YZ's London Adventure
Scenes she summons appear to be culled from distant times, veiled with a nostalgic mist, drenched in times that are no more. Her preferred subjects, beautifully melancholic, are women from a different era or antique cityscapes, depicted with transparent layers from the range in between the deepest and the lightest sepia. She is known for her craft paper paste-ups, and the most delicate atmosphere she transferred to the street. She is YZ, a French street artist, reaper of sighs and reminder of the meaningful, yet forgotten.
Recent body of work created by YZ can be perceived as a separate universe, where evocatively portrayed women from the past merge with still existing cities filtered through the same glass, building a strange world, where the most private is made available to the public eye, while remaining acceptable because of the seeming time distance. Her exhibition Open Your Eyes explains the concept she so persistently paints, where she questions individuality among the urban crowds, as well as humanity and objective reality, visually inspired by the time that is now gone. Hardly a typical street artist, YZ paints rather classically, using chinese ink, brushes, painting rollers, stencils, or spray can, blending the millions of grey shades into vintage looking images.
Haunting the Streets of London
The exhibition coming to Magda Danysz gallery in Paris will bring a new city series of YZ, entirely inspired by London, a metropolis that inspired so many of the creatives, whether from the world of literature or visual arts. Show title The London Adventure, alludes to an essay by Virginia Woolf, a grim narrative equally moved by the same city, its walls, facades, corners, streets and the light and the shade. A different step from YZ’s previous series called Women from Another Century, antiqued urban landscape of the British capital with its classicized architecture, shops signs, writings, bricks and windows, provided splendid compositional elements for the painter. Another parallel of the series can be found in the way city reveals its bare walls in front of the artist’s eyes, just like a nude woman, draped in nothing but herself. Regardless of the subject, YZ has a recognizable style of painting, where the sensual, the emotive and the innermost are skillfully drawn out to the surface in the elegant, angelic way, while semi-transparency makes her characters assume the role of ghosts, haunting our present, just like one time Virginia Woolf haunted the streets of London.
YZ in Exhibition
The London Adventure of YZ offers an array of stencil artworks, executed on different materials, from canvas, urban zinc, to wood, including large scale wooden installations. So called ‘portraits’ of London buildings will alternate with large titillating, supine female portraits, which will point out the transition from her focus on feminine iconography to urban thematics, where the media used will gain another, more literal meaning. By painting this novel series, YZ once again reveals her constant poetics, founded on instinctive impressions, intimism, nostalgia and the idea of mutual influence between city and humans. The London Adventure opens at Magda Danysz gallery in Paris on September 6, running through September 26, 2014.
Photos courtesy of the artist and Magda Danysz gallery.