White Out at Maxwell Colette
Maxwell Colette Gallery from Chicago started a year with two interesting exhibitions, one of which caught our attention – White Out by a prominent Italian street artist, Peeta. The show opened on January 11 and it features new paintings, executed in his signature 3D street art adapted style. The canvases feature a series of white-on-white pieces, which uncover a novel visual experiment of Peeta, overlapping his recognizable, voluminous letterforms. The show will run through March 1, 2014.
Manuel Di Rita, a.k.a. Peeta is an Italian street artist devoted to exploration of three-dimensional characteristics of letters. Throughout his body of work, sculpturally rendered typographical forms are found, mostly based upon the spelling of his own pseudonyms. He releases these alphabetical symbols from their strict written from, distorts their shape and invents new, stylized figures deepening their significance further from the original, linguistic capacity. The fluid shapes Peeta depicts come from the street art subculture, where words and letters are constantly redesigned and redefined in order to gain new meanings and new aesthetic quality. His 3D street art style is characterized by a distinct pictorial beat of alternating conical and circular bodies that protrude the canvas and enter the reality of the beholder. For Peeta, the fact that he is dedicating most of his artwork to reinventing his own name is essentially just as meaningful as painting a self-portrait.
White Out exhibition is a special display of Peeta art, investigating the representational qualities of ice crystals, that are generally perceived as white, but come in innumerable palette of shades. The texture, nuances, fluidity and transformation of form and the thickness of ice are all found within Peeta’s soft, but powerful images. As the artist himself stated, his goal was to emphasize the countless varieties of shades within one nuance: Tone on tone canvases are painted with the aim of integrating light and shade with the study of shapes. By using the same color for the object and the background, I am able to isolate the projection of shades in their precise variations while also modulating the contrasts between different tones of the same color.
In his effort to explore the most deceptive condition that snow can cause, Peeta conceived the series of white paintings for this exhibition. By tackling the problems of non-existing contrast and blurred contour, the Italian street artist depicted formations that are open to, and only perceivable through, individual visual interpretation. Riding on the wings of suprematism, the street art dedicated Peeta conjures art that is both imaginative and graceful.
Peeta is an Italian artist, presently residing in Venice. Since 1993, he has been producing graffiti, as he is a member of several street art crews: EAD crew from Padua, and FX crew and RWK crew from New York. His highly polished work has been exhibited internationally, throughout Europe and America. Maxwell Colette Gallery is a specialized street art space, dedicated to the contemporary street art practices. It was founded in 2010, and its principal aim is to cancel the boundaries between fine art, street art and graffiti.