|Exhibition. New works by Req, SheOne, and Duncan Johnston|
Hidden on a side street just off Brighton's famous seafront, is an exhibition that throws caution to the wind - giving three completely different takes on the metamorphosis of graffiti artistry.
The purveyors are locals Req, Duncan Johnston (aka ?), and ex Brighton resident SheOne.
The curator of the show is Req who has been a prolific artist in the area from the late 80s, teaming up with SheOne when he moved down from London. After running a club night in the early 90s called 'Verve' with RPM, Jazz musicians and Detroit House DJs, it then became a catalyst to working with MoWax, on sleeve designs, and live painting on the 'Headz' Tour. The third artist Duncan Johnston is known as a graffiti artist, although for this project he has worked under his real name - you'll have to find out who he is...
Duncan's work is based around repetition of letters, and colour schemes - giving a high impact result with traces of Keith Haring, and Delta shining through.
Req's work is quite breathtaking, especially the picture of his wife 'Sadie', and the portrait of Art Tatum - viewed whilst he was playing some surreal space jazz providing a visual and aural experience to remember.
SheOne who is arguably the most well known of the three has an intense style. With titles like - 'Sweet Heart Attack', and 'The Fall of Decadence'; the movement in his pictures can look different with each different angle it is viewed from. 'All My Love Begins With Me', is a very personal piece delivered over nine small paintings - maybe telling a story of a life experience to draw energy and inspiration.
So it was in a dark corner of the room that SheOne sat down, and had a chat with BGHD on what, how, when, and where.
How long have you known about BGHD?
About 2 years ago I was doing a search one day for some exhibition or something like that, and just found it!
Is there anything specific on BGHD that has stood out as a feature of particular interest?
I liked the 'Making of Made Magazine' feature, and the 'Surrender' feature was great.
How did this exhibition come about?
I moved back to London around '95. Req was asked to curate an exhibition of graffiti art for this summer's Brighton Festival, so he wanted to put a group together which represented different aspects of street art, in Brighton. Because I'd spent quite a lot of time down here, and was quite prolific he asked me to do it.
The work you have done has a dispersed look, how would you describe it?
It is still letter based - still based around tag writing - I've just abstracted it. Graffiti writing is still its core. It's based on personal experience, it's expressive, and it's based on my feelings - it's personalised work.
We talk about the intense atmosphere when he did the live paint of 'Into My Arms' at Air in Japan. The fanaticism of the fans out there, and how the passion they show gives him motivation. We also talk about Nick Walker's 'The Origin of the Species' exhibition, and how those pieces will become iconic in the future.
Who would you say are your main influences?
Currently, Richard Prince, Mark Francis, but obviously Lenny's (Futura) been an inspiring figure... and Crash was a really big influence on me. They were the first generation to take spray paint into well-lit rooms. And they're still doing it, which is great.
We digress into debate about people who were not necessarily into hip-hop, but liked MoWax and got introduced to Futura, Req, and SheOne through those means. We also talk about artists such as David Hockney, Peter Saville, and Basquiat getting largely ignored for much of their careers.
What have you got in store for the future?
I've designed a really nice fabric for Addict, which they are using on some jackets and are out now. I've just completed four windows for Selfridges that are up now. I've got a trainer collaboration with Royal Elastics, I am doing sleeve designs for the next 2 Stanton Warriors albums, and 4 12s which are a continuous set.
All it remains to say is thanks for your time; the exhibition is a really great mixture of styles.
Keep 'em peeled. Adrian J W Darby, August 2005.
©2005 by Beinghunted.
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