Hop Louie and Hello Banana are two street artists based in Stockholm, Sweden. On the 7th of July they will have their first exhibition in Athens, Greece, a location which offers a very different reality. Until recently, Stockholm had a zero tolerance towards graffiti and street art, promising to remove anything appearing on walls within 24 hours and prohibiting advertisements that could be seen to promote graffiti, such as posters for street art exhibitions. The artists have been actively resisting these policies and have taken part in wider struggles concerning public space in the urban environment. This can be contrasted to Athens which appears to offer the polar opposite reality, with an abundance of imagery littering the walls.
We're organising an exhibition in Athens together with our partners Momangen and Sarri 12 and curated by Dora Vasilakou. facebook event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1714721298787922/
The official text follows:
Sarri 12 Gallery is pleased to announce the first exhibition of the street artists Hop Louie & Hello Banana in Athens, “Caged City”, curated by Dora Vasilakou. The exhibition is jointly organized by Sarri12 Gallery, Momangen Gallery and Holobiont Project.
Here, they encourage you to answer to the Wolf’s Commandments to kill what you eat and eat what you kill.
Urban architecture, industrial zones, modern housing development and landscape gardening are an integral part of the structural reality of a metropolis with chain reactions, rapid changes and apocalypses. Living creatures cohabit in this cityscape in a paradoxical way. The metropolitan environment and the everyday confrontational characteristics of a modern city are at the core of the exhibition theme of the street art duo Hop Louie & Hello Banana.
Fusions of wild animals and buildings, cages and birds, dealing with the notion of personal and collective freedom, unfold as vibrant visual stories of special creatures that flirt with the impossible. A new interpretation of life is presented through constant coexistence and conflict, with contradictory imagery of industrial technology merged with life-forms and emancipation contrasted with restriction. Yet, the world of Hop Louie & Hello Banana is not a dystopian one. It rather combines contradictions and as Camus developed in his philosophical theories of change, “the Paradox of Absurd”. Human beings are caught in a constant attempt to derive meaning from a meaningless world. This is the floating point where the two artists critically stand their voice.
Using mixed media techniques and working playfully on several surfaces (wall, wood, cardboard) the two Swedish artists produce a roster of stencils, collages and wall paintings, a blend of urban and industrial landscapes with organic life-forms into continuous transformations that draw inspiration from nature, human manufacturing and alternative ecological dynamics.
The exhibition title concentrates on the paradox itself, life trapped in the capitalist urban milieu, the city as a cage full of life. Black and white contrasted with solid colors and detailed textures are used to explore the attraction of today’s consumerism, along with the madness of a more and more non-viable world.
HELLO BANANA started with political stickers 10 years ago. In the last couple of years her focus has been on combining patterns, colours and shapes of different animals and weapons. Her style is evolving and often work with bright colours and gritty backgrounds. For this exhibition her focus is on stencils, birds and the contrasts of freedom. On the streets, she works mainly with posters but also with stencils and spray paint.
HOP LOUIE has worked with street art in one form or another since the late 90s. He is a well known name in Stockholm street art environment. With spray paint, stencils, wheatpaste, posters and stickers he spreads his art in the public space. His art embraces current political topics and puts his finger on the social climate and the question of who owns public space. With creativity and integrity as weapons, he creates subjects that colour and question the relentless cityscape.
Opening : July 7th Thursday, 20:00
Duration: 8th July- 1st September 2016
Opening Dates & Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 12:00-19:00
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Sarri 12, Psyrri
Athens 10553, GR