GARY STRANGER + PREF | UK
Moniker’s Open Studio programme continues in 2019, inviting artists to create immersive spaces that allow our guests further insight into the thought process, practical technique and inspirations behind the artwork.
Focussing primarily on typography, Gary Stranger is one of the prominent names in the UK street art and graffiti scene, displaying a freehand precision in his work that tempers bold colour and sharp line into flawless, crisp and direct finished works.
Pref too applies an extraordinary deft hand with spray paints, creating puzzle-like typographic art in a mastery of perspective, three-dimensional subterfuge and juxtapositional creations merging multiple styles, eras and pacing.
Ed Hicks, also known as Hicks 54, is a British muralist, illustrator and graffiti artist whose work transitions between graphically expressive landscapes and obscure conceptual themes.
An incredibly versatile talent, Hicks is as comfortable working with more traditional forms of graffiti characters through to complex and precise landscapes, and far more surreal forms beyond.
Internationally renowned travelling artist Nick Fedaeff exhibits at Moniker with a new collection, experimenting with two radically different styles at once in the form of neo cubism and renaissance.
While previous works have been influenced by the old masters, neo cubism is a fresh form of expression for Fedaeff, who combines geometric, patterned images with detailed renaissance-style frameworks.
Additionally within this collection are pieces which continue to explore more familiar themes and styles, such as the surrealist works for which he is perhaps best known.
MIKKEL ULLAH | LEEDS
Leeds artist Mikkel turned to art as a means of rehabilitation and therapy after being diagnosed with an autoimmune illness.
Whilst in remission she suffered a stroke, which led to her having to relearn many skills including speech and mobility, in turn forcing her to reconsider the scale and materials used in her work. She has since explored new ways of working on her pop-culture interpretations, wielding spray paint household paint and acrylics.
Collaborating extensively with musicians, dancers, and artists from different backgrounds, she has also delivered intergenerational community projects with people from the ages of nine to 90. Mikkel aims to help nurture talent and confidence in young people, who struggle to access creativity, and the elderly, who can become very isolated.
Culver City, California
Moniker Art Fair 2019 is proud to welcome back Thinkspace Projects following their outstanding, sell-out fair debut two years ago.
Founded in 2005, the Californian gallery has garnered an international reputation as one of the most active and productive exponents of the New Contemporary Art Movement, creating new opportunities for the presentation of its artists and work.
You’ll find solo shows for BEZT, SLINKACHU, Andrew Hem and Josh Keyes as well as a 50-strong group show demonstrating the sheer breadth of the Thinkspace offering.
THINKSPACE PROJECTS x MONIKER
Slinkachu Solo Show
Slinkachu’s miniatures invade Moniker Art Fair this year, showcasing a unique approach to sculpture that began to appear on city streets as far back as 2006. The artist’s work embodies elements of street art, sculpture, installation art and photography and has been exhibited in galleries and museums globally.
These micro-scale tableaus reflect the loneliness and melancholy of living in a big city – the universal sense of being overlooked, lost and overwhelmed – while petitioning for empathy with a subtle, dark humour.
THE ART HOUND GALLERY
Established in 2012 on the King's Road, London, before relocating to Cambridge in 2016, The Art Hound Gallery deals art to the trade and the public, exhibits at the UK and London's top art fairs and shows, and curates the collections of its celebrity clients.
For Moniker 2019, the gallery exhibits Lauren Baker, a British contemporary multidisciplinary artist whose art explores the fragility of life, energy-fields, the after-life and other dimensions; Simon Freeborough’s works exploring the ‘disposable trimmings of our society’ and transforming them into lasting objects made for visual admiration; David Studwell, who harnesses the spirit of the sixties and seventies, the cult of celebrity and the legacy of Warhol to produce iconic screen prints, and Terry Pastor, an artist and printmaker best known for his iconic album artwork for David Bowie's Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust.
CURIOUS DUKE GALLERY
Alfie Alpha (born Alphie Gatt in Malta) is the winner of the 2019 Secret Art Prize, awarded to one artist each fair in partnership with Curious Duke Gallery.
