Skalitzers transformed their new space for the opening reception of “Writing my Name Until it Matters: DWANE” to reflect the circular and cyclical nature of the work. A round gallery was custom built in the middle of the space for the exhibit. Stepping into that space you are completely surround by the art, in the center of this gallery within a gallery there’s also somewhere to sit and contemplate the work…
A dj provided the soundtrack for the evening, spinning some classic tracks that harkened back to the 1980’s, when DWANE started writing his name. Music weaved in and out of the space, mixing with the voices of the attendees. A lively atmosphere pervaded the well-attended opening reception. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to speak with the artist regarding his exhibit in Berlin.
DWANE has been writing and painting for 29 years and the first time someone from his crew painted legally was in 1986, DWANE was initially really upset; he couldn’t believe that his friend just gave his work away to the mainstream. He wrestled with the concept for the show, he didn’t want to just bring traditional graffiti work inside and lay it on canvas. For him, the work in the exhibit is more about pushing the boundaries, breaking the rules of graffiti. The tag is the most elemental part of graffiti. How do you challenge and question it while at the same time using it? DWANE considers the pieces writing more than painting – the writing just happens to be done with paint.
Writing and painting were DWANE’s response to the pressures he felt growing up to conform to the norms of working class Gothenburg, Sweden. It was a conscious decision he made to remove himself from those expectations by participating in the hip hop subculture.
“This process eradicates the very essence of tagging, leaving no name to read and no typographic code to decipher. A process of “anti-graffiti” painting utilizing the most essential means of creating your graffiti identity and visual statement while destroying it at the same time.” – DWANE
The circular and cyclical nature of the work becomes evident again. It becomes a conversation about the importance of the name, the process, the work. When does it become important? Does it ever really matter? When does it matter? How do you know when it matters?
“Writing my Name Until it Matters: DWANE”
Skalitzers Contemporary Art
Revaler Strasse 99
Through December 8th 2012