Saturday, July 9, 2011

Delta in Switzerland.

It's essential for graffiti and writers to evolve if the roots of the culture are going to continue to carry meaning in society today. Most writers have been inspired to do what they do by a dynamic that they saw in the work of artists in NYC in the 80's and early 90's. When I look at Dutch artist DELTA's (aka Boris Tellegen) work it takes me back to scouring the pages of Henry Chalfants 'Subway Art'. I see a kid staring at a piece by Kase 2, trying to understand the intricacy, the computer rock craziness that Kase brought to the world. I can see how the scale of images that Henry brought us in their intimacy would cause a then young and aspiring writer to desire to turn them into macro versions of themselves.
Graffiti art holds a difficult place in art history, even now with major shows cropping up internationally. It is still hard for historians to see, and many writers to articulate, exactly where the relevance is, how it all fits in.
One of the things graffiti did (because it was not 'hi' painting) is take the sculpture off the floor and put it on to the wall. Anthony Caro took it off the plinth and that was considered revolutionary. Graff writers made it two dimensional so you didn't need to fall over that shit while you were looking at the paintings.
Graffiti took graphic languages and experimented with 3 dimensions on a 2d plane on a scale that had never really been toyed with. Of course Trompe L'oil existed already for hundreds of years and even artists such as Richard Haas were dealing with it on an architectural scale, but much of early graffiti was 'sculpture'.
Look at the work of Zaha Hadid and that of Daim and see in a slightly different way, what I am talking about.

When I look at Delta's work in these images, I see things that I saw when I stared at that 'Subway Art' for hours on end in the mid 80's. The dynamic was incredible. COMPUTER ROCK!
Graffiti has done MANY things for the future art history books, this is just one of them.

The show is at the Kunstraum until September 10th, 2011.
for more info visit
images stolen from ARRESTED MOTION


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