RAE: Nocturnal Trips

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Using articles found in an array of unusual spots around town (such as dumpsters), Brooklyn-based street artist RAE holds his first solo London show at the Signal Gallery on Paul Street. These energetic pieces are a combination of mixed-media sculptures crossed with traditional graffiti to form his vibrant works of art, often found in obscure places throughout the streets of New York.

The title of the exhibition – Nocturnal Trips – refers to RAE’s night-time adventures roaming the streets to install his works across the city. These colourful art installations make a nod towards the works of Picasso, with their obscure and contorted faces and shapes, and are reminiscent of Picasso works such as The Weeping Woman and Three Musicians for their use of abstract, geometric shapes combined with bright shades of blues, greens and reds.

With a passion for art that started at a young age, with just a marker pen in hand and a keen eye, RAE went on to complete a degree in Fine Arts, and is now working on even more inaccessible spots to showcase his works. Placement plays a major role with RAE’S art, including the tops of lamp and signposts, above buildings and hanging off staircases, which catches your attention, and makes his works stand out from the usual street art on the side of building walls. And by comparison to a lot of the street art seen in London, the fact that RAE uses sculptures rather than just graffiti makes his style individual and unusual.

RAE’s art in a gallery context offers a clean and concise landscape upon which to view his artworks. It most definitely affects the “street art” aspect of the works, as they are taken away from the hustle and bustle of city life and placed in clear view. RAE’s works offer a caricatured, almost comical New York street style, which comes from a vivid array of men in beanies, gold teeth, chains and cigarettes – almost expressing stereotypes of city living and the rough aspect of the streets.

These bright and amusing artworks have a somewhat witty sense of humour, through their combination of found objects, obscure patterns and portrayal of life in New York. Everyday objects are his fascination, and in turn prove to be his influence, through the various ways in which he uses them.

Eye-catching and engaging, you can’t help but be drawn into his creations, which allow you to get a sense of the New York street vibe first-hand. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled, as RAE has also been in and around the streets of East London making his mark, so we are sure to see some colourful works popping up throughout town.

To read my original post from One Stop Arts please click here.

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