5 Sep 2008
London has vibrant street art, a dynamic culture and glorious weather so it is unsurprising that half of Brazil feels spiritually drawn to Pure Evil’s gallery for a Zezao/Highraff/Milo Tchais show.
sunny spells later, probably
Zezao, Highraff and Milo Tchais have been brightening the streets of Brazil together for over 10 years in an uncharacteristically un-Brazilian non-Pixação psychedelic manner.
Of the trio, Milo Tchais’ work is most recognisably real world, but always the backgrounds of swirling riotous colour overwhelm shadowy figures lurking on the edges of conciousness.
Zezao is most likely to be familiar to European audiences thanks to a feature spot in last year’s Bomb It movie. The movie captured his wholly abstract work in the almost complete darkness of San Paulo’s drain system and the curious method of mixing the colours by dropping them into the flowing stream or damp pipe lining at his feet. His indoor work with its blistered colours on neon stencilled backgrounds work bears little of that San Paulo sewer rat ethos.
Of the three visitors, Zezou’s is undoubtedly the most abstract. Blistering bubbles are set in chromatic warped colour gradients.
Highraff attributes the efforts of the three to a purely abstract manner whose meaning is wholly free and up to the viewer to pursue their own interpretation. His work bears the largest debt to a graphic design heritage. The organic shapes suggest tubular plants or acid cactii buds.
All Highraffs pieces are exquisitely executed, the common element being segmented tubular eruptions with a manga style delineated shading effect, close inspection suggests an effect or technique are not unlike Insa’s booty arses and legs.
Highraff also has a biblical origins-of-universe boiling light and molten eruptions thing going on. Curiously, I felt a strange longing for a pizza.
This is the first time all three members of this Brazilian crew have exhibited in dedicated group show and their relish of the experience is evident in the way they continuously limbo back and forth across the grubby dungeon floor in their swimming thongs [not pictured]. In celebration, they have produced a pair of enormous lurid pieces, spraycan on Perspex, which is helpful given the rain that pissed down on them from the exposed skylight part of the Evil basement.
Some might find the work of all three artists reminiscent of Andrew McAtee without the formality and crispness.
Health and Safety culture in this country has as we all know gone berserk, now even Pure Evil feels obliged to issue a warning to anyone who has difficulty putting one foot in front of the other.
Lab Rats Enter At Own Peril
It ain’t a competition but we are allowed to have favourites and for me, Milo Tchais’ bright and contrasting colours and higly dramatic swirling patterns made an un-compromising brilliant impact. This show is an absolute must see for fans of the genre, it has been an over-abundance of riches to have this show following the night after Titifreak opening at O Contemporary. Combine the two for a magic day in London.
Its well worth seeing quite a few more photos of the show, upstairs and downstairs here: