Elberto Muller's Hand is Vital in "Vacant Hand" @ Entrance, NYC
As a graffiti writer and what we can refer to as a "drifter", Elberto Muller has seen some things. Sure, we can all claim to see things, but for someone like Muller, whose "work draws from his experiences riding freight trains, planes and autos across North America, crossing and recrossing the country through a covert network of rail and road maps, resources and guides maintained by fellow travelers," fragments of a whole begin to take shape. The mosaic tile works he is making, the ones on view in his debut solo show, Vacant Hand, at Entrance in NYC, is all about fragments of tile that make a whole piece of pop-cultural and subversive iconography. It's like pieces he has collected along the way that take shape into something almost cohesive. And yet, the gaps remain.
As the gallery notes, "Along with maintaining a studio practice, Muller is a novelist, having recently published Graffiti On Low or No Dollars: An Alternative Guide to Aesthetics and Grifting Throughout the United States and Canada with Outlandish Press in August, 2023. In the course of his travels he has scattered hundreds of small mosaic tile works across the continent, which have become landmarks frequently sought out and documented by his avid followers." But what is clear is that the show is about moving through and with imagery, about memorites and humor and finding a crack in the system and living through it.—Evan Pricco