the large brush and paints, in the style of the famous Jackson Pollock, the surface is attacked, touched and transformed. Transformed is the author himself, who is always in search for the new, and whose energy and creativity never stop to amaze. The author of a number of books, the move to Nice was for a reason. In this beautiful place, hit by a recent tragedy, Shoe, with a help from his long-lasting collaborator and friend Adam Euwens, has been working on his latest publication Shoe is My Middle Name which will bring to the world images of a 35-year creative career.
The new production that creates the solo exhibition Nissa la Bella, at the GCA Gallery in Nice, explores and presents a much more liberated and expressive Shoe. As if they are stars in the night, or guiding road maps from above, Shoe’s new images are true examples of a desire to incorporate a variety of multiple fields and practices. On view from 23rd September 2016 till the 26th November 2016, this show promises to transform your spirit and to allow you a visible mark of a new language that Shoe magnificently creates.
All images courtesy of the GCA Gallery, Nice. Featured image in slider: Shoe - Ununderstand; Shoe - White Shoe; Shoe - Shoe Farci.