The Rage5 art show "PURGATORY (or some place like it)" at The Emporium Art Gallery (http://www.theemporiumgallery.com/) on Nov 5th 2009 was an interesting look at some pieces by an artist who I have been following on the streets for the past few years. It was a small show with only about a dozen pieces that were for the most part some nice works. The pieces adopted a religious iconographic aesthetic that was meant to provoke a certain sense of unease that this artist has been having as a result of his recent move from the unofficial to the official.
The Emporium provided a nice and cozy space and had chocolate treats and some locally brewed beer available for those attending. It as a pretty good turn out. The room was packed full of chatting people both on the floor admiring the art and at the bar admiring the beer and treats. I didn't get a chance to chat with the artist as he seemed pretty busy moving from group to group doing his thing. In any case it wa a nice show, but I was hoping to see more of his work. Overall I enjoyed the show and appreciated the hospitality of the gents who run the gallery. As this was the first official gallery show for Rage5 and in my opinion a succcess as there was a nice turnout and the pieces were intriguing and went well together. Hopefully we'll be seeing more of his work in the near future.
This is a statement made by Rage5 that was printed on some handouts at the show:
“Having made a name for myself as a graffiti artist, I now find myself experiencing a rite of passage as I attempt my way into the gallery scene. While keeping a foot firmly set in the urban landscape with my street art, I am now experiencing a state of limbo which PURGATORY (or someplace like it) refers to. The religious imagery and symbols adopted in this new work metaphorically portray my inhibitions, fears, hopes and desires as I now transition from a seemingly unregulated world to an organized system. This new series of work illustrates my limited yet growing understanding of the constructs that make up the art milieu vs. my anarchic approach to street art.”