Artists: Egs, Nug and Shoe
Exhibition title: Abstract Vandalism
Curated by: Niels Shoe Meulman
Venue: Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Date: March 14 – April 18, 2015
Photography: Images courtesy of the artists and Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam
Galerie Gabriel Rolt is proud to present Abstract Vandalism, a group exhibition with new works by Egs, Nug and Shoe.
‘It’s my uneducated guess that half of all emerging visual artists have –at some point- used the street as a medium. To group all these artists as one movement is nonsense. True, graffiti/street art is the only undeniable art movement since pop art, but where urban attitude was once a unifier, now ideas and styles are very divided. It’s time for a separate direction we call Abstract Vandalism.’ – Niels Shoe Meulman in Abstract Vandalism, a manifesto.
Joseph Beuys’ theory that every person is an artist, is a strong one. Every human act is potentially artistic. And in addition, every attempt to create, automatically destroys something else in the process. So, all art is vandalism, but what about vice versa?
It’s not so hard to see that planting a flag on the moon in vandalism. With every mark we leave, we are damaging natural perfection. Every expression of existence created by humans, every sign, every statue, every legacy is also an act of destruction. Ever since that first cave painting, we are all going round in a spiral of vandalizing vandalism that was vandalized so many times before.
There are those who think they can see the difference between art and vandalism. Those who give permission to build a train system through a landscape but say it’s not permitted to paint these trains (unless it’s paid for and called advertising, of course)
In 1974, Norman Mailer glorified the art of vandalism in The Faith of Graffiti, which likened tagging in New York City to the work of Giotto and Rauschenberg. New York’s authorities responded by coating subway walls with Teflon paint, jailing taggers and requiring hardware stores to keep spray paint under lock and key.
All this is nothing new but it’s about time for the public outside the elitist art world (no offence) to realize that beauty can exist anywhere in the realm between creation and destruction. The difference between art and vandalism is only in the eye of the law upholder.
Niels Shoe Meulman in Abstract Vandalism, a manifesto.
Nug, Untitled 2, 2015
Niels Shoe Meulman, Unsigniﬁcant Sigma, 2015
Niels Shoe Meulman, Shoe’s Shoes, 2014
Nug, Untitled, 2015
Niels Shoe Meulman, Unearthly Shoe, 2013-2014
Niels Shoe Meulman, Unbalanced, 2015
Egs, Untitled, 2015
Egs, Black Sheep, 2015
Niels Shoe Meulman, Damage and Disgrace, 2014
Nug, Untitled, 2015