Belgium artist ROA is renowned for his unique portrayal of large scale urban wildlife, disquietly cohabiting city streets, hand painted in his distinctive black and white style. ROA has become famous from painting animals on derelict buildings, shutters & walls literally all over the world. He has also exhibited to much acclaim all over the world and was also included in the MOCA exhibition 'Art In The Streets' in LA.
Etymolgically derived from the Greek words hypnos, "sleep" and agogos, "leading", the title of the show refers to the transitional state between sleeping and awake. This grey area exists within every consciousness and is said to act as a bridge to other realities. ROA explores the 'interstate' with his portrayals of sleeping animals, whilst quietly around us the world awakens from a long winter, and the creatures he depicts experience a period of seasonal transition.
ROA is an artist deeply preoccupied with the significance of the creative process. Working conceptually on each project, he nurtures a dynamic energy which evolves during the restricted time-frame. His method is consistent. Arriving in a location he adapts to his habitat, allowing inspiration to flood from buildings and objects and literally 'waking up' to the realities surrounding him. Foraging for the recycled found-objects he seeks becomes a harder task in London, adding a new dimension and highlighting physical process and interaction in this completed body of work.
The animals themselves are represented in their purest forms, whether they be alone or in groups, sleeping or awake, half skeleton or part organ dissection. Using placement and the enlarging of subject, ROA implies the absurdity of the human attitude toward animals, as well as toward their own roots and origin.
The architecture and discarded objects act as vessels for the huge creatures' lifetimes, the realism of the images on the man-made material emphasising the tension between culture and nature. Observing the rodents occupying the cities he works in, ROA also comments on the acclimatisation of animals to the urbanised world.
ROA is both a voyeur and a commentator of the transitions he sees around him. 'Hypnagogia' is the exploration of a territory we often forget to enter, and both a literal and metaphorical statement of the disparity between human and animal behaviour.
Roa: An Introduction To Animal Representation by Mammal Press
This, very much hand crafted, book chronicles ROA's art around the world by 3 recurrent themes of his murals last year; through photographs, sketches, and reference material. the book offers an insight into the creative mind of the artist. Each book is a unique edition of 500, hand bound, including two fold out screen prints of ROA, a Bird dissection and lots more...
This exhibition will be held in 2 spaces, our usual permanent gallery in the Truman Brewery and The Stone Masons, 17 Osborne Street London E1 6TD.
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