"PERSONS OF INTEREST" - The Agitprop art of BASK and TES ONE
The message is now the medium
Post-pop urban art guerillas, BASK and TES ONE make their first Detroit appearance in over 4 years at ©POP Gallery with a subversive opening reception, Saturday, June 28 at 7PM.
"Persons Of Interest" will showcase both the artist's individual works as well as collaborative installations in which we find Bask and TES ONE producing large, two-man visual mash-ups, combining graffiti, stencil, found items, paint and computer graphics.
Their disparate styles are evident, yet never encroach upon, or obfuscate their final work.The combination of styles, both steeped in the graffiti and urban art aesthetic, amplify and contrast both artists’ strengths, creating a visual dialogue that works on several levels. BASK and TES ONE seem to work almost like a band.
They rock it loud with equal parts passion and technique. Stripped down and built back up again, BASK's childlike icons swim in textured color and provide the rhythm and backbeat, while TES ONE provides contrast, tight craftsmanship and swirling flourishes, like a lead guitarist.
Working alone or in collaboration, theirs is the urban visual equivalent of a kind of proletariat punk rock. BASK (born Ales Bask Hostomsky in Prague in 1978) returned to his adopted American home, St. Petersburg, Florida four years ago after his 3-year stint in Detroit, which garnered him 3 successful exhibitions at ©POP and brought him into regional and national prominence. In Tampa he re-connected with old friend and fellow agitpropist, TES ONE (neé Leon Bedore) whose retro-art nouveau sensibility imbues his urban landscapes and figurative work with a cool craftsmanship that borders on elegant.
Delivering subtle, yet subversive messages in a minimalist palette, TES ONE, like BASK, has his roots in graffiti and urban art, but his use of technology (even his signature is a bastardization of a computer "On Switch" icon) and a solid knowledge of the link between art nouveau, psychedelia and advertising is evident in his tight lines and geometric swaths of low-key color and high-contrast shading. It’s as if Alphonse Mucha or Gustav Klimt came back with an iMac and stencil kit.
While BASK remains obsessed and critical of the mass media's visual manipulation of consumers through advertising and popular entertainment, his Orwellian paranoia has been somewhat supplanted by more personal and individual issues. As he approaches 30, his work seems more influenced by psychological rather than sociological effects of post-modernism and how it relates to a 21st Century American artist. Conversely, as BASK uses discarded technology as his canvases, TES ONE embraces technology in the application of his imagery itself.
In their collaborations, this unique symbiosis works extremely well, as evidenced in their co-installation applied literally onto the Tampa Municipal Art Museum in 2007.
or in this article on their contribution to San Francisco's Hotel Des Arts http://www.sfhoteldesarts.com/pr408.php
Successful co-exhibits in Dallas, Monterey, Seattle and Atlanta over the last two years have brought well-deserved national attention to both of these former self-professed art-vandals .
“Persons Of Interest” runs through mid-August at ©POP
Detroit, MI 48201