Those of you who follow my Twitter will know I am a fan of street art. In fact, one of my first experiences of the persuasiveness of the medium, was happening across a several foot high mural of Japanese recording artist Namie Amuro to promote the release of her 2012 album Uncontrolled in Tokyo. Someone who is known as one of the founding fathers of this particular artistic discipline is London-based artist and author, Remi Rough.
Rough finished 2015 with a solo exhibition, Home, his first in London, since 2011 at Scream London. The exhibition featured his now trademark abstract graffiti, which focuses on the interplay of colour and shape, appearing on a multitude of hand-made paper and wood canvasses, and explored the relationship of balance, tension and colour with geometric theory. My favourite piece from the exhibition is Cinqo, shown below, courtesy of Rough’s Instagram.
This piece, for me, is a visual representation of Rough’s earlier work. The shapes and colours utilised symbolising the trains which became his canvas as they traversed the city, potentially positively surprising those who saw the artworks and subsequently causing them to reconsider their perception of street artists.
To arrive at this stage in his career, where his work is as at home in a gallery as an outdoor venue, Rough has adapted his technique, taking inspiration from artists, such as, Kazimir Malevich whilst collaborating with other artists as a member of the collective Agents of Change. Rough’s work as a member of the collective, saw the exteriors of several venues across the UK transformed. For example, an abandoned village in Scotland became an extensive outdoor gallery, known as The Ghost Village Project, while the exterior of the Megaro Hotel in central London displayed to guests and passersby an intricate, colourful mural five storeys tall.
Mare writes that Rough “continues to challenge the boundaries of contemporary painting as he traverses between the collected history of art and todays urban lexicon. Thematically he continues to explore associations between Suprematism concepts, Abstract Expressionism and Graffiti art, which in practice and theory they become ever present. This amalgamation yields a new type of modernist painting, one that reflects his passion for the aforementioned but also his desire re-imagine it all for today’s world.”