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Slawn

Slawn, Gone?

6 - 31 December, CIRCA 20:23

Heralding their entrance into the African content, CIRCA presents GONE?, a site-specific study on the theme of hope by Nigerian-born, London-based artist Slawn.

Launching Wednesday, 6 December, and set to halt billboard screens worldwide at 20:23 local time until New Year’s Eve, the collaboration debuts on screens in Accra, Nairobi, Abidjan, and Lagos — the birth town of Slawn – whilst maintaining CIRCA’s presence in London’s Piccadilly Circus, Milan, Seoul, Tokyo, Berlin, and Los Angeles.

Slawn kicks off the ‘CIRCA SCREEN-GRAB’ series by translating the immateriality of a digital commission into physical works. Transcending the realms of street art and abstract expressionism to explore questions of politics, race, and identity, the 23-year-old cult icon, street artist, and skateboarder favoured by Virgil Abloh and Skepta has gained acclaim for playing with the concept of reality through his large-scale canvases blending cartoonish-like pop figures and bold, colourful forms. Uniting four continents, Slawn will end the year on a high, becoming the most-viewed CIRCA artist since launching in October 2020.

Throughout November, the artist locked himself inside an empty shop in Piccadilly Circus, London, and was filmed face-on by CIRCA spray-painting directly onto bespoke cut perspex sheets, scaled to fit eleven of their global screen locations. Referencing Picasso at his home in Vallauris, painting on glass (1950) with a camera rolling on the other side, or The Pharcyde in their Drop music video (1995),an inward/outward illusion is achieved between the artist and viewer. Gradually removing himself from the picture, with a different painting created for each city, Slawn indirectly asks the world: ‘Has all hope GONE?’

Culminating a year that started in January with His Holiness the Dalai Lama responding to the CIRCA 20:23 manifesto ‘Hope: The Art of Reading What Is Not Yet Written’, Slawn emerges on the global stage as a beacon of togetherness. The final paintings will be revealed during an exhibition in Spring 2024.

 

 

The work of London-based Nigerian artist Slawn (b.2000 in Lagos, Nigeria) pendulates between street art and abstract expressionism while exploring pertinent issues of politics, race, and identity. At 23 years old, Slawn stands as a cult icon, celebrated not just for his art but also as a street artist and skateboarder, esteemed by figures like Virgil Abloh and Skepta. His acclaim arises from an artistic signature that manipulates reality on large-scale canvases, intertwining cartoonish-like pop figures, bold, colourful forms, and stylish shapes defined with vivid hues that beckon the viewer. At first, seemingly playful and a descendant of street art, it is upon closer inspection that we see the intense human element that Slawn endows to each work, where he explores human psychology, politics, race, and other complex topics and issues still challenging society.

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