How & Nosm

Amanda Marie


Sten & Lex

Jaybo Monk

Miss Van


Hebrew Brantley


Julio Pardo


White Walls and 941 Geary Gallery opened their first group exhibition of the year “While We Were Away”. The show which featured work from Miss Van, Amanda Marie, How and Nosm, Poesia, Sten Lex, Scott Shannon, Vhils, Jaybo Monk, Hebru Brantley, Julio Pardo, and Chanoir opened over the weekend and will run till March 2nd. Curated by Tova Lobatz who set out to establish a clear correlation to each artists personal travels and its impact on their work. An excellent concept that references “Altermodernity” a move into a new global modernity. As the world becomes smaller with social media and the globalization of our contemporary artists, “While We were Away” brings together a rounded lineup of artists that fit this role. Artists are traveling the world more frequently than ever before. In an age where many artists not only travel but are also leaving their imprints behind with their art. Many of the artists in the show travel painting murals and street art around the world have not only gained the experience of today’s cities, they have also left their mark on them. The impact of the murals and residencies of the artists as they travel will continue to spread this globalization of art. This is a new day where artists not only travel the world but now engage it with their work. Tova does an excellent job of referencing these traits with her curating of the show. With intimate mementos from each artist and a look into the passport of each artist, you are allowed to personalize yourself with their travels. Strong paintings, captivating photographs and a nice range of art make “While we were Away” must see show if you are in San Francisco.


“The contemporary art market has become increasingly borderless as artists across the globe gain recognition, and with it, opportunities to bring their work far from their own hometowns. This has changed not just the role and impact of art, but the individuals behind it who have the chance to incorporate a wider scope of influences into their artistic framework.

In 2009, TATE curator Nicolas Bourriaud proposed a hypothetical end of postmodernism and introduced a new period with his exhibition Altermodernity. The opening of Bourriaud’s manifesto reads, “A new modernity is emerging, reconfigured to an age of globalization – understood in its economic, political and cultural aspects: an altermodern culture. Increased communication, travel and migration are affecting the way we live. Our daily lives consist of journeys in a chaotic and teeming universe.” This passage speaks to the development that inspired While We Were Away, but Lobatz’ fascination is with the indelible way these experiences of traveling, in countries not your
own, places outside one’s comfortable routine or familiar language, inspire artists’ identity and creative drive. Frequent travel presents a new context to view the world in and a myriad of inspiration, but it also requires the sacrifice of consistency, and can stand in the way of personal relationships. It is all these complications that Lobatz has asked the artists for While We Were Away to give us a glimpse into.”

The artists featured- Miss Van, Amanda Marie, How and Nosm, Poesia, Sten Lex, Scott Shannon, Vhils, Jaybo Monk, Hebru Brantley, Julio Pardo, and Chanoir- display the vast talent that can be seen in cities around the world today, from pioneering street art in Toulouse to photography in Barcelona. With an engaging installation of personal memorabilia collected from every participant, Lobatz asks viewers to reflect on how travel has shaped the process and perspective of each chosen artist, and seeks to establish a new precedence of candor in artist exhibitions.