Chekos and Awer: these are the names of the two street artists (both from Puglia, one from Lecce, the other from Pomigliano a Mare), who for some time have also been dedicated to creations for “interiors”, whose works are currently exhibited at the Portanova12 gallery in Bologna. Faithful to the cooperative custom that is often almost mandatory when intervening on the aesthetics of external walls, this exhibition also contemplates some compositions between graphic design and the painting made by the two artists together. And we can immediately say that the inspiration of both seems to be enriching in the collaboration with the other.
But who are these two? A question perhaps not entirely out of place for generalist contemporary art lovers, but probably impertinent for street art enthusiasts. In fact, both of them have a career full of noteworthy experiences. The walls of Milan such as those of Xiemen (China), Yogyakarta (Indonesia), Tetovo (Macedonia) and Valona (Albania) already bear ample traces of interventions by Chekos, always animated by the desire to enhance the genius loci with iconic and emotional images-symbols.
As for Awer, who currently lives and works in Berlin, his work has so far been accomplished through murals painted in various parts of the world, as well as obviously in his homeland, from Lebanon to the United Kingdom, from Poland to Austria, more precisely in Linz, where one of his works stands out in the Mural Habor, which is considered one of the largest urban art museum.
Returning now to the exhibition at Portanova12 gallery, by Chekos we can see the series of portraits taken from black and white photos which are superimposed on screened and wavy layers, large colored spots and other disorienting sign interventions. The intensity of the expression of the faces clearly contrasts with the heterogeneous markings, more decidedly of technological or imaginative origin. How much the anthropomorphic icon suffers or is valued in its most specific passions for the situation in which it is caught, is up to the observer to decide. Completely devoid of anthropomorphic references are instead Awer’s paintings, where lines, dimensions, patters and colors are combined to evoke a space and a world decidedly dynamized by psychedelic flows and echoes.
These approaches to figuration, therefore, are very different from each other: that of Chekos, still representative of a recognizable human reality, and that of Awer, vigorously dazzled between the images of some artificial galaxy, shaken and lost in a corner of the cosmos or of a dreaming unconscious. But precisely this diversity becomes happy complementarity when the two artists try to reconcile their different sensibilities. Thus three paintings were possible where anonymous faces, always taken from black and white photos, and always streaked with lines and waves, appear within a seismic, leaking field, crowded with heterogeneous imaginary debris but softened by the prevalence of a soothing baby blue.
SPARRING PATTERN: a double-show by CHEKOS and AWER
29/10/2022 – 26/11/2022
Via Portanova 12, Bologna
Valerio Romitelli (born in Bologna in 1948) taught, researched and lectured in Italy and abroad. His disciplines: History of political doctrines, History of political movements and parties, Methodology of the social sciences. Among his latest publications: L’amore della politica (2014), La felicità dei partigiani e la nostra (2017), L’enigma dell’Ottobre ‘17 (2017), L’emancipazione a venire. Dopo la fine della storia (2022).