rockGroup™ was formed from the NOGODSTUDIO in London, 1999, in order to give an international identity to O.Two and sheOne’s collaborative brand of work. Originally sharing walls writing graffiti, then sharing a studio making canvas work, and eventually, sharing gallery space exhibiting work together.
Work for the ‘rockGroup’ show at Backwoods was undertaken by the artists completely separately. With sheOne in Barcelona, and O.Two in the countryside outside London, the artists set themselves parameters – work on paper, one size, limited colour palette – and let the work unfold naturally across their unique painted language.
SheOne’s unique brand of Abstract Typography is rooted deep in the new wave graffiti era of early eighties New York, however his trademark strokes and bold expressive approach to image making put him firmly in the present. His paintings are a constant re-rendering of now. Hip, data injected splats and over sprays, accurate spills and bloodloss ornamentation reveal a deliberate and complex layered story. His works relay an emotional argot, mapped out in a highly personal and stylised shorthand, derived from years of acute mark making.
Sheone is of the pioneering generation of English artists to work exclusively in spray paint, committing works to unruly curator free environments and eventually transferring this aesthetic style and medium to canvas.
Sheone began to make works on canvas in tandem with his wall painting as a reaction to the transient nature and short lifespan of such works in the early 90’s. In recent years he has managed to successfully transfer the scale and energy of illegal street painting into the well lit confines of the gallery creating international exhibitions and site specific installations.
He says “I was fortunate to start making graffiti as a teenager, fortunate because spray paint and the application of graffiti, unlike today, had no legitimate artistic legacy and so I was free from any preconceived critique of my approach to image making”.
James Carey, also known as O.Two, creates work based on abstractions of the written type-form. Working initially with spray-paint on large scale murals, the artist has built a working process that when applied to canvas, lures the viewer into mists of dark, ambient colour illuminated by bold, abstract gestures, appropriated slogans and wordplay, offering glimpses of the guilty rhythms, hooded themes and veiled motives layered within the work – intricate adaptations of distant teenage delinquency, off-key philosophies and blurry mementoes.
‘rockGroup’ by SheOne and O.Two opens at Backwoods Gallery Friday 4th September from 6pm.