BCNXL (Barcelona XL) features: Debens, Eldone, Eox, Flan, J.Loca, Kenor, Klinisbut, Kram, Maze, el Mike, Mr Kern (Bordeaux), Sendys, Skum, Zosen.
Curated by: janspivey
The internationally recognised street art styles of Barcelona arrive in London for the first major UK show at the Smithfield Gallery from the 3-13 December 2008.
In recent years, urban art has become increasingly collectible and fashionable, popularized in the mainstream by the phenomenon that is Banksy. In 2008 London, the two Cans Festivals, the Street art show at the Tate Modern and the recent Urban Art auctions at Sotheby's and Philips prove that in today's art market the smart money is in the art of the counter-culture. And that even in a credit crunch, contemporary art is a good investment.
What remains important and consistent with urban art is its subversive edge that confronts the visual consumer advertising messages that are overwhelming the modern world.
Barcelona has been at the heart of the international street art and graffiti movement for over a decade. Sixeart, the first of Barcelona's artists to arrive in London during 2008, painted the façade of the Tate Modern. Sixe has been followed by a wave of artists strongly associated with Barcelona, Sam3, Btoy and Mr Kern, with Kafre, Skum and Zosen, all painting in Banksy's Cans Festivals at Waterloo.
All the artists in BCNXL were painting on the streets of Barcelona and Girona in the early 90's. They are brought together for the first time in London as part of the BARCELONA XL show at Smithfield. "I believe these artists have been inspired by the unique political and social culture of Catalonia, which faced many years of repression during the dictatorship of Franco." says janspivey the show's curator.
"Political posters and stencils in the Barcelona streets played an important role in the popular propaganda freedom offensive against Fascism and inspired the first generation of Catalans growing up in a newly Democratic Spain." explains Spivey, a Fine Arts graduate from Chelsea.
Several artists in BCNKUA*s BARCELONA XL exhibition are amongst those painting on the streets of Barcelona while studying art, illustration or design, they are alumni of the same Arts Institutions as Gaudí, Picasso, Miró and Tàpies.
The original paintings on show at the Smithfield Gallery demonstrate accomplished, painterly styles, that not only reference the work of the early New York graffiti writers but contemporary artists such as Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Basquiat, Miró, Tàpies and Dalí. BCNXL artists are an important part of the new wave of graffiti styles and influences that have cross-fertilized in Barcelona and moved worldwide.
With a wide range of contemporary colours, produced by the Spanish spray manufacturer Montana, based in Catalonia, the work of Barcelona's artists is characterised by awesome spray can technique and a wide palette of rich, saturated colour.
In addition to the original paintings, a specially commissioned limited and numbered edition (of 25) giclée prints will be available exclusively at BCNKUA. With prices starting at £85.00 (unframed) BCNKUA is offering the chance of owning contemporary art at very affordable prices.
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