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Sicoer: “Explorations” Solo Show Opening

Urban Spree Galerie presents “Explorations“, the first solo show of the Krakow-based calligraffiti painter SICOER in Berlin.

“Explorations” – initially due to open in March 2020 – is the outcome of several one-week working sessions at Urban Spree in Berlin during the months of January and February 2020, interspersed with intense studio time in Krakow during the lockdown.

The Covid-19 closed the borders and the artist found himself in an unexpected form of retreat and focused entirely on his art, endlessly experimenting, finding new tools, new ways of expression and ultimately discovering a more abstract part of his work which is giving a new direction to the show.

Sicoer is a calligraffiti painter based in Krakow well known for his vandal graffiti as well as his handstyle studio works. Having started graffiti in 1998 and still active nowadays, Sicoer created in parallel a studio practice based on the combination of letters, geometric compositions, flow and a limited use of color range. Relentlessly exploring, Sicoer turned recently his graphic experiments towards calligraffiti abstraction.

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SICOER: EXPLORATIONS

20.06.2020 / 25.07.2020

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Info: contact@urbanspree.com

Vernissage: Saturday 20.06.2020 // 18:30 – 22:00 (FB Event)

Opening on Sunday 21.06.2020 // 14:00 – 19:00

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday // 14-00 – 19:00 and by appointment



Sicoer: Explorations

Urban Spree Galerie presents “Explorations“, the first solo show of the Krakow-based calligraffiti painter SICOER in Germany. “Calligraffiti” is a portmanteau word combining the art of calligraphy with elements of graffiti. It is a non-classical calligraphic discipline, modeled by the street and the parallel practice of graffiti.

“Explorations” is the outcome of several working sessions at Urban Spree Berlin in January, February, and June 2020, interspersed with intense studio time in Krakow during the lockdown, resulting in an unexpected dialogue in time and space.

For this 6-month residency, Sicoer has conducted extensive research and experiments about form and flow, perfecting structure, balance, colors, texture, free flow and ultimately stripping down his technique to the simple expression of one brushstroke, a fragment of the whole universe, a distillation of years of lettering practice.

“Explorations” is the outcome of a spiritual journey through letters. Sicoer has built over time elements of an abstracted language, an ever-morphing alphabet derived from the old Slavic scriptures, rooted in the Eastern part of Europe and universal at the same time.

 

 

Sicoer is a calligraffiti painter based in Krakow well known for his vandal graffiti as well as his handstyle studio works. Having started graffiti in 1998 and still active nowadays, Sicoer created in parallel a studio practice based on the combination of letters, geometric compositions, flow and a specific use of color range. Relentlessly exploring, Sicoer turned recently his graphic experiments towards even more calligraffitic abstraction.

 

SICOER: EXPLORATIONS

20.06.2020 / 25.07.2020

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Info: contact@urbanspree.com

Vernissage: Saturday 20.06.2020 // 18:30 – 22:00

Opening on Sunday 21.06.2020 // 14:00 – 19:00

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday // 14-00 – 19:00 and by appointment

 



New York Perspectives

Urban Spree Galerie presents New York Perspectives, a duo show featuring Chris “Daze” Ellis and Joe Conzo, curated by Mode2. The vernissage will be on Friday, November 22nd, at 18:30, in presence of the two artists.

    Through the work of two New York City-born artists, a painter and a photographer, this exhibition is an attempt to show aspects of New York City life, through the eyes and the work of two very different individuals; though both come from a part of its counterculture.

    The drawings and paintings of the artist Chris “Daze” Ellis, and those many moments and people captured by the photography of Joe Conzo show us how the youth that were more in osmosis with the steel, the concrete, the glass, the streets and the city’s subway system, could develop new forms of visual dialogue that could form a bridge between their own social and cultural background, and a movement that would infiltrate the artworld and become a global phenonmenon.

   Coming from different neighbourhoods and cultural backgrounds, both have lived long enough to have witnessed first hand the huge transformations that the city has gone through over these last decades, while their “work”, which was actually their hobby, passion and life pretty much, has documented seminal eras during that time.

  These tumultuous years of cultural flux; of blossoming, blooming, destruction and rebirth, are often overlooked by today’s focus on the “now” of street art, and the way through which this eclipses the very alchemy that gave birth to the way in which artists express themselves in the street today, or the way in which they document city life.

    It is doubtful that much of what is happening today in visual art, music, dance and written or spoken word ever would have happened, if generations of youth in New York City had not lived what they did many decades ago; and we can count ourselves lucky that a few rare individuals happened to be there and have the instinct to document it.

  Here then, are views of New York from two different perspectives, they themselves being a complex accumulation of all of life’s experiences, and how they shape each individual’s understanding of the world around them; and the ways by which they choose to express and share this with us.

Urban Spree Prints will release two 18″x 24″ silk screen prints by Daze on the opening night and online.

The gallery and the curator heartily thank Henry Chalfant for letting us show his documentary movie “From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale.”

Poster Artwork by Tyler Askew.

 

“New York Perspectives”

Christopher “Daze” Ellis / Joe Conzo

Curated by Mode2

22.11 – 21.12.2019

 

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Opening: Friday 22.11.2019 at 18:30

Exhibition: Tu-Sa – 12:00 – 18:30

Info & Catalogue: contact@urbanspree.com

 

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BIOGRAPHIES: 

 

Chris “Daze” Ellis

Growing up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Chris Daze Ellis (b. 1962) was aware from early on of the names and the odd characters that would be dancing along the trains that wove their way through the city. When he started out at the High School of Art & Design in 1976, he found that there was a whole community of very diverse yet like-minded individuals there, also involved with this scene; some of whom would go on to make a name for themselves in the art world.

Being a fan of drawing and comic books already, Daze camouflaged his nighttime activities under his parents’ gaze, exploring and expanding his visual vocabulary, combining the traditional with the dynamism of a new and challenging environment, with stimulus of its own.

Having mastered the medium and the environment, Daze would go on to shape his own personal vision of the world, looking as much inwards as outwards, in the relationship between the trains and walls, and what he could further explore in the studio. The strength of his successful life as an artist in his own right would develop from then on.

From his participation in his first group show, Beyond Words, at the Mudd Club in 1981, before having his own solo show at Fashion Moda (the historical South Bronx art space that bridged the established art world with the raw talent and energy coming out of New York City), Daze embraced the wide horizon that opened up before him.

From then on, Daze began to show in many different cities around the world, whether it be galleries and museum, in solo shows as well as group formats. He has participated in many public or educational art projects around the world, working with students and communities from South Korea to Brazil via Haiti, while often visiting Europe as well, and contributing to New York mural initiatives like the Leap Arts Program or Thrive Collective.

From his appearances in the film Style Wars, to being an art consultant on the Netflix series The Get Down in 2017, to participating in public painting projects from the Star Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong in 1993, painting an entire Hannover train station with fellow artists Lee Quinones and John Crash Matos, or being commissioned for murals by private clients like the law firm, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in Washington D.C. 2018; Daze has constantly had his hands on a whole range of different projects.

Daze’s paintings have found themselves in many private collections including Eric Clapton, Natalie Imbruglia, and Madonna. His work can also be found in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum, NY, Museum of Modern art, NY, The Museum of the city of New York, The Ludwig Museum, Aachen, Yale University art Gallery, New Haven, Addison Museum of American Art at the Phillips Academy, Andover.

Chris Daze Ellis continues to live and work in New York City.

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Joe Conzo

Joe Conzo was born in the Bronx during an era of great upheaval, when the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway was nearing its end, having destroyed the communities that lay in its path, and condemning those parts of the borough around it to social and economic decline. The apocalyptic landscapes of urban devastation, and the high criminality associated to it are emblematic of that era.

President Truman’s Urban Renewal announced in 1949, ruthlessly applied by Robert Moses, targetted the more modest and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods of New York City whose resistance to forced removal would fall on deaf ears, as private developers grabbed the prime lots. The Bronx represented both the laboratory and the collateral damage for these extreme experiments of urban renewal.

And yet, out of what looked like an urban war zone, the city’s youth began to pick up the pieces, and, out of the desolation around them, began to build their own road out of it. Realising that the state was not going to do anything positive for them, their survival instincts eventually kicked in; and out of the gang culture, the drugs, and the sheer nihilism that had reigned for a while over much of the borough, new and greener shoots were beginning to break through.

Joe Conzo’s cultural capital, and that of his peers, was probably key to his survival and his blossoming during those harsh years; grandson of Dr. Evelina López Antonetty, a political activist who played a huge role in developing educational programmes for Puerto Rican children, and son of Joe Conzo Snr., who was in the thick of the huge Latin music scene of that bridged those decades; hanging with all the main players of that era, and having been the biographer of Tito Puente.

