Recap: Okuda at The Underdogs
If something can be said about the motivational force of street and urban art, it is that this kind of artistic expression has strived to emanate a message of social commentary. This is clearly embedded in the history of street art and urban art. One of the more colorful characters on the stage of contemporary urban art is surely the Madrid based artist Okuda. He is known for his distinctive style and an active critic of the 21st century society. This kind of work can be recognized in the collaboration with Remed, who is also involved with in artistic expression combined with social activism. Okuda’s solo exhibition at The Underdogs Gallery is surly going to become a memorable one.
The Work of Okuda
The artistic expression of Okuda resides somewhere in between the sheer geometrical shapes empowered by the colorful patterns and the grey bodies representing the human condition. The visual narrative he incorporates in his work suggests the fallacy of freedom which has become the dominating discourse of the contemporary age. Okuda tries to search for the possible middle ground between the modernity driven attributes of our society and the hidden power of our roots. His recent notable work includes the POP POP POP group show in Hong Kong in July, as well as multiple cases of collaboration with Remed. One of the most interesting surely was the project Streets of Colour, which took place in London during May this year. His most recent success is the solo exhibition Inert Lives in Lisbon.
What happened at The Underdogs Gallery
During the period between June 27th and July 26th 2014, The Underdogs Gallery was home for the first solo exhibition of Okuda. The show contained limited edition work, some of which was done exclusively for the exhibition. In addition, Okuda created a large-scale mural in Lisbon. This intervention in the urban space of Portugal’s capitol echoes the already recognizable style of the artist. During his career, it has always been a passion of Okuda to transform the landscape of the space in which he creates. And just like the large number of works he has created in different cities, the piece in Lisbon conveys the surrealist tendencies of the artist, colorfully portraying the reality of the globalized society and the issues pressing our freedom.
When the Abstract Becomes Intelligible
Okuda’s distinctive style is one of the examiner of human condition in a world of lost identities. Symbolically portraying the capitalist grip on the natural environment and the freedom of self-exploration, the artist uses distinctive dualities and contrasts in his work to point out the inescapable state of crisis that the Western society faces. Okuda is troubled with the notion of false sense of freedom, thus depicting human beings as grey shapes with an almost elusive anthropomorphic form. It is in the colorful representation of the shapes when the abstract expression of his work becomes grounded in the reality of our existence. A true urban artist, whose art becomes intelligible on the walls and objects of the urban space.