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Alexandre Orion: Metabiotics

548 West 28th Street, 2nd floor, 212-244-9081
June 8 - August 12, 2006
Reception: Thursday, June 8, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

With white latex and black spray paints in hand, Orion inscribes a Brazilian wall with some of his signature characters: an anonymous tagger, a prostitute, a flying man. Out of sight, he waits with his camera for the right moment, the right person to come into his scene. Truly unaware that they are becoming a major player on his stage, they simultaneously skirt the boundaries of installation and performance art. Orion taps the nature of the decisive moment in photography to crystallize these elements that are inspired by the tensions between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional of an over active street culture.

Orion has emerged out of the fertile graffiti culture in Brazil. São Paulo is so covered with graffiti; there is barely a blank wall in the city. In the new book, Graffiti Brasil (Thames & Hudson), Caleb Nealon writes that over the past decade São Paulo has become the new shrine to graffiti. He comes from the Brazilian tradition of pichação (from piche, meaning tar) with its simple, bold & black line lettering. Traditional pichação is a kind of shout for visibility, with no ambitions of being art. It is an attempt to protest against the way Brazilians live as a third world culture, but is often seen as too aggressive and illegible.

Orion is part of a new generation of graffiti artists who expand upon this notion and search for greater artistic meaning while still reflecting on cultural disparity in the metropolis. The gallery installation will consist of large-scale black and white photographs accompanied by the graffiti that Orion uses in Brazil, setting up another opportunity for chance interaction between passer-by and graffiti.
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