16 MAY — 30 MAY 2012
Canadian artist Other has long earned his reputation in the graffiti milieu. Bohemian artist, his art can be seen on freight trains, city walls, in train yards, and inside countless art galleries around the world. He is known for his intricate oil stick paintings that grace rolling freight trains across North America. Collecting from a variety of images and experiences, his work inside the gallery constitutes a dynamic approach to counter the limits of a more static environment inherent to established institutions. This art represents the starting point from which his street art evolves. The body involvement and dynamism associated with graffiti translates in a kaleidoscopic vision often fragmented, suggesting the whole picture but focusing only on detail creating the movement within the composition. His highly coloured body of work balances his more monochromatic street art which is often executed in relative obscurity.
– OTHER (DEREK MEHAFFEY) –
I always wanted to be an animator but lacked the patience. Movement was my main inspiration. Movement equaled life but the drawn out, repetitive process of classical animation was like prison, one had to become stagnant to create movement. That was when I discovered it was me that must move and also there were other systems in which my work could move such as the North American railway system. The artist is the animation and the art is left behind in a room or wall or roams the lonely rails. So over the years my work has been displayed from Fez to Taipei to NYC to Montreal to Berlin to Bucharest to Tokyo to Lisbon and a million boxcars and dead walls in-between. The work speaks of clutter and layers, sort of all the generations of paint and wallpaper underneath the walls of an old apartment, a broken history of travels documented on discarded wood.
– TEMPEST –
In Tempest, Other brings his work as a street artist inside, proposing to the viewer a glimpse of his complex universe. Ranging from linocut, serigraphy, spray paint, oil to felt tip pen and acrylic, the exhibition delivered as some sort of a maze, not unlike the artist scattered vision, have the sound quality of seaming broad influences taken from both travel experiences and intimate memories. In the art work, the different places and cultures along the artist path suddenly collide with places and recollections of his childhood. Choosing facial expressions as the main focal point over classical proportions, the overwhelming use of repetition, colors and forms is as chaotic and diverse as are his own experiences. Through repetition, layering and diverse techniques, he depicts sparse body parts, lost objects and repetitive patterns piling up as if it was the collision aftermath between two different universes which were never meant to meet. Other’s highly personal artwork speaks of memory and identity through the depiction of facial expressions, objects he has collected and diverse places he has visited. Clutter and repetition, which became kind of his signature, also bring an excessive and unexpected character to his work. From working with found objects, his work somehow becomes the witness of the time passing by, adding texture and one more layer of narrative like an old wall in an old apartment showing traces of life through layers and layers of wallpaper and paint left behind by past dwellers, now long gone.
Ottawa-born vagabond, Other, has spent most of his life in Montreal. He began painting graffiti in his early adolescence and later graduated from Concordia University with a degree in fine arts. True to his bohemian lifestyle, his art can still be seen on freight trains, city walls, in train yards, and inside numerous art galleries around the world. He is known for the intricate oil stick paintings that grace the freights of North America. Inspired by his varied experiences, his canvas works push the limits of the comparatively static environment inherent to art institutions.
Other has exhibited his work in many prestigious venues and museums in Taipei, Tokyo, Paris, Dublin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Barcelona, Lima, etc. Along with his multiple publications, Other has earned several artist residencies and grants, many offered by the Canada Council for the Arts.