Miss Van & Olek @ StolenSpace Gallery, London
May 2014 at StolenSpace brings an exhibitions of works by revered female street artists, and longtime Juxtapoz stalwarts Miss Van and Olek. The exhibition will divide the gallery into two spaces: In Gallery 1, Miss Van will exhibit a new body of work titled 'Glamorous Darkness'. In Gallery 2, Olek will exhibit never-before-seen photographic works and installation, 'Let's not get caught, let's keep going'. Having previously collaborated on public artworks, and exhibited together in many group shows across the world, StolenSpace is proud to bring these artists together to produce their first two-person show.
The concept behind these coinciding shows was born from the personal relationship between these two artists and their strong bond of friendship and mutual creative admiration. For these exhibitions, Miss Van & Olek have chosen to work with a subject that features prominently in both of their artworks: Masks. With a refreshing new take on this shared motif, the two artists will work in disparate media, with works on canvas, photography, and a spectacular three-dimensional construction. Mutually inspired by one another, these unique works will be shown in dialogue, playing upon and delving deeper into the creative realms of each others artwork.
Miss Van's breathtaking new work for her show 'Glamorous Darkness' maintain the signature aesthetic of her 'poupées' (dolls), yet evoking a darker poetic mood. Magical and dreamy, her muses pose in an ambient nature, singing or interacting with each other. They emerge from their loosely painted backgrounds like visions or dreams. The colours Miss Van has used in these painting also adds to the dream like quality, some bright and vivid, some softer, more natural. The masks are still the main elements, her characters are adorned with masquerade-style, animal-like masks, adding mystery and strength. Some with bird like beaks almost like protection to their delicate features, a sharp contrast to their soft sensual curves.
Olek has recreated several of Miss Van's favourite paintings in crochet form and will be displaying these artworks as photographic representations. Focusing on the masks which appear in both their work, Olek has worked with masks herself in both her artworks and performances for years, she brings Miss Van's painted masks to life in crochet. Along with these new works, Olek will cover the gallery floor to ceiling in her signature crochet.
Olek's exhibition title, 'Let's not get caught, let's keep going', borrows itself from a Thelma and Louise film quote which reminds the artist of her friendship with Miss Van: "I love watching movies - I watch hundreds of them while I work. During the first steps of my creation of this work, I revisited this movie. It reminded me of the first steps of a beautiful relationship between two women. Vanessa truly is a person who you can steal horses with."
The exhibition opens this Friday, May 9, at StolenSpace Gallery in London.