This event has passed.
  • Every day from 06:00 pm until 09:00 pm, May 17 2016 to Jun 07 2016
  • Mark Hachem Gallery, Rue Rafic Salloum, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Exhibitions, Arts & Culture

BEIRUT URBAN WALLS

Opening reception:
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 I 6-9 pm

Celebrating the launch of the "Beirut Urban Walls -BUW " project, initiated by Mark Hachem gallery, and curated by Olivier Pytel, seven international graffiti artists: Tarsila Schubert, L7M, Jace, Yazan Halwani, C215, Mosko and Pimax, are invited to transform Beirut into a vast outdoor museum.
As part of "BUW", the gallery will stage a collective exhibition, presenting over one hundred exclusive street art pieces, from twenty different artists, in their downtown premises. Visitors, art collectors and graffiti lovers, are invited to watch the artists in action during the event. They will perform in proximity of the gallery and on the streets of Beirut.

Since the civil war, streets of Beirut have been occupied by war related themes and political inscriptions. A large number of structures still carry scars of war with bullet holes in their walls. Only a few number of artists emerged mixing western style graffiti with Arabic calligraphy. "BUW" intends to connect Lebanese and international artists, in order to spread a new vision, and shed more light on the importance of street art as means of expression, an art that carries an important cultural and ideological dimension. It also intends to send a positive message to the Beiruties, by adding a new layer and creating a new identity to some major walls in their city. Hoping that abandoned sites, will come back to life with freshly new graffiti, creating landmarks that will impact the streets of Beirut. The projects also aims to generate discourse among the citizens and initiate more activities in the service of the arts and the city of Beirut.

Two Roundtable discussions shall be organised before and after the event at Mark Hachem Gallery. They will focus on the topic of Graffiti as cross cultural cultural phenomenon that is part of every single society, and is no longer perceived as an act of vandalism nor as a tool for economical, political and war related messages, but rather as a tool for artistic expression, that communicates directly to the public, using new techniques and skills associated with the increasing complexity and transformations of Graffiti art.

ARTISTS
Luis Seven Martins is a Brazilian street artist who goes by the nickname of “L7m". Born in São Paulo in 1988, he displayed since childhood a big interest in art. At the age of 13 L7m had his first introduction to spray paint and since then he has been experimenting with different techniques and materials like china ink, latex, pastel and acrylic. L7m is known for his spectacular images of birds found on the streets of Sao Paulo where he successfully blends roughness and elegance to produce truly unique paintings. Those large feathered creatures give life to the city's still walls with their realistic eyes peering out, watching over the streets while the rest of the body, tail and wings, stream off into lively swirls of texture. Unlike the sort of graffiti that we’re all used to, L7m’s paintings combine geometrical elements and stylized color puzzles with detailed realism. Luis work “is identified by the simplicity of colors and free geometry, causing contradictions and uncomfortable feelings in the observers.”

Tarsila Schubert, born in Brazil in 1987, is a street artist with an impressive CV. She worked with some of the most renowned brands in the industry, such as Pepsi, Hermès, Adidas, Red Bull, Kartell, and Nokia. She lived in several different cities throughout her life, mainly in Latin America, and is currently residing and working in Dubai-UAE. Her paintings are influenced and inspired by music, nature, spirituality, science, philosophy and popular culture. Her work combines: paintings, drawings, illustrations, animations and murals. Colorful, intriguing and charismatic, these adjectives describe both the artist and her work. Schubert is working her way to becoming a household name in the Dubai Art scene and her art speaks for itself. When she’s not brightening up the otherwise grey walls of DIFC, she is painting recycled furniture.
"I paint everything I see around me, and inside me. I try to make my reality seem more beautiful through rose tinted glasses. I dream a lot, and I always put my dreams and my nightmares in my paintings."

Jace is a French graffiti artist born in Le Havre, currently living and working in Réunion. He is known for capturing the spirit of commercial posters and billboards. Jace created a character known as Gouzou, which appears all around the tropical Réunion Island, often placed in absurd, funny situations. It can also be found in different countries around the world, including Madagascar, Mauritius, Bali, and now over Le M.U.R., a three-by-eight meter billboard, set aside by the Marie de Paris with the purpose of promoting urban art. The character was recently copied by a large Chinese brand to promote its products. Luckily, the Chinese courts ruled in favour of Jace, and it is now a jurisprudence case for author’s rights in China.
Jace and his Gouzou can be seen in the streets of Paris, if you look carefully. He has been exhibited in 30 different countries around world, has published numerous catalogues documenting his works and has been presented in various international magazines.

Pimax is a multitalented artist born in Montreuil and currently living and working in Paris. He creates ephemeral paintings on walls and stencil posters. His inspirations come from Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, Velvet Underground’s Banana or even Goldorak with his pointed finger. Here in Paris, in the Marais district, Pimax twists fashion with a colourful touch of popular culture. This blend is a strong theme that can be detected throughout his entire artistic approach. He often collaborates with his street mates, Nature’s Revenge, Nemo or JefAérosol.
“I try to interact with the context, so I place in the streets elements and characters that belong especially to the streets. I like to show things and people that society tries to hide: homeless people, smokers, street kids, and bench lovers..."

