NEW YORK, February 23, 2010 – In collaboration with Carmichael Gallery, Ogilvy & Mather New York will host Re-Creation II, a global exploration of emerging art, from March 5th through July 2010. The exhibit will be held at the Ogilvy & Mather headquarters on New York City’s West Side at 636 11th Avenue. Re-Creation II will showcase some of the most important emerging contemporary artists from around the world.
Large-scale murals, installations and original canvas, sculpture and mixed media works will be on display from Will Barras, Simon Birch, Boxi, Ethos, Mark Jenkins, Labrona, Aakash Nihalani, Nina Pandolfo and WK Interact. Many of these artists, who are based in the UK, Hong Kong, Germany, Brazil, the US and Canada, have never shown in New York before, and have never shown together.
Ogilvy & Mather will transform five floors and the lobby space of its new headquarters in The Chocolate Factory into a museum-quality exhibition space. As viewers ascend each floor, they can experience the upward momentum of the artwork. Re-Creation II is the second exhibit to be hosted by Ogilvy & Mather in its new space. It follows the inaugural Re-Creation exhibit, which featured the work of 12 emerging artists who use recycled materials to create unique forms of art. That exhibit will also be viewable through the end of March.
The opening reception of the exhibit will be held on Friday, March 5 with several of the artists in attendance at Ogilvy & Mather. The exhibition will run through July 31, 2010.
Read the artists' biographies below.
Will Barras (1973, born and works in UK)
Freeing himself from the limitations of a specific theme, Will Barras prefers to craft a more impromptu sequence as he works, weaving a few concrete character images into provocative backdrops and mysterious circumstances. It is important to him to maintain a natural flow of energy in his pieces, ensuring a delicate balance between the abstract and the figurative. For him, this means “working in a freer, looser way — not so much in line quality, but with ideas and associations.” Barras’ confident experimentation results in impressive brushstrokes that lend his work a sense of tremendous momentum, particularly when paired with his astonishingly vibrant color palette. He explains, “I often use muted colors at first and build them up with washes of paint; I kind of move from one color to another, weaving through the palette like it’s a journey.” Sometimes the backdrop of a piece is dark and looming, with a sudden injection of bright tones in places to make it “pop.” It is this heightened contrast that makes Barras’ pieces explode from the confines of the canvas. Perhaps the artist describes it best himself, likening his work to “being strapped to the front of a passenger train that is on a collision course with another train.”
Barras was born near Birmingham in 1973. He moved to Bristol at the age of 18 to pursue a degree in graphic design and gradually branched out to illustration and painting, which has resulted in a busy annual event calendar of shows — featuring large-scale mural paintings — that takes him around the world.
Simon Birch (1969, born in UK/works in Hong Kong)
Simon Birch’s large, dramatic oil portraits are breathtaking in their scale and sophistication. Combining a refined use of color and an astute awareness of textural rhythms, the artist’s deeply personal style fuses striking figuration with abstract deconstruction. His ability to identify, shape, amplify and reduce raw physical and internal passion enhances his portrayal of fluid human motion and fragmented emotional states.
Born in Brighton in 1969, Birch’s entry into the formal art world was singular. With no conventional training, he left the UK for Hong Kong in the mid-nineties, and made his living there as a construction worker in order to pursue his artistic goals and finance his early exhibitions. He has since established himself as one of Asia’s most collectable emerging artists.
Boxi (1974, born in UK/works in Germany)
Boxi is drawn to the incongruous narrative in figuration. A dark, disillusioned romanticism pervades his work, in which material boundaries are dissolved and perceptions are altered. He articulates confrontational themes such as paranoia, isolation, disappointment, love and grief through hand-cut, multilayered stencils — often life-sized — which ultimately offer a comforting solidity within his abstract landscapes. He says, “It is in this state of reflection, this ‘grey area’ of ambiguity and blurred truth that I have found myself, a place where trends and crashes in the market aggressively threaten and pressurize social behavior. Making life-sized figures that articulate this uncertainty is a way for me to come to terms with the phrase ‘of our time.’”
Born in Kent in 1974, Boxi completed his studies at London’s St. Martin’s School of Art with a Fine Arts BA in painting in 1996. He has lived and worked in Berlin since 1999.
Ethos (1982, born and works in Brazil)
Claudio Ethos is a young Brazilian artist currently living and working in São Paulo. His mesmerizing works on canvas, paper and wall all demonstrate a wonderful fluidity of motion, while the line work of his characters is marvelously even and meticulous, creating a fantastic realism – “a prism through which to see the world.”
Says the artist of these characters, who frequently morph into animals, shapes and inanimate objects: “My characters try to depict emotional and spiritual states. There are no accurate names or definitions for so many of these sensations – they just go through us and we cannot explain what it is that has occurred. My work attempts to translate these things that are captured only by intuition.”
Mark Jenkins (1970, born and works in USA)
Mark Jenkins is an internationally acclaimed American artist known for the mixed-media sculptures and street installations he places throughout urban and environmental settings — sometimes with, but often without, permission. Playful and enigmatic, his work – which involves dry-casting with box sealing tape everything from fire hydrants and toy ducks to baby dolls and people, often himself or his assistants dressed to appear scarily lifelike — successfully transforms the ordinary into the unexpected. When placed outside or slipped indoors, announced or otherwise, these sculptures have the ability to both blend into their surroundings and elicit spectacular amounts of attention from viewers.
