Modart was born in 1997, the birth of a collaboration between Transworld Media Photo Associate Mona Mukherjea-Gherig and progressive fashion designer Shaney Jo Darden. Having themselves drawn a great deal of inspiration from the deeply rooted artistic culture surrounding action sports, they wanted to establish a platform to support this culture and share it with others. In 2003, Modart came to Europe hosting an impressive exhibition in Munich, which featured raw talents like Ed Templeton, Natas Kaupas, Jim Avignon, Lance Mountain and Shepard Fairey. A year later, Modart continued to introduce exciting young artists to a broader public bringing together 30 artists including The London Police, Jeremy Fish, Andrew Pommier, Sam Flores and many others.
At this point, it was already clear that action sports shared certain outlooks with other creative communities and the vibe that spread from the sweat of many of these artists was essential in inspiring a coming community of artists that would reinvent their environments, cherish positive destruction as aesthetic reconstruction and search for new a new way to communicate emotional impossibilities posed by the so called modern world. Bravery, empathy and imagination, shared weapons in a sea of varied individual interests and experiences. Since 2004, Modart Magazine has documented and discussed with this coming community and evolved with it, acting as a reference and platform to place more art in public and while challenging most beliefs, holding on to one: CREATIVE ACTION = ACTIVE CREATION
The heliumcowboy team (left to right, front to back): Jörg, Vroni, Maike, Gudrun, Lutz. Gallery view of an installation by Neasden Control Centre.
A hybrid cross of traditional gallery and urban exhibition lounge, the heliumcowboy artspace represents the best in young contemporary art, showcasing emerging artists with the ability to blow away boundaries and work towards establishing the future aesthetics of art. Positioned closely to the development and evolutional cycles of young art today, the gallery is aiding artists who are breaking the mould of the art world. When the gallery opened in 2003, the aim was to establish a place to conceive, show and experience art that is made by and for people living in the here and now; educational or social backgrounds were never in the thought process. On the contrary, qualifications are only our shared battles in life and the complex absurdities this ride presents. Consequently, the heliumcowboy artspace is run as a hub for contemporary
life rather than a simple and clean place to present vacuum protected art. Our exhibitions are very distinctive in the presentation of art. We don’t strive to make cool art parties; we much rather support our artists in creating an environment that re-invents the concept of exhibiting and developing art shows that may be considered authentic in their reflection of our society and selves. With this approach I feel that we and modart are Brothers in Arms. Where modart can help a young generation of artists to make their (visual) voices heard, we at heliumcowboy give them the space and opportunity to fully explore their talent at exhibitions, fairs and consequently on the market that eventually will feed them. We first banged our heads together at the end of 2005, when modart featured our gallery in the magazine.
HELIUM Since then we have teamed up on many occasions in Hamburg, Cologne, Barcelona, Miami or New York, be it for social or professional reasons. Networking became a real thing between us, unsnapped from the abstract of a pure virtual world, and we are getting our hands and minds truly dirty with the work on a common goal: to establish a new breed of artists and a unique and probably the most contemporary form of emerging art.
This exhibition is a proof of concept: curated by Harlan Levy, the chief dreamer and creative mastermind (and editor) of the magazine, we at heliumcowboy have opened the gates to our Ranch for a mesmerizing glimpse on the vast universe that is modart. — Jörg Heikhaus, April 2008
No New Enemies is an international network of artists, activists, academics and passionate people, which began as an open minded collective who enjoyed collaborating on the streets for various reasons, one of which was to communicate with a broad and democratic public. The network aims to place art in public spaces, encourage the exploration of media aesthetics outside of institutional settings and to support young artists with various tools and opportunities. Value is placed on responsibility, risk and process, as opposed to end product, and questions to the citizen/consumer dialect constantly posed. The network offers shelter and springboards to a community of rooted, yet nomadic young creatives whose art is a necessity of their lives. In addition to several street level projects, the network has produced collaborative shows working closely with members such as the London Police, Bo130, Microbo, Morcky, the Boghe, Galo, Nomad, Lucy Mclauchlan, Logan Hicks, Will Barras, Mr. Jago, G, Lâ€™Atlas, Ephameron, Victor Castillo, Guifari, Nico Stumpo and several others. In May 2008, No New Enemies will create a large group exhibition featuring over 22 members and taking place in the Botanique Museum in Brussels, Belgium. www.nonewenemies.net
Bo130 BO130 is not only street artist, he is an illustrator, graphic designer, and a writer, so it´s quite hard labelling him and his work. He has worked on several projects together with Microbo and just like her, he operates beyond these labels. Everything that captures his interest and offers creative outlet is welcome. This artist draws his inspiration from the iconography of urban lifestyles, black music, diverse cultures, food, sex and, of course, graffiti. He has shown his work in countless exhibitions not only in Milan, but on an international level, lastly in New York in a groupshow called “The Streets of Europe“.
Bo130, Micro & Don
Microbo There are so many tracks bound to MicroboÂ´s art that you are predestined to get lost in search of its sources. Her work represents a smooth, but at the same time a twisted organic evolution made of streams and shapeless creatures, trying to recall the chaos, or even lifeÂ´s complexity. Like any music form rises from a suggestive merging of only seven notes, so many pieces develop through the combination of basic elements which Microbo juggles and plays with, which she is constantly adjusting and rearranging. Grafic design, painting, photography, video, design, animation and illustration provide the the basic elements in MicroboÂ´s work and give life to her visionary imagery. The influences and the visual places that serve as playground for these artists are extremly diverse, but they do have something in common: their passion for street painting and a wide exploration of media aesthetics that has led to a series of successful shows all around the globe.
Morcky I was born in a small Italian town up the hills, in the mid seventies. I grew up in the eighties with lot of cheesy television. I started painting graffiti in the early nineties. I moved to Amsterdam in the zeros. Everyday I do a lot of things: eat, drink, smoke, smoke, smoke, draw, fry myself in front of a computer and often make my clothes irreversibly dirty. I like painting objects and things without life, I like playing with perspectives, compositions and dynamics. I like to draw smoke. I like to paint big outdoor walls the most. I forget a lot of useful things. I love black and white. I donâ€™t usually talk this much.
The Boghe Rocco Pezella (aka the Boghe, aka the Neverending) has been writing Graffiti since 1989. He studied at art academies in Bologna and Perugia before deciding to escape what he considered an institutionalized art track, moving on to earn his living and search new stimuli as a designer. He quickly excelled, working in both Milano and New York for a number of prestigious firms, including Trussardi where he served as a young creative director. In 2000, he relocated to Amsterdam and launched his own agency, Twothings, a partnership that has gone onto work for high profile commercial and non profit organizations, directed award winning music videos and launched Mikosa Foundation and magazine. At the same time, Rocco continues to expose his own creative offerings in exhibitions around the world. Last year he collaborated with Nico Stumpo to show at No New Enemies in Brussels and later participated in the Dutch Masters Group show at the Den Haag Gementelijke museum. A true writer, Rocco provides images and structures that cannot always be read, yet leave a lingering sense to their accompany their blatant nonsense. His investigations include calligraphy, robotics and sculpture.
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