Christian Guémy born in 1973, also known as C215, is a Parisian street artist focused on stencil graffiti. He started painting in 2005 and now one of the finest and most productive stencil artists on the street art scene. C215’s art captures light, depth and humanity that are difficult and rare. Using stencils, he tends to flatten his images to make them seem static. "C215 has developed a style of illustrating and stenciling that yields an impressionistic illumination of his subject’s character. Despite his meticulously refined technique, his work transcends the formal and seems to get to the core of compassion and belief in the human spirit."


Yazan Halwani was born in Lebanon in 1993 and is one of the youngest graffiti artists in the Middle East who displayed very soon a big interest in the underground hip hop culture. He started painting murals at the age of 14, developing a unique signature style, based on mixing graffiti with Arabic calligraphy –a style called Calligraffiti. While being familiar with different calligraphic styles, one particular style, "kufi", caught his attention and led him to exeriment various versions of it in his works. In 2010, Yazan won the Bliss graffiti competition in Hamra. With his murals, he tries to preserve the Arabic culture using distinctive features, such as arabesque patterns, Arabic calligraphy, and portraits of popular Lebanese and Middle Eastern icons.

Gérard Laux began painting animals of the Savanna signed «Mosko» in the threatened neighbourhood of Moskowa, in the north of the 18th district of Paris. The following year the adventure became collective under the name of «Mosko et associés», with the same simple purpose: beautify the surroundings. In 2004, the first transposition of the animals was moved from the street to the gallery, accessing a completely different reality, and was marked by the publication of the book «Peignez la girafe». Giraffes, zebras and cats are painted on wood, fences and other reused media. In 2015, following a process of both continuity and rebirth, Gérard Laux rediscovers his original way of signing «MOSKO». While maintaining the animal theme, it was a transformative year that also witnessed a new approach in his technique.

KURAR, a French street artist, fell into the graffiti world in the late 90’s. He has been painting for the past 10 years and has additionally worked on 3D lettering, volume, and colors. Over time, he diversified his work through the use of different techniques, including Graffiti, Stencils and Collages, eventually focusing on stenciling projects. KURAR tackles sensitive issues such as war, religion, alienation, and mass consumption. He uses and represents childhood as a recurring theme, cleverly symbolizing innocence in contrast with his ironic and provocative representations. Since 2013, KURAR has made a remarkable progress marked by a solo show at the Onega gallery in Paris. Since then his works have been exhibited in galleries worldwide, namely in New York, Los Angeles, Dusseldorf, La Rėunion and Berlin.

Kent was born in 1970 in Dartford. He started drawing at a young age images of space travel, where he would depict himself and his friends visiting other Planets and Universes. As he grew older he began to explore a dark, egotistical fantasy world, which is still apparent in his work today. He was influenced and inspired by a wide range of artists, such as sculptor Allen Jones, comic artist Eric Stanton, erotic photographer Helmut Newton and painters Gustav Klimt and Alberto Vargas.
Using basic drawing tools, such as pens, pencils and paper, he creates delicate and time consuming drawings, where he explores emotion, utopia and a world of fantasy. His subject matters depict the beautiful, erotic and unattainable female form. His compelling works reveal his passion for drawing and a very active imagination that transports the viewer into his obscure world of make-believe.

McAttee currently lives and works in the UK and is known as ‘STET’ in the graffiti scene. He studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s. His art takes the form of large painted canvases that depict colorful ‘Spacescapes’ of subatomic collisions and huge cosmic events, suggesting themes of destruction, change, and cause and effect. His latest work can be described as a vibrant and energetic type of ‘dreamlike comic pop’ and borders on a sensory assault, in shapes, colors and textures that bombard the eye, by an overriding sense of movement and vitality. He is heavily influenced by graffiti art, comic book graphics, pop art and abstract expressionism. McAttee comments: “My aim is to provide the viewer with a colorful riot of gravity-less forms set in highly layered, seemingly endless space with a sense of ambiguity, humour and celebration”. McAttee has had numerous solo shows in New York, London, Paris and the Middle East as well as a variety of notable commissions with Benson & Hedges, Nike, Antonio Berardi, Liquitex and most recently, Sony PS3.

Snik, initially inspired by the Graffiti scene, has been working with stencil and spray cans for the past 10 years. Constantly pushing the boundaries, he has developed a unique style, which is as captivating on walls as it is on canvas. Staying true to the form, Snik hand-cuts up to nine layers at a time, working with different mediums, techniques, paints and varnishes. Regardless of the size, the level of detail is insane, and the use of color and form is inspiring. Sink was exhibited in galleries, shows and forums across the globe. He had an inaugural solo show in 2011 and has been growing a large number of fans, admirers and collectors that follow his shows worldwide.