While studying at the Agnes Russell School on the campus of Columbia University, he discovered photography, the medium that would enable him to document what went on around him; from the world of latin culture through his father’s connections, to the collision of art forms that would later be called Hip Hop; a word that eclipses the sum of its parts.

Having lived many ups and downs in the eighties, to a rebirth of sorts, Joe Conzo went on to become a qualified medical nurse, then worked for the New York City Fire Department, being among the first responders on 9/11. At some point along the way, he was reunited with the camera, and began shooting again…

Whether as the photographer of rap crew The Cold Crush Brothers, a hugely influential group of MCs from the early days, or just a boy from the Bronx who had a camera and curious eyes, Joe Conzo’s photos provided reference material to Henry Chalfant ‘s documentary “From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale.”, and were documented in a book called “Born In The Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop”.

His negatives have been digitalised and archived at Cornell University, providing a unique and indispensable resource for those wishing to research the those eras.



Trashfest 10th Anniversary

It is with with great joy, honour and anticipation that we announce the 10th Anniversary of Berlin’s weirdest, wildest, and most legendary festival, TRASHFEST.

FULL LINEUP ANNOUNCED:

BANDS:
Freak de l’Afrique (Berlin/ Man Recordings)
Conjunto Papa Upa (Venezuela/Amsterdam, Names You Can Trust)
Scúru Fitchádu (Cabo Verde/Lisbon)
Mfa Kera and Mike Russell’s Black Heritage (Madagascar/USA/Berlin)
Conjunto Vaya Nacho (Berlin)

DJS:
Dj Anacaona (Caracas)
j.do rio aka João Xavi (Rio de Janeiro)
Sigourney Skywalker (Berlin)
Dj Andi Stetcher aka Schladi Schladez (Berlin)
Mohair Sam (Thessaloniki)
Mayo-Ra (Spaghetti Western)
Send the Friend (Thessaloniki)
NESTA (PT)
Jimmy Trash (AUS)

Freak de l’Afrique is a Berlin based collective of Djs, Mcs and dancers who share a passion for modern African Club sounds. They are an energy EXPLOSION and full of legendary creatives and have worked alongside Goethe Institute and Redbull to be able to tour East Africa and Europe and spread their floor burning vibes.

Conjunto Papa Upa is the latest band by “The Hardest Working Man in Tropical Music” Alex Figueira (Fumaça Preta, Music With Soul, VintageVoudou), alongside percussion meister Gerardo Rosales. Papa Upa is a latin rhythm machine, dipping into the grooviest parts of Venezuelan Afro, Salsa and Carribean heritage and then wrung through the psychedelic and dj culture processor you can expect from a Names You Can Trust band.

Scúru Fitchádu
Mixing anti-colonial punk politics, live and programmed drums and exceptional stage shows with the ancient rhythms of funana, the outlawed and ancient music from Cabo Verde, Scuru Fitchadu feels like Death Grips if they grew up inthe island pennisula…..It’s their first gig in Berlin and we are honoured to host them.

Mfa Kera with Mike Russell and Black Heritage
Some years ago I was digging in Amsterdam and found an amazing LP with an astonishing face of the artist on the front cover. It was the amazing Mfa Kera, who I interpreted to be something like a Madagascan answer to Nina Hagen…. and it quickly became my favourite new wave album of all time. A little investigation found she was living in Berlin, and still going very strong with many musical and artistic projects. I’ll post more of this story later but for now, I am BURSTING to present to our Trashfest audience, MFA KERA will be performing with a full afrobeat band!!!

Conjunto Vaya Nacho This Band is based on the affection of Colombian Vallenato Music. Rocking an accordeon, bass, 1973 drum machine and guest singers, we are very happy to have these locals join us.

j.do Rio aka João Xavi
I have a perverse pleasure in the wild in-yo-face electric boogaloo of 80s-90s Baille Funk and Miami Bass, so I personally invited specialist J.do Rio aka João Xavi of Batuque Lowfi. He has made a mix just for us, listen and wig out and understand how fun this will be in the Urban Spree basement on the night of Trashfest !!!

Dj Anacaona is also a Venezuelan émigré to Berlin’s tropical music scene with connections to the La Regla Party here. After being in all of the rebellious music scenes of vibrant Caracas; Hardcore, Reggae, Hip Hop – she brings the same attitude to her heavy bomb salsa mixes which you have to hear to believe.

