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Alaniz · La calle es un espejo

10th of September – 3rd of October, 2015

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“If you want to paint in the streets, it’s pretty much essential to actually know the streets. Then you should at least have an idea about who you’re talking to, and what you want to communicate. It shouldn’t be a monolog. And if you just carefully look and listen, you’ll learn something new immediately. It adds up to your persona… it offers a new mosaic piece of who you are. Every person shares a unique and different kind of knowledge with you, I truly believe that.“

It’s not only about being here, but about truly appreciating to be here, to care about those who are around, look out for their welfare just like you would for your own. Come to think of it, It actually doesn’t take very much to make the deepest part of us happy – which doesn’t automatically imply that it is an easy transfer. Because in the end it takes mindfulness to come to a fortunate human life. What seems to be common sense and profane on first impression, unfortunately pretty much is a profound truth in our days and age. And the work of Argentinian born artist Alaniz – who calls Berlin his home since four years – is deeply rooted in this kind of Humanism.

For his first solo show in Germany’s capital, the latest addition to the steadily increasing artist roster of Berlin’s OPEN WALLS Gallery, is trading big murals and his trademark style of roller bombing in for rather intimate portraits on canvas captured with oil paint. Titled “La calle es un espejo“ (“The street is a mirror“, a bow to a song of the same name by a deceased friend of Alaniz), the exhibition is an elaborate visual tableau that confidently puts the focus on the invisible people – protagonists and their stories that live outside the margins of what we’d call a normal life. Based on photographs Alaniz took of the many chance acquaintanceships during his travels and while living Berlin, his show might have a social conscious at heart but it certainly isn’t preachy, as it offers the audience the opportunity to either just lose itself in the beauty and complexity of his paintings or additionally listen to the connected stories via an accompanying sound installation in order to get the bigger picture. Being aware that it tends to be pretentious to compress the experience of a massive mural onto canvas, Alaniz’ transition into a gallery space will offer you an experimental and rather challenging experience instead.

“I would like to think that my art is defined by context. When I do these roller bombings, I have to work fast and kinda simple because I do them illegally. Having switched to canvases for this exhibition gave me more time to think about how to actually execute a painting. You can put it like this: when you’re in a crowded big space, you literally have to shout into someone’s ear to make yourself heard. In a small room though, there’s no need to scream – you can talk softer and generally be a nicer person, right?“

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