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Exhibition date: 
21-31 March 2006

Fusions – The Harmonised Work of Three Underground Artists from the World of Street Art, Graffiti and Graphic Design

21-31 March 2006

Curator: Bianka Zsigó

The primary profile of kArton Gallery is the popularisation of comics and caricatures. Within the framework of the talent program launched last year, the Gallery offers young artists an opportunity to introduce their work. During the couple days these exhibitions are open, visitors can familiarise themselves with the works of beginning exhibitors and artistic trends, which are rarely represented in Hungary’s exhibition spaces.

The show affords its viewers a glimpse at pieces by Blik, Drez and Nikon, activists of Hungarian street art. The aim of the exhibition is to draw attention to this “wildling” of contemporary art, whose thematic, motifs and technical solutions provide the basis for the fusion of the pieces by these three artists.

Street art is a collective noun that comprises, in addition to graffiti, visual products found in public places, which got there through illegal means. This includes stickers, posters and stencilled spray paint images. Passers-by who notice these small or large images (and don’t merely chalk them up to vandalism) are made to wonder who put them there and for what purpose. Often they arrive at the conclusion that, surely, these, too, must be but advertisements for some new product. They are not far from reality, as street art is partly self-advertisement by the artists, in that they promote their names or tags and – through its execution – also flaunt their creativity and professional skills. On the other hand, it is an alteration of the environment, as the surroundings are changed in an autocratic manner, and also communication, established between street artists who reflect on each other’s works. But, at the end of the day, the removal of the works by street passivists (us, city dwellers) is also a form of communication, and so is the reappearance of the next piece on the following day declaring: ‘we are here and we can do to the street image, whatever we want.’ Their sin is no greater than the transgression of those who have turned every nook and cranny of our living environment into advertisement surfaces, or those who are allowing our historic monuments to go to waste.

Blik and Nikon made their first graffiti in 1995, after watching the American documentary Style Wars on the graffiti culture of New York City, which was run on Hungarian television on more than one occasion. Nikon remains an active graffiti artist to this day. Blik and Drez have taken their profession, graphic design (corporate image design), to the streets, creating logos for fictive or existing brand names. Just like the graffiti artist who gets bored with his letters and changes his signature, for them, the designing of the letters of a new logo provides a challenge. It was through this activity that they joined the Hungarian street art movement, which started around 2000 by the operation of the 1000% group. The exhibition is an attempt for adapting a genre that is considered a subculture, to the walls of a gallery. The images, which were made with spray paint, stencils, sticker collages, plotters or are by digital print address the theme of the street art way of life. We are once again greeted by specific motifs already familiar to us from the public spaces of Budapest, such as Drez’s logos, Blik’s distinctive cartoon character and Nikon’s tags.