Alpha’s work mixes figurative and surrealist aesthetics, created in multiple mediums such as watercolour, ink, coloured pencil, acrylic, and wax pastels, a unique approach that the artist describes as being "a balance and marriage of graphical and fine art”.
His explorations of the (usually) female form stray into the intangible, leveraging the stunning, chaotic beauty of the natural world to alter and skew the peaceful, fanciful subjects.
LANDMARK STREET ART
Landmark Street Art forges strong links directly with the artists that director Ben Heslop loves and collects himself, comprising a truly worldwide selection of some of the best in the business.
This year at Moniker is no exception: Landmark exhibits Ben Eine – regarded as one of the most successful letterform artists in the world and internationally celebrated as a pioneer in the exploration of contemporary typography art – and Tabby, an Austrian street artist known for wielding spray paint and stencils to create colourfully vibrant, thought-provoking art that is all at once sentimental and urgent in its depiction of the human condition.
GAREY THE THIRD
Garey The Third is a concept store that blurs the line between patron and customer, curating a selection of limited editions, artist collaborations, and pieces unfamiliar to the local market. The space is based in the heart of the Downtown LA Arts District, and shares a space with it's sister gallery, Over The Influence.
Garey The Third serves as an epicenter for art, culture, and design, positioned at the forefront of innovation by featuring the emerging, alongside the established. The space itself changes and evolves, rolling out curated capsules of rare, collaborative, and new pieces, in immersive installations and displays, standing in stark contrast against the normative culture of what a retail space is “supposed to be”.
Josh Keyes Solo Show
Inspired by 18th-century aesthetics and philosophy, Josh Keyes paints animals in a style reminiscent of anatomical diagrams. His work is characterised by an attention to detail and to physiological accuracy, but the artist does not, however, place his animal subjects in their natural settings.
Rather, they are often in peril, displaced from their natural ecosystems into dioramic, fantastical situations, frequently isolated and containing an incompatible mix of the natural and manmade.
Mazel Galerie, operating with premises in Belgium and Singapore, fields an eclectic roster of emerging talent and acclaimed veterans within the contemporary art world, art as diverse in country of origin as the mediums in which it is created. For Moniker Art Fair 2019, Mazel brings C215 and Levalet.
Epinal-born Charles Leval, better known as Levalet, works in a marriage of drawing and installation, staging characters drawn in Indian ink in public spaces, and thereby creating a game of visual and semantic dialogues with the surrounding environment.
French street artist C215, meanwhile, is considered to be one of the top stencil artists in the game, his moniker derived from a prison cell in which he was once locked away. He creates portraits of the elderly and refugees, among others, based on the desire to present and draw attention to those we often forget to recognise in life.
Gregory Watin Solo Show
Kahn is a young and dynamic, online-only, London-based art gallery offering access to contemporary art in a relaxed and approachable atmosphere.
The gallery presents Gregory Watin, originally from France and internationally recognised for a unique urban style that sees the artist immerse himself in all things that give strength to urban landscapes.
Using structures marked by time as his inspiration and creating art that produces a gravity, atmosphere and even universe around the depicted area, Watin wields bright colours breathing life into each scenes, with inlays of wood, paper, plexiglass and natural materials bringing depth and context.
There is a notion of urgency in his work, to seize on an idea before it gets away, to create on the canvas as an instant and vital gesture.
JEWEL GOODBY CONTEMPORARY
Jewel Goodby is a curator and gallerist based in London working with urban and contemporary artists across multidisciplinary mediums, representing both established figures within the scene and new, up-and-coming talent.
Goodby returns to the fair with a particularly strong showing this year: Matt Small’s compelling depictions of dispossessed youth, painted not only on canvas but recycled road signs and car bonnets; Masha Gusova’s historical images, manipulated and adapted to create new narratives that deal with the human condition; works creating a ‘contemporary view of the past’ by Robert Sample, whose art gives reference to the ongoing struggle of creating original imagery; Mr Cenz and his electric, colour-strewn graffiti channeling hip hop and street culture through a bitingly modern lens; Wandal’s portraits of hauntingly beautiful, siren-like female figures surrounded by surreal and colourful worlds, questioning humanity’s obsession with aesthetics.
Situated in the heart of Dalston, BSMT SPACE hosts the best in current Urban Contemporary Art, a space that connects people, ideas and projects together. Born out of a disused black basement, the gallery has evolved over the past four years to gain a reputation as a platform showcasing some of the finest UK-based and global artists.
To Moniker 2019, BSMT brings a plethora of respected new contemporary and urban artists including the subversive, satirical machinations of Dr D, the blissfully surreal character work of Ador, Dan Ferrer’s poignant snapshots of the human condition, and the kaleidoscopic menagerie of Louis Masai.
BEZT (Etam Cru) Solo Show
Known primarily for large-scale murals painted with partner Sainer as the Etam Cru duo, BEZT’s work is resistant to the ascription of excessively-assigned meaning, preferring to allow the imagery to speak for itself.
Juxtaposing saturated colours and loose brushstrokes with delicate, refined lines and patterns, BEZT’s dream-like compositions place figures silently contemplating the unknown, capturing the moment when someone is lost within their own thoughts. These ethereal lost souls seek to quietly draw you in, encouraging you to pause and consider the unknown.
Kyle Barnes Solo Show
One of two solo shows from Creative Debuts – an online platform on a mission to make art more accessible – Northern-Irish-born Kyle Barnes has blazed a trail in recent years, having won numerous prizes including the ‘Young Artist Award’ 2014 at the Royal Ulster Academy, the Tyrone Guthrie Residency in 2015 and the Whyte's Award at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2017.
Barnes’ portraiture deals with the idea of a subject’s face essentially acting as a landscape, a topographical tale as worn, fractious and unique as the journeys an individual has taken:
“Our skin is a timeline of our life style and choices. Through living life, we continually go through a process of cleansing and renewing from the dirt and grime that we pick up through 'life living' both physically and metaphorically. We experience, socialise, go to work, interact and from this.”
LAE Consultancy was founded in early 2018, with a view to bringing together like-minded creatives from across the art world to produce exciting, contemporary art exhibitions and projects in different venues all over the UK.
At Moniker this year, LAE presents D7606’s bright and beautiful urban homage to iconic British culture, Anna Laurini’s bold explorations of feminine figures more reminiscent of Picasso than more contemporary urban influences, neon-light-art pioneer Rebecca Mason’s contemplative, inquisitive explorations of humanity, Sara Pope’s voluptuous, seductive and almost three-dimensional paintings of glossy lips, and Terry Baden’s charming canine curiosities depicting stencilled salutes to man’s best friend.
Blackwater Gallery brings together an eclectic array of artists from around the world and a commitment to building distinguished art collections, along with a strong belief that art should be accessible to everyone.
For their Moniker debut, Blackwater exhibits: Jamie Gallagher, a figurative painter exploring the concept of ‘identity’, as individuals are forced to experience extremes of psychological and emotional challenge; Chuck Elliott, an artist embracing colour, movement and light in a process blurring the boundaries between photographic process, printmaking and computer generated imagery; Loribelle Spirovski, a creative force merging dreamlike interiors, minimalist figurations and highly-rendered portraits with a symbolistic energy; Dairo Vargas, who creates lyrical and abstract work inspired by dance, movement and everyday life; Cathy Lewis, a sculptor layering and questioning aspects of cultural identity in powerful, hyper-real depictions of the human form.
Leamington Spa, UK
After many years exhibiting in galleries around the world, artist Simon Skint opened Reload Gallery in Leamington Spa three years ago. The gallery has quickly become the go-to destination for lovers and collectors of Contemporary Urban and Pop Art in the Midlands.
Returning once again to Moniker with a stellar lineup, Reload present: Ben Allen, a painter, muralist and screen printer, whose work is built on a foundation of experience, freedom of thought, experimentation and an ‘emotional synesthesia’; Mason Storm, an extraordinary talent channelling the techniques of the old masters while tackling modern societal ailments, ruffling more than a few feathers in the process; gallery-owner Simon Skint’s own spray art and sculpture, skewering the tenets of British identity; the complex symbolic iconography and boundary-crossing tableaus and busts of Onyx; the constantly evolving attempt to catch ‘the dreamer’s mind’ in shifting, temperamental works by duo Splice.
Andrew Hem Solo Show
Andrew Hem was born during his parents’ flight from Cambodia in the wake of the Khmer Rouge genocide, and his upbringing was influenced by the rural heritage of his ancestors and the urban sensibility of Los Angeles, where his family came to reside.
Being positioned within these cultural dichotomies has fostered the art you see today: an aesthetic inspired by graffiti, as well as tribal and supernatural imagery. Hem describes his compositions as dreamlike memories inspired by personal experiences, his ethereal paintings functioning as a window overlooking the invisible realm of the human spirit.
Gank Pansuay Solo Show
Gank Pansuay hails from Thailand, and has quickly established a reputation for painting strong, emotionally expressive portraits of powerful black women, his expert use of candid depth and modern poignancy giving away so much in one brief, captured moment.
Each work is an explosion of colour, vibrancy, even ferocity, with ongoing experimentation leading to sometimes fully-formed, sometimes fractured and intangible depictions of the artist’s subjects.
Dynamite is an independent gallery showcasing a bold and beautiful mix of contemporary art and custom toys from around the world. Since launching in 2013, they have gained a reputation for bringing elegant, edgy and unusual work to the South East of England.
At Moniker this year the gallery presents: Xhanthi’s painstakingly-created doll art, a haunting, disturbing yet captivating series of delicate figurines; Saw Hewitt’s sunlit, glowing depictions of people going about their lives, each character a subtle, Jungian manifestation of the artists own decisions and resolutions; Carne Griffiths’ astonishing, explosively evocative portraiture, created with inks, tea and even alcohol; Mark Longworth’s finely detailed, elegant and unexpectedly imposing sculptures of bronze, plaster and resin; Ange Bell’s small scale oils, exploring themes of origins and belonging developed from found photographs as source material.
PREMIER ART SOLUTIONS
Ken Nwadiogbu Solo Show
Premier Art Solutions are a UK based gallery, art advisors and management of emerging contemporary artists exclusively supplying their primary works, additionally finding and placing works by other artists that are typically difficult to source.
This year they introduce Moniker visitors to Ken Nwadiogbu, who refers to his work as Contemporealism, derived from his success in creating astonishingly realistic images, while deploying elements of contemporary art or illusion of form and space to create emphasis in a work’s narrative.
His art touches on gender equality, black power, tribal discrimination and feminine denigration, ultimately highlighting the complex relationship between pain, war, sorrow, anguish, sadness and art.
Moniker’s Young Galleries programme was created several years ago to aid those fledgling-yet-exceptional enterprises that would typically miss out on fairs of this scale.
This year the fair welcome’s Artate, an online gallery based in London, selling drawings, photography, paintings and fine art prints by emerging artists.
Artate presents Alice Irwin, a London-based artist specialising in painting, etching and prints, James Green, whose work is rooted in a balance somewhere between fine art tradition and contemporary practice, and Stella Kapezanou, a visual artist composing complex, ironic and sometimes obscure works which draw their inspiration from capitalistic and materialistic western societies.
Moscow’s Eva Gallery debuts at Moniker 2019, with owner and artist Eva’s look into the pluralism of postmodernity, depicting different desires of humanity: those that prefer to stay in the dark, rejecting the search for truth, and others trying to understand themselves to escape the lies.
The artist’s project also considers the notion of time in the form of a cogwheel, its circular form representing the shift in perception of time in postmodern society.
OKUDA SAN MIGUEL
Born in Santander, Spain, Okuda San Miguel has become known across the city and beyond for his street and canvas creation of geometric structures, comprising multicolored prints that are joined with gray bodies and organic forms in artistic pieces, a ‘Pop Surrealism’ with a clear essence of the street.
His works pose contradictions about existentialism, the universe, the infinite, the meaning of life, the false freedom of capitalism, and often show a clear conflict between modernity and our roots; in short, between the human being and himself.
Sergio Garcia is a sculptor and painter using art as a means for exploring personal identity, both past and present, within the context of the ever-present human condition and the socio-political environment.
Garcia enjoys creating art that people can relate to, and that stimulates the creative subconscious, not only to create an emotional relationship between art and viewer, but to conjure up questions of how and why.