Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fresh Walls: "Kreation" @ Collective Tattoo & Art Gallery

Center, "One Off Cans"
From April 17th to August 8th, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) held a multi-gallery exhibit titled "Art in the Streets". It included no less than fifty of the most influential graffiti artists since the invention of the spray can. It also included the work of photographers, filmmakers and others who documented the phenomenon and works. [Link]  The concentration of energy at MOCA generated inspiration in the Little Tokyo area where the Museum sits, and there was a noticeable increase in graffiti activity, some made by world-famous artists, which did not please many, particularly the police.

The Pasadena Museum of California Art followed suit, and has a show on the same theme that will stay up until September. You can see the brochure for the exhibit here: [Link].

Center, "Bad Intentions Daily"

Collective Art and Tattoo, at 601 Central in St. Pete, has been bringing in graffiti - themed shows for some time. Its current show, "Kreation", exemplifies and celebrates the theme, showing work by the artist who goes by the name Center. 

On the left is "Bad Intentions Daily", Spray-can, free-hand painting on wood. The bandana which makes the figure look like an outlaw (which he is) is also worn for health reasons -- and security cameras. Note the attitude expressed by the subject and the low POV, which lends an iconic aura.

The artist Center

 On the right is the artist Center, standing before two panels of a panoramic-format long work (see below). I talked with Center just before the exhibit opened about his work. He is an experienced and skilled draftsman, with the technical solvency required to actualize his intricate and energized vision.  Center oozes discipline through the pores of his skin.

Work by Center

 Here is the work in its entirety. An abstract, looking like a dystopic cityscape, interconnected conduits, or map of a social network. The eye follows the forms, and often jumps to the white negative spaces, and back.

Work by Center

Another longitudinal work, this one a sculpture in overlaid forms.

Works by Center

One of the more interesting installations at this show were loose drawings by the artist that looked like they could have come from one of his sketch books. Lots of variety and experimentation, some repeating themes, and most of all, insights into the way the artist works.


 On the left is a close-up of one of the works seen on the right. Note the arrows.

Center, "Piece DNA"

 A very detailed drawing on the left, titled "Piece DNA", full of interlocking, abstracted wild-style designs. 


On the right an abstract, which presented at about 36" square. On the right, a detail showing Center's signature of one of his works, note the highlights and the stylized arrow.

Congratulations to Center and Collective for a memorable show. Center's website: [Link]. He can be reached at 727.224.1587

Kreation @ Collective - 601 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg

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