Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Uphill Both Ways, a two-person exhibition curated by Roger Gastman, featuring new works by Chicago-based artist Pose and Detroit-based artist Revok. In conjunction with what will be their first show in New York, the artists will also collaborate on a large-scale mural on the famed Goldman Properties wall located on Houston and Bowery streets, in lower Manhattan.
Although style, medium and techniques vary between the two artists, their work is strongly connected from a conceptual standpoint. The exhibition title Uphill Both Ways (inspired by late graffiti artist Nekst), relates to the battles Pose and Revok have faced personally with legal persecution and loss, as well as general themes of the human struggle on a macro level, one of the common threads in their bodies of work. The artists both draw inspiration directly from their environments and both of their processes involve chopping up various elements and reassembling the slices to form a synthesis of intriguing shapes, forms and textures.
Pose’s works reference disparate sources—pop and comic art, skateboard and advertising graphics, collage, sign painting and graffiti. Painting portraits of the human condition, he re-appropriates the visual language of the street and overwhelming experience of consumer culture to convey a broad spectrum of emotions—pain, triumph, joy, fear, love and loss. His fragmented imagery is intended to disarm pretense, making the work universally accessible and open to interpretation. Revok creates abstract geometric panels with vibrant colors and striking patterns using found materials sourced from abandoned homes, schools, businesses and churches—sampling bits and pieces of people’s lives, hopes, dreams and aspirations—reinterpreted through rich layers of history, decay and age-worn patina.
Pose (Jordan Nickel) was born in 1980 in Evanston, Illinois, and is currently based in Chicago. He began practicing graffiti in 1992 and received a painting degree from Kansas City Art Institute in 2004. Revok (Jason Williams) was born in 1977 in Riverside, California, and began writing graffiti in 1990. In 2011, his work was included in Art in the Streets, an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles, and Street Cred, an exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of Contemporary Art. Currently based in Detroit, Revok founded the Detroit Beautification Project in which he and his peers create murals throughout the city. Pose and Revok are both members of The Seventh Letter, an acclaimed West Coast artist collective and Mad Society Kings (MSK), a world-renowned graffiti crew.
Roger Gastman was raised in Bethesda, Maryland and is currently based in Los Angeles. He founded and published two magazines: While You Were Sleeping and Swindle (co-published with Shepard Fairey). In 2010, Gastman served as consulting producer for Banksy’s Oscar-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. In 2011, he was an Associate Curator for Art In The Streets, an exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles and in 2012, he co-authored The History of American Graffiti published by HarperCollins.
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