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04.04.15 - 15.07.15

Curated by Toke Lykkeberg

Zevs, who started out as a graffiti writer in Paris in the 1990s, has throughout the years impersonated various characters such as The Shadow Flasher and The Serial Ad Killer. More recently, however, his most well known impersonation has been that of the clearheaded and accessible Aguirre Schwarz a.k.a. the man behind the leopard skin stockings. As the story goes, his parents named him after the Spanish conqueror played by Klaus Kinski in Aguirre, the Wrath of God who gets lost in the Amazonas in search of El Dorado. And his last name, he owes to the dark forces that animate him.

Aguirre Schwarz made his first public appearance during a trial in Hong Kong 2009 where he was caught in the flashlight of local paparazzi. Today, a free man, Aguirre Schwarz has withdrawn to the tranquil island Majorca in the Mediterranean.

The up-coming show is Zevs' meditation on the current mode of life of Aguirre Schwarz and his newfound serenity in a climate where fruits hang low and all the thrills close to his heart abound. The interior of the art center is transformed into an extension of its exquisite exterior. Stretches of sand and palms are flanked by high-gloss reworkings of David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash, a series of paintings centered around a Jacuzzi hosting an octopus aquaculture.

The exhibition unfolds the intricate dynamics of people, power, possessions and pleasures that have facilitated Aguirre Schwarz' social ascent - and his ultimate seclusion from the mundane world of art, culture, politics and anything that impedes the peace of mind he for so long has sought for. An assortment of sunbeds not only expands the range of tanning options on location, but it also exposes a series of monochromes to UV radiation. Here, in a series of canvases, UV color pigments, designed by the artist, tell the captivating story of how the tentacled oil industry has spilled over into banking, finance, shipping, foreign policy, tourism, arts and leisure since the time of Rockefeller.

The Autobiography of Aguirre Schwarz also includes recent thermic photography. An image in the colors of the rainbow, recalling a splendid sunset, attests to the imprint of the heat left behind on the wall and the pavement by a homeless man, escaping the photographer’s objective.

 

Zevs is named after a train that almost ran him over while he was tagging down in the Metro. In 1998, he left traditional graffiti behind in favor of outlining shadows with road paint in the streets of Paris. A couple of years later, he turned to advertisements, executing models on billboards with red spray paint running down their faces. On a trip to Berlin in 2002, he kidnapped a 10-meter tall model on an advertisement for Lavazza. When the hostage was set free in 2005, Zevs turned to liquidating logos in the cityscape by repainting the logos in their own color as if they were dripping. Zevs is among others also known for his so-called ‘proper graffiti’ executed with high-pressure jet on dirty city walls and graffiti with UV paint only visible in black light.

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