Category Archives: Shows


Saatchi Gallery reveals artist line-up for its monumental Graffiti and Street Art exhibition, BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON.

From defiant train writers to powerful large-scale muralists, Saatchi Gallery is thrilled to announce over 100 international artists to be featured in BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON, opening this February. The exhibition, supported by adidas Originals, will be the most comprehensive graffiti & street art exhibition to open in the UK, and is set to take over all three floors of London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery.

Following successful exhibitions in Los Angeles & New York, BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON will feature new works, large-scale installations, original ephemera and extraordinary fashion that capture the powerful impact of graffiti & street art across the world.

Curated by graffiti historian Roger Gastman, BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON will examine the fundamental human need for public self-expression, highlighting artists with roots in graffiti and street art whose work has evolved into highly disciplined studio practices, alongside important cultural figures inspired by this art scene.

Each of the exhibition’s chapters will explore exceptional moments in the history of this artistic movement; including the emergence of punk; the birth of hip-hop – marking its 50th anniversary in 2023; and street culture’s strong influence in fashion and film.

About the Exhibition:

Upon entering Saatchi Gallery, visitors will explore the graffiti-filled installation The Vandal’s Bedroom by American artist Todd James, whose works have been exhibited twice at the Venice Biennale.

In the first chapter ‘Music & Art Converge’, visitors will explore the socio-political turmoil of the late 70s and 80s, where the decline of cities met artistic resistance, a shift which was felt in both the US and UK. Youth culture responded by painting graffiti on walls and public transport, creating art that reflected and reimagined the times in an explosion of expression on the streets. It was about identity in the face of oppression, self-awareness, and self-discovery in a moment of a depleted economic outlook.

FUTURA 2000. Escape London. Painted on stage with The Clash. 1982.

Through music and art, London meets New York, featuring works including FUTURA2000’s legendary 30 ft. painting, made on stage with The Clash, displayed along with the unparalleled contributions from Malcolm McLaren, MODE2 and American photojournalist Martha Cooper. Visitors will also be encouraged to browse and enjoy music at Trash Records, an interactive installation within a fully recreated record shop.

Lil Crazy Legs. Photo © Martha Cooper.1983

No area of Saatchi Gallery will be left untouched; visitors will be immersed by works and ephemera on view across hallways, tunnels and staircases and will enter rooms exploring the birth of graffiti like never seen before. These spaces will showcase a wall of Jenny Holzer’s truisms; Henry Chalfant’s photography of NYC train writers in action; together with AIKO’s timeless stencilling of delicate silhouettes and Gordon Matta-Clark’s extraordinary archive of graffiti photography.

The ‘Dream Galleries’ chapter focuses on a selection of American and European originators, photo documentarians and cultural icons who helped contextualize and spread graffiti culture around the world. In André Saraiva’s Dream series, there is a visual articulation of how graffiti, street art, hip-hop, punk, fashion and break-dancing all sprung from the late 1970s and early 1980s into the 90s and today, and became a hybrid celebration of underground culture. Featured artists also include Mister CARTOON, most famously known for his tattooing and Los Angeles murals; an extraordinary Beastie Boys installation featuring fashion and ephemera from the band’s prolific history; and LADY PINK’s feminist murals, illustrations and paintings.

The ‘Legends’ chapter will present icons such as legendary NYC artist, Eric HAZE, a torch bearer for generations to come; a new large-scale painting by abstract expressionist artist José Parlá; advertisement posters by KAWS, a prominent creative force; and unique ephemera by Keith Haring, one of the most popular street artists of the 1980s.

The ‘Blockbusters’ chapter will include works commissioned specifically for this exhibition by graffiti trailblazers Shepard Fairey, LA-based activist, and FAILE, a Brooklyn -based artistic duo taking over the streets of NYC since the late 90s.

Kenny Scharf. Closet #42 Bestest Ever. Photo by Charles White of JW Pictures. 2022.

‘Larger Than Life’ chapter will include a site-specific large-scale installation by LA-based icon Kenny Scharf who will present the largest to date Cosmic Cavern; an immersive and interactive installation consisting of Day-Glo paintings, ephemera, and reused materials found in the streets of LA. This chapter will also feature the signature puppet characters made from recycled materials by Paul Insect, one of London’s original street art pioneers.

The ‘Timeline’ chapter will take a deep dive into street culture history through archival photography, ephemera and fashion to contextualize the cross-pollination of influences across music, fashion and film. This chapter will also include a large wall vinyl by infamous feminist collective Guerrilla Girls – a deliberate nod to the fact that most street and graffiti artists, and indeed most well-known artists in contemporary art overall are men.

