Gallery: Puerta Roja
Artist(s): Carlos Cruz-Diez, Fernando Prats, Javier León Peréz, Laurent Martin ‘Lo‘, María García-Ibáñez, Mariano Ferrante
Opening / Event Date: 27 Feb, 2019
Closing / End Date: 4 Jun, 2019
Lucie Chang Fine Arts is pleased to announce the opening of KILLED OR BE KILLED: Duo Exhibition of WANTO x NECKFACE, at Lucie Chang Fine Arts. Curated by Hong-Kong graffiti follower, collector Eric Wong, presented by L+, one of the young Lucie Chang Fine Arts’ affiliates, the exhibition and its associated events is the very first complex post graffiti/street art presentation ever housed in the gallery’s Sheung Wan space.
Like it or not – having grown from a local New York subculture into a worldwide phenomenon with its own heroes and business models, graffiti now has sneaked into the highbrow art world we all feel generally comfortable with. Things tend to get even “messier” with powerful, self-expression statements and popularized stickers popping up on the streets and high-valued street art “masterpieces” championed inside the walls of art galleries and auction houses, the Haute couture world is also trying to cash in on street art. Gucci and Louis Vuitton have all incorporated graffiti into their marketing campaigns.
L+, a curious and young organization and a strong supporter of self-expression and global street art scene, debuts the first two-person graffiti exhibition featuring two legendary street bombers, challenging the worn-out system of displaying and dealing art and freeing the originals from its prison of well-lit white walls. NECKFACE, the New-York based graffiti artist, is known for his frightening drawing style and humorous writings. While having his artworks displayed in multiple galleries across the globe, NECKFACE stays active zigzagging and tagging the streets with the fire-eating baby-snatching devilish graphics. WANTO resides in Tokyo, the Asian “graff mecca”, known for his spiky “W” and characteristic tag that’s equally effective vertically and horizontally. He founded the active graffiti crew “246” with members from Japan, Taiwan and Mexico. Inspired by the 90s American writers, WANTO turned from painting colorful pieces to bombing with tags and throw-ups. Both established in the graffiti scenes for years, the two artists started a cross-continent street-bombing road trip, ended up with an art book KILLED OR BE KILLED filled with detailed handstyles, drawings and flared throw-ups, most of them inspired by the journey shared.
KILLED OR BE KILLED showcases 15 magnificent canvases and paper pieces, including a few rare works established by both legendary writers, moving the street art elements that once described as urban decoration fluidly across alternative media. Both writers will also take over the gallery space with provided blank canvases and street objects. When they pick up cans of spray paints and markers, all surveillance cameras switched off, all gallery staff’s backs turned, the project witnesses the first-ever attempt of a commercial contemporary art gallery breaking into the street art culture while protecting writers from violation and vandalization. The entire “in-house street art movement” will be documented by authorized digital devices and distributed exclusively onto social media channels with an emphasis on the performative nature of writing (distributive hashtags: #殺死或被死 #killorbekilled #wanto #neckface #luciechangfinearts #graffiti #246 #hardcore #666 #streetart #hongkong #japan #usa #writer #roadtrip).
On the occasion of the exhibition opening party, a limited edition of WANTO x NECKFACE Tee (100 pieces) and KILLED OR BE KILLED Art Book (limited run of 100 signed copies) will be launched globally.
The British writer and critic Ossian Ward once stated in a Tate Modern talk, “Post graffiti, or street art – whatever you want to call it – still needs time to adjust and find its way. But the history of art doesn’t come out fully formed in a day either”. Is KILLED OR BE KILLED promoting an ephemeral phenomenon that will eventually get killed in time or we are truly helping graffiti art evolve into a mature, varied art form that don’t shy away from different platforms and audience? #luciechangfinearts #LplusHK wait for your judgment.