'Rhythm Is A Dancer'
By Kid Acne
By Kid Acne
01.04.11 - 24.04.11
A new body of work from renowned UK street artist Kid Acne. Featuring paintings on board and canvas, installation work and also the release of a limited edition fanzine and print.
This exhibition explores the relationship between graffiti and smoking by way of introducing us to a new set of characters known as 'Art Fags' - a play on words neatly personifying packs of cigarettes. Both pastimes are seen as rebellious and cool, which makes them particularly appealing to teenagers. Though through repetition they become a compulsion, cause serious problems in our adult life and are 'filthy habits' hard to quit.
We can all see the similarities between graffiti and advertising - the notion of occupying space to promote an idea, brand or individual. Nowadays however, cigarette advertising is just as outlawed as graffiti, though at their height of fashion both were simply seen as the thing to do. Since the smoking ban, smokers, like graffiti writers have been forced into the streets, whereas Street Artists are embraced by the galleries and auction houses.
A non smoker himself, Kid Acne's Art Fags were first seen on the streets of Paris in the latter part of 2010. Inspired by the consistantly smoking French and a tongue-in-cheek response to expression 'Art Fag' - a term adopted by the more fundamentalist graffiti writers to describe Street Artists, criticizing them for their less hardcore and arguably more contrived contribution to the urban landscape. That said, you'll always find a gang of graffiti writers at a Street Art private view, having a crafty fag outside. It's their guilty pleasure. Just don't tell Mum.
"I began painting graffiti in the early 1990's when I was twelve years old. We lived in a small market town so there wasn't much to do. Around the same time I got into shoplifting, smoking and taking drugs. When the fair came to town there were only 4 rides. All the kids from the estate would be gathered round the punch bag and the older kids would show off their strength to the fair ground folk and bubble permed girls. This was the era of Hip-House so Snap would be blaring out from the Walterz. Twenty years on I still paint graffiti but I quit all the other stuff. Rhythm Is A Dancer reminds me of those halcyon days."
About The Artist:
Kid Acne was born in Malawi in 1978. He grew up in England and is currently based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. His career as an artist began with an appearance on Rolf's Cartoon Club at the age of twelve. Within a year, he'd started writing graffiti and was in hospital recovering from a bad acid trip. Neither were related to Rolf in any way. Applying the same DIY ethos to the rest of his output, he spent his teenage years creating underground fanzines and releasing limited run 7"s on his own Invisible Spies imprint. Nowadays, his work can be seen throughout the world - in galleries from Helsinki to Melbourne and in wheatpastes and rap-sprays from New York to Azerbaijan. His signature style of illustrations have furnished products for the planet's leading brands, while the man himself continues to paint epic slogans in subzero temperatures.
And he still has ace.