After mentioning the top floor installation (covered here) we continue our coverage about the Da Mental Vaporz exhibition at Rtist Gallery. With a brand new series of works by all nine crew members consisting of Bom.k, Blo, Brusk, Dran, Kan, Iso, Gris1, Jaw, Sowat, ‘Le Venin’ contains over a hundred artworks, from screensprints, sketches, photos, mix media paintings, to solo and collaborative pieces.
The key piece of the exhibition is an Exquisite Woman Corpse, done by all nine members, featuring all topics the DMV crew are passionate about: graffiti walls, eroticism, and imaginary characters.
Combining all their strengths, the collaborative paintings called Exquisite Corpses are a delight for the eyes, explosion of colours and styles, like Hypnotic Skull.
Reflecting on current world events, the show presents many politically engaged pieces as well as a fight for freedom of expression. Arab Spring by Kan features a halftone graffiti portrait of Stephane Hessel, 94-year-old former French resistance fighter and author of Time for Outrage (Inspirez Vous), which inspired young people to take the streets. Pieces by Gris1 highlight globalisation issues and fight for freedom of mind.
The DMV also responded to the current presidential elections climate in France. Liberte Egalite Fatalite by Sowat, tricolored animals like Pigeons by Gris1, and a sheep by Bom.k are all reminders of never fulfilled political promises “Travailler plus pour gagner plus” (work longer to earn more), or even a crucified cockerel, a French symbol, “Vive la France” by Brusk.
Using only spray cans, the level of details of Bom.k and Jaw‘s large format canvases is hallucinogenic – self portraits, imaginary bestiary and erotic distorted corpses hypnotize the viewers, who are left shocked but still asking for more.
Oniric figures by Blo present a duality of happiness and melancholy, with a constant presence of life and death.
It is also nice to see the initial sketch from Blo‘s recent Wedding Walls mural in Berlin.
Also, the DMV crew enjoy playing with words, like the 3D pieces by Bom.k (Crime doesn’t spray) or the DMV letters forming Dieu Me Voit by Gris1/Sowat (God is watching me), symbolising the big brother society.
The exhibition features many lighthearted and dark-humored pieces, like Smiley by Gris1, a collection of post-it notes and memos to Dran‘s figurative characters like Mr Tea, or Mr Propre, (Mr Clean’s household cleaner) pissing to clean graffiti walls. At first glance at Trompe l’oeil by Dran, a cute koala is happily resting in the forest, but looking closer, all that is left is a tourist backpack.
A patchwork of smaller artworks cover an entire gallery wall with Sowat‘ drippings, Gris1‘ Throw-ups, ISO‘ graffiti lettering, Bom.k screenprints, JAW‘s sketches and more.
As Channel 9 Australia was streaming live in the middle of the gallery, uncensored and fearless Sowat set fire to his calligraffiti paintings to add some unique finishing touches.
View the full set of pics here
Eventually for those who couldn’t see this crazy show in person, here is a video: