This is an exclusive snippet from a video installation documenting the artistic process for the series entitled Ride (2013). This series is comprised of works that focus on the interaction between graffiti on the metro and those who ride the metro. The works in this series were created by temporarily applying several metal shapes to the windows of a metro carriage. The entire metro carriage was spray painted, after which the metal was removed and taken back to the artists’ studio to be attached to a large metal canvas. This process was repeated several times. The trains were left to commence their daily routine of picking up and dropping off passengers, with only the gaps in graffiti (left behind by the removal of the metal) to serve as windows. To the people inside the metro carriage, the outside world and those in it are outlined by the graffiti. Conversely, to any bystander on the platform it appears as if the graffiti is framing those inside the train. It is impossible to look at the spray painted metro carriage from either side of the window without seeing both the paint and the people whom it is surrounding. Consequently, everyone who witnesses the graffiti becomes a part of it’s aesthetics to whoever else is also viewing it.
Over 10 Asian Countries. More than 30 Metro Systems. Fresh Paint used on select missions. Coming 2015.
For the first time in over 2 years UTAH and ETHER are having an exhibition. Their work will be showcased alongside fellow artists ZOOW24 and FUNGO. It will take place at Galleria Pavesi in Milano Italy. The opening reception is on February 6th 2014 at 18:00 (6:00 PM).
Danielle Bremner (UTAH) and Jim Clay Harper (ETHER) are graffiti and mixed media artists hailing from the New York City and Chicago, respectively. Though born and raised in the United States, their art and ambitions have taken them across the globe. Their works can be seen on walls and trains spanning across 4 continents, in cities such as Paris, Milan, New York, Beijing and Tokyo. Their accomplishments in the graffiti world have garnered them much attention, and they have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Juxtapoz Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Corriere della Sera and The History of American Graffiti. In addition to graffiti, the couple utilize video, photography and social media in their works. They have filmed, edited and produced 6 short films and have published 2 books featuring their art and photography. In 2010 they received accolades for their solo show at Fourth Wall Project in Boston, MA, and more recently they were invited in 2013 to create an installation at the Palais De Tokyo in Paris, France. They are currently working on book and film projects focusing on their travels throughout Asia and South America, to be released in 2014.
Graffiti by it’s very nature is illegal. It is a common misconception that any art made using spray paint can be considered graffiti, but this is false. Once permission is granted to apply paint to a wall or surface, the act of painting can no longer be considered graffiti, and would more accurately fall under the title of “mural” or “commissioned work”. Graffiti cannot be commissioned. It cannot be sanctioned. It is illegal. It is painting what you want, when you want, how you want. It has no rules. Or perhaps more accurately, it has it’s own set of rules, ones that are not concerned in the slightest with abiding by the rules of everyday society.
With this exhibition we hope to challenge the concepts of legal vs illegal that are traditionally associated with graffiti. All of the artworks displayed in this exhibition were created outside of the safe comfort of an artists’ studio. They were conceived without asking any consent. They were born from the subway tunnels deep below the ground and from the train depots guarded by security and surveillance cameras. Walls were scaled and traps were opened to create the works hanging on this gallery’s walls. But are these works illegal? Are they art or should they be considered evidence to an illegality having been committed? Are they part of the crime of graffiti, or perhaps the only part of the graffiti action that was not a criminal act?