A few weeks ago, the Radio Juxtapoz team sat down with Iranian-born, NYC-based artist duo and brothers, Icy & Sot, with much of the conversation covering the work that has become Faces of Society, a new solo show now on view at the Underdogs Gallery in Lisbon, Portugal. As we prep the release in the coming days, we wanted to show the newest sculptural works, paintings, and installations from the brothers. As their street works tend to be overt and powerful messages around political issues, most recently immigration, their gallery output is more subtle, and yet still some of the best political art being made in the scene today.

Faces of Society, their first exhibition here at Underdogs Gallery, delves into some of the most striking contradictions behind our affluent societies, bringing to light the unacknowledged role played by the countless invisible people who help prop it up from deep within its shadows, in contrast with the self-absorbed, desensitised stance of many of those who reap the bene ts of their labour.

working class hero 01

In the artists’ own words:

“This body of works is a reaction of our thoughts on the fast and complex society we are living in these days. All of these old rusty shovels, a pair of used working gloves, and a hand broom-shaped into the silhouette of a working-class person symbolize the hard work these anonymous people put into society for a better life for all of us. They do so much yet don’t get enough in return, becoming kind of invisible in our society because of other people’s greed. After experimenting working with different objects and materials like the shovel series, we began developing tools we could use to make paintings with. The result is the cut-out steel tool. These paintings show the chaos and differences of the people living a life in the fast lane, where they don’t see or care for each other enough because they live in their own virtual world, their faces permanently buried in their phones, social media, dating apps. People have become like moving shadows but it should be a collective responsibility to cut down on the virtual world and shine more in real life.” 

The gallery above features a few street works by Icy & Sot from past projects