Bruno Carneiro Mosciaro, well known as Bruno Big, is a designer and visual artist from Rio de Janeiro. Big is a multidisciplinary artist who explores and works with different techniques. Focusing on primitive ones, such as printmaking, pottery, stencil and woodcut. Bruno Big is able to move among various medias and works a lot with graffiti, digital illustration and experimental printmaking. He has developed set designs, panels, facades, illustrations, prints, advertising arts and much more. Many of those works were commissioned by campaigns for brands such as Coca-Cola, Farm, Canal Brazil, RedBull, Rider and Nike. Having a long-term partnership with the latter, Big developed many projects and products for the brand. One of the most important was a series of unique illustrations that were applied on the official shirt worn by the Brazilian Soccer Team during the World Cup in 2014.

Jimmy C played a key role in the Australian underground graffiti movement, at the beginning of the 90’s. After working through numerous wall orders and community art projects, he completed his Master in Visual Arts at the University of Southern Australia, showing a keen interest for urban realism and figurative oil painting. His technique is to merge graffiti and oil painting, leading to an elaborate, pointillist spray signature. He creates portraits and urban skylines with paint, spray strokes and dots, calling his technique “drip painting” and “scribble painting”, which is produced by overlapping color drips and lines. In 2013, his David Bowie wall created in the London district of Brixton became a tribute dedicated to the music legend. Jimmy C has successfully applied his sharp eye and talent to bring urban transformations to the cities that lined his background.

Stinkfish is a Colombian street artist, born in Mexico. He photographs and recreates the pictures on street walls: he is always with a camera taking pictures of strangers in action. He then turns those images into stencils and finally selects the wall where he produces the art. His work represents psychedelic themes and elements. His course was never fixed, and this often presented him with an opportunity to meet different people and visit different locations. He eventually joined a group of individuals with similar interests and with a fascination for painting the streets illegally by using a variety of street art tools. He began making stencils around the years 2000-2001. However, it was not until 2003, in Bogotá, that he created a very intricate street art piece, in remembrance for John F. Kennedy’s murder. The artwork was that of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting the corpse of his father. He kept painting the piece over and over until one day he was stopped by the police. Stinkfish’s work is based primarily on portraying a variety of random faces in his very own language.

Cart’1 is a travelling, versatile artist and a graphic designer. He started experimenting with graffiti in 1989. His art was driven towards rather small black and white creations, where lonesome elementsandcharacters end up being part of the surface upon which the graffiti is performed, as if they were actual living creature, a kind of 3 three dimensional trompe-l’oeil. Cart’1’s ideologies were deeply affected by a Philip K Dick's novel, which presents the key elements of his way of thinking: "The chromium fence is a criticism of an extremist society and the story of a man who does not want to be part of it."

Ghazi Baker, born in 1967, is a self-taught artist, a painter, a practicing architect, an avid photographer and a passionate bike rider. His trips have always been a source of inspiration for his works, they taught him to become a better observer and helped him develop a deeper level of self-awareness. Baker emphasizes aesthetics in his own personal language as he approaches a wide range of subjects in a multi-layered fashion. His work questions the status of the current human condition by touching various overlapping topics, such as the relation between art, popular culture and the media. Baker longs to uncover the flaws and contradictions that are at the heart of the artistic discourse, through powerful relatable imagery, using written and drawn symbols and popular themes such as sensuality, relationships and violence. In this way, Baker paints a world of light-heartedness rules that are also undermined.

RÉZINE, an artist springing out of the graffiti movement, began by tagging in the early nineties and developed a complex style, writing his pseudo on walls in one single stroke. He explored various scripts styles, and different forms of calligraphy, and found a particular interest in Arabic letterforms. The dynamism of his personal style is characterized by its hybrid approach, fusing traditional and modern calligraphy with both oriental and western influences. RÉZINE combines in his work calligraphy, 3D graffiti, technological and architectural elements conveying the concept of “mutation”. He has been particularly inspired by surrealism and his work has a futuristic feel.

Noty & Aroz were born in 199, they live and work in Paris. Noty & Aroz met in primary school. When they got to high school, a common passion for the drawing brought them together and they moved into an abandoned farm, where they painted the walls for months, until it shut down. After being kicked out, they found the streets to be the best medium for their artistic frenzy.
Bustart, born in switzerland in 1983, is a versatile street artist from Basel, his work has been dominating the streets of Amsterdam for quite sometime. One can’t walk the streets without seeing his stickers, stencil art, paste-ups or pieces. His art is not limited to any medium, and he always comes up with something new. There is no technique Bustard doesn’t use in his pictures. Freehand with paint-brushes, markers, cans or stencils. For him, there’s no limit, his favorite tools are markers and spray cans. His favorite backgrounds are concrete walls, because of their grey color that begs for a new coating. Bustart's enjoys traveling, because he's always looking for good spots to paint and express himself. Amsterdam has always been his favorite city, he finally decided to live there in 2011. Today, Bustart is considered one of the key artists of Amsterdam.

For more info: 01 999 313

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