JONATHAN LeVINE GALLERY
A SOLO EXHIBTION OF NEW WORKS BY
HOW & NOSM
FEBRUARY 1—23, 2013
FRIDAY, FEB 1, 7—9PM
557 W 23RD STREET NYC 10011
Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce Late Confessions, a series of works and installation by New York-based identical twin artists How & Nosm, in what will be their debut solo exhibition in New York. This will be the first of two consecutive pop-up shows presented by LeVine in a temporary space located at: 557 West 23rd Street in Chelsea.
How & Nosm's aesthetic is characterized by meticulously detailed line work rendered in their signature black, white and red color pallet. The artists mix highly stylized figures in contrasting scale with intricate, graphic, geometric patterns. Their complex narratives are complemented by site-specific installations that draw the viewer into surreal environments reflecting those portrayed on their canvases.
The imagery in Late Confessions relates to the German twins' unique personal history and evolution. Raised in San Sebastian, Spain in the years following the Franco dictatorship—a time of political turmoil in which military tanks, tear gas and rubber bullets were common—their formative years were marked by chaos and emotional instability. Adding to this onerous background, the burdens of growing up in a household of alcoholism and poverty led the pair to develop a drive and determination that continues to fuel their work.
Reflecting on their shared past, How & Nosm paint dramatic, autobiographical works, rich in symbolism and an unusual combination of cultural references. Their densely layered compositions are reminiscent of Picasso's Guernica, highlighting themes of war, desperation, pain and survival: blades and broken bottles pierce figures, dripping stark red streams of blood. Birds are recurring subjects, flying high to prevail triumphant and transcend labyrinths of dizzying disorder.
Another common characteristic in the work of How & Nosm is their use of duality, an ongoing metaphor for their biological bond as twins, and the nature of their work as creative collaborators. Splitting faces in half, dividing landscapes into distinct symmetrical components, even their black and white color values are all vehicles in which the artists use sharp contrasts to create dichotomy. These separations push the tension that exists between balancing intrinsic positives and negatives.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
How & Nosm (Raoul and Davide Perre) are identical twin brothers who work collaboratively as graffiti artists and muralists. They were born in 1975 in the Basque region of San Sebastian, Spain and raised in Dusseldorf, Germany. In their teens, they honed their graffiti skills during their travels, painting in over 60 countries around the world. In 1997, during a visit to New York, they were invited to join the legendary TATS CRU. In 1999, How & Nosm relocated to New York, where they are currently based, a move that led to their transition from graffiti to refined, large-scale public murals and studio work. The book HOW&NOSM: The Brazil Diaries, published in 2011, documents hundreds of murals they created in Rio over the past several years. In 2012, How & Nosm were the last in a rotating roster of acclaimed artists invited to paint murals on Houston and Bowery streets in lower Manhattan. Their piece, The Day After, was completed immediately following Hurricane Sandy and will remain on view through March 2013. It includes a tribute to the late Tony Goldman, owner of the wall and patron of the arts.