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New York Perspectives

Urban Spree Galerie presents New York Perspectives, a duo show featuring Chris „Daze“ Ellis and Joe Conzo, curated by Mode2. The vernissage will be on Friday, November 22nd, at 18:30, in presence of the two artists.

    Through the work of two New York City-born artists, a painter and a photographer, this exhibition is an attempt to show aspects of New York City life, through the eyes and the work of two very different individuals; though both come from a part of its counterculture.

    The drawings and paintings of the artist Chris “Daze” Ellis, and those many moments and people captured by the photography of Joe Conzo show us how the youth that were more in osmosis with the steel, the concrete, the glass, the streets and the city’s subway system, could develop new forms of visual dialogue that could form a bridge between their own social and cultural background, and a movement that would infiltrate the artworld and become a global phenonmenon.

   Coming from different neighbourhoods and cultural backgrounds, both have lived long enough to have witnessed first hand the huge transformations that the city has gone through over these last decades, while their “work”, which was actually their hobby, passion and life pretty much, has documented seminal eras during that time.

  These tumultuous years of cultural flux; of blossoming, blooming, destruction and rebirth, are often overlooked by today’s focus on the “now” of street art, and the way through which this eclipses the very alchemy that gave birth to the way in which artists express themselves in the street today, or the way in which they document city life.

    It is doubtful that much of what is happening today in visual art, music, dance and written or spoken word ever would have happened, if generations of youth in New York City had not lived what they did many decades ago; and we can count ourselves lucky that a few rare individuals happened to be there and have the instinct to document it.

  Here then, are views of New York from two different perspectives, they themselves being a complex accumulation of all of life’s experiences, and how they shape each individual’s understanding of the world around them; and the ways by which they choose to express and share this with us.

Urban Spree Prints will release two 18″x 24″ silk screen prints by Daze on the opening night and online.

The gallery and the curator heartily thank Henry Chalfant for letting us show his documentary movie “From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale.”

Poster Artwork by Tyler Askew.

 

“New York Perspectives“

Christopher „Daze“ Ellis / Joe Conzo

Curated by Mode2

22.11 – 21.12.2019

 

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Opening: Friday 22.11.2019 at 18:30

Exhibition: Tu-Sa – 12:00 – 18:30

Info & Catalogue: contact@urbanspree.com

 

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BIOGRAPHIES: 

 

Chris „Daze“ Ellis

Growing up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Chris Daze Ellis (b. 1962) was aware from early on of the names and the odd characters that would be dancing along the trains that wove their way through the city. When he started out at the High School of Art & Design in 1976, he found that there was a whole community of very diverse yet like-minded individuals there, also involved with this scene; some of whom would go on to make a name for themselves in the art world.

Being a fan of drawing and comic books already, Daze camouflaged his nighttime activities under his parents‘ gaze, exploring and expanding his visual vocabulary, combining the traditional with the dynamism of a new and challenging environment, with stimulus of its own.

Having mastered the medium and the environment, Daze would go on to shape his own personal vision of the world, looking as much inwards as outwards, in the relationship between the trains and walls, and what he could further explore in the studio. The strength of his successful life as an artist in his own right would develop from then on.

From his participation in his first group show, Beyond Words, at the Mudd Club in 1981, before having his own solo show at Fashion Moda (the historical South Bronx art space that bridged the established art world with the raw talent and energy coming out of New York City), Daze embraced the wide horizon that opened up before him.

From then on, Daze began to show in many different cities around the world, whether it be galleries and museum, in solo shows as well as group formats. He has participated in many public or educational art projects around the world, working with students and communities from South Korea to Brazil via Haiti, while often visiting Europe as well, and contributing to New York mural initiatives like the Leap Arts Program or Thrive Collective.

From his appearances in the film Style Wars, to being an art consultant on the Netflix series The Get Down in 2017, to participating in public painting projects from the Star Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong in 1993, painting an entire Hannover train station with fellow artists Lee Quinones and John Crash Matos, or being commissioned for murals by private clients like the law firm, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in Washington D.C. 2018; Daze has constantly had his hands on a whole range of different projects.

Daze’s paintings have found themselves in many private collections including Eric Clapton, Natalie Imbruglia, and Madonna. His work can also be found in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum, NY, Museum of Modern art, NY, The Museum of the city of New York, The Ludwig Museum, Aachen, Yale University art Gallery, New Haven, Addison Museum of American Art at the Phillips Academy, Andover.

