Sign Language

Matt Siren and Darkcloud
May 10 – June 28, 2008
Woodward Gallery

Woodward Gallery is proud to open the Spring season by introducing Artists Matt Siren and Darkcloud. “Street Language” will transpose two respected street artists with a select group of their peers to a gallery setting for the first time.

Representing a true renaissance in urban art, these emerging artists surface from a subculture ruled by self-directed codes and complicated by its delight in youthful mayhem. They tag with their icons consuming the urban landscape with colorful enthusiasm; reveling in an ability to seep into and subvert the hyperkinetic visual surroundings most passersby take for granted.
Utilizing their individualized lexicons, Matt Siren and Darkcloud bring their recognizable icons indoors with edition prints on paper and original paintings on metal signs or wood. Born of media saturation, these icons speak of cartoons, video games, toys, and a generation aware of the potency of a powerfully branded image – and its repetition.

Matt Siren’s bold Ghost Girl image is characterized by black hair with bangs and a sweet round face. Her look is unassuming and Lolita-like. She is designed to pull the viewer in, like the bold image emblazoned on a magazine cover. He manipulates the environment around the girl to challenge her in bright new settings.

Darkcloud’s rainy-cloud symbol elicits a feeling vaguely ominous. Thickly painted, oozing and unnatural, his clouds hover over doorways, on advertisements, and challenge protocol on street signs that once read: yield, stop, and obey.

Additional artists have also been invited to participate in another portion of the “Street Language” exhibition through a collaborative process micro-curated by Matt Siren. These artists work together on street signs to decipher this vibrant language which surrounds us. The group work maintains their allusion to the street, painted directly onto metal signs and ready-made as if to return to their intended environment.

Connected through the rapid waves of text messaging, blogs, and websites these urban artists are now able to connect internationally with their peers creating a shifting social network. Their organized approach to a self-guided movement, so prominent in user-generated wiki-culture, is mirrored in each artist’s unique attempt to edit the urban landscape. Commenting on today, their optic, codified language is finally united to speak on the exhibition walls of Woodward.

All work:

Mixed media on metal
24 x 18 inches; 61 x 45.7 cm
Signed on verso by collaborative artists

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