Undercurrent - A Group Show Curated by Heesco
Opening Night: Friday 16th Sep, 6-9pm
Exhibition Runs: Saturday 17th - Saturday 24th September
Undercurrent is a group exhibition that highlights artists, whose paintings reach beyond the general label of “street art” and challenge existing paradigms in today’s urban art scene. It’s a celebration of the highly considered and evolved studio practices. Our aim is to create a new and progressive platform for constructive conversations between the artists and the audience regarding this ever evolving art form.
Over the past two decades, Street Art has transformed the landscape of contemporary and urban art across the world. In Melbourne in particular, this ‘genre’ has perhaps become one of the most wide-spread art movements in the City’s history. Beginning from an anti-establishment DIY approach, Urban Art has transformed and developed into an entire culture that envelops a staggering diversity of practices and ethos.
The artists in this show all find themselves often referred to as Street Artists. During conversations with the artists however, Heesco, found there was a stirring within the scene, as many of these artists are spending longer hours in the studio than they do on the streets. The idea was born to exhibit these heavily considered, conceptual and refined studio works in their own light, detached from any street derived labels. Focusing on the studio processes, diverse influences and conceptual narratives that form each artists practice, Undercurrent aims to question why, so often, these works are still being labelled as street art.
For a number of years now, those connected to the scene have felt a shift in attitude from many artists, as they strive towards a studio approach that is closer to fine art than it is to street art. This notable natural progression however remains yet to be addressed and defined, in Melbourne at least, in relation to the general context of urban and fine art. Many artists have created a body of work that’s too experimental for the street art scene, yet if you take them out of the context of street art and graffiti culture, they seem to lose some of their vital elements, of what makes these works so significant. It is as if these works are forever destined to dance between the lines in a haze of misinterpretation.
Until now, no one has stood up to define this evolution, to challenge the generalisations that are made towards these artists’ work. This show presents the voice of the artists, a collection of honest dialogues direct from the creators. Our aim is to establish a platform where artists can stand up and define their work for the audience, instead of continuously leaving it up to third parties to ‘label’ and misinterpret their works.
A print edition catalogue will be available on the opening night that features self-written articles from each artist expressing their own personal views regarding their art practices. Discussing aspects such as creative processes, practical experimentations and concept development that happen within the studio environment.
The artists in this group show are by no means the only collective that these themes are relevant to. Heesco selected these artists based on similar approaches and attitudes; a shared mindset that was evident throughout his conversations and dealings with each person and which he felt illustrated the precise purpose of this exhibition.
This show will be the first in the series which will become an ongoing and progressive event.