It has been just over two years since we last caught up with stencilling aficionado duo Snik, but now we are back again to find out more about their brand new collaborative exhibition with Norwegian fellow stencil artist Martin Whatson. “Affinity” combines the dual disciplines of graff’ writing and stencil, across a variety of both new and old compositions, into an entirely new body of both individual and collaborative work which goes on show at the Modus Art Gallery in Paris.
The exhibition is a culmination of a long term collaboration between Snik and Whatson as well as a celebration of their respective talents. Martin explained the nature of their artistic partnership; “I have always wanted to do a show focused on collaborations, and after we created a few earlier collaborations that worked really well, we got the opportunity to do a duo show in Paris. The pieces have no particular theme, we are mainly exploring the possibilities of working with collaborations and finding different ways of merging our styles and work! Because of this, you’ll see a big diversity in the works, all the way from very Snik to the very Whatson.”
Nik, one half of the Snik duet, explained what makes their collaborations with Martin so effective; “I’m a big fan of raw appearances in work, from messy lines to just general paint flow, I love the energy it brings to a canvas. Martins tag style really has that energy, and when combined with a very strict cutting method such as ours, it really helps to open each other’s style. It’s the main reason I was drawn to street art, the lack of time to spend working on a piece means you have to act fast and with precision.”
Each and every piece in the show is also the product of lengthy deliberation as Nik also described the early stages of preparation for ‘Affinity’. “We wanted to really stretch the possibilities of working together, so Martin flew from Norway to our studio and we spent three days just batting ideas back and forth, doing test pieces and seeing what sticks. We are really happy with the results for this show, and hopefully those who attend will be too.” Also on display is one of their most recent freshly cut stencils, ‘Emmaline’, a hand-cut half-tone piece of epic proportions shown below and available as both an original and silkscreen print.
As well as their work with Whatson, Snik have also repeatedly worked with photographer Marc Laroche as part of his hauntingly beautiful series, “Hair”. “We started working with Marc many years ago now, and from the moment we began we knew his photos were special. As I’ve already said, we have a real passion for energy in works, and also movement. Marcs photos really capture a moment in time, a fleeting moment which can be lost if not captured in photograph or painting. That really interests us, catching a split second moment and turning it into something that (hopefully) lasts forever.” As well as this however Snik have also been taking steps forward along their own path, as Nik went on to explain, “progression is something that comes hand in hand with our work and we recently worked with some great designers and photographers in our own shoot.”
When asked about their favourite pieces from the show, both Snik and Martin unanimously favoured the striking “Going, Going, Gone”, however both for starkly different reasons. “It was the one I was most unsure about from the beginning, but the one that turned out to be amazing in person!” Martin answered, “It might be because the stencils and graffiti blends in so well with each other and we worked it up in several layers of paint and stages! Also my graffiti is not so dominant in this work, which is a nice change from how I usually use it!”
For a unique and colourful perspective on a long-term collaboration between two stencil heavy hitters, visit ‘Affinity’. The show opens on the 9th of June and runs through until the 10th of July at the Modus Art Gallery, 23 Place des Vosges, 75003 Paris, France.