Jenkins’ works have been observed lounging atop billboards, slumped over on cafeteria tables, panhandling in the streets, emanating from street poles, drowning in bodies of water, clinging to statues, overturning street signs and more — in locations such as Belgrade, Vienna, Washington DC, London, Barcelona, New York, Moscow and Seoul. By situating his pieces within such peculiar contexts, the artist brings cities, landscapes and interiors to life in a unique and thought-provoking manner. Whether indoors or out, his work engages its viewers and provokes a complex examination of self and surroundings.
Labrona (1972, born and works in Canada)
The elusive Canadian artist known as Labrona is celebrated for the extraordinary paintings that he creates both indoors in his studio and on the freight trains that roll across the USA and Canada. “I’m just a guy that paints trains, does art, doesn’t want a regular nine-to-five. I use my art as my voice,” he says. “I send my thoughts and emotions on to the railways for people to see…. A train yard is like a forever-changing outdoor art gallery.” The hulking lumberjack from Ottawa has quickly become recognized for his unique skill and the enthralling narrative of his work, giving him the opportunity to participate in solo and group exhibitions in cities throughout North America and Europe. Drawing his inspiration from 1980s skate culture, rundown industrial areas and German Expressionism, Labrona’s fascination with painting repetitive heads comes from his desire to convey raw human feeling. “You can tell so much from an expression, the eyes and mouth,” he says. “There are many different stories within each painting.”
Aakash Nihalani (1986, born and works in USA)
Aakash Nihalani is fast becoming recognized as one of the world’s most striking emerging installation artists. Celebrated for his ephemeral modifications of the urban landscape, the young Brooklyn-based tape specialist wields an abstract narrative of isometric shapes and flamboyant hues grounded in quiet irony and idiosyncratic precision. The fluidity of his simple, colorful style — which employs familiar shapes to produce unexpected visuals — initiates an inviting, living dialogue that traverses the chaos of city streets, the white walls of the gallery and the constancy of home.
Nihalani has built a global fan base by selectively placing his artwork on sidewalks and in public spaces around New York. His squares, rectangles and cubes — constructed from strips of instantly identifiable fluorescent tape — possess three-dimensional qualities and bring a new, often humorous, perspective to the windows, doorways, cement pavement, floor tiles, chain-link fences, bricks, building contours and subway spaces in which they are embedded. Nihalani completes all public art pieces on site with little or no advanced planning. His style readily adapts to the interior gallery space and morphs into individual works of art – simultaneously escaping its customarily fleeting existence and continuing to fuse with his dialectical conceptual objectives.
Nihalani has fashioned a visual language all his own. The use of neon in his work highlights details that might otherwise go unnoticed, while his minimalist patterns form self-contained pockets that encourage examination both within the isolated space and of the world at large. His work engages the public by creating three-dimensional environments that can be physically entered, transforming passersby or gallery visitors into participants and offering them a momentary escape from daily life.
Nina Pandolfo (1977, born and works in Brazil)
Born in Tupã, São Paulo, Nina Pandolfo is internationally celebrated as one of Brazil’s most exciting and emerging contemporary fine artists. Her work depicts an expansive, colorful landscape populated with sassy wide-eyed girls, their playthings, and their animal friends. These intriguing characters and the activities in which they engage embody the themes of adult introspection, childhood dreams and fears, and simple, unabashed escapism that Pandolfo confronts and explores.
Pandolfo’s perspective of the world is enhanced by opulently employed symbolism, allowing for multiple readings of each piece. While not directly inspired by Asian art, certain stylistic features of her work and the technical expertise with which she executes them position her alongside the best practitioners of the Kaikai Kiki school. Pandolfo’s local and international success serves as an inspiration to the generations of young female painters who seek to follow in her footsteps. She continues to live and work in São Paulo.
WK Interact (1969, born in France/works in USA)
WK Interact was born in 1969 in Caen, France. He currently lives and works in New York. From a young age, WK was interested in the human body in motion, and his paintings of figures frozen in flights of movement clearly reflect this infatuation. The artist’s novel technique of twisting an original drawing or photograph with a photocopied, monochromatic palette creates a streamlined sense of immediacy in the finished work.
WK chooses the sites for his street pieces, first by finding an appropriate location, then by choosing imagery that is determined by his encounters or “interactions” (as the artist indicates in his pseudonym) with the urban environment. In the late 1990s, WK’s images began appearing on building facades in downtown Manhattan, complementing the constant stir of bodies in this fast-paced city. By the end of the decade, his unique aesthetic was sought after by galleries around the world, and the past ten years have resulted in many high-profile solo exhibits in London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles. In addition to this work, WK has produced a spectacular body of work entitled “Motion Portraits,” three of which have been selected for exhibition at Ogilvy & Mather.
About Carmichael Gallery
Carmichael Gallery is one of the world’s leading establishments known for discovering and launching the careers of the best in emerging international talent. The annual program of the Los Angeles –based gallery consists of a series of solo and group exhibitions that document the progress of these artists. Carmichael Gallery is located at 5795 Washington Avenue, Culver City, CA 90232. For sales inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917.863.8414.