Barry McGee, Ed Templeton and Raymond Pettibon are pioneers and icons of the contemporary urban art movement. Their work can be found in the collections of major museums and has been shown at large exhibitions and biennales worldwide, but all three have repeatedly emphasised their roots in youth subculture – in the worlds of skateboarding, graffiti, punk and hip-hop.
These three sought-after artists are brought together by curator Aaron Rose, whose urban art documentary Beautiful Losers
is currently touring the world, in the intimate atmosphere of Berlins Circleculture Gallery.
CIRCLECULTURE GALLERY, GIPSSTR. 11, 10119 BERLIN
VERNISSAGE: 9TH APRIL 2009, 7 PM
EXHIBITION: 10TH APRIL TO 30TH MAY 2009
TUESDAY TO SATURDAY, 2 PM – 6 PM
The trademark icon in Barry McGee’s work is a face with sad eyes that appears lost in thought. It is reminiscent of the homeless and other transients who call the street their home. McGee combines these faces with neon-coloured geometric patterns, thereby reflecting on the archetypal image of mankind overpowered by the omnipresent media. McGee’s complex, expansive installations incorporate disparate elements, combining objects found on the street with large-scale wall murals, framed drawings with car wrecks. They convey a sense of vitality and chaos, but also insecurity and alienation.
Ed Templeton is a painter, photographer, writer and collagist. The former skateboard world champion also creates designs for his skateboard company, Toy Machine. The recurrent themes of Templeton’s work are adolescence and teenage life in what he calls the ‘suburban domestic incubator’. He portrays and documents the quotidian existences and social worlds of teenagers with the topics that interest them most: skateboarding, drugs, love and sex. His images perfectly illustrate the brutal alienation of teenage life.
Raymond Pettibon’s drawings and paintings are mainly focused on the themes of personal and social upheaval, wartime life and the individual’s ongoing struggle with his or her fate. Drawing on cartoons and comics, he explores the tension between image and text and combines references to ‘high culture’ with the icons of pop and trash culture. His work can be viewed as an archive of late twentieth century American cultural history, a gallery of images that again and again illuminate the dark sides of the American way of life. He earned cult status with his early work in the Los Angeles punk scene, designing record covers, posters and fanzines for groups like Sonic Youth and Black Flag. He has now acquired an international reputation as one of the leading contemporary American artists. (All works by Raymond Pettibon are shown by courtesy of Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin und Regen Projects Los Angeles)