Fine Lines - Kiss The City

Opening 30 April, 19HR
Exhibition 30 April - 28 May 2010

'Kiss the City' features Parisian artists L'Atlas, Babou, Sun7 and Tanc, for their first show together in Berlin. With roots in tagging since the early 90s, it is the making of their mark that unites them. Working together since 2003, their works individually interpret the emotion, ambience, gesture and search for the master-stroke.

Initially known for his tags, L'Atlas studied Arabic calligraphy with classic and modern masters in Morocco, Eqypt and Syria, as well as Hebrew and Chinese calligraphy, Greek and Russian alphabets. Combining the inspirations of these art forms with the energy of the tag, L'Atlas work has evolved towards a nameless writing which unites painting and writing with calligraphy. "The tag remains the imprint of the unique gesture, inherited from calligraphy." (L'Atlas)
L'Atlas on Oberbaumbrucke

Babou's practice focuses on the performance and ambiance of tagging - the social and visual interaction with urban nightlife, the desire and the unease of being watched. His images seek to recreate the energy and movement of the street, using the city walls as canvas and transforming them into images that question the contemporary 'État d'Être'.

For Sun7, the tag as an act is reenacted in his search for the mastery of the gesture - 'the master-stroke'. His obsession with gestural painting balances the energy and sometimes frenzy of writing with the contemplation of calligraphy and fine art.

Tanc's abstract works build on the emotion, freedom and spontaneity of the tag; the desire for his tag - normally rejected in the art world - to surface. Tanc takes the abstraction of the tag one step further to have his name disappear. "My heart rhythm moves my arm like a metronome. I must try not to control this flow but only understand the composition' it causes to appear." (Tanc)

'Kiss the City' is the second show in Skalitzers' Fine Lines series, exploring the role of tagging within contemporary art. The tag, also referred to as handstyle, urban calligraphy or «writing, is a personal statement or signature: an expression of identity. The work of many artists starts and ends with the tag. For some the tag represents the basis from which they developed their style into less abstract art forms. For many of these artists tagging is a relevant part of their work, others' entire message is contained within their tag. Reaching across culture, class and age, the tag is a global art form: a pure form of self expression and style. Originating in Philadelphia in the 1960s and New York in the early 1970s, for decades it has laid the foundation for a number of related art forms which have developed from the streets to galleries worldwide.