Last week The Graffiti Life Gallery unveiled it’s newest exhibition, ‘Adaptations’ by Kid Acne. A huge crowd of Kid Acne fans arrived at the private viewing last Thursday to be some of the first to see the artist’s brand new collection of never-seen-before works.
Adaptations is a solo exhibition by UK Street Art stalwart and modern-day renaissance man, Kid Acne. A celebration in printmaking and illustration, this exhibition explores the notions of sampling and remixing and aims to highlight the distinction between ‘loving homage’ and ‘plagiarism’ – arguably a grey area within the art world today.
Part retrospective, Adaptations showcases selected artworks from the Kid Acne archives, which pay dividends to seminal moments in popular culture, such as his re-imagined versions of Wizbit, The Beastmaster, Paul’s Boutique and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen – many of which are being shown in London for the very first time. Alongside such pieces are new and exclusive works made specifically for the show.
Kid Acne was born in Malawi in 1978. He grew up in the East Midlands and currently lives and works in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. His formative years were spent painting graffiti, making fanzines and releasing DIY punk and hip-hop records. His inimitable artwork has adorned products for the world’s leading brands, while the man himself continues to paint epic slogans in sub-zero temperatures. Nowadays, his artwork can seen throughout the globe in wheat-pastes, murals and gallery shows from Beijing to Azerbaijan. And he still has acne.
“I don’t consider myself a graffiti writer these days and didn’t care much for the codes of conduct when I once did. However, one ‘rule’ that resonated with me profoundly was “do not bite” – meaning “do not plagiarise”. In the Summer of 1995, inspired by the older writers who emboldened this concept, I made a concerted effort to find and develop my own style – something I will continually endeavour to refine. Of course they say “originally is for those of us with short memories” but they also say “nostalgia ain’t what it used to be”. My hope is this exhibition evokes a little bit of both.”
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