Smash 137 is a well known and highly influential graffiti artist from Basel, Switzeland. In the last few years he has been quite successful in his capturing the energy from his graffiti on walls and incorporating it into his studio practice. His large scale paintings are a logical extension of his work on the streets. This video was produced for Speerstra Gallery in Switzerland for his upcoming show “Beautiful Struggle“. From a dark tunnel to his well lit studio, Smash 137 is proving that his struggle is beautiful and that he is on top of his game. If you are anywhere near Bursins, Switzerland get over there and check it out. As for most of us who can’t attend, the show will be viewable in 360° on saturday, May 5th starting at 1:00pm Swiss time at Amateur Magazine.
Scroll down to check out a preview of some of the works that will be featured in the show, as well as the official statement from the gallery.
Also check out highlights of some of his more recent pieces in our feature 50 Fresh Flicks of Smash137.
“An unusual title for an exhibition and for the new paintings of SMASH137. Monochrome areas nestle up against each other, to break up unexpectedly.
Multicolored lines bind together to lose and find each other again. Beams like handholds create a structure rich in contrast. A blaze of color, exploding right before us in time. And yet the paintings look well-balanced. Some of them have a center, others a counterbalance. For the viewer the works look like a continual coming and going.
The paintings and writings of SMASH137 are powerful and dynamic operations. Colors are forces and to paint means to be constantly in a high energetic situation and wrestle with these forces. We will understand the correlation of energies better if we know the process of their development.
SMASH137 works on several paintings at the same time. Using similar colors, the paintings look like a sequence of forms. Sometimes we see a progression in the dynamic, sometimes a counterpoint or a backlash. The balance is hidden somewhere in this process full of confrontations. And the goal is to create harmony synchronous with the highest tension. But where are the limits of the paintings? And when are they attained? Although color is something which is perceived differently by everyone, we all can feel the power of SMASH137 when he is creating a new piece. But what is the effect, the impact on the beholder? Viewing means to understand a flow of moments which together create the happening of perception.
Therefore the fight of SMASH137 with the forces of forms and colors constitutes the complex reality which we can find in his work. Or in the words of Sun Tzu: „The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.“ Our own experiences with life‘s struggles help us understand the power of harmony which SMASH137 gives us.So the title of the show can be both: the everlasting and painful struggle of the artist for aesthetic quality and the beauty of the strategic fight itself, the „art of war“.
Harald Kraemer for the Smash137 catalogue “beautiful Struggle” may 2012 at Speerstra Gallery.