I recently had one of my paintings from the Préludes… show loaned out to the Völklinger Hütte Urban Art! Biennale 2017, for which I was understandably quite happy, though it wouldn’t have been my piece of choice.
When Nicola Chenus gave me a copy of the thick catalogue from the event though, I must admit to have been very disappointed with the résumé that was written about me. I guess that most critics, journalists, or ex-writers with an axe to grind, still end up making statements based on their own view of the world around, relying on the confidence that they have in their own sense of perception and objectivity.
However, when it comes to certain genres, they fail to recognise their own limits, and are here in total ignorance of the socio-cultural context that is key to my thinking and my work. Just because a painting is called They Used To Do It In The Clubs does not necessarily mean that, “Today, Mode 2’s work points in the opposite direction (to my futuristice figures of the eighties): retrospection, nostalgia. Firmly figurative work shot through with muted colors takes a hazy look back at a golden age. The days of ”Crime Time” – even if they only ever involved smoking a few joints in a club – have passed.”
When such misrepresentation has become the norm, you find yourself having to run twice as fast and twice as much as what is going on around you in order to somehow repair the damage that they have done to the wider public’s reading and understanding of your work.
Whatever happened to curiosity and an open mind that doesn’t make assumptions based on prejudice? Who knows? Everybody’s an expert these days. This is why it is so important to talk directly to the public, whether on shows, or this blog; even if it seems that very few would would give up the time to read my blogs all the way through; or go on to read the interviews in the links. I may use a lot of words, but I do not say anything for no reason. It’s a complex enough world out there, and it’s not with short sentences that we will make any sense of it all.
I don’t consider myself as having a massive on-line presence, and maybe I should try to post more regularly here, instead of spending time on other social media; but I guess that the only thing I can do to counter the misrepresentation that we have seen with this “Urban Art Biennale”, is to tell my own story, on a platform where the public will eventually come across the truth; as opposed to lazy and biased journalism…