FAB 5 FREDDY. Spray Paint on Canvas

The closing chapters consist of ‘Social Commentary: Graffiti as a message’; ‘Art with Conscience’ containing works by hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, and; ‘Consideration Into Innovation’ showcasing Lisbon-based artist, VHILS, who innovatively utilizes repurposed materials to reimagine city walls.

In the final chapter, ‘The Next Phase’ visitors will engage with new op-art works by Valencia-based artist Felipe Pantone, whose high-contrast, geometric patterns continue to challenge perspective resulting in a distinctive aesthetic of the digital age.

Confirmed exhibiting artists:

10Foot, AIKO, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, BÄST, Beastie Boys, Beezer, Bert Krak, BLADE, BLONDIE, Bob Gruen, Brassaï, Broken Fingaz, C. R. Stecyk III, CES, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Chris FREEDOM Pape, Christopher Stead, Conor Harrington, CORNBREAD, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dash Snow, DAZE, DELTA, DONDI, Duncan Weston, Dr. REVOLT, Eric HAZE, Escif, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Felipe Pantone, FUME, FUTURA2000, Glen E. Friedman, GOLDIE, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gregory Rick, Guerrilla Girls, Gus Coral, Henry Chalfant, HuskMitNavn, IMON BOY, Jaimie D’Cruz, Jamie Reid, Janette Beckman, Jason REVOK, Jenny Holzer, Joe Conzo, John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres, José Parlá, KATSU, KAWS, KC ORTIZ, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, KING MOB, LADY PINK, Lawrence Watson, Lisa Kahane, Malcolm McLaren, Maripol, Martin Jones, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Michael Holman, Michael Lawrence, Mister CARTOON, MODE 2, Ozzie Juarez, Pablo Allison, Pat Phillips, Paul Insect, POSE, PRIDE, PRIEST, Richard Colman, RISK, Robert 3D Del Naja, Roger Perry, Shepard Fairey, SHOE, Sophie Bramly, STASH, Stephen ESPO Powers, Stickymonger, SWOON, TAKI 183, Toby Mott, TOX, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Tish Murtha, Todd James, VHILS , ZEPHYR and more to be announced.

‘BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON’ is open 17 February – 9 May 2023 at Saatchi Gallery. Tickets from £15 available here:
The exhibition is generously supported by adidas Originals. Additional support also provided by onefinestay and Los Angeles Tourism.


Defaced! Money, Conflict, Protest

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge presents ‘Defaced!‘, the first major exhibition to explore a 250-year history of protest, using currency as a canvas and a vehicle for rebellion. Passed through many hands, cash is the ideal way to circulate a message while having a go or poking fun at those in power. Curated by Richard Kelleher, Defaced! takes a deep dive into a world of counterculture and protest.

Objects of rebellion made by the radicals of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, like Thomas Spence and the Suffragettes are shown alongside works by contemporary artists and activists including Banksy, Aida Wilde, Hilary Powell, Lady Muck, kennardphillips, J.S.G Boggs, Stik and more.

People deface money to battle oppression or to express their support for often bitter and violent struggles. Coins and banknotes represent the state’s authority in widely available, portable and hand-held form, making them ripe for attack. By defacing money, even the least powerful in society can have a go at the head of state or circulate their urgent cries of protest to others. For artists and satirists, money’s iconic imagery and wealth of associations makes it a powerful medium to address issues of social, political and racial justice.

The exhibition seeks out the stories behind the damage, which reveal some of the personal and hidden struggles experienced during major world events – from the French and American Revolutions to the First World War and the Nazi concentration camp system to the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the Black Lives Matter movement.

A last section titled Money Now / Money Tomorrow mentions the development of money and its impact on our right to protest.

Money today is not just divided along lines of wealth but also in the forms of money to which people have access. With digital banking, credit cards and contactless payments, a reliance on coins and banknotes is now a marker of social deprivation rather than affluence.

Many people carry no cash at all – a decline hastened by the recent pandemic. There are also forms of money that remain invisible to most like the emergency cash issued in refugee camps.

In today’s world where the use of coins and notes are increasingly being replaced by digital payments, and against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis and current debates about personal freedoms, this exhibition is urgently relevant.

Losing the chance to register our protests on cash might seem an inconsequential loss, but what have we traded for the convenience and ‘cleanliness’ of digital money?

We are now increasingly prey to surveillance, data-collection and cyber crime, while the reasons that have prompted defacement over the last 250 years – oppression, injustice and the need for change – remain the same. Perhaps finding new ways to speak up is more urgent than ever?

Defaced! , Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Until Sunday 08th January 2023

Jef Aerosol – 40 years of stencils

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the first stencil by Jef Aerosol, French multi-talented artist (stencil artist, painter and musician) and one of the pioneers of Street Art and renown internationally.
Part of the first wave of street art in the 1980s, Jef Aerosol painted his first stencil in Tours, France in 1982, illustrating a self-portrait. Spanning across 40 years, Jef Aerosol’s work has been displayed in the streets and galleries worldwide, influencing many younger artists.

Under the curation of the Mathgoth Gallery, hundreds of artworks have been gathered for an extraordinary exhibition, hosted in a raw space of 600 square meters opposite the François Mitterrand Library in Paris. With free entry, the show runs until 5 November.

Jef Aerosol’s work is two folds. A part of the work is created in the public space, using multi-layered stencils to paper collages to creating black and white life size figures and animals in various situations, with a signature bright red arrow. Jef Aerosol often creates portraits of popular figures such as Elvis Presley, Gandhi, Lennon, Hendrix, Basquiat, Dylan, etc. But most of his work focuses on anonymous people from the streets: musicians, passers-by, beggars, children, and so on. The other takes place in calm and the intimacy of the studio in Lille where the artist designs his stencils and produces the pieces dedicated to the collections and to the galleries.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol – London 2008
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol – London Cans Festival 2008

Like his practice, this XXL exhibition is conceived in two folds, showcasing the work in the streets and the work conceived in the studio.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

Upon entering, a large wall section features some photos, personal documents and videos that allows the public to discover the universe of the artist, his inspirations and witness the evolution of his 40 years of creation.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

This space brings together studio works using recurring themes in Jef Aerosol’s work such as children, music, self-portraits, city landscapes and people.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

But the jaw dropping space hosts a monumental immersive installation echoing the urban environment and its chaos, featuring 200 spray painted life-size figures on cardboard.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

Jef Aerosol could not resist spraying in the surrounding areas :

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol – Paris 2022
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol & Jace – Paris 2022

Jef Aerosol – 40 ans de pochoirs
147 avenue de France, 75013 Paris
From 24 September 2022 to 05 November 2022

Animal Secrets by Mark Ryden (Perrotin Paris)

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Perrotin and Kasmin are presenting a jointly organized exhibition of new work by American artist Mark Ryden (b. 1963, US). Running until 30 July, ‘Animal Secrets’ comprises 10 paintings and 12 works on paper that further develop the artist’s series of portraiture, featuring mysterious and mythical creatures created during lockdown.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Conceived alongside the artist’s most recent exhibition at Perrotin Tokyo, the resulting gallery of enchanted characters embodies the artist’s meticulously-realized signature blend of archetype, kitsch, and narrative mysticism.

Mark Ryden’s imaginative artistic play manifests itself through deep layers of meanings and connotations: mythology and folklore mingle in this baroque universe as if to better explain the secret order of the universe.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

His interest in the subject of animals as spiritual entities was first explored in his series. For his exhibition ‘Anima Animals’ in Shanghai gallery, Mark Ryden completed his paintings in early 2020, just as the entire world went into Covid lockdown. During this time of isolation in his Pacific-Northwest studio, Mark Ryden began a new series that further explored his reverence for these animal beings that act as guides through a landscape of the unknown. The figures in these paintings are neither human nor animal, they are spiritual entities that create a bridge between the human and animal worlds in which so much disharmony exists.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

The artist’s practice is an ode to craftsmanship and refined materiality, from exquisite pictorial imagery to lavishly carved and embellished frames. At the same time, the artist probes into the invisible and secret order of the universe and interprets the life of things that are filled with
spiritual essence.

Mark Ryden explores intimate anxieties and archetypes with a pop surrealist vision. Aesthetics juxtaposed with a certain folkore, taste for the bizarre, his style is distinguished by a remarkable technical mastery, with intricate details and symbols.

