SURVIVE MMXIII // CURATORIAL STATEMENT //

sur·vive

1. To live. To remain alive.
2. To live through. To outlive.
3. To carry on despite hardships; or the death of a loved one.

from Latin, supervivere, super ‘over, beyond’ + vivere ‘to live’; or ‘to live beyond’.

 

SURVIVE was a traveling exhibition featuring a conceptually coherent and significant, original body of work by L.A. based emerging artists of the LTS & KOG crews: ARBE, DREYE, FISHE, KYLE THOMAS, NATHAN SMITH, SINER, and ZES. 

The artists worked from the same flat monochromatic palette mixing ink, acrylic, markers, brush, rollers, and spray paint. The evolving exhibit featured a total of 52 hand-stretched 3x4 ft. canvasses, as new pieces were added to the collection at each destination. 

Simultaneously, the artists produced large-scale street art murals exclusively for each exhibition in each city, under the creative direction of the curator.

Their abstract work on the street translated directly across surfaces, textures, and contexts onto the canvass. The fearless originality and brutal honesty of their works created a dramatic composition that reflects an aggressive obsession with technique and medium. The works’ distinctively raw aesthetic resulted in something chaotic, yet beautiful.

SURVIVE chose New Orleans to debut the traveling exhibition before moving unto Detroit and Oakland to provoke the dialogue on the transformative power of art. Inviting art audiences to the showcase of emerging artists in formerly abandoned and vacant structures, and now transformed ‘pop-up’ gallery space, the concept, the process, and the art reinforce the message: SURVIVE.

SURVIVE arrived in Miami Art Basel 2013 to culminate their traveling exhibition from New Orleans to Detroit to Oakland joining Miami with a larger mural series spanning these three cities and Los Angeles.

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY