About the Exhibition
Urban Spree Galerie presents "Persona", the first solo show in Germany of the Athens-based painter and muralist Monos Cωtos.
Monos Cωtos will present a series of paintings on canvas, in his distinctive black-and-white, signature achromatic style as well as a specific series of collaboration paintings with fellow greek painter Barba Dee.
The Vernissage will be held of Friday 08.09 followed by a special Berlin Art Week Opening on 15.08 in conjunction with the participation of the Galerie in Positions 2023 (14-17.09.2023).
Monos Cωtos (pronounced Monos Sotos, born 1985 in Greece) started his career as a graffiti and street artist before graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Athens. He focuses on the political and social critiques within his surroundings through forms and strategies of representation that carefully balance autobiographical practices and participatory strategies.
The collective reclaiming of abandoned industrial buildings through artistic interventions constitutes one of the underground strategies employed to address the limitations imposed by the societal context. His latest collective public space project "Peramo" in June 2023 gathered more than 20 artists who created 70 murals deployed on 4000 sqm in an abandoned factory 30 kms outside Athens in the city of Nea Peramos. His crew "Outer Space Kids" explores tunnels and transforms abandoned factories to outdoor galleries. Their artistic creations are scattered in old industrial structures across Greece.
His murals and paintings - large-scale and achromatic - evoke both political and social memories, which intertwine with personal narratives, thereby challenging the dichotomy between private and public spheres. The works hint to an individual and collective photo album, distant family lines, a glimpse into a society of a recent past (accentuated by the black-and-white approach) colliding with a post-internet vision.
The exhibition is divided in two sections: the main room prominently showcases two thematic categories: portraits and places. The portraits, whether normal or distorted, show individuals, the body of society. The places depicted can be specific or abstract, illustrating distressing scenes where the aforementioned subjects reside, move, and engage socially. This series accentuates the significance of communities and space, striving to revive the essence of human interaction among ordinary individuals that have, to some extent, been eroded or lost. In the "Black Room", the exhibition is devoted to large scale paintings in collaboration with fellow greek painter Barba Dee.
Monos Cωtos + Barbe Dee: Live Your Myth In #1
Barba Dee (born 1991) is a self-taught artist based in Athens. He got his degree in Civil Engineering from the National Polytechnical University of Athens (Metsovio Polytechnic University), however quickly moved on to his artistic pursuits. The vast majority of his work is produced in public spaces and on the street, aiming to combine graffiti philosophy and graphic aesthetics with sociopolitical commentary while a big part of his contemporary work focuses on oil painting. He also touches on other techniques like printmaking, ink drawing, and archival photography as part of his research on contemporary Greek culture.
We'll be also showing the documentary film ''Outer Space Kids'' (2018, 29') from Director Giorgos Gounezos which documents an abandoned factory project of the crew. "Outer Space Kids" premiered at the 21st Thessaloniki International Documentary Film Festival in 2019.
Monos Cωtos: PERSONA
Opening: Friday, September 8th, 2023,18:00-22:00 in presence of the artists
Urban Spree Galerie
Revaler Str. 99
Info & Catalogue: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram link to monos.cwtos
Instagram link to Barba.Dee