Chris Daze Ellis continues to live and work in New York City.

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Joe Conzo

Joe Conzo was born in the Bronx during an era of great upheaval, when the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway was nearing its end, having destroyed the communities that lay in its path, and condemning those parts of the borough around it to social and economic decline. The apocalyptic landscapes of urban devastation, and the high criminality associated to it are emblematic of that era.

President Truman’s Urban Renewal announced in 1949, ruthlessly applied by Robert Moses, targetted the more modest and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods of New York City whose resistance to forced removal would fall on deaf ears, as private developers grabbed the prime lots. The Bronx represented both the laboratory and the collateral damage for these extreme experiments of urban renewal.

And yet, out of what looked like an urban war zone, the city’s youth began to pick up the pieces, and, out of the desolation around them, began to build their own road out of it. Realising that the state was not going to do anything positive for them, their survival instincts eventually kicked in; and out of the gang culture, the drugs, and the sheer nihilism that had reigned for a while over much of the borough, new and greener shoots were beginning to break through.

Joe Conzo’s cultural capital, and that of his peers, was probably key to his survival and his blossoming during those harsh years; grandson of Dr. Evelina López Antonetty, a political activist who played a huge role in developing educational programmes for Puerto Rican children, and son of Joe Conzo Snr., who was in the thick of the huge Latin music scene of that bridged those decades; hanging with all the main players of that era, and having been the biographer of Tito Puente.

While studying at the Agnes Russell School on the campus of Columbia University, he discovered photography, the medium that would enable him to document what went on around him; from the world of latin culture through his father’s connections, to the collision of art forms that would later be called Hip Hop; a word that eclipses the sum of its parts.

Having lived many ups and downs in the eighties, to a rebirth of sorts, Joe Conzo went on to become a qualified medical nurse, then worked for the New York City Fire Department, being among the first responders on 9/11. At some point along the way, he was reunited with the camera, and began shooting again…

Whether as the photographer of rap crew The Cold Crush Brothers, a hugely influential group of MCs from the early days, or just a boy from the Bronx who had a camera and curious eyes, Joe Conzo’s photos provided reference material to Henry Chalfant ’s documentary “From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale.”, and were documented in a book called “Born In The Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop”.

His negatives have been digitalised and archived at Cornell University, providing a unique and indispensable resource for those wishing to research the those eras.



Paradox x CPT.OLF 16-19

„Paradox x CPT.OLF 16-19“ – The Exhibition – shows for the first time the exceptional photographs of Cpt.Olf shot during his 4-year stint as resident photographer of Paradox, Berlin’s most secretive pixação writer and urban climber.

In addition to original artworks contributed by Paradox, the show will also display Cpt.Olf’s urban exploration photographs.

 

„CPT.OLF 16-19“ – The Book –  is the companion photobook to the exhibition, published in a limited edition of 500 books.

Published for the first time, the photographs of Cpt_Olf represent a milestone in urban photography as well as a first-hand account of the gest of Paradox.

Links to purchase the book (Regular Edition or Collector Edition with a signed and numbered 15×21 cm digital c-print)

http://bit.ly/Cpt_Olf_16-19_Regular-Edition

http://bit.ly/Cpt_Olf_16-19_Special-Edition

 

 

„CPT.OLF 16-19“ – The Exhibition:

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Opening: Friday 18.10.2019 at 19:00

18.10.2019 – 16.11.2019

Exhibition: Tu-Sa – 12:00 – 18:30



Jim Avignon: Here Comes the Bad News Finissage

Join us in the gallery on Sunday afternoon for the finissage of the exhibition „Here Comes the Bad News„.

Between 16:00 and 19:00, Jim Avignon will spin 7″ records, meet the audience, sign books and goodies (our new limited edition mugs!) and there will be a raffle of a painting!

 

Jim Avignon

Here Comes the Bad News Finissage

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

16:00 – 19:00



Berlin- Praha Barter

After the first exhibition, titled „Praha Berlin Barter“ (March/April 2019) which was hosted by Urban Spree in Berlin, the gallery is this time being hosted by Trafo Gallery in Prague in a new group exhibition called „Berlin Praha Barter„.

Berlin Praha Barter

Preview: 16.05.2019
Exhibition: 17.05. – 23.06.2019

Curated by Pascal Feucher (Urban Spree)

In this second round, we have invited 11 visual artists of the Urban Spree family to exhibit artworks at Trafo Gallery:

 The artists are representative of the new Berlin scene that emerged since the Fall of the Wall, starting with the precursor – Jim Avignon – quite known for his painted decors of many of the Berlin squatted clubs of the early 90’s and large historic murals (East Side Gallery) and whose remixed cubist/pop art/Neue Sachlichkeit aesthetics are iconic of the Berlin art scene.

 

Going along the figurative trail, Marion Jdanoff (half of the duo Palefroi) develops a highly poetic and fairytale-like universe, fueled with middle age tales, strange characters, fabled animals in a rich palette of colors. Fabian Warnsing paints large-sized canvases in a faux-naïf style, creating still life paintings, urban landscapes and everyday scenes.

The graphite drawings of Lars Wunderlich are part of a series from 2017 titled „East German Realities“, whereby the artist applies his process of distortion and glitches to scenes witnessed in the Eastern parts of Germany where nationalism is still a vivid reality.

Sebas Velasco explores the remnants of the Eastern bloc in a series of oil paintings and drawings based on scenes from Yugoslavia and elsewhere, Plattenbau, old cars, graffiti, and neon hotel signs. An urban/architecture thematic which has been magnified over 20 years by EVOL with his stencils on outdoor electric boxes and on cardboard.

Going further, Hendrik Czakainski creates 3D large-scale post-architectural panels which are radical anatomical explorations of the urban body. His works are impressive, immersive, chaotic urban scenes captured from above, on a bird’s eye view perspective.

Besides figurative and architecture-inspired works, a strong line at Urban Spree has always been „post-graffiti abstraction“, i.e. using the codes, techniques, roots, flow and philosophy of graffiti, where the letter becomes an abstraction, a substance.

While Stohead is closer in some instances to the true form of the letter (calligraphy, handstyle, overwriting), he has always experimented beyond it, trying to deconstruct and dissolve the Letter in a post-graffiti approach. Theresa Volpp’s practice is more focused on the very subject of abstract art and bears only a faint distance to graffiti, although some form of automatic writing exists in her work, in a pre-graffiti way, as if abstract art is trying to reconnect with a certain flow but before the invention of graffiti..

Christian August creates multiple layers of grey colors by erasing, scratching, repainting, and finally achieving a wall texture (in the scratchy meaning of Dubuffet and Brassaï in the early 20th century), then completing his work by a stunning dash of ultramarine color, the artist’s persistent signature. Johannes Mundinger has also strong roots in wall painting and creates delicate abstract works in subdued tones, large shapes and blocs, stunning and contemplative abstract landscapes.

Oscillating between abstract and figurative art, Berlin Praha Barter shows a diversity of approaches and styles, seemingly loosely connected but united by an undercurrent practice of wall painting and shared values.

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Urban Spree Galerie was created in Berlin-Friedrichshain in 2012 as a 400 sqm „artist-run“ space with the objective of discovering and promoting the emerging international wave of post-graffiti painters and artists, with a strong focus on local talents.

The gallery is an essential part of Urban Spree, a 1.700 sqm independent multi-cultural complex comprising a Biergarten, a concert room, a bookshop, 5 artist studios, a screen printing studio, itself set in a 70.000 sqm postindustrial creative compound in the heart of Berlin (R.A.W.).

The gallery benefits from its large urban grassroots ecosystem and offers its invited artists an ideal space for experimentation through ambitious on-site residencies and monthly exhibitions that usually involve painting the outside walls of the compound.

It is armed with these values of generosity and openness, shared with Trafo Gallery, that we together decided to initiate a gallery exchange.

https://www.urbanspree.com
instagram: @urban_spree
facebook: Urban Spree

 

Thanks to all Trafo Gallery supporters: Ministerstvo kultury ČR, Magistrát hlavního

města Prahy, Art District 7, Radio 1, Protisedi.cz, ArtMap and Wine4You.

Trafo Gallery, Hala 14, Pražská tržnice, Bubenské nábřeží 306/13, Prague 7, tram
no. 1, 12, 14, 25, metro Vltavská (300m),

Open Wed–Sun 3–7pm, Sat 10am–7pm,
www.trafogallery.cz ,

IG: trafo_gallery,

FB: trafogalerie



Praha-Berlin Barter

In March/April 2019, Urban Spree Galerie invites Prague-based Trafo Gallery for a group show and gallery exchange.

„Praha-Berlin Barter“ will take place from 28.03.2019 to 21.04.2019 and will display the works of 8 prominent Czech artists from the Trafo gallery.