Several works in the exhibition are presented as ‘tavolettas,’ a handheld form common in Italy between the 14th and 17th centuries for devotional instruments of consolation.
The Tavoletta series’ composition resembles a full-face representation of Christ and other saints in the tradition of byzantine icons and late medieval portraiture. Animal Secrets - Mark RydenAnimal Secrets - Mark Ryden Animal Secrets - Mark RydenAnimal Secrets - Mark Ryden
A figure rendered in a symmetrical pose in the center of the picture directly looks at the viewer. This time-honored, artistic craftsmanship elevates heavily sentimentalized elements of American tradition and antiquity, collected as though for a cabinet of wonders. The laborintensive canvases deftly rework centuries of art history, combining the grandeur of Spanish and Italian religious painting with the layered richness of Old Master compositions.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Ryden’s enigmatic characters dwell in harmony with nature amidst idealized landscapes. His tranquil sceneries evoke the nostalgia of Romantic imagery with a dream of the lost Golden Age from classical antiquity to the present day. The power of this iconography is in its simplicity and balance, where an unavoidable piercing gaze of the mythical entity entices the beholder into a silent conversation. A longing for harmonious coexistence with nature, with each other, and oneself.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets - Mark RydenAnimal Secrets - Mark Ryden

The friendly surroundings, pastel colours, fluffy coats, pale children with large melancholy eyes, reveal worrying signs. The perception of the half-unveiled mystery becomes a lyrical invitation to dream. The reminiscences of childhood and the mystical essence of cruel tales constitute the essence of a form of pantheistic spirituality through which, under the brush of the painter, the human being tries to reconcile with nature.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets become spiritual guides to connect us with the surrounding world with a sensitive, humanist philosophy.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets, Mark Ryden, Perrotin Matignon, 2bis avenue Matignon Paris 8.

Hisham Echafaki – Mirabilia Naturae at Musee Jean Larcena

Hisham Echafaki

The Museum Jean Larcena, in Val d’Ocre, Burgundy, France, is pleased to open an exhibition of works by London based artist Hisham Echafaki entitled Mirabilia Naturae ( Wonders of Nature), curated by Butterfly Art News. The exhibition runs until 19 June 2022.

Hisham Echafaki
Hisham Echafaki

Hisham Echafaki is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist who has been exhibiting internationally for over fifteen years. The artist’s style is a mix between realism and surrealism and sometimes uses the trompe-l’oeil technique.

In 2013, for the David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Hisham Echafaki produced an anthropomorphic portrait of the singer composed entirely of 66 animals with a surprising trompe-l’oeil effect to celebrate the 66th Birthday of the singer.

Hisham Echafaki

In 2019 Hisham Echafaki was invited by the Musée de la Poste in Paris to illustrate the facade with a 13-meter fresco retracing the history of mailboxes and artistic movements.

The artist will well appreciated with the local residents of Val d’Ocre as in 2018 he painted a giant fresco featuring an Iberian tortoise to warn about this endangered species. The mural has been the mascot of Val d’Ocre since.

MIRABILIA NATURAE – Wonders of Nature

From the end of the XVII th Century, explorers illustrated their discoveries of new animal and plant species and named them in Latin.

With the exhibition ‘Mirabilia Naturae’, Hisham Echafaki pays tribute to these ancient explorers who show us the wonders of nature, and transports us to a universe where the beauty and diversity of fauna and flora are celebrated in all their patterns and colours.

The series on display includes works on canvas, works on paper and multi-dimensional paintings on resin or plexiglass.

Hisham Echafaki

Beyond aesthetic imagery and the celebration of the beauty of nature, the themes of the exhibition  highlight issues of biodiversity, the conservation of threatened species and habitats, and the impact of Man on the evolutionary changes of animal species.

Hisham Echafaki

In parallel with his paintings, Hisham Echafaki has also created a particular and very meticulous technique of painting on resin and plexiglass whose rendering is three-dimensional. His almost realistic animal works are based on multiple superimposed and meticulous layers of paint, resin, creating an effect of perspective.

Hisham Echafaki

This series of multi-dimensional works attempts to capture the beautiful complexity and diversity of the animal world. Detailed pieces can take up to 15-30 layers and several months to complete.

Whether based on real or imaginary specimens, butterflies, fishes or bees are immortalized giving the optical illusion that they could have been living creatures. Presented as “faux taxidermy”, animals often have anthropomorphic features on their wings or bodies with recognizable patterns from art, design, science while others, such as aquatic creatures, are just more realistic.

Hisham Echafaki would like to thank all the people that helped him on this exhibition: local residents of Val d’Ocre, the core team of the Museum with Francoise Richez, Patrice Lagrange, Sylvie Marchand, Bernard Curnier, and also Bassim, David Chaumet and Butterfly who worked on the preparation of the exhibition.

Here are some pictures from the set up and the opening:

Hisham Echafaki
Hisham Echafaki
Hisham Echafaki

Hisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham Echafaki

Hisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham Echafaki

Hisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham EchafakiHisham Echafaki