The Rag Factory
Heneage St, London
19 – 22 Nov 2009
Nothing really prepares you for the colourful orgy contained in the world of Hunto – The Graffiti Cubist. Internet searching doesn’t reveal much evidence of street style, Howaboutno among others captured this rare London piece in the Wick.
Hailing from Italy, Hunto often paints with Heavy Artillery’s Italian representative Mr Wany, the London piece above was painted in the company of Twesh, also of Heavy Artillery. As a graffiti artist Hunto is a character man rather than a letterform purist.
A Rag Factory booking cock-up has forced the Hunto show to a utilitarian white cube about 100 yards further down Heneage St from the main Rag Factory site but at least the lighting is slightly better than the typical graff art cow-shed/dungeon/on-the-stairwell-down-to-the-pub-toilets space.
Hunto is showing a collection of canvasses, a mixed media painted-wall-plus-props installation and a beguiling set of screenprinted line drawings. His basic form involves character canvasses in lurid colours, cubist style with views from different angles collapsed onto a single plane (as opposed to intersecting flat planes and shapes).
The first cursory glance will take in a collection of cubist faces with multiple viewing angles of various portrait figures. Closer inspection heightens the tension when erections and penetrated orifices become apparent. Finally, the penny drops when what at first looked like “urban art” splashes and dribbles are found to represent milky cum shots. All over the place!
Hunto celebrates the joy of sexual abandon, multiple couplings and the erotic first crack, the moment when the budding relationship is consummated. The Bride is splattered with an excess of man juice, either she has had a traditional hen party or perhaps the catholic and horny Italian groom has been forced to wait until the first night.
On these canvasses Hunto has used spraypaint almost exclusively, colours are generally flat, bright and blocky with just the occasional fade.
A corner installation features an amorous couple preserving their dignity by daintily discarding their underwear while they fumble around eachother’s bodies in that excited state brought on by the “your bedsit or mine” one night stand.
The bright and bold canvasses make the most immediate impact but the line drawings really show Hunto’s artistic skills. He certainly has the eye for rendering dynamic sex, passion, excitement and groups of bodies in a flat cubist style though the composition is more analytical and detailed than the relatively simple canvasses.
One pair of canvasses stand out for being stylistically different, Hunto adopts a Basquiat style use of scratchy lines to outline the cubist subject which unsurprisingly is what newpaper reports would refer to as “a sex act”, done over a fractal colour layer.
Hunto seems to comment on contemporary casual sex in which a woman’s sexual favours are now cheap currency, evident in the Break in which the woman indifferently flits between a cigarette and a cock, we see a cityscape behind her perhaps signifying that she is so un-concerned she can’t be bothered to draw the curtains.
This show is a treat for the eyes and a stimulant to the loins. I like the fact that Hunto has not forsaken his basic graffiti tool but he has confidence in his art and doesn’t feel any need to yell “I’m graffiti”, there are no references to his graffiti roots such as contrived dots or tags. The whole show has a strong style and a strikingly clear and consistent theme. The canvasses are brash and skillful but for me the drawings are among the best new work seen this year.
The art may be a little saucy for display in a family home but then again, it was the Italians who made nudity commonplace with their renaissance. It’s amusing to find that even in the hands of a cubist (f’naar) the masculine member still comes out looking like a toilet door graffiti cock.
It’s not porn darling, It’s art: pics here