Rob Swain (head of Gamma Proforma) had a vision following last years exhibition ‘Rudimentary Perfection‘, a vision to bring together an exhibition of like-minded artists who shared similar backgrounds in traditional graffiti and who over the decades had each evolved their desire to produce more abstract forms of expression. This has been achieved through a process of deconstruction and deviating from original letter form.
This vision which Rob fostered and germinated has finally reached it’s fruition at Blackall Studios.
The Futurism 2.0 blurb cites a quote from Marinetti and the Futurist Manifesto of 1909, which in all honesty I didn’t think need to be adopted as it conjures up the annihilation of culture and history. I’ll accept that the Graffuturist’s are using the points from this manifesto loosely but I find it rather dubious reference material to align oneself with.
If any of the ideals in the Futurist Manifesto were adhered to in this scenario then the history of the graffiti movement for the past 3 decades would have to be wiped out, its influence negated and women would not be admitted into its inner sanctum (which may well be the case as a female element in this show is sadly missing).
But having said all of this if you manage to get past the words and get to see the show you will be blown away. The sheer level of artistry here is absolutely mind blowing.
I asked some of the artists in the show what they thought this exhibition meant to them on an historical level in the graffiti movement and on a personal level in terms of their own evolution as artists.
Mark Lyken: It’s nice to be in like-minded company and company who’s work I greatly admire. With group shows there are generally one or two artists who’s work floats my boat where as this is the show that keeps on giving, every artist in the line up floats my boat. Futurism 2.0 feels like a personal year zero in terms of it being a culmination of everything I have been working towards for the last few years, in fact for the last 20 odd years. This feels like a new chapter on so many levels.
Teo Moneyless Pirisi: I think that this show represents the breaking point of the street art movement. All artists here have evolved towards abstraction and clearly got anti pop! After years dominated by characters and figurative style, we finally define a truly artistic movement
Christopher Derek Bruno: I don’t quite know where this exhibition fits within the evolution of graffiti, I do feel that the the collection of people that are showing definitely represent a coherent vantage point on the subject and all strive to present this point of view to the best of their abilities. It seems to be a naturally existing facet of graff, one that pushes form in new ways. There aren’t many letters represented in this show, I personally feel graff is letter based but how graff has influenced the objects made is hard to ignore.
Being part of this collective has served as a massive push to deliver on new levels of concept and delivery, in order to merit the shared wall space with individuals I have respected for a good bit of time. It’s nice to meet those who have been working hard to pave paths you enjoy walking and then to see and share ideas and conversation only adds to the experience. it’s the what happens after this collision of ideas that I most look forward to.
Derm: Historically I feel it is an important insight into the work of a diverse collection of artists that are pushing the parameters within the abstract art form, as a development from its letter based foundations. I feel privileged to be exhibiting with such dynamic artists that share a similar view on the art form.
Remi/Rough: I think to me it validates my shift into abstraction. Being part of something that as steeped in history as it is yet still in constant motion is a true honour. I feel that some of these artists are complete game changers! Graffiti had it’s run as did Street Art… Now it’s our time.