REVIEW: Pasta Oner – Man on Fire
11/29/2013 - 1/5/2014
Chemistry Gallery, Prague
Could one possibly add anything innovative, what has not been repeated yet, about Pasta – the icon of Czech graffiti and street art – and his latest exhibition in his home territory the Chemistry Gallery? Tough challenge, but let me have a try.
What I’m going to write about is his truly ravishing second solo show in the Chemistry Gallery, introducing us to Pasta’s pieces shot in the last two years. One might feel a little puzzled by the considerable hotchpotch of images, themes and techniques, lacking a common storyline if compared to his previous Peep Show exhibition. There, the underlying idea was easy to spot. Nevertheless, all the current exhibits abound in wit and jauntiness.
The exhibited pieces of Pasta Oner – all BTW sold within a few days after the opening - are balancing on a thin edge between kitsch and pop-art. He keeps to his original graphic art background. His use of script and graphic art techniques is flawless. We shouldn‘t grumble about the simplification of his work by pre-printing the canvass underlay. Nowadays it is a common technique used by many artists.
Looking for the underlying theme of the exhibition we might turn to the world of cartoons. We might be guided by notorious Mickey Mouse – coming to life, or at least his well-known glove, on many canvasses. Mickey entertains the visitors especially in the last room, dedicated to recycled pawnshop paintings. Pasta adds Mickey to second hand paintings you may buy in any street market. We meet Mickey adoring a holy scene or adding flowers to the bouquet in a still. We even run across amusing items recalling Pasta’s previous ‘Peep Show’ exposition such as a Lego figure wearing a latex suit or a teddy bear with a gag in his mouth.
The thing to be especially praised is Pasta’s mastery in the use of script. One could take it for granted, especially with a legend of the Czech street art. Nevertheless, the technique of using the script he presents at this exhibition is worth discussing. Not forgetting to mention the series of screen printed small canvasses I would like to highlight his famous technique of engraving in the aluminium foil. Moreover, Pasta introduces us to a brand new technique of ‘glittery script‘, in which the shapes of individual letters and objects are sprinkled over with glitters that are usually used as a cheap decoration of the nail extensions. Let’s hope for the early arrival of more, possibly even bigger format variations of the three series of these graphic art pieces executed in this innovative technique, which were instantly sold at the exhibition.
Another memorable part of the show is dedicated to Pasta’s 3D objects. Unmistakably noticeable is the burning VW with flames radiating from its windows or the just triggered fire extinguisher. His technique of cutting and shaping of the polystyrene, which is then sprayed on in colour is brought to perfection there. The most amusing exhibit is probably an object called ‘Inside the Gamble’- an aquarium full of real fish made of the gambling machine glass shields.
The plethora of Pasta Oner’s stunts is definitely worth the visit. It is a great source of inspiration not only for the community of graffiti/street artists. Leaving the exhibition hall you are confronted with a mural art asking you Impressed and a picture of clapping hands. I readily join the applause. Mainly to the sense of humor with which Pasta’s pictures and objects are created. What to add, just my envy for the new owners of his pieces.
See full gallery on Graffiti-Walls.com