I know its a little late as this show has been covered numerous times the last couple of weeks but I still feel that it is important to reckognize this exhibition, besides that TheFlopbox published some amazing pictures of the exhibition that gives us a new look at the exhibition of new work from Revok and Pose. The show titled “Uphill both ways” is a reference to the hard work and sweat and tears that goes into not just an exhibition but a lifetime of building up to this point in both artists careers. Many people forget the hill that graffiti artists have climbed to even get a view. The dedication to become someone that know one will forget in the graffiti game is something that most will never understand or grasp. The show took place in New York at the esteemed Jonathan Levine gallery and was curated by the anointed graffiti historian Roger Gastman.

Knowing the work of both artists very well I was struck first in the images of the collected photographs and ephemera that were exhibited alongside the paintings. It was this part of the exhibition allows the viewer to directly interpret the work of Revok and Pose. The juxtaposition of moments, sketches, old found references put together on a wall is a intimate invitation for the viewer to see through the artists eyes even if briefly. When you step back and look at the work you are able to see deeper into just color and form. The story is written in the reference and juxtaposition of multiple references. In Revok’s case photographs of his journey’s into the abandon places he collects his material from in conjunction with graffiti pieces that establish his history as a writer. These photographs allow us to give reference to the beautiful abstract work he assembles from found and abandoned places. By giving context to the medium he has empowered its history within the exhibition space. Pose does the same with his work what at first can be see as bright colorful renderings of letters and figures when viewed after looking at his installation of references you are able to see something new. Instead of only beautiful paintings you are are able to now see a history being preserved in his work. A history that the artist has set out to deconstruct and bring to life in his own way. Overall a very strong show from both artists. Great job.


All pictures are courtesy of Theflopbox.com



Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Uphill Both Ways, a two-person exhibition curated by Roger Gastman, featuring new works by Chicago-based artist Pose and Detroit-based artist Revok. In conjunction with what will be their first show in New York, the artists will also collaborate on a large-scale mural on the famed Goldman Properties wall located on Houston and Bowery streets, in lower Manhattan.

Although style, medium and techniques vary between the two artists, their work is strongly connected from a conceptual standpoint. The exhibition title Uphill Both Ways (inspired by late graffiti artist NEKST), relates to the battles Pose and Revok have faced personally with legal persecution and loss, as well as general themes of the human struggle on a macro level, one of the common threads in their bodies of work. The artists both draw inspiration directly from their environments and both of their processes involve chopping up various elements and reassembling the slices to form a synthesis of intriguing shapes, forms and textures.

Pose’s works reference disparate sources—pop and comic art, skateboard and advertising graphics, collage, sign painting and graffiti. Painting portraits of the human condition, he re-appropriates the visual language of the street and overwhelming experience of consumer culture to convey a broad spectrum of emotions—pain, triumph, joy, fear, love and loss. His fragmented imagery is intended to disarm pretense, making the work universally accessible and open to interpretation. Revok creates abstract geometric panels with vibrant colors and striking patterns using found materials sourced from abandoned homes, schools, businesses and churches—sampling bits and pieces of people’s lives, hopes, dreams and aspirations—reinterpreted through rich layers of history, decay and age-worn patina.

Pose (Jordan Nickel) was born in 1980 in Evanston, Illinois, and is currently based in Chicago. He began practicing graffiti in 1992 and received a painting degree from Kansas City Art Institute in 2004. Revok (Jason Williams) was born in 1977 in Riverside, California, and began writing graffiti in 1990. In 2011, his work was included in Art in the Streets, an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles, and Street Cred, an exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of Contemporary Art. Currently based in Detroit, Revok founded the Detroit Beautification Project in which he and his peers create murals throughout the city. Pose and Revok are both members of The Seventh Letter, an acclaimed West Coast artist collective and Mad Society Kings (MSK), a world-renowned graffiti crew.

Roger Gastman was raised in Bethesda, Maryland and is currently based in Los Angeles. He founded and published two magazines: While You Were Sleeping and Swindle (co-published with Shepard Fairey). In 2010, Gastman served as consulting producer for Banksy’s Oscar-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. In 2011, he was an Associate Curator for Art In The Streets, an exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles and in 2012, he co-authored The History of American Graffiti published by HarperCollins.