In the art world spray paint has always been associated with street art and graffiti. AEROSOL is a group exhibition that brings to you paintings by South African artists who use spray paint in their paintings.
Spray paint was invented in 1949 in Illinois when someone got the idea to put paint in an aerosol canister. By the early eighties urban youth started using it as a way to express themselves and create images and messages for their communities.
Aerosol spray paint was the perfect tool to use as a weapon against authority. It came in small, easy-to-conceal, easy-to-steal cans. It was paint and brush in one. It dried quickly. It worked well on building materials and trains. Even the imprecise application lent it an inherent disregard. Its inability to be perfectly controlled made it an apt metaphor for rebellion.
Then artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and his mentor Andy Warhol brought graffiti art and spray paint into the fine art world. The last twenty years saw the rise of urban art, a movement that can loosely be described as art that originates from urban environments, often by those artists who come from street art and graffiti background. Naturally aerosol paint is a medium that features strongly in this genre.
While some artists use it in reference to urban art, others use it with no reference to it at all. Spray paint as a medium used in the fine arts has matured and this exhibition celebrates just that.
AEROSOL will go live as WORLDART’s first online exhibition on Thursday 23 April at 4pm at www.worldart.co.za/online-exhibitions
George Mars aka MARS