on off on on

The solo exhibition “abstract paintings – on off on on” by XOOOOX focuses on a technique that was always present in the artist’s work but nevertheless less known than his stencil pieces. Similar to an exterior wall, he builds layer upon layer, material upon material on the substrate to make reference to his street art origins. In his role as an abstract painter rather than a graffiti- and street artist, XOOOOX presents a highly individual and new expressive style.

After the exhibitions „Pilgrim, Baby!“ (2011) and „Vanish“ (2013) have paved the way for XOOOOX’s artistic diversity – offwards the inevitable nexus between his pseudonym and the famous fashion designs – “abstract paintings – on off on on“ merely focuses on his abstract paintings. Although dwarfed by his unique stencils for a long time, XOOOOX’s paintings have throughout been loyal companions on his diverse way of artistic development.

Picasso’s work was the inspiration to start experimenting with abstract painting and later showed him the connection between the two different art forms graffiti and abstractionism. Initially determined by a timid adherence to the human outline and inspired by the Cubists, XOOOOX more and more abandoned the hard lines to explore a new mode of expression in the abstract shapes and surfaces on canvas. As once Basquiat, XOOOOX’s paintings also tell the story of the artist’s engagement with dynamic and urban art in order to convert their influences into another media.

As a synthesis of art traditions and contemporary individual influences rather than a concept contrary to his urban origins, XOOOOX maintains the special character of his tags and stencils and transfers them on canvas. The use of Objets Trouvés allows him to draw on a wide spectrum of techniques and inspirations. In his current paintings, XOOOOX combines classical substances like acrylic with the typical graffiti material spray paint. Thereby, he applies various transparent and soft covering layers of paint on the substrate that was grounded with different materials such as black tea beforehand. As a gentle, diverse surface, it offers the beholder a special form of narration, in which the layers reveal their own genesis. Like an archaeology of the ephemeral, it will age and alter but at the same time be eternalized on the canvas.

Has the illegality of graffiti once demanded the artist’s anonymity, its preservation as an abstract painter has now developed a completely new embodiment. No more of a compulsion, XOOOOX hides behind his six letters that always functioned as creative means in his compositions. They now represent an art statement that clearly distinguishes itself from the phenomenon of the personality cult that is prevalent in the art scene, so that his art becomes the starting- and endpoint of all consideration.