Sowat opens his first solo exhibition with RICHARD & LE FEUVRE Gallery from Switzerland. THe exhibition titled “Ars Longa Vita Brevis” which loosely translates to Art is Long, Life is Short. Sowat has built himself to be one of todays leading urban contemporary artists who works most comfortably in Urbex, or Urban situations but also through numerous installations at most recently the Palais d Tokyo has transitioned well indoors. We look forward to seeing the whole exhibition of work and we encourage you to take the time to attend the exhibit if you are in Geneva.


Photo Credit Nicolas Gzeley

‘Ars Longa Vita Brevis’

Personal exhibition
23 April > 6 June 2015
Richard & The Feuvre Gallery In Richemond Geneva
Rue adhémar-fabri 8, 1201

French-American artist, Sowat grew up between the South of France and L.A. He now lives and works in Paris.
His artistic journey began at the end of the 90s along the railways of Marseille. He was then a graffiti writer. Adolescent, he spent his summers in California. There, he discovered the “cholo writing” – a calligraphy used by American gangs – through the work of an expert in this subject, Chaz Bojorquez.

From then on, Sowat did his outmost to take over this style and make it his until he developed his proper lan- guage.
For 20 years, from Marseille to Paris, Sowat multiplied the in situ interventions – legal or illegal. He crossed the country, Europe and then the world to do monumental exhibitions and walls with the members of his crew, the Da Mental Vaporz. Recently, he developed a duo work with Lek, a major figure of the Parisian graffiti scene. Their work is mixing archaeology, painting, ephemeral installations and experimental movies.

Following numerous projects born from a common passion, the urban exploration, it is, in fact, his work with Lek that made himself know by the large public of graffiti amateurs. In 2011, they built the “Mausolée” pro- ject. Reuniting almost 30 artists from the French graffiti scene, the project was maintained secret during the time of his fulfilment – so more than a year – and was finally revealed through the edition of an eponym book, the creation of an ephemeral exhibition and the diffusion online of a stop motion video on the music of Philip Glass. That way, the public discovered the multiple sides of a graffiti known as “Urbex” which clandestinely invaded the thousands square meters of an old and abandoned supermarket from the Paris suburbia.

The following year, they answered positively to the invitation of Jean de Loisy. Lek and SOwat entered the Pa- lais de Tokyo to reproduce this creative process by taking care of the building’s depths meaning the emergency issues, the backstairs, and all the other hidden places traditionally private. With the help of Dem189 and the curator Hugo Vitrani, they initiated the Lasco Project – first official program of urban art in the contemporary art center. They invited more than 50 artists of this avant-gardist scene to come and work with them in the quirkiest places of the institution.

It is during those interventions that Sowat & Lek realized the project “Tracés Direct” with Jacques Villeglé and about 20 other major artist of the French graffiti scene. Collaborative, this work was based on a black board of the institution on which the artists drew one by one with a piece of chalk, each of them erasing what the previous one made in front of Sowat & Lek camera. Nowadays, ornamented with the socio-political writings of Jacques Villeglé, this board and the video of the performance, which goes with it, are from now on part of the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The first time for a graffiti work!

Since the summer 2014 and the end of the artistic residence at the Palais de Tokyo, the Galerie LE FEUVRE in Paris and the RICHARD & LE FEUVRE Gallery in Switzerland are representing Sowat. On canvas or paper, he is always looking for new calligraphy styles, with a bamboo stick or a spray can… Sometimes understan- dable, sometimes abstract, painted with energy or carefully applied, the lines Sowat is tracing on the canvas are as many link-up between the pure tag style – the writing – and the traditional calligraphy, between the raw universe of the abandoned buildings and the classical painting, between the graffiti energy and rapidity – often necessary to in the in situ interventions – and the calm and patience required by a studio work.