SEEN at Opera
One of the pioneers of American street art SEEN is having a show at the London chapter of the Opera Gallery this June. The exhibition will feature his original stencil and canvas works as well as his freehand graffiti pieces. The show, which opens on June 20th will present SEEN’s novel series of superheroes, Marvel comic characters and cartoons that the artist himself considers friends, as they make such a great part of his artistic and general life. The unburdening, stylized attitude towards the world is displayed in this series that will remain on view until July 4, 2014. This exhibition will be a part of the Opera Gallery rich Street Art programming, considered a landmark because of the importance of the artist on display and his impact on the contemporary pop culture.
Cartoons and Comics
SEEN grew up in front of the TV in the 60s, where he became intoxicated with numerous cartoon characters served to the youngest at the time. His first favorites counted Hanna Barbera’s figures, From Top Cat and Scooby Doo to the Jetsons and the Flintstones. These characters entered the imagination of the young artist so deeply, he was already mesmerized with their features when he first started drawing and painting. Once he began his artistic path at the age of 12, SEEN used Mickey Mouse and other pop culture cartoon icons as models, shaping his expression from the very beginning. At first they were a choice because of the proximity, accessibility and the linear easiness, but afterwards they inhabited SEEN’s oeuvre more deeply, in unexpected and original combinations of familiar characters, put in situations where they do not normally belong. The love for the world of comics never left the artist and he is occupied with the same aesthetics to this day. They are frequently juxtaposed to graffiti background, accompanied by writings, as is the usual practice in comics, or just interacting with each other in a witty, funny or entertaining way. The constant in subject selection reveals the artist’s positive spirit and the desire to never abandon best mates of his childhood.
Born in 1961 in Bronx, Richard – Richie – Mirando, better known as SEEN is today largely considered the godfather of the graffiti movement. He started tagging around New York city in 1973 and pretty soon he became an infamous member of the United Artists – UA crew of graffiti writers. SEEN transferred his principal creative activity into the studio in the late 80s, assuming a prominent position on the art scene. As Street Art movement was gradually becoming a legitimate section of the art world, SEEN was found among the leading figures of the style. Currently, SEEN is represented with pieces in some of the most respected museum collection around the world, while his work is often presented in important galleries and art institutions. His influence on the artworld and the Street Art movement are unquestionable, as a lot of young creatives find inspirations in the cartoon superheroic world of SEEN. HIs position on the art market is as firm as ever, since in 2013 SEEN’s pieces broke several auction records.