Dj Andi Stetcher (Schladi Schladez)
Andi Stecher is an austrian born and berlin based drummer and electronic musicia and DJ Andi Stechers music is not drawn to one specific genre. He refers to a variety of styles of music in his pieces and therefore forms a very unique hybrid sound. His music is often interspersed with polyrhythmic elements, field recordings, coupled with drones, subbass, analog electronics and electroacoustic elements.

We are deeply indebted to Musicboard Berlin for helping us to set up this incredible event, as well as our longterm partners Urban Spree.

Poster art by Mohair Sam.

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Additional Sponsors:
Roots Café
Berliner Berg

It goes without saying Trashfest is an open space free of discrimination and any sexist, racist, homophobic or transphobic behaviour will get your ass kicked out.

Can’t wait to see you all there <3 <3 <3 FB EVENT & Tickets here



“Here Comes the Bad News”: New Solo Show with Jim Avignon

Jim Avignon returns to Urban Spree Galerie for his second solo show “Here Comes the Bad News”, 2 years after « Permanent Jetlag ».

In his only exhibition in Berlin for the year 2019, Jim Avignon describes the mood in the world and in Berlin in particular with his usual wit.

Gentrification, Global Warming, Surveillance Capitalism, Alt Right… here comes indeed the bad news. His paintings are a mash-up of cartoony figuration, expressionistic composition, – a maximum of expression with a minimum of lines.

Jim Avignon is a painter, illustrator and conceptual artist. Always ready to confront the establishment he is torn between pop art, street art, Picasso on acid or simply being the fastest painter in the world. His signature style consists of vivid colours, a biting humor, unpretentious materials and a mind numbing output. His art works like pop music in DIY mode.

According to the legend, the artist became stranded in the Provence city of Avignon at some point in the ’80s when his car unexpectedly broke down. He resorted to painting Dali images onto pavements, gradually raising money to repair his car. The name stayed.

In the early 90s, he became an ubiquitous painter of the techno movement, designing makeshift clubs and Love Parade trucks.

By creating a colorful flood of affordable, rapidly-produced works, Jim disrupts the well-oiled art market and pervades it with black humor and self-irony. Avignon’s images caricature the modus operandi of the art market and are also aimed at people who are bored or deterred by the gold-framed aura of so-called high art. “Good Artists Go To The Museum, Bad Artists Go Everywhere”.

 

Jim Avignon

“Here Comes the Bad News”

Solo Show at Urban Spree Galerie

Vernissage: Friday, August 09th, 2019

Exhibition: 09.08.2019 – 08.09.2019

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Info and catalogue: pascal@urbanspree.com



Jim Avignon: Here Comes the Bad News

Jim Avignon returns to Urban Spree Galerie for his second solo show “Here Comes the Bad News”, 2 years after « Permanent Jetlag ».

In his only exhibition in Berlin for the year 2019, Jim Avignon describes the mood in the world and in Berlin in particular with his usual wit.

Gentrification, Global Warming, Surveillance Capitalism, Alt Right… here comes indeed the bad news. His paintings are a mash-up of cartoony figuration, expressionistic composition, – a maximum of expression with a minimum of lines.

 

Jim Avignon is a painter, illustrator and conceptual artist. Always ready to confront the establishment he is torn between pop art, street art, Picasso on acid or simply being the fastest painter in the world. His signature style consists of vivid colours, a biting humor, unpretentious materials and a mind numbing output. His art works like pop music in DIY mode.

According to the legend, the artist became stranded in the Provence city of Avignon at some point in the ’80s when his car unexpectedly broke down. He resorted to painting Dali images onto pavements, gradually raising money to repair his car. The name stayed.

In the early 90s, he became an ubiquitous painter of the techno movement, designing makeshift clubs and Love Parade trucks.

By creating a colorful flood of affordable, rapidly-produced works, Jim disrupts the well-oiled art market and pervades it with black humor and self-irony. Avignon’s images caricature the modus operandi of the art market and are also aimed at people who are bored or deterred by the gold-framed aura of so-called high art. “Good Artists Go To The Museum, Bad Artists Go Everywhere”.

 

Jim Avignon

“Here Comes the Bad News”

Solo Show at Urban Spree Galerie

Vernissage: Friday, August 09th, 2019

Exhibition: 09.08.2019 – 08.09.2019

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Info and catalogue: pascal@urbanspree.com