Essay Robert Kaltenhäuser about ANTIGOON x RALPH ROELSE

A place called x
Robert Kaltenhäuser

What about post-graffiti?

Post graffiti as a concept has “shifted back and forth between the radically opposite
directions and eventually stuck somewhere between letters and non-letters, legality and
illegality, wall and canvas, intelligibility and unintelligibility“ as Kristina Borhes rightly
points out. From subway graffiti styles on canvas propagated as the new painting by
gallerist Sidney Janis in 1983 to Olivier (Kosta- Thefaine) Stak declaring post-graffiti an
autonomous practice of unauthorized public markings beyond the tag/piece concept in
2003, post-graffiti has denoted everything and its opposite on the graffiti/art-continuum.
[1] Still, the term floats around. If nothing else, it refers to artists who have taken the
“gateway drug”, in Antigoon’s words, of graffiti writing. An experience and impregnation
which can’t be erased from their artistic history.

You’d be surprised – or maybe not – how many of today’s more interesting and
independent artists are, or at least have been, involved in the illicit name writing game on
urban surfaces around you. You might have recognized that these signs and signatures,
elaborated paintings and sloppy marks – may you approve of them or not – demand and
display a significant range of qualities, artistic and otherwise.

The exhibition Antigoon x Ralph Roelse has been given no title except for their names –
and the little x in between them. In the world of fashion, such an x fashionably indicates a
collaboration between brands, limited editions mostly. Now artists are not mere brands –
at least some of them – and while they can collaborate in a stricter sense, like Warhol x
Basquiat for example, the duo exhibition at hand is a far more detached dialogue….

Download and read the full essay here