Read article at: complex.com
Read article at: complex.com
Known Gallery in Los Angeles has been on a roll these past couple years. With its artist base and clientele, it has become an epicenter of graffiti crossing over into gallery scene, and the strength of its latest exhibition shows that it’s even more than that.
Eric Haze’s ‘New Mathematics,” featuring 35 paintings and 15 drawings, examines the complex relationship between abstraction, typography and design by using repetitive geometric patterns and the delicate interplay of positive and negative space to create a compelling, overarching representation. Haze’s work makes clear reference to his graffiti past, but the work moves away from slogans and toward more a universal exploration of how graffiti captures the eye. He uses positive and negative space to break down the graffiti paradigm into compositions that can be more understood.
Haze began as a graffiti writer, eventually moving towards the world of design and working with such hip-hop acts as EPMD and the Beastie Boys before fielding larger clients such as Nike, Casio and MTV. His work has been exibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Hong Kong and was recently featured in the exhibition, “Art in the Streets” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Greg Lamarche’s “I Can See For Miles” is an exercise in the abstraction of graffiti’s visual language. Lamarche uses found material and his personal collection of numerous printed materials to create intricately hand-cut collages. His work takes the common lettering of graffiti and warps what the brain can recognize into abstract lines of color. It’s as if one were staring at graffiti on a wall and proceeded to shake their head from side to side violently. Lamarche has been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Phoenix, and Modern Painters.
“New Mathematics” By Eric Haze and “I Can See For Miles” By Greg Lamarche will be on display at Known Gallery until October 8th, 2011.
Eric Haze’s New Mathematics opened last Saturday at Known Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition shares the artist’s explorations within his own personal vocabular. The 35 paintings and 15 drawings included draw from his history in graphic design and grafitti, showcasing Haze’s brilliant handstyle and express an evolution in his experimentation with organic form.
Known for work with the Beastie Boys (and much more in music), as well as commercial projects with Casio and Nike, Haze is recognized for three decades of iconic design. On the occassion of New Mathematics, Complex connected with Haze to discuss his new works and what the future holds for graffiti.
Tell me about “New Mathematics”? What are the inspirations and themes of the new work?
“New Mathematics” represents a linear progression of the personal artwork that I have been developing over the last 5 years. Along with always carefully controlling the final results in my design and product based work, I also started challenged myself to create more organic artwork that revolved around a celebration of natural line quality, motion and the beauty of imperfection. Using type and certain recognizable icons as my first points of departure, I have continued working towards also synthesizing these elements with my love of abstraction and geometry.
My work has always been deeply rooted in balance and symmetry, starting all the way back with my original graffiti name SE3, which I created as more of a symbol than name with inherent meaning. In many ways, with “New Mathematics”, I have gone all the way back to this original essence.
But where some of my earlier fine artwork had been more reductionist in terms of it’s approach, this body of work incorporates much more complex dynamics, with certain algorithms having taken on a life of their own. Hopefully, this collection achieves a kind of transparency between all of the mediums I have always been involved in, while still clearly representing the direction of a new language I have now established for myself.
There are 35 paintings and 15 drawings in the show. How does medium shape your process? Is there anything different to consider when working with different tools?
Up until recently, I had kind of separated what was drawn as opposed to what what was painted. But, now as I become more comfortable within both languages, I am able to integrate my working process to clearly reflect the drawings within the paintings.
In some of the more layered pieces, the immediacy of the initial line quality is defined against the cleaner, more labored detail of the paint work.
Some of the paintings have also been left in their outline form only, where I wanted the purity of line quality to be understood on it’s own terms. The same is true for the drawings on paper, which serve as blueprints for many of the progressions that later become realized more fully in the paintings.
What’s it like showing in LA? Do you see the city’s reception to street art as a whole different after the MOCA show?
Y’know, I lived, worked and built my brand from LA for over 10 years before returning home to NY, so I have deep roots there and have always had much love for LA. Obviously, the MoCA show focussed a lot of attention to LA, and it was great to see so many of the true heads there celebrated for the great work they had been putting down for years.
I think the residual effects are definitely still in play there now, especially seeing a lot of leading east coast artists showing here this season too. it’s no coincidence that I planned my next major show out here either, knowing that this was becoming one of the important playing fields for artists within our movement…..
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