Saturday, 9 May 2009

Rene Gagnon - American Post-Graffiti Abstract Expressionist

Ramble On (click image to enlarge)

One of these kids is doing his own thing (click image to enlarge)

Mona Bubble Custom (click image to enlarge)

I recently came across the work of Rene Gagnon, an American artist with a very interesting outlook on what form his art took.

Post-Graffiti Abstract Expressionism: Bridging the Gap Between Urban Graffiti Art and Contemporary Abstract Expressionism.

I pulled this from his site - Artists statement:

"I've always been considered a creative individual, but my first real devotion to the arts revealed itself during the mid-eighties when my thirst for creation exploded after seeing graffiti art emanate from the streets of New York City. The enormity of the works and the care free expression of color displayed a means by which I could gain the attention that every teen is so desperately seeking. This rebellious idea of searching for your identity through the use of markers and spray paint fueled my desire to follow in the footsteps of a graffiti artist. Twenty years later, I find myself back where I began.

I find myself at a point in life where I am beginning to see through the spray paint haze. I now realize that an artist's work should represent their soul. So, through the use of urban media techniques mastered as a teenager and a new found love for creating public art, I am attempting to bridge the gap between urban graffiti/street art and contemporary abstract expressionism.

In almost every city graffiti and street art is present in many forms. Some artists choose the permanency of spray painted tags, throw-ups, and stenciled imagery, while others opt for the immediacy and aging characteristics of stickers and paste ups. Often times, these artists' of the street will battle with each other for visibility on the same surfaces. Over time, the multiple transformations of these surfaces reveal an abstract maze of color and composition that I see as an opportunity. The opportunity to create something much greater than what meets the eye.

My vision is to recreate this battle between graffiti and street artists’ in my studio work. By mixing my past graffiti experience with the street art style installations I do today, I am able to fuel my attack on the canvas. As feelings are evoked from the written words and the often emotionally charged imagery I leave on the streets a physical manifestation builds to a point of overflow. Ultimately unleashing itself in a furor of uninhibited energy, where time and place become nonexistent. It is in this vitality that my artistic soul reveals itself and dances its way into a flurry of whirling paint and exploding spray paint cans."


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