Curated by Trafo Gallery Director Blanka Čermáková, the group show oscillates between contemporary urban arts (Jan Kaláb, Michal Škapa), pop surrealism (Jan Vytiska), contemporary drawing, sculpture, digital art, animation (Jakub Janovský, Michal Cimala, Jakub Nepraš), and geometric abstraction paintings (Robert Šalanda, Ira Svobodová). All artists have been involved in the old Trafacka space in Prague before its destruction and are actively involved into the new Trafo Gallery.

This group exhibition marks the first exchange between 2 independent European galleries sharing the same values and a similar history.

Trafacka was created in 2006 as a gallery and residential space located in an old power station in an industrial district of Prague.
After a couple of years, the place was occupied by more than 100 living and working artists in 36 studios, exhibiting in Trafo Gallery. More than 200 projects took place over the course of 8 years, until the place was finally destroyed in 2014. In 2016, the gallery managed to relocate in a former slaughterhouse (Vietnamese market of Prague, across the river from the historical center). Trafo Gallery was reborn with a 200 sqm gallery space and 4 artist studios. The artist-run gallery presents six exhibitions and six books per year with a focus on the new contemporary Czech art scene and the genres of street art, sculptures, abstraction painting, and digital art.

In the words of Blanka Čermáková, Director of Trafo Gallery: „One exhibition per year is a sort of barter with international projects and galleries which this year leads us to Berlin, city of art, angels and friends. Eight artists based in Prague, united with a long term bond to Trafo Gallery and our history, – Ira Svobodová, Jan Kaláb, Jakub Nepraš, Michal Cimala, Michal Škapa, Jan Vytiska, Robert Šalanda and Jakub Janovský – represent strong personalities and different art expressions. Ira Svobodová paints exact architectural compositions and builds perspective with colors and shadows, Jan Kaláb, a well known artist to Urban Spree with strong street art roots and perfect color and shapes styles, Jakub Nepraš shape sculptures as a platform for his vivid videocollages of microscopic worlds of nature and human babylons, Michal Cimala composes sculptures made often from collected material to existentialist compositions. Graffiti legend Michal Škapa works with urban scenery, apocalyptic and architecture destruction or using expressive colors when writing his crypted rune texts on canvases. Jan Vytiska is a painter of zombie romantic and surrealistic stories often based in forest neighbourhood or in postapocalyptic times. Robert Šalanda works with paper collages of abstract color shapes and transpose it to canvases where playfully upgrades new compositions with gradient colors. Last but not least Jakub Janovský is recognizable with his figurative drawings and often black and white coloring, silicon, enamel or airbrush outlines and ironic reflecting of society problems and characters.

All of these artists, whether picturing abstract motives, displaying the view of their world around or in their visions, are the subatomic particles bonding Trafo Gallery fluidum together. Without them, Trafo Gallery would never exist“.

In June 2019, Urban Spree’s artists will be hosted in Prague by Trafo Gallery.

 

Praha-Berlin Barter

Urban Spree Galerie

Opening: Thursday, 28.03.2019 from 19:00

Exhibition: 29.03.2019 – 21.04.2019

Tu-Su: 12:00-19:00

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Info & Catalogue: galerie@urbanspree.com



La Vallée/BAF at Urban Spree

Urban Spree invites our Brussels-based friends from LaVallée and Brussels Art Factory for a week-end long mini festival in Berlin focused around arts, music, workshops, and performances!

Opening on Friday 01.06, we start the evening with the Opening of „Balance“, a solo presentation of new works by the famed belgian duo Hell’o in our main galerie space. Running in parallel with their retrospective museum solo show at the BAM in Mons (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Mons, Belgium), „Balance“ brings a new series of paintings on canvas and drawings on paper to the Berlin audience. Hell’o will also sign their new monograph „Untitled Oddyssey“, published early May by Maison CFC – éditions & librairie. Urban Spree Prints will also release 2 screenprints specially made by the duo for the occasion.

The Brussels-based collectives Farm Prod and Ice Screen will display recent original works and prints in our Galerie „Ecke“ and run various screen printing workshops during the weekend.

Fred Penelle & Yannick Jacquet from the collective Antivj will present „Mécaniques discursives“, an immersive installation mixing etchings, prints and video projections.

On Saturday evening, the visual and street artist Vincent Glowinski a.k.a. BONOM and the drummer Teun Verbruggen will present their performance „Duo à l’encre“ in our garden. Bonom will sign his 2 published monographs on Saturday in our bookshop.