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Jaybo Aka Monk - As far as you can see
Urban art solo exhibition opens on November 20, 2008, in Berlin's Circleculture Gallery
Nailing down Jaybo's works to a specific artistic genre seems nearly impossible in the face of the creative impulsiveness and eager experimentation that provide the key to understanding the allure of his works, works which meaningfully negotiate between the genres of pop art, graffiti and street art and which also unselfconsciously contain implicit elements of Dadaism and Surrealism - Eclecticism? Jaybo is too one-of-a-kind not to be Jaybo - the artist is constantly in the picture!
Jaybo is a runaway, setting out and wandering along in a physical as well as in a creative sense. In his youth, he ran away from his house in southern France, settling in Berlin- Kreuzberg at the beginning of the 1980's, where he busied himself as a graffiti writer, street actor and hip-hop musician. When he founded the streetwear label "Irie Daily" and the cultural magazine "Style" at the beginning of the 1990's, his influence on Berlin's youth culture and fashion scene could be clearly seen. Even today, urban subculture is the driving force behind his artistic activities.
This is especially true of his paintings, are erratic and chaotic as they directly quote various fragments of urban subculture. They often plumb great psychological depths, thematically speaking, with lightness meeting existentialistic melancholy, aggressiveness meeting passion and a seemingly standard romantic streak and visionary dimension.
While viewing some of Jaybo's paintings, brushstrokes and figure characterizations are vaguely suggestive of Francis Bacon, the influence of Asian art can be seen, or slivers of the world of Walt Disney make an appearance - like his projection on the Berliner Dom, transformed into a veritable tidal wave of Mickey-Mouse hands. Jaybo himself characterizes these sorts of stylistic quotes as "visual reflexes," designed to involve the observer by using their high level of familiarity with the elements interacting within the picture. It rests with the public to create meaning behind the artwork by allowing these imaginations to play out and by superimposing the pictures with their own experiences (that of childhood, for example).
In this exhibition, Jaybo proves once again that he is one of the most versatile, well-rounded, fascinating figures in the movement currently being defined as urban art.
'Who's Next' (group exhibition), Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2001
'Sonar Festival' (group exhibition), Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 2001
'Smoking Explosion', Style Gallery, Berlin, 2005 Skatepark, Genua, 2005
'White Shadows', Circleculture Gallery, Berlin, 2006
'Clash of the Titans - Unai vs Monk', Project Gallery, Berlin, 2006
'Six Fingers' (in cooperation with Anton Unai), Hamburg, 2006
'Design Mai' (group exhibition), Tokyo & Seoul, 2007
'Knock On Wood', Insight Gallery, Strassburg, 2007
'Old Scars And New Injuries Are The Beauty Of The Eternal Now', Circleculture Gallery, Berlin, 2007
'Paint my House', projection on Berliner Dom realised by Skudi Optix & Tristesse Delux, Berlin, 2008
'Highway Child - Tales Of The Modern Day Drifter' (group exhibition), Kollektiv Berlin, 2008
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