November 2 - 30, 2018
Opening Friday, Nov 2, 7-10pm
Calico is pleased to present Throwing Shade, a solo exhibition of recent work by the mysterious and prolific graffiti & street artist, Darkclouds.
Fifteen years after the initial creation and subsequent installations of Darkclouds paintings on liberated no-parking signs in the streets of Boston, the imagery has become a staple in graffiti & street art culture and a constant sight for pedestrian onlookers to find in cities all over the world. Through the relentless painting of a constant image, the importance of repetition was established and the understanding of form and the malleability of the art was unearthed. These revelations have helped in taking the work on a strong turn into the abstract, abandoning the thought of a strictly repetitive image while still embracing the intricacies that make it perceptible.
Darkclouds have remained on the street for a decade and a half mainly through the installation of thousands of hand-painted stickers that maintain as the core representation of the work. On the outside the clouds can be taken in by a simple glance, a momentary viewing that teases the senses, leaving one with a feeling of uncommon exclusivity. In the gallery this observation becomes limitless, altering the scope of absorption to no end.
From an image founded as a visual representation of angst and dismay comes a warmer, slightly chaotic presentation. In the exhibition Throwing Shade, massive swaths of color emerge from the drippy underbelly of fictional landscapes, renditions of shadows and light merge together in harmonious disorder, and the lustrous enamel used in the creation of these works bestows as much pleasure on the viewer’s cornea as it does harm to the artist’s cerebellum.
The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. This will mark the 4th Darkclouds solo exhibition. Join us on Friday, November 2nd, for the opening reception, 7-10pm.
We believe that clouds are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul. Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save money on psychoanalysis bills.
- From the Cloud Appreciation Society manifesto
It’s been well over a decade since I first became aware of Darkclouds. Looking up, I spotted a pair of clouds on the back of a STOP sign, hugging either side of the pole. Unlike the other stickers on the back of the sign, these stylized clouds were neither signed or labeled nor trying to sell me something. Cloudspotters, who make a habit out of observing clouds will tell you that no two clouds are alike - the same can be said of Darkclouds pieces, each a hand painted variation on a theme. Clouds manage to be simultaneously visible and invisible, seemingly thick and impenetrable up until the moment one passes through them and they dissolve. A Darkclouds manages a similar feat: it is visible to those with eyes that can see, yet invisible to the masses... here one moment, gone the next.
- Luna Park, Photographer
I rule from the clouds! Over land! Over sea! There's nothing, no, NOTHING, that's higher than me!
- Dr. Seuss
I remember a cloud on a signpost. A surreal image of a rectangular sky floating above the street, with the actual sky raining in the background. It also resembled an altered mental state, a fluid meandering of a mind. These are my first memories of the Darkclouds over Manhattan. I have since learned to appreciate the subtle subtext of these little clouds that rain down on the city, reflecting the nature of life in a way. The way you play the Blues when you are down to make you feel better, creating something that is alive to fill the hole in your spirit. The Darkclouds brighten up the darkened streets with a rhythm of color and static movement that is mysterious, illusive, and designed to be transcendent. This cryptic imagery was at the tip of a very long spear, pointing to the greatness that art on the street was leading to. There is a lot of light in those clouds. Follow the light to the limits of ordinary experience, and then go beyond.
- Stikman, Artist