The Concrete Echoes of Martin Whatson
Harman Projects is pleased to present Concrete Echoes, a solo exhibition by Norwegian artist Martin Whatson. This will be the artist's first solo presentation with the gallery. From his beginnings in Norway's nascent graffiti scene in the early '90s to his countless international large scale murals Martin Whatson is recognizable to appreciators of public art the world over. Immediately recognizable for his mixed media paintings featuring grey-scale stenciled subjects cohabiting space with layers of colorful graffiti, Whatson's work lives in a state of constant contrast. Not only does the artist visually combine the worlds of street art and graffiti harmoniously, but his work on the street and his work in the studio both serve to inform one another.
A key element to Whatson's work stems from his interest in the human desire to leave one's mark on the world around them. In The Poster (pictured above) a male figure wheatpastes a graffiti covered poster to a barren grey wall. This application of art to a wall loosely references the artist's own public art practice while directly reflecting the work of many of his peers in the greater street art movement. It also speaks to the stratification of public art by combining somewhat the disparate schools of graffiti, street art, muralism, stencilism and wheatpasting, recontextualizing and presenting these scenes through a contemporary art lens .
As the birthplace of modern graffiti, New York City is the perfect place to host an exhibition like Concrete Echoes. The title symbolizes the back and forth between street art and fine art, between inspiration and execution, hardness and softness; Concrete Echoes furthers the conversations about ownership of the public space, creation versus destruction, and of the fragility of nature.
Please join the gallery on Saturday, September 9th at 210 Rivington Street, New York, NY for the opening reception of Concrete Echoes from 6pm to 8pm.