January 30, 2013

Moses & Taps™ "Topsprayer Express™" solo exhibition at Ruttkowski68

Moses & Taps™ – Topsprayer Express™ (Feb. 1 – March 17)

Whether graffiti is described as scribbling, art, vandalism, or urban propaganda, it has long hovered between unlawful and lawful expression. Today, the gap between the two has narrowed. While street graffiti remains a form of vandalism, it is increasingly considered an art form, too. Some of those notorious paint sprayers are now defined as graffiti artists, whose works are exhibited, traded, collected, and analyzed. Graffiti has become a key influence in the world of contemporary art.

One group, known variously as MOSES & TAPS™, ERNI & BERT™, and TOPSPRAYER™, has grabbed the attention of both law enforcement officials and art critics. The ever-changing name of this collective is not borne out of indecision or marketing. Rather, it helps conceal the identities of its members while still defying the unwritten laws of graffiti: anonymity. The pseudonym is the signature that gives the work recognition value – for fans and for the police as well.

In 2011, the collective, who rigorously decided against an online presence, published a volume of their works for the first time. Across 288 pages, INTERNATIONAL TOPSPRAYER: MOSES & TAPS™ is a showcase of the group’s ambition to take graffiti to another level. Over the course of 1000 days, they spray-painted 1000 railway carriages. Some looked like typical graffiti, others were more conceptual. One work involved painting false doors and windows on a wagon, a trompe l’oeil effect that led to great confusion on the platform the next morning. On another carriage, the artists took a more ironically playful approach. They spray-painted a sign like those issued by German railway authorities, which warn that the train’s surface is protected by anti-graffiti coating.

TOPSPRAYER EXPRESS™ opens on February 1st, 2013 at Ruttkowski;68 gallery in Cologne, Germany. It is the first solo exhibition by the artists. As the title implicates, the artists give graffiti a ride that is bound to a new direction. The works on show, re-interpret and transfer graffiti from its convential medium to another surrounding.

The artist collective will remain incognito and won’t be present at any time.

Opening: Friday, February 1, 19h-22h

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Bismarckstrasse 68,
50672 Köln, Germany
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