Fonzo explained that the show "is an exploration of letter form and typography through the street artists. So, a lot of these guys, they don't necessarily have to do street art because a lot of them have evolved into different venues and what have you. But letter form definitely has to be a part of their production." Made up of primarily street artists and graffiti artists, the show offers a range of approaches and mediums. From simple prints to three dimensional train cars and cut wood pieces, the letter form achieves a kind of versatility and tactility that is rarely encountered.
|Clam Nation. "Hinky Candor." Acrylic and Ink on found sign. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Jonski. "Speak of the Devil." Gouache and watercolor on paper. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Alter. "Quiet." Acrylic on wood. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Fullhearted. Melon and Fonzo. Galerie F. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Brooks Golden. Not for Sale.|
|Tribute to Brooks Golden.|
On the other side of the gallery are the participants in the show, including a Roy Lichtenstein-esque piece by Asend, as well as some atypical pieces by Melon, who departs from his iconic faceless women to take up a meditation on the opacity and transparencies of paint, letter, and form. One can see some aesthetic connections across the walls: Cove and Melon's pieces both explore the visibility and opacities in painted form
|Melon, "Whitewash." Aerosol and latex paint on wood. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
"My pieces, I felt, were more much deeper than what I normally do with the girls [that he paints] and stuff like that. I think what it was was taking something, because it was letter form and design, I wanted to veer away from the character form, for a little bit, and I wanted to focus my attention on the letter structure , and how could I make this work. I started to think about if I just did some hard core graffiti, or graffiti that is noticeable, how would somebody react to hanging that in their livingroom, or somewhere in their house, you know? So I decided I wanted to use that and kind of make it delicate, and soft, and push it to a more contemporary style, and I succeeded, I think. I think it did pretty well. One of my inspirations was that I had a mural that was whitewashed not too long ago, with NMOS, and so I felt like taking that and using that, the idea of the whitewash. I played with that for a while. I was going to do a matte white on a glossy white, and it just didn't feel right, so I think I did it really well with the colors and the way I balanced everything out on the canvas."
EGGS investigates different physical textures and dimensionality, using the name tag and the accumulation of spraypaint to create a sculptural sensation that made this viewer muse upon the palimpsests of paint across the city, and how the name is both visible (as tag) and invisible (as physical body).
|EGGS. "Hello my name is." Spraypaint on wood. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|TUBZ, "Beauty." Pyrography on wood panel. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Jash. "Alpha Echo." Mixed media framed. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Jash. Detail. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Asend. "Levels." Spraypaint on wood. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Bates. "Sign my name." Acrylic on Canvas. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Fonzo. "Moon bats and space crafts." Brush, ink, and paper in found frame.|
We talked a bit more about the characters. Like Freud's irrepressible Id, Chinchilla persuades and manipulates Skidrow Joe into impossible situations, and the comics explore shame (there is a lot of nakedness!), violence, and anxiety. These seemingly banal images are expressive of the deep structures of human experience, where, the unsavory elements of the Id can be sublimated into something smoother, and possibly beautiful.
|Cosbe. "The Youth Demand My Vision in Question."|
Or, quite productively, it can remain a troubling reminder that humanity is not all smooth corners and comfortable belonging: it is scary, isolating, and unpredictable.
|Angry Woebots. "Woes." Acrylic on Wood. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
|Galerie F, abuzz. Photo credit: Caitlin Bruce|
Thanks to Fonzo and Melon for making time to talk, and get thee to Alphabet Soup